ONE Fight Night 15: Jon Di Bella Cruises to Dominant First Title Defense Over Danial Williams

Jonathan Di Bella and Danial Williams, ONE Fight Night 15 face-off Credit: ONE Championship

Undefeated Italian-Canadian fighter Jon Di Bella successfully made the first defense of his strawweight kickboxing title at ONE Fight Night 15 when he faced Danial ‘Mini T’ Williams at the legendary Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Williams moved down in weight after losing to one of the best strikers in the world, Superlek Kiatmuu9, getting a title shot in his strawweight debut. Meanwhile the champ, Di Bella, had been inactive since winning his belt a year earlier against Pemian Zhang due to a dispute with ONE Championship boss Chatri Sidyodtong. With that relationship mended he was able to compete in the co-main event of this card.

They came out swinging from the opening bell, Di Bella pressing forward and kicking the leg of Williams out in an early exchange, making Danial fall to the mat. From his southpaw stance, Di Bella was able to kick the inside of the lead leg of Williams, buckling his leg several more times. A straight left hand from Jon hurt his challenger one minute in, but ‘Mini T’ recovered after staggering against the ropes briefly. His left kept finding the mark and he began to mix in body work after that, cruising to the end of a dominant first round for the champion.

Di Bella came out strong again in round two but Danial did not back down whatsoever, coming forward and landing two good right hands thirty seconds into round two. A straight left hand from Jon sat down Williams right after that but he stood back up immediately; the referee did not call a ten-count for some reason even though his hand and butt clearly hit the canvas due to the punch. Danial Williams began to switch to southpaw, likely covering for his already beaten up left calf. The challenger began to come back with his own leg kicks but Di Bella answered even stronger. Di Bella used a collar tie – illegal in kickboxing – to land a knee and got cautioned by the referee for it right before the end of the round.

The third round was more of the same. Danial Williams landed some strikes but never seemed able to take any control over the action in the fight. He had trouble breaking past the high guard of the champ, only really landing clean when he threw leg kicks, which did begin to redden the right leg of Di Bella. Still, Jon seemed to take the third round, putting him up 30-27 most likely.

The championship rounds began with Williams stepping up the pace even more after his corner told him how much he is down. He got through with some of his strikes, but Di Bella was still able to keep control and land more. A few knees in close were the best strikes from Williams in the fourth round. The boxing from Di Bella continued to be on point, though this was probably the challenger’s best round in the fight, offensively speaking. A leg kick from the champion put ‘Mini T’ to a knee in the last five seconds of the round.

Williams needed a finish going into the final round of the bout, having only a badly bruised leg on his foe’s right leg to show for his efforts through four rounds. Di Bella was more cautious and precise in the final round, he had gone away from the leg kicks in large part by this point, but his boxing was clean as ever. The fast hands, body work, and counter-striking let him cruise through the fifth round. Jon Di Bella closed the fight out with a spinning kick to the head of Williams, which the challenger somehow ate, shortly before the bell.

When the judges’ scorecards were read it was no surprise that Jonathan Di Bella was awarded the unanimous decision, earning his first ever title defense and extending his kickboxing record to 12-0.

Official Result: Jon Di Bella def. Danial Williams by Unanimous Decision

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