Knockout artists Thanh Le and Ilya Freymanov faced off in the main event of ONE Fight Night 15 in Bangkok, Thailand for the ONE interim featherweight championship in MMA.
Thanh Le had previously won the undisputed belt and defended it once before losing it to Tang Kai last year. The Russian, Freymanov, had won both of his ONE Championship fights by finish leading into his first title opportunity with the promotion. It looked like a war on paper but Thanh Le surprised everyone when he submitted his opponent in the first round, only his second career submission.
Thanh Le came out swinging hard from the opening bell but got taken down early on. However he was able to invert on the leg of Freymanov and chase a heel hook. It appeared that Freymanov had escaped at one point but Le kept hunting the submission up against the ropes and suddenly the fight was over, Ilya had tapped.
Thanh Le got his hand raised to regain a piece of his title, but would need to rematch Tang Kai to regain the undisputed status that he once held. In the post-fight interview he got awarded a $50,000 bonus for his finish.
The champion and former foe of Le, Tang Kai, then came into the ring so the fighters could face off. Le shook his hand and gave him a quick, brotherly hug, showing no animosity between then. Tang Kai said, through his Chinese translator, that he was impressed with Thanh but would knock him out in the rematch. Le threw shade his way by suggesting that Kai backed away too much and avoided engagements in their last fight before they faced off again.
Official Result: Thanh Le def. Ilya Freymanov by Submission (heel hook) Round 1, 1:02