MMA: Kiwi fighter Mark Abelardo earns TKO win over Daichi Takenaka at ONE Championship Bangkok

Abelardo has his hand raised in victory.
Abelardo has his hand raised in victory. Photo credit: Supplied

Kiwi fighter Mark Abelardo has signalled his arrival on ONE Championship's main stage with an eye-catching comeback win over Japan's Daichi Takenaka in Bangkok.

Known as 'Tyson' for his heavy-punching power, the 27-year-old overcame a difficult opening two rounds, in which Takenaka controlled the contest with his wrestling, to surge back in the final stanza.

Abelardo managed to gain the upper hand on the feet and put his striking prowess on display, eventually working his way into his opponent's guard and unleashing a series of damaging elbows that opened a large cut on the Japanese fighter's face.

The doctor was called into the ring to examine the cut and ultimately enforced the stoppage in the fight's dying moments to hand the Kiwi his fifth consecutive victory.

The defeat put an end to former Shooto's world champion Takenaka's flawless 11-fight professional record and established Abelardo as a rising contender on ONE's talent-laden bantamweight roster.

MMA: Kiwi fighter Mark Abelardo earns TKO win over Daichi Takenaka at ONE Championship Bangkok

Born and raised in New Zealand to Filipino parents, Abelardo is now based in Thailand, where he fights out of Team Quest.

He was discovered on Rich Franklin's ONE's Warrior Series, where he won both of his bouts to earn a contract with the Asia-based promotion.

In the event's headline act, Muay Thai great Nong-O Gaiyanghadao edged China's Han Zi Hao in a five-round thriller to become the inaugural ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz