Hot off the heels of a remarkable ‘Rise to Power’ event brought to you by the folks at ONE Fighting Championship, it’s time for MMASucka.com to play ‘matchmaker’. We’re going to name a couple of bouts which we think should take place on a future ONE FC card and you, our readers, can share your opinion(s) and tell us if you agree.
There were lots of great fights this past friday and honestly, lots of fighters impressed and will undoubtedly be hoping to face an opponent who is in the upper echelon of their respective weight divisions.
Lowen Tynanes intrigued fans with his ground-game by pounding out ONE FC veteran Felipe Enomoto in a crucifix position, en route to securing a TKO victory. Nobutatsu Suzuki and Koji Oishi marked their promotional debuts in style, by defeating their respective much-fancied opponents at their own game.
Both Andrew Leone and Bibiano Fernandes showcased their superiority on the canvas by out-grappling their opponents to garner a decision victory.
So who do you think is next for them?
Call me crazy, but in my humble opinion, this fight has to happen soon. Both these guys are young, on winning streaks, and are perhaps, in the best period of their respective MMA careers. Tynanes is well-abled wrestler, capable of standing and trading on his feet too. Ng, in the meantime, is beloved by many, and is a fighter who will not be hesitant in taking the fight to the ground, or keep it standing. This match-up has ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it and will have MMA fanatics drooling should this bout materialize.
Well, this is a match-up that was not really on our minds at first, but when Leone called Kojima out following his victory over Geje Eustaquio this past Friday night, we figured: why not? Both Leone and Kojima are one of the region’s top Flyweight fighters and this is a bout that’s capable of being a co-main event (possibly a main event) on any Asian fight card. In MMASucka.com’s interview with Leone last month, the Phuket Top Team native dropped a hint at facing Kojima. He was, after all, impressed with Kojima’s submission victory over Rey Docyogen at ONE FC 7: Return of Warriors. The Japanese veteran has only been stopped once in 18 professional MMA bouts thus far, so if this fight does happen, Leone’s hands will undoubtedly be full.
Bibiano Fernandes became the interim ONE FC Bantamweight champion on Friday night, so it would be sensible to have him face Soo Chul Kim since the South Korean is the reigning 135-lbs champion of the promotion. The belts have to be unified, after all, so fight fans; you can expect this match-up to take place before the end of the year. Besides, Kim was recently pulled from the ROAD FC 012 fight card because of his rapid recovery, with both Victor Cui and ROAD FC CEO Jung Moon Hong having a chat, perhaps, about a future title defense planned for Kim. Anyway, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Bibiano locking horns with Masakatsu Ueda either, who’s probably in line for a title shot after being crowned the inaugural ONE FC Bantamweight GP champion following his victory over Kevin Belingon.
You simply can’t deny the fact that Saadulaev is a warrior. Despite being on a 2-fight losing run, Saadulaev accepted a Catchweight contest with Ryan Diaz, who missed weight the day before at the official weigh-ins. Knowing that another loss would probably signal the end of his stint with ONE FC, Saadulaev weathered the early storm in the 1st stanza before submitting his opponent impressively in the 2nd. The Russian ‘Maestro’ has hardly been in a boring fight ever since he made the switch to the Singapore-based promotion, and in all honesty, a potential match-up with Brazilian-born Gustavo Falciroli could provide some sparks. Falciroli has never been stopped in his professional MMA career thus far, and his world-class BJJ skills could provide a stern test to Saadulaev’s wrestling prowess.
I think its fair to say that this would be a classic ‘striker vs. wrestler’ match-up, that’s sure to wet the taste buds of any Asian MMA fan. Peter Davis is a well-known fighter here in Asia and has competed in ONE FC on several occasions. He is unbeaten inside the ONE FC cage, and a match-up with Kamal Shalorus could be a step-up in competition for the Malaysian. Shalorus, of course, is coming off a resounding hard-fought Unanimous Decision win over Filipino superstar, Edward Folayang, so a win over Davis could leap-frog the ‘The Prince of Persia’ into title contention. Or vice-versa.
So, fight fans, what do you think of the match-ups? Let us know in the comments section below.