22/04/2024

Perth's Danial 'Mini T' Williams emerged triumphant at ONE 156 - Photo: ONE Championship

Perth's Danial Williams has secured his second ONE Championship win, beating Japan's Namiki Kawahara via unanimous decision at ONE 156.

Western Australia’s Danial Williams (5-1) has continued his strong start to his MMA career, scoring a unanimous decision win over Japan’s Namiki Kawahara (7-5-2-1) at ONE 156.

The decorated Muay Thai convert displayed his striking prowess over the full 15 minutes, while also being forced to show the improvements in his evolving grappling game.

From the outset, Kawahara’s approach was built on a commitment to taking the fight to the ground. Using the double leg takedown as a weapon of choice, his first two attempts to grapple were thwarted by Williams’ ability to scramble and return to the feet.

Here, ‘Mini T’ put his eductaed hands and feet to good use, landing body rips and heavy low kicks. In fact, one calf kick was so successful that it floored Kawahara just two minutes in.

Still, the Japanese fighter remained resolute and after wearing some ground and pound strikes, returned to his feet and scored another takedown. This time, Williams found himself subject to a tight body triangle and multiple rear naked choke attempts.

Though compromised, the 28 year old was able to defend the submission attacks until the end of the round.

The next five minutes proved much more successful for Williams, who began to land precise punches on Kawahara. In the most decisive moment of the contest, a looping right hand found the mark 90 seconds into the second, resulting in a knockdown.

The same strike proved effective throughout the five minutes. Often coupled with a tight right hook, Kawahara had recieved a lot of damage heading into the final round.

While it appeared that the Australian had taken over, his 32 year old foe fought on gallantly, however.

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In a last ditch effort to impose himself, Kawahara again turned to his grappling. After taking a firm grip of Williams’ right leg, he soon worked to secure a standing body triangle. Again, the explosive bursts served the Perth product well.

Each time Williams found himself troubled on the ground, he was able to eventually work out of the position.

Sensing the fight slipping from his grasp, Kawahara then threw caution to the wind in the final minute. Although he was able to land a number of winging hooks, Williams was able to slip and avoid the worst of the strikes until the final bell.

With the victory, the Scrappy MMA pupil remains undefeated in two MMA bouts with the organisation. In his last outing in February, Williams scored body shot knockout of Thailand’s Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.

Reflecting on the fight, Williams touched on his performance and the blend of styles between he and his opponent, before calling out his next move.

Now riding a four fight MMA win streak, he has every intention of targeting the best competition in the weight class.

“I used my strengths and stayed tight,” he said post-fight.

“I knew he was going to be better on the ground, he’s more experienced. So I just had to make sure I didn’t give my back too much.

“Standing up, he wasn’t hurting me. He was throwing punches, but I kept walking forward. I felt like I was in control of the whole fight.

“I want to be in the top five of the Strawweight division.”

For all of the results from ONE 156, click here.

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