As both men shaped up to land blows in the second round of their bantamweight bout, it was the Filipino-Kiwi fighter who got there first, landing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it elbow strike so rapid that it needed replays to do justice to quite how devastating it was.
The concussive blow handed the 29-year-old victory – but fans were also quick to praise the fight official who stepped in rapidly as Abelardo appeared primed to land further damage on his stricken opponent.
“The ref needs a bonus for saving this man from the follow up shot,” wrote one fan, while another added: “Really great job by him, Abedelardo [sic] was about to leave a dead body.”
The victory meant Abelardo bounced back from successive defeats under the ONE Championship banner and improved his overall MMA record to 20-8.
‘The Honey Badger’ Urrutia meanwhile slipped to 11-8 and suffered a fourth loss on the spin, after starting his ONE Championship tenure with back-to-back wins.
“I could see him reaching with his hooks, he was kind of overextending so I waited for him to throw a couple more, then I just timed it and I landed it thankfully,” Abelardo said of his decisive strike.
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