ONE Fighting Championship returns to Singapore once again for it’s eleventh installment, which is set to go down this Friday, October 18, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
While the prelims are set to air free-of-charge on YouTube, global fans can catch all the main card action for a price of $9.99 at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv/. As with its past few events, ONE FC 11: Total Domination will air on the Star Sports network as well.
The fight card is set to feature a headlining Bantamweight unification title bout between current champ Soo Chul Kim and interim title holder, Bibiano Fernandes. In the co-main event, grappling maestro Shinya Aoki drops to Featherweight for the first time in his career, as he welcomes Tiger Muay Thai product Cody Stevens to the ONE FC banner.
But the spotlight will not only shine on the two featured bouts of the evening. Given the fact that the event is taking place in Singapore, ONE FC has slated three Singaporeans to the preliminary portion of the stacked fight card.
Bantamweights Stephen Langdown and Marc Marcellinus will start off proceedings, with Lightweights Juan Wen Jie vs. Alex Lim to follow suit soon after. The only women’s bout of the evening between Sherilyn Lim and Ann Osman will then bring the prelims to a close.
These are premier “Singapore vs. Malaysia” match-ups that are sure to have fans on the edge of their seats.
With that, let’s get to the breakdown of the fight card:
- Marc Marcellinus (0-0) vs. Stephen Langdown (0-0) – Bantamweight
Both fighters are set for their respective pro MMA debuts, so not much is known about them yet. Langdown originally hailed from the now defunct Stable MMA, but he now trains out of Brazilian Fight Club MMA. He is perhaps more well known in the social media circles, where he regularly provides fitness advice, food tips and so on. The Singaporean is primarily a stand-up Muay Thai fighter so we can expect him to keep to his traits come fight night.
Entering unfriendly territory will be Marc Marcellinus, a fighter from the jungles of Borneo who was raised in a tribe during his adolescent years. Just like his opponent, Marcellinus is primarily a stand-up fighter as well, so expect both fighters to put on a striking display for three rounds or less.
- Alex Lim (1-2) vs. Juan Wen Jie (2-0) – Lightweight
Juan Wen Jie was actually supposed to make his promotional debut at ONE FC 3: War of the Lions against Juggernaut Fight Club product Quek Kim Hock, but an unfortunate injury forced the Singaporean to withdraw from proceedings. Although he carries a 2-0 record in his young MMA career, the Impact MMA native hasn’t quite made a name for himself, yet, in the Singapore MMA scene. A win on October 18, though, could change everything. Both his pro MMA appearances have come in Malaysia’s Ultimate Beatdown, where he gained first round stoppage victories.
Alex Lim, meanwhile, faced Will Chope in his pro MMA debut in December of last year. Yes, you read that right. Lim, however, came up short and succumbed to a first round Rear-Naked Choke. He’s gone on a 1-1 run since then, and he’ll certainly be looking to have a better stint with ONE FC. The Malaysian is a kickboxer who’ll be eager to test the stand-up skills of his opponent, perhaps with an eye to grab an upset victory in his home turf as well.
- Ann Osman (0-0) vs. Sherilyn Lim (0-0) – Strawweight
Osman-Lim will be only ONE FC’s second women’s match-up to date.
Ann Osman is the first pro female fighter out of Malaysia. While not much is known about Osman, she does train with the likes of Will Chope, Mark Striegl and AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor on a daily basis at Team Buffet, so there’s absolutely no doubts that she has surrounded herself with really good training partners. In her interviews, Osman has highlighted her confidence in her Muay Thai skills numerous times, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Malaysian can keep the fight standing, and most importantly, show the defensive side of her ground game should the bout hit the canvas at any given time.
Lim, meanwhile, is a member of Fight G, Singapore’s oldest MMA fight camp. It’s no secret that Lim comes from a striking background, having started off in Muay Thai during her teen years for the simple reason of losing weight. Unbeknownst to us, though, she may very well be working tirelessly on her grappling, to perhaps work on the weakness of her opponent on fight night. Nonetheless, expectations will be high for the Singaporean given the limelight she’s been in ever since she was announced for the fight card.
Dubbed as Singapore’s “MMA darling”, a loss for Lim would definitely flatten the mood of the crowd; something that Osman will be striving for. A win, on the other hand, would do wonders both for the fighter and the home crowd, who would not want to go home feeling hard done by.
