ONE Century went down at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on October 12th and October 13th ET. 18 bouts took place across several martial arts disciplines. A couple of stacked cards with fights that the Sucka staff had fun pontificating on. The event was dubbed by some as the biggest martial arts event ever. ONE usually delivers with a quality show but they loaded this one in a big way.
ONE Century Part One
Angela Lee vs Jingnan Xiong was the main event attraction for day one of ONE Century. Nan seemed to rock Lee relatively early on with Nan landing some solid overhand lefts. Lee pressed Nan to the cage but Nan seemed to get the best of the other scrambles that occurred in the opening round. In the second, Lee secured a single leg takedown and ended up spending some good time while in side control.
Third round saw Lee get another takedown and work her grappling but the fourth was better for Nan, as she dropped Lee and promptly soccer kicked her after. Lee weathered the storm to get into the final round of this ONE Century main event.
Both women had their moments in the early parts of the round until Lee landed a massive suplex and took Nan’s back. Lee opened things up with some strikes and locked in the rear-naked choke for the W at 4:48 of the fifth round. Angela Lee retains her atomweight title and arbitrarily isn’t disqualified for suplexing her opponent even though suplexes are illegal under the ONE ruleset.
Janet Todd vs Ekaterina Vandaryeva was a Muay Thai bout where things were relatively even through the first round. Todd seemed to start getting things off a bit quicker in the second round. This culminated in a huge head kick KO that scored Todd the win via KO at 2:29 of R2.
Flyweight Grand Prix
Demetrious Johnson vs Danny Kingad was the finals of ONE’s flyweight 2019 grand prix. Kingad tried to get at it early but Johnson pressed him onto the cage in short order. DJ was working some knees to the body prior to scoring a takedown. Kingad scrambled out of a guillotine attempt from DJ but promptly ate a right hook and was taken down by Mighty Mouse. Johnson worked for a submission from side control before ending the round
Round two saw DJ secure the takedown but spend an even more significant amount of time in top control Johnson advanced position, got to side control, and mixed in some good ground and pound through all of this. Kingad did briefly get back to his feet but Johnson kept bringing it back to the mat.
The third saw both men score takedowns in their own right but DJ largely dominated the proceedings. DJ ended up in side control multiple times and showcased a measured grappling game that smothered Kingad. Demetrious Johnson wins the grand prix via unanimous decision.
Lightweight Grand Prix
Christian Lee vs Saygid Arslanaliev was to decide the winner of ONE’s 2019 lightweight grand prix. Lee had a lot to prove as both a short-notice replacement for Eddie Alvarez but also as the division’s reigning undisputed champion. Ars came out hard early with a variety of punches and teeps. Both men clinched up and dirty boxed for a bit until Lee scored a well-timed takedown. There was a later instance in the round where Ars scored a takedown. Lee would get into mount while scoring ground and pound to end the opening round.
Both were evenly matched in grappling exchanges but Lee’s pace seemed to prove the difference-maker. Lee got takedowns in this round, constantly advanced position, and got to mount more than once in the second frame.
The last round saw the last burst of energy from Ars who shrugged off some grappling advances and landed decent punches Lee eventually resumed his pace and got the takedown, Slicing elbows from Lee while in mount and subsequent ground and pound closed out the fight. Lee got the win via unanimous decision at ONE Century.
Yuya Wakamatsu vs Dae Hwan Kim was a great way to end off the first-day prelims. Wakamatsu was working the jab well early while Kim kept mobile and feingted takedowns to land solid punches. Wakamatsu mixed in more stinging leg kicks as the fight went on and also got a brief takedown in the third. Kim then got to mount and took Wakamtsu’s back. Wakamtsu ended up winning the unanimous decision when all was said and done.
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao vs Darren Roland showcased some Muay Thai action. Both traded leg kicks throughout. Sam-A was brought to his knees at the end of the opening round. In the second round it played out similarly with the trading of leg kicks but a different man would taste the canvas. Sam-A caught Rolland with KO punches at 1:20 of the second round.
Prelim Highlights cont.
Yushin Okami vs Agilan Thani resulted in Okami clinching up and getting things to the mat early. Thani attempted guillotine but Okami took his back. Okami committed to an RNC but wasn’t able to finish the fight with it.
Thani threw a flying knee early in the second round. Okami got a body lock and secured a trip takedown. Okami again got Thani’s back but Thani got some stand up going towards the end of the round. Round three saw Thani dictate the pace and really turn things around. Okami ended up scoring the split decision victory due to the nature of that last round.
