One of the biggest mixed martial arts promotions in the world, One Fighting Championship held its penultimate show for the year at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night. In one of the most hyped fight cards the country has hosted, the promotion and its fighters delivered an amazing show that kept fight fans on the edge of their seats for the entire night.
In a night filled with spectacular finishes, it was OneFC bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes who stole the show to retain the championship in front of a great Filipino crowd.
Much has been said about Bibi not being able to finish his last fights. Fernandes, eager to prove his critics wrong, went into aggro-mode from start to finish against one of OneFC’s hottest stars, Korean Dae Hwan Kim. The champion displayed amazing BJJ skills in going for a triangle choke then switching to an armbar attempt, which Kim escaped. The two then exchanged strikes in the stand-up until Fernandes took Kim down with a double leg takedown to end the round.
The hotshot Korean started the 2nd stanza with fists and fire. However, a haymaker, which Fernandes evaded, resulted to the champion grabbing hold of the challenger’s back. Kim tried to escape but the figure four body lock of Fernandes was locked in tight. The champion zoned in with a rear naked choke, causing Kim to tap out.
“Finally!”, Fernandes exclaimed after at last finishing an opponent inside a OneFC cage. When asked about the possibility of having a champion vs. champion dream match against OneFC Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki at a catch weight, Bibi said, “he’s the champion, I’m the champion. Let’s do it!”
The star of the night however goes to the Truth. After a vignette showing Brandon Vera’s journey back home, the fans showered him with cheers fit for a king with the song “I’m Coming Home” by P. Diddy blaring in the background.
Vera displayed his muay thai skills to start the match against URCC Heavyweight Champion Igor Subora. A head kick stunned Subora for a while but he was able to recover. Subora connected with a great combination later on, before Vera’s hard leg kicks stunned him yet again. A straight to the body and a huge left straight knocked the URCC champion down. Vera smelled blood and started throwing soccer kicks. Two kicks connected which resulted to a stoppage.
“You know I was really nervous but when I heard the song ‘I’