After a rather lackluster start to the main card line-up, circumstances looked rather bleak for ONE FC 12: Warrior Spirit. The event, to begin with, consisted of a rather weak fight card on paper, where most fighters were making their respective promotional debuts and were relatively unheard off. But the faultfinders were silenced once again as ONE Fighting Championship ended up showcasing a stellar event after all.
ONE FC 12: Warrior Spirit took place on Friday at the Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Main card action was streamed LIVE online at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv/ and aired on the Star Sports network. Unlike previous events, however, preliminary bouts weren’t streamed online.
The main event featured a Catchweight contest between Russian suplex ace Yusup Saadulaev (11-3-1) and promotional newcomer Adriano Moraes (9-1), in a bout that displayed great bustle on the canvas and technical striking. Saadulaev, 28, took home a close split decision victory, in an outcome that rightfully garnered little controversy from viewers. Moraes, meanwhile, endured the agony of suffering the first set-back of his pro MMA career. Saadulaev took the first roundunder his wing after gaining his vintage suplex takedown, and dominating proceedings on the canvas with top control. In the second frame, however, the tides shifted in Moraes’ favor, as the Brazilian showcased some swift and elusive footwork along with perhaps, getting the better of his opponent in most of the stand-up battles. He managed to end the stanza on a high note by landing some heavy leather, after reversing positions from Saadulaev takedown. In round three, Moraes managed to get full mount but couldn’t maintain it. His Russian counterpart surged on knees and strikes towards the end in an attempt to finish the fight.
Leandro Ataides (6-0) picked up a win in his ONE FC debut in bizarre fashion as he knocked out Bryan Rafiq (8-3) via punches in the second frame. The five-time world Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champ caught Rafiq rushing in with several punches, that eventually sent him crashing onto the canvas on wobbly legs. It was also great sportsmanship shown by Ataides who thought about laying out a few more strikes for good measure, but refrained from doing so knowing that his opponent was out.
Other notable bouts:
AJ Lias Mansor (2-3) was crowned as ONE FC’s inaugural Malaysian 145-lbs tournament champ with an upset win over the much-fancied, Melvin Yeoh (7-2). Yeoh was expected to take the victory in this one, but a solid performance from his Malaysian counterpart has his plans severed through the sword. Mansor, a replacement for original finalist Jian Kai Chee, who was forced to withdraw because of injury, made the most out of his second opportunity. The Borneo Tribal Squad native never really had Yeoh in any particular trouble but takedowns played a huge role in the judges scoring in favor of him. It was a good win for Mansor as he managed to snap his three-fight losing run.
Gianni Subba (3-0) continued his resurgence to the top of the 125-lbs ladder with a brutal finish over former team-mate, Chen Yun Ting (1-1). Subba scored a takedown in the early settings, and finished his opponent off with vicious elbows. At just 20-years-old, one can only wonder how far he’ll progress in the future. It’s been an excellent start to his pro MMA career thus far.
Heavyweights Chris Lokteff (12-1) and Tony Johnson (7-2) collided in a bill that, to a certain degree, lived up to expectations. Lokteff rocked Johnson twice in the first frame but the AKA native recovered remarkably well and managed to put his wrestling credentials to good use as the bout progressed. That, however, didn’t work out too well for him as Australia’s Lokteff was clearly the better stand-up fighter, and a visibly fatigued Tony Johnson didn’t do much to influence the judges rendering a decision in his favor. Lokteff, hence, picked up a Unanimous Decision victory in his ONE FC debut and here’s a fun fact for some of you out there – it was the first time that Lokteff made it to the third frame.
MMASucka.com’s top three fights of the evening:
- Adriano Moraes vs. Yusup Saadulaev
- Alaa Mazloum vs. Peter Davis
- Gianni Subba vs. Chen Yun Ting
MMASucka.com’s top three fighters of the evening:
- Gianni Subba
- Leandro Ataides
- Peter Davis
For full ONE FC 12: Warrior Spirit results, play-by-plays and more, click here.