Itsuki Hirata vs Rika Ishige saw Isihige get sat down early in the first round. Ishige recovered a bit and got the fight back to her guard. Ishige attempted an armbar but the subsequent scramble led to Hirata ending up in north south position. Hirata got to mount and attempted a d’arce but Isihige got out. Both spent time in each other’s half guard to end the round.
In round two, Hirata was getting some good boxing combos going on before taking the fight to the mat. Hirata eventually settled into side control, set up the armbar, and finished things off at 4:41 of round two.
Prelim Highlights cont.
Lito Adiwang vs Senzo Ikeda had both men feeling things out early with feints. Adiwang got a head and arm throw after Ikeda overextended on a punch. Ikeda looked to have injured his arm and the ref called the fight at 1:57 of round one. Adiwang gets the victory via TKO at ONE Century.
Chang Min Yoon vs Phoe Thaw involved Min shooting for the takedown and getting it early. Min soon passed to side control and was getting knees to the head of the grounded opponent going. Chang Min Yoon secured a crucifix position and was getting off some ground and pound. He also secured mount position, got the back, and eventually got the rear-naked choke to score the submission. 3:17 of round one is when Min scored the win.
Kwon Won Il vs Sunoto Peringkat saw Sunoto go in on a single leg early. An errant low strike creates a break in the action. Won Il throws a running knee and Sunoto goes in on a double leg shortly thereafter. Won Il dropped Sunotot with a big right hand and follow up punches. This got him the stoppage at 1:43 or round one via TKO.
ONE Century Part Two
Aung La Nsang vs Brandon Vera main evented the final day of ONE Century. This champion vs champion super fight delivered on the projected hype heading in and then some. Sang came out with decent leg kicks early and Sang also began getting comfortable throwing hands in that first. Vera landed some decent bodywork and was pumping out the jab in the first frame. The second round saw Vera employ a gameplan centric on knees and leg kicks while Sang favored more of a boxing-heavy approach.
Both had some moments but Vera was getting more visibly damaged from the striking exchanges than Sang was. The two had a sequence where each man threw a spinning back fist attempt then Sang dropped Vera with a punch. The follow-up ground and pound secured the second-round TKO victory for Sang at 3:23 of round two. The reigning middleweight and light-heavyweight champion has now scored a finish over the reigning heavyweight champion in ONE. Sang stood tall in a big way at the end of ONE Century.
Bibiano Fernandes vs Kevin Bellingon marked the fourth and likely final time that these two men would fight. Fernandes came out with a teep and some follow up leg kicks to stay off the leg kick heavy game of Bellingon. Fernandes would quickly close distance and score a takedown, followed by smart, calculated jiu-jitsu maneuvering and crushing top pressure to spend the bulk of the round on the ground with Bellingon.
In the second frame, Bellingon would land a good leg kick but Fernandes caught a follow-up kick to get things to the mat. Fernandes repositioned and performed a great throw that got him right into side control. Bibiano Fernandes followed this up by getting the back and putting in a rear-naked choke. This RNC got him the win at 2:16 of round two and Fernandes comes out as the victor in this series with Bellingon.
Muay Thai and Kickboxing
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs Walter Goncalves was an elite level showcase of Muay Thai action that fired up the fans watching ONE Century. Rodtang began getting his rhythm with alternating leg kicks and was looking to set his pace from the jump. Goncalves began looking for teeps and leg kicks to keep Rodtang at distance. Rodtang kept encroaching forward though and was landing some stinging body kicks in the second round. Rodtang began getting frustrated at the perceived stalling/ lack of engagement from Goncalves.
Round three saw the two get in some more flurries earlier in the round in an effort to ramp up the pace. The ref would warn both in the third that their continued inactivity could result in yellow cards for both. Rodtang would resume his game, would keep telling the story of the fight, and Rodtang got the split decision victory.
Giorgio Petrosyan vs Samy Sana was an elite kickboxing bout with grand prix glory and a million dollars up for grabs. Petrosyan’s game was centered on kicks to the body, teeps, and making calculated entries with his boxing combos. Perosyan mixed in some uppercuts into that mix as it encroached into the second round. Sana was able to achieve a modicum of success over the fight with some kicks and punches working to solid effect.
