Theodorus Ginting has just become the new One Pride (Indonesia’s top MMA competition, not to be confused with ONE FC) welterweight champion by defeating the seemingly formidable Rudy “Ahong” Gunawan via a first round TKO.

During the fight, Theo displayed a masterful performance of BJJ principles; defend, escape, control and submit/beat the opponent.

Both Ahong and Theo were undefeated but the defending champion had an impressive 9-0 winning streak, most of which ended in a first round TKO within just a few seconds.

While Ahong might not have the best striking technique (he broke his right hand after poorly landing a punch during one of his previous fights), he has the knockout power and this showed during the fight with Theo.

Right from the get go, Ahong threw a short left hook and knocked Theo to the ground. It was at this moment I thought that the fight was over because Ahong then reigned down hammer fists with bad intentions on the obviously shaken Theo. The referee almost stopped the fight after seeing Theo did not intelligently defend himself. However, Theo managed to turtle up and tried to go for a single leg.

Theo was still in danger though because Ahong managed to neutralize the single leg attempt and go for Theo’s back. The champion now has a back control on his dazed challenger. This was when Theo showcased his superior ground game by defending everything Ahok tried on him from his back.

Theo managed to defend Ahong’s rear naked choke attempt. Ahong squeezed hard but because the choke was not properly placed on Theo’s neck, the champion spent a huge amount of energy. Theo could have also won right here because Ahong actually made a big mistake by crossing his feet to control the back mount. If only Theo was aware of the crossed feet, he would have been able to submit Ahong in a footlock. However, Theo was probably focusing on defending the choke first so he was not aware of Ahong’s crossed feet.

Never cross your feet when you have back control.

The danger was not over yet for Theo. As he scrambled, he got flattened on his belly and now Ahong got full mount from top. Generally, the fight should have been over at this point because all Ahong needed to do was to keep Theo flattened and burst a barrage of punches from the top. Miraculously, Theo still defended well and whatever Ahong gave him, he managed to take it without losing his composure or going into a state of panic that would have exposed him more.

As Ahong got more and more tired, Theo began to shift from the defending phase to escaping. Theo scrambled once again and managed to get into a dog-fight position with Ahong on the ground. The challenger than managed to get top position and end up in Ahong’s half guard. Theo is a BJJ blue belt and the ground is obviously his playground.

Now that Theo has top position, he began the control or attack phase on Ahong. He immediately secured the crossface to control where and when he wanted Ahong’s body to tilt or move. He also secured an underhook so that Ahong could not find a comfortable angle and he put almost all 77 kilograms of his body weight on Ahong’s throat via a shoulder pressure from top. It was only a matter of time before Theo could pass Ahong’s half guard and as the first round almost ended, he did just that.

Theo then used his right shin to staple Ahong’s left arm to the ground. The champ is in big trouble now. He was gassed out and his left arm was practically pinned to the ground, leaving him no option to defend Theo’s right punches from the top.

Theo had practically immobilize Ahong and now he had two options; submit the champ or just knock him out. Two seconds before the first round bell rang, Theo decided he would rather knock Ahong out with a vicious elbow. And that, my friend, is how you use BJJ to win. It was a poetic and beautiful of BJJ performance from Theo.

As for Ahong, he is still a bad ass and deserves every amount of respect. Ahong can no longer clinch his right fist properly after he broke a bone in his palm but he still went out there and faced an undefeated opponent.

Watch the full match here:

Photos from and One Pride official Youtube channel

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Hans David

A lifestyle journalist and a student of the gentle art with Alliance Jiu Jitsu Indonesia. Subscribe to my blog for more BJJ stuffs and occasionally, some rants.
Hans David
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