- Khim Dima (0-0) vs. Rene Catalan (0-1) – Flyweight
Rene Catalan had a torrid pro Mixed Martial Arts debut. The Filipino fighter was outclassed by Evolve MMA’s Alex Silva for four minutes at ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions in Singapore last year, eventually succumbing to an Armbar. Catalan may be a multi-time Wushu champion, who has cross-trained in various other striking disciplines, but it’s difficult, however, to come to terms with fighters who rely solely on their Wushu traits in MMA contests. We’ve seen combatants like Kevin Belingon, a Wushu practitioner in his own right, resolutely working on his ground game as well as his striking to have a good all-round facet. At 35-years of age, I humbly foresee a difficult transition for Catalan into pro MMA, and it’s going to take time for the Filipino to adapt to the sport and start garnering victories.
Dima, in the meantime, is set to make his pro MMA debut. The Cambodian has been working on his wrestling with the Cambodia national team in preparation for this fight, as he looks to mix things up in his first ONE FC appearance. Having been a veteran of over 250 Kun Khmer fights, Dima conceivably uses his knees, elbows, fists and shins better than any other.
- Shannon Wiratchai (2-1, 1 NC) vs. Mitch Chilson (4-1, 1 NC) – Featherweight
Both these fighters are in for a re-match, following a No-Contest result at ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation. Wiratchai landed a punch on Chilson, and followed it up with a soccer kick that quickly prompted a stoppage from the referee. The intervention, however, was highly controversial, as Chilson looked to be alright despite the kick. Moreover, the “open attack” rule, in which the referee would signal the fighter if he could land kicks on a grounded opponent, wasn’t gestured prior to Wiratchai’s kick, which in turn provided more debate onto the stoppage.
As a result, an original TKO win for Wiratchai was overturned to a No-Contest, and the “open attack” rule, a bizarre regulation to begin with, was scratched all together.
Wiratchai, a Thai prospect, is known for his shenanigans inside the cage where he taunts his opponents, whilst keeping his guard down. He was last seen at ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions, in a losing effort to Pakistan MMA pioneer Bashir Ahmad. Prior to that setback and match-up with Chilson, he won back-to-back fights in DARE.
Chilson, on the other hand, is a native of Singapore-based Evolve MMA, and a Muay Thai fighter with great wrestling credentials. He displayed those credentials against Wiratchai in their first meeting, landing takedowns and such before the controversial stoppage. Nonetheless, after seeing Bashir Ahmad’s success with ground control over Wiratchai, the 35-year-old American would certainly be more open to mixing things once again, as he looks for a decisive end to the fight this time around.
- Sylvain Potard (5-3) vs. Jake Butler (3-0) – Light Heavyweight
NCAA Division 1 wrestling standout Jake Butler has had a great start to his pro MMA career, bagging three first round stoppages in three appearances. The American’s decision to leave Wall Street to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts has been well documented on many levels, articulating his love for the combat sports scene. Butler has been dominant in all his ONE FC outings thus far, boasting a 100% takedown rate under the promotion’s banner. While it’d be criminal to neglect the Evolve MMA product’s wrestling prowess, his striking has been coming along fairly nicely too.
This will be Potard’s first appearance in ONE FC and the Frenchman will have to set up the barricades in this one. Despite an edge in fight experience, Potard has never faced a fighter like Butler before, let alone someone with massive wrestling credentials. This is, suffice to say, a big step-up in competition for the underdog, Potard. But, however you see it, this will be a good opportunity for Potard to express himself on a big stage, where a win will do wonders for both his career and confidence.
- Tatsuya Mizuno (11-9) vs. Rafael Silva (39-13) – Middleweight
After an Armbar submission defeat at the hands of former Strikeforce champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral in his ONE FC debut, Tatsuya Mizuno faced Jason Jones under the GLORY banner in Brussels, Belgium, suffering yet another defeat. He decided to give himself two choices: Either drop to 185-lbs, or continue at Light Heavyweight in hopes of making things better. He chose the former.
On Friday, Japanese MMA vet Mizuno makes a return to ONE Fighting Championship, as he looks forward to re-establishing his career as a Middleweight. It was tough at 205-lbs for the 32-year-old, who had a Jekyll and Hyde turn of events having faced the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Thiago Silva, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Melvin Manhoef and the aforementioned “Babalu” Sobral among others. He is well respected, however, for standing toe-to-toe with some of the world’s best MMA fighters, as otherwise stated by his record.
Rafael Silva, in the meantime, will be making his promotional debut. While he has an outstanding record of over thirty-five wins with just thirteen losses, Silva still remains as an unknown commodity among MMA followers. With twenty-one wins by submissions, the Portuguese fighter would love nothing more than to take the fight to mat and finish with one of his trademark chokes. That will be easier said than done, though, as Mizuno may be entering this tilt as the bigger fighter, having dropped a weight class.
This fight has knockout or submission written all over it given the number of finishes that both fighters have produced in their careers thus far.
- Eddie Ng (6-1) vs. Peter Davis (6-2) – Lightweight
A bout that has “Fight of the Night” written all over it, Ng vs. Davis is one of the most anticipated match-ups of the fight card. Both fighters hold similar records, and are each considered huge talents from their respective countries.
