ONE Fighting Championship returned to the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines this past Friday with arguably its most stacked event yet.
ONE FC 23: Warrior’s Way streamed LIVE via online pay-per-view and also featured on FOX Sports 3 for viewers based in Asia.
The main event saw the promotion’s reigning 135-lbs champ, Bibiano Fernandes (17-3), successfully retain his title in spectacular fashion. His opponent, South Korean starlet Dae Hwan Kim (10-1-1), started promisingly by testing Fernandes’ mettle in the first round with a couple of neat strikes. However, the fight was stopped in the the second stanza, when Fernandes’ world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skill-set set forth a slick back take, which allowed the Brazilian to lock in a Rear-Naked Choke, promptly forcing Kim to tap.
The theme of soccer kick knockouts continued in ONE FC’s 23rd installment as former UFC staple Brandon Vera (13-7, 1 NC) bagged a first round soccer kick rout over URCC champ, Igor Subora (5-2). After a tough start for both fighters where fists and kicks flew ferociously, Vera eventually dropped Subora with a straight left before adding a couple of soccer kicks for good measure. With the victory in the bag, Vera finally snapped a two-fight losing streak and found his way back to the win column after three years.
Former UFC and Strikeforce competitor, Roger Gracie (7-2), made a successful ONE FC debut with a surprising TKO victory over The Ultimate Fight Season 10 veteran, James McSweeney (14-12). It was a battle of world champions with Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pedigree up against McSweeney’s Muay Thai prowess, and while the latter did find success in the stand-up department, an injured foot and a bruised right eye was all Gracie needed to capitalize on in the third frame en route to a TKO triumph.
Elsewhere on the card, Boxing and Filipino icon, Ana Julaton (2-1), was made to work hard for a Unanimous Decision win in her Flyweight tussle with Egypt’s Walaa Abas (2-2), while Evolve MMA’s Herbert Burns (5-0) took her huge leap forward to Featherweight title contention with his submission victory over former titleholder, Honorio Banario (8-5).
Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin (8-1), meanwhile, picked up knockout of the night honors, with his rambunctious Flying knee and soccer kick knockout win over Eduard Folayang (14-5).
Check out the full results from the event below:
- Bibiano Fernandes def. Dae Hwan Kim via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:16 minutes of Round 2 (For ONE FC Bantamweight Championship title)
- Brandon Vera def. Igor Subora via KO (Punch & Soccer Kicks) at 3:54 minutes of Round 1
- Timofey Nastyukhin def. Eduard Folayang via KO (Flying Knee & Soccer Kicks) at 3:11 minutes of Round 1
- Roger Gracie def. James McSweeney via TKO (Strikes) at 3:15 minutes of Round 3
- Kevin Belingon def. Koetsu Okazaki via Unanimous Decision
- Herbert Burns def. Honorio Banario via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:59 minutes of Round 1
- Jake Butler def. Sylvain Potard via Unanimous Decision
- Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Rene Catalan via KO (Knees) at 2:30 minutes of Round 1
- Ana Julaton def. Walaa Abas by Unanimous Decision
- Jujeath Nagaowa def. Tharoth Sam via TKO (Strikes) at 3:34 minutes of Round 2
*Pictures credit: ONE Fighting Championship