ONE Fighting Championship’s first event of the calendar year is in the books.
The event, titled ‘War of Nations’, went down at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday night.
For UFC vet and one-time WEC title challenger Brock Larson contested Zst vet Nobutatsu Suzuki for the inaugural Welterweight title in the main event. Larson got the better of his Japanese counterpart in the first round, landing some effective strikes from range and scoring a takedown. But the American fatigued as the fight progressed, dubiously allowing Suzuki to control the exchanges thereon in. In the end, Suzuki worked his strikes to perfection and defended some sloppy takedown attempts en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. He hence was duly awarded the 170-lbs strap.
Suzuki will now make his first title defense against former Bellator champ Ben Askren on May 31st at ONE FC 16: Honor & Glory in Singapore.
In the co-main event, a Bantamweight tilt of title implications took place between South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim, and the Philippines’ Kevin Belingon. The latter entered the bout on a good run of results, and was seen by many as the next contender to Bibiano Fernandes’ Bantamweight throne. Kim, however, had other ideas. The South Korean absorbed some blows in the early stages of the first round and after capitalizing on a failed Bulldog choke attempt by Belingon, he secured a fight ending Rear-Naked Choke submission for a sublime finish.
Kim instantly found himself in the 135-lbs mix with the win and he kept his unscathed record in tact as well.
Other notable bouts:
- – Andrew Leone made a huge statement on the night with his lopsided decision victory over former Shooto champ Shinichi Kojima. Leone landed multiple takedowns and exerted his superiority in the grappling department by allowing his Japanese opponent no chance, whatsoever, of mounting an offense. Despite Kojima clipping Leone on a couple of occasions, he never really got going. With the win in the bag, Leone now finds himself in a firm position to challenge for the vacant Flyweight title.
- – Peter Davis had an outrageous 24 hours heading into his fight with Waqar Umar. The Pakistani starlet faced some visa issues and was replaced by corner-man and coach Bashir Ahmad at the fighter weigh-ins. Then, at the eleventh hour, Umar had his visa issues settled and made it to Kuala Lumpur on time for the event. He weighed in successfully, passed his pre-fight medical, and his fight with Davis was back on. That did little to vex Davis, however, as the ONE FC veteran was nothing short of dominant in a one-sided victory. Some vicious series of elbows to Umar’s eye socket in the second round was all she wrote for the Pakistani fighter who was forced to verbally submit.
- – ‘The Prince of Persia’ Kamal Shalorus worked his vintage wrestling game to notch a decision victory over former TUF tryout, Ariel Sexton. Shalorus never looked in danger of losing, while Sexton, a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt, did little to rattle the Iranian with his submission skills despite having his back against the canvas for large periods of the fight. Shalorus has now won two-straight under the ONE FC banner and looks in pole position to challenge for the 155-lbs throne.
MMASucka’s Top Three Fighters of the Night:
- Andrew Leone
- Herbert Burns
- Dae Hwan Kim
MMASucka’s Top Three Finishes of the Night:
- Adriano Moraes
- Peter Davis
- Dae Hwan Kim
For full ONE FC 14: War of Nations results, click here.