Sure enough, Davis will be Ng’s third consecutive opponent from Muayfit, having faced Frenchman Arnaud Lepont and Jian Kai Chee in his previous ONE FC outings. The Hong Kong-native is widely considered as one of the top prospects from the Asian region and so far, he’s lived up to all the hype. At 27, Ng has built a solid Mixed Martial Arts skill-set, and to date, in ONE FC, nobody has found a way to beat him. With crisp, hard striking to go along with a strong ground game, Eddie Ng always puts on a show when he’s under the bright lights.
The same could be said of Peter Davis, although the Malaysian will be fighting on the heels of a defeat against former “TUF” try-out Ariel Sexton back in June. Prior to that set-back, Davis boasted wins over Leo Krishna, Quek Kim Hock and Ngabdi Mulyadi, establishing himself as a top contender in ONE FC’s packed 155-lbs division. Now, however, Davis will have to work his way back into the mix, and mind you, beating a guy like Eddie Ng is no easy task.
- Shinya Aoki (33-6, 1 NC) vs. Cody Stevens (11-5-1) – Featherweight
Shinya Aoki is already an icon in Asia. Having won championships in DREAM, Shooto and now ONE FC, the 30-year-old is one of the greatest Japanese fighters to ever set foot in an MMA ring, let alone a cage. Known for his high-level submission maneuvers, it isn’t a secret that Aoki hasn’t fared well up in North America, experiencing mixed success in both Strikeforce and Bellator MMA. But in Asia, the grappling maestro has pretty much done it all, capturing a title in almost every promotion he has competed in.
While Aoki remains as the favorite to win this bout, Cody Stevens does indeed pose a threat to the Japanese vet. With six submission finishes in eleven victories, Stevens unquestionably knows his way around the mat. He’s undoubtedly vary of Aoki’s grappling prowess, knowing that’s preciously the area where he thrives in. So bank on Stevens making this a stand-up exchange, a domain that his opponent doesn’t fancy much at all. The Tiger Muay Thai native is on a 3-1-1 run in his last five outings, with that lone defeat coming at the hands of the UFC’s Wilson Reis.
Stevens could make a huge name for himself if he comes out with a victory in this one.
- Soo Chul Kim (7-4) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (14-3) – Bantamweight, unification of title belts
And mind you, Fernandes is a heavy favorite in this one. So much so, that people actually believe it’s going to be a walk-in-the-park for the Brazilian. A former DREAM Featherweight and Bantamweight title-holder, Bibiano Fernandes is one of the world’s top 135-lbs fighters. He snubbed the UFC in favor of competing in Asia, signing a deal with ONE FC. He has gone 2-0 in the Singapore-based promotion, picking up wins over Gustavo Falciroli and Koetsu Okazaki. On a six-fight win streak, the AMC Pankration staple and former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champ trains with the likes of UFC Flyweight title holder Demetrious Johnson on a daily basis, and having polished his striking skills, the Brazilian is absolutely dangerous wherever the fight goes.
Soo Chul Kim, at 21, meanwhile, has made waves in the Asian MMA scene. Yes, the ROAD FC vet is the underdog, but he’s certainly capable of making the impossible, possible.
He garnered the ONE FC Bantamweight belt when he knocked out Leandro Issa at ONE FC 6: Rise of Kings, shocking the folks at the Singapore Indoor Stadium as well as MMA fans around the globe. And, like it or not, the South Korean will be hell-bent on pulling off the same feat on October 18.
Kim looked a totally different fighter when he fought Kevin Belingon, pressuring the Filipino fighter from start to finish en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. Then, of course, came the knockout victory and championship win over Issa soon after. Suffice to say, the South Korean has gone back to the drawing board, making some changes, and has since rebounded with some impressive displays.
Hopefully, his recent injury doesn’t overshadow his performance on fight night. Kim will be expected to push the pace in all five stanzas, while Bibiano will hoping to capitalize with hard punches and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Here’s a re-cap of Friday’s ONE FC 11: Total Domination fight card:
MAIN CARD (Star Sports, Livesport.tv):
- Soo Chul Kim vs. Bibiano Fernandes (Bantamweight Title Unification bout)
- Shinya Aoki vs. Cody Stevens
- Eddie Ng vs. Peter Davis
- Rafael Silva vs. Tatsuya Mizuno
- Jake Butler vs. Sylvain Potard
- Shannon Wiratchai vs. Mitch Chilson
- Rene Catalan vs. Khim Dima
- Sherilyn Lim vs. Ann Osman
- Juan Wen Jie vs. Alex Lim
- Marc Marcellinus vs. Stephen Langdown