Superlek streaked to his 9th consecutive victory with relative ease. That was the case on the main event of ONE Fight Night 12 on Prime Video held on July 14 at the legendary Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The “Kicking Machine” completely crushed his Russian foe, Tagir Khalilov, and earned a second-round TKO victory in the process. Even though Superlek stepped in on short notice, it was not much of a problem as it was all over in less than 2 rounds. A mere three weeks had passed since he totally obliterated rising Muay Thai phenom Nabil on the main event of ONE Friday Fights 22.
Khalilov was no pushover. Sure, Superlek’s victory made it seem like that, but the Russian was coming off highly impressive wins against Thai bangers. “Samingpri” knocked out Chorfah Tor Sangtiennoi in December of last year on ONE Championship 164. He then stopped Black Panther using hooks to the body on ONE Friday Fights 9 last March.
The ‘Thai Killer’ nickname seemed apt for Khalilov and it is backed by the impressive power in both of his hands. That concussive power is what some thought would give him at least a chance against Superlek. In the end, however, it did not matter. The disparity in the skills and the level of the two fighters was apparent throughout the short fight.
The only time that the fight seemed even remotely even was at the very start. Both fighters started seizing each other up as soon as the bell rang. The catchweight (132.25 lbs.) Muay Thai bout looked as though it would be a barnburner of a fight. But Superlek erased any notions of that happening within a minute of the match.
An aggressive Superlek went at Khalilov from the get-go. He unleashed a variety of elbow strikes, jumping knees, and mixed in body shots for good measure. This was a version of Superlek who is coming forward and being super accurate with his shots. He never relented and by the end of Round 1, the damage was obvious on Khalilov’s face.
By the start of the second round, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before the fight was stopped. Superlek resumed his vicious onslaught, causing even more damage to the Russian fighter. Khalilov got caught by an elbow and was dropped, resulting in an eight count.
More elbows and knees were thrown his way, which forced referee Olivier Coste to halt the fight less than a minute later. The official time was 1:42 left in the second round. It is not that Khalilov did not offer any resistance. He did, most notably a couple of spinning back fists that could have done considerable damage had they landed cleanly. They missed, however, which only hastened his doom.
The result was another crushing win for Superlek. This latest one bumped his record to 134 wins, 29 losses, and 4 draws. It was Superlek’s 9th straight victory and third straight by KO or TKO. He is obviously at his physical peak and in the prime of his career.
After the fight, Superlek had the chance to call out Rodtang, who holds the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai title. It is a fight that Muay Thai and combat sports fans, in general, have been clamoring for some time now. But he also took the chance to issue a challenge to Jonathan Haggert, who owns the bantamweight division’s championship strap.
If and when those marquee fights do happen, one thing is certain. And that is the fact that Superlek will always give one hell of a performance.