But it was clear that the ring generalship was pretty squarely in Petrosyan’s favour through the bulk of the contest. Sana tried to ramp up the pace in the third because he knew he was behind. Petrosyan was still able to continue to paint his masterpiece though. This led to Petrosyan scoring a unanimous decision win and adding to his legendary kickboxing legacy that much further.
Successful debut and Notable comeback
Shinya Aoki vs Honorio Banario saw Baka Survivor come back in a big way. Aoki initiated a takedown inside of ten seconds and was able to secure that with a body lock and trip. He ended up in Banario’s half guard and a subsequent scramble lead to a d’arce choke position. Aoki finished the bout with that d’arce at 0:54 of round one. Shinya Aoki cut an impassioned promo after the fight and was embraced warmly by the partisan crowd.
Mauro Cerilli vs Arjan Bhullar was a heavyweight bout that surprisingly showcased the debutant Bhullar’s developing striking. Bhullar landed a nice right hand in the first and was teasing several takedown attempts to plant that seed in Cerilli’s head. Arjan Bhullar had a consistently prying jab and seemed to shake of Cerilli’s attempts at clinching things up. Bhullar always seemed to find a way to stay just out of range from eating serious shots.
Bhullar began working in one-two’s in addition to that prying jab mentioned earlier. Cerilli began winging punches and surprisingly looking for a takedown on Bhullar in the third. Bhullar began landing some nice body shots and uppercuts were mixed in for good measure. Both men swang until the final bell but it was obvious Bhullar would get the unanimous decision which is how the story unfurled.
Mei Yamaguchi vs Jenny Huang marked the final fight on the day two prelim portion. Yamaguchi came out hard early and made no illusions as to what her gameplan would be. She doggedly went for takedowns bu Huang would stuff them. Yamaguchi eventually got a takedown though and would get to mount. Both women landed solid shots on the ground despite Yamaguchi mounting Huang.
Round two saw Huang land a few solid leg kicks throughout with Yamaguchi intermittently landing some takedowns. Round three looked like more of the same with Huang having a modicum of success with the striking bu the bigger story was the top control and positional awareness of Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi scored the unanimous decision victory at ONE Century when all was said and done.
Yosuke Saruta vs Daichi Kitakata went down to the canvas pretty quickly. Saruta ws getting off some solid ground and pound with the second round being more of the same. Saruta ended up scoring a ground and pound knockout while in Kitakata’s guard. The bout was halted at 0:59 of round two via KO and the Shooto champs vs Pancrase champs series is tied up at 2-2.
Shoko Sato vs Rafael Silva had Sato connecting on a leg kick out of the gate. Sato pops up after being briefly taken down by Silva. Silva kept going for the takedown but it would ultimately get stuffed and greeted with elbows as well as punches from Sato. Round two saw Silva get his wrestling gameplan working a bit more. Alas, Sato would end up dropping Silva for the TKO win at 4:30 of round two.
Prelim Highlights cont.
Hernani Perpétuo vs Hiroyuki Tetsuka saw Perpetuo land a big head kick and follow up punches in the first. Tetsuka tried to rally back with a takedown attempt but it was stuffed. Perpetuo landed some solid body shots for the remainder of the frame. Round two saw Perpetuo drop Tetsuka with a right hand but he would pop right back up.
Perpetuo still doing a solid job of landing punches and staying o the outside so he can’t be taken down. Both were slinging leather to close out the round. Tetsuka finally secured the takedown in the third round Tetsuka began landing solid ground and pound to the delight of the crowd. Both gave it all they had until the waning seconds of the fight. Tetsuka ended up securing the unanimous decision win at ONE Century.
Koshi Matsumoto vs Takasuke Kume saw both get right to it by Kume landed a big right hand early. Matsumoto seemed stunned as the two clinched on the cage and Kume drove in some knees to the thigh. A clash of heads took place bu Kume charged for a takedown right after which resulted in a back take. He got things to the mat and worked for an RNC but the bell sounded.
Round two saw both men stumble after a hectic early embrace. Kume lands a takedown but Matsumoto scrambles to take Kume’s back. Kume is looking for wrist control to maneuver out and is punching behind him. Matsumoto spent a good amount of time with that back control though
Round three saw Kume make a calculated entry and get another takedown. Kume now has Matsumoto’s back and was constantly looking for opportunities to finish. Alas, the bell rang and Kume ended up scoring the unanimous decision victory at ONE Century.