ONE FC’s return to the Philippines has three new match-ups.
Rob Lisita (13-5) rematches Yusuke Kawanago (13-3-2) at 145-lbs, Gianni Subba (3-0) locks horns with Eugene Toquero (4-1) in a contest of 125-lbs starlets, while Bibiano Fernandes (15-3) will defend his Bantamweight belt against Masakatsu Ueda (18-2-2) in what will be the card’s headlining feature.
Officials announced the bouts on Tuesday morning.
ONE FC 15: Rise of Heroes takes place May 2 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The main card streams LIVE on an online pay-per-view for USD$9.99, and will also air LIVE on Star Sports in Asia.
Fernandes, who became the promotion’s interim Bantamweight champ at ONE FC 9: Rise to Power, unified the straps when he topped Soo Chul Kim at ONE FC 11: Total Domination in Singapore. The 33-year-old is on a seven-fight winning skid and is widely considered as one of the best pound-for-pound 135-lbs fighters on the planet. He’ll make his first title defense come fight night.
Former Shooto champ, Ueda, meanwhile, earned his shot at the title after winning the promotional’s inaugural Bantamweight Grand Prix tournament last year. Victories over Min Song Jong and Jens Pulver booked him a spot in the tourney finals. He then decisioned the Philippines’ Kevin Belingon in a robust affair at ONE FC 9: Rise to Power en route to claiming the tournament title. The 36-year-old, known for his methodical style, is 8-2 in his past 10 outings, and is yet to be stopped via strikes.
Lisita, 31, fights out of the famed Phuket Top Team camp, and is one of the best Featherweight fighters Australia has produced to date. After back-to-back TKO victories over Jacob Pettett and Rodolfo Marques, Lisita submitted former Shooto champ Takeshi Inoue via an unorthodox bulldog choke in his last outing at REBEL FC 1: Into the Lion’s Den. He’s on a 6-1 run, with that lone defeat coming against none other than Yusuke Kawanago.
Kawanago notched a Unanimous Decision victory over Lisita under the now defunct Legend FC banner in 2012, but since then, both fighters have improved by leaps and bounds. Kawanago is on a four-fight unbeaten run and was most recently seen at a PANCRASE event just last month, in a bout that was declared a draw.
Subba is a talented fighter who also plies his trade at Phuket Top Team, and has already gained a huge fanbase in Asia after ending all three of his pro bouts via stoppage. Toquero, on the other hand, is a former PXC vet. He’ll be looking for his first win under the ONE FC banner after tasting defeat in his promotional debut.
With those additions, the current ONE FC 15: Rise of Heroes fight card includes:
- – Bibiano Fernandes vs. Masakatsu Ueda (For ONE FC Bantamweight Championship title)
- – Rob Lisita vs. Yusuke Kawanago II
- – Gianni Subba vs. Eugene Toquero