Despite scoring takedowns after takedowns, Filipino-Kiwi fighter Mark Abelardo absorbed a unanimous decision defeat to Chen Rui of China in their bantamweight bout in ONE: Bad Blood at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night, Feb. 11
Abelardo waxed hot in the second round after finding his groove in his grappling and taking down Chen for the first time at the 2:33 mark.
Chen, however, was quick to respond and went back on his feet but Abelardo scored another takedown with less than a minute remaining.
It was in the third round where the Fil-Kiwi warrior continued his momentum and threw an overhand right that left a cut on Chen's nose.
With almost a minute down in the third round, Abelardo executed another takedown and tried to finish things with more than a minute on the ground.
Chen, showing tenacity and great defense, slowly made his way back on feet but Abelardo showed his pesky side and once again took down the Chinese opponent at the 2:30 mark.
It all boiled down to the all-out brawl in the last minute, where both fighters exchanged punches and combinations until the final clapper.
The same goes for the opening canto, where Abelardo landed his most significant punch of the round with an overhand right hand at the 1:40 mark.
"At the end of second roudn and third roudn ebginning, Mark took me down. But I'm okay!" said Chen, who improved to a 10-3 record. "Even in the final minute, if I get up. I still feel my punch, I can take the fight."
Abelardo, for his part, could not sustain his win against Emilio Urrutia last February 2021 and fell to a 20-8 card.