kickboxing, Muay Thai and Wushu

Portugal’s Rui Botelho earns first ONE Super Series win in Yangon, Myanmar

Rui Botelho

Rui Botelho

Representing Dinamite Team, Rui Botelho, 24, of Mafra, Lisbon, Portugal was one of the winners at “ONE: Reign of Valor.” It marked his first victory in ONE Championship’s striking-only league ONE Super Series.

“ONE: Reign of Valor” featured nine MMA matches and five ONE Super Series contests, which are kickboxing bouts. In the second bout of the evening, Botelho faced Yuta Watanabe, 28, of Japan in a kickboxing match in the flyweight division with Elias Dolaptsis as the referee.

The two flyweight competitors figured in a spirited ONE Super Series kickboxing contest. Watanabe utilized his length to keep Botelho constantly out of range in the early going.

Botelho battled back late, scoring big on a pair of knockdowns in the third round. After three three-minute rounds, Dolaptsis raised the hand of the Portuguese contender, who was declared the winner via unanimous decision.

At the age of 16, Botelho started his Muay Thai training. When he made his ONE Super Series debut at “ONE: Pinnacle of Power” at the Studio City Event Center in Macau, China on June 23, 2018, he was knocked out by Yukinori Ogasawara, 26, of Japan.

On December 7, 2018, Botelho lost to Panpayak “The Angel Warrior” Jitmuangnon, 22, of Thailand via unanimous decision at “ONE: Destiny of Champions” at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “ONE: Reign of Valor” marked the Portuguese martial artist’s third ONE Super Series bout.

Watanabe was one of four fighters who represented Japan at “ONE: Reign of Valor.” Botelho was the sole representative of Portugal.

Winning at “ONE: Reign of Valor” improved Botelho’s professional Muay Thai and kickboxing record to 17 wins, 8 losses and 2 losses. On the other hand, Watanabe now has 19 wins, 9 losses and 3 draws.

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