Asia’s premier Mixed Martial Arts promotion, ONE Fighting Championship, made its return to the Philippines this past Friday, May 31st, showcasing an extravagant fight card that featured some of MMA’s finest names. The event was held at the Mall of Asia Arena; the biggest venue of the Singapore-based organization’s to date.
It was an unfortunate night for the Filipino fans, however, as none of their home-bred fighters managed to garner a victory. Team Lakay, one of the region’s most esteemed MMA gyms, continued their poor run of form following a disappointing display at PXC 37, a fortnight earlier.
The main event saw Lakay’s own Honorio Banario defend his 145-lbs strap for the first time against promotional newcomer, Koji Oishi. Despite having thrice as many fights as his opponent, however, Oishi entered the bout as an underdog. Interestingly, it was the Japanese fighter’s birthday as well and he celebrated it in style as he KO’ed his much fancied opponent in the 2nd stanza, silencing the MOA Arena for a moment or two.
In the co-main event, Bibiano Fernandes, a former DREAM 135-lbs & 145-lbs titleholder, added another belt to his collection – the inaugural interim ONE FC Bantamweight Championship. The Brazilian-born fighter showcased his BJJ and grappling prowess on the ground, en route to earning a fairly one-sided Unanimous Decision victory. Credit, though, has to go to his opponent, Koetsu Okazaki, for defending and shrugging off all of Fernandes’ near submission attempts. Bibiano is now expected to face reigning champion Soo Chul Kim for a unification of the 135-lbs title straps.
Other notable fights:
Both Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon bagged ‘Fight of the Night’ accolades in their Bantamweight Grand Prix final match-up. It was a back-and-forth extravagant fixture, that saw both fighters pushing forward and working hard towards the final bell. Although Ueda garnered the victory in the end, it was a controversial one because many people felt that the final decision should’ve favored Belingon. The match-up was expected to be slow and methodical, something that Ueda had been accustomed to on so many occasions. But Kevin Belingon had other ideas. He refused to slow down the pace and as always, impressed fans and critics with his striking and takedown defense.
Lowen Tynanes continued his dominance in the Lightweight sector, by destroying ONE FC veteran, Felipe Enomoto. It was all one-sided, or too easy, for the American as a takedown followed by a transitioned crucifix position was all she wrote for Enomoto. Heavy ground-and-pound was soon upon the Swiss native, and the referee was forced to intervene at 2:41s of Round 1. Lowen Tynanes has once again impressed, and the future looks great for the American.
MMASucka.com’s ONE FC 9 Three Stars:
1. Koji Oishi
2. Nobutatsu Suzuki
3. Lowen Tynanes
Check out the rest of the results below:
- Koji Oishi def. Honorio Banario via KO (Punch) at 1:45 of Round 2 (For ONE FC Featherweight strap)
- Bibiano Fernandes def. Koetsu Okazaki via Unanimous Decision (For Interim ONE FC Bantamweight strap)
- Masakatsu Ueda def. Kevin Belingon via Unanimous Decision (ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix Final)
- Yasuhiro Urushitani def. Rey Docyogen via Split Decision
- Nobutatsu Suzuki def. Phil Baroni via TKO (Punches) at 4:17 of Round 1
- Kamal Shalorus def. Eduard Folayang via Unanimous Decision
- Andrew Leone def. Geje Eustaquio via Unanimous Decision
- Yusup Saadulaev def. Ryan Diaz via Submission (D’arce Choke) at 2:57 of Round 2
- Lowen Tynanes def. Felipe Enomoto via TKO (Punches) at 2:41 of Round 1
- Tony Johnson Jr. def. Tim Sylvia via TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) at 3:25 of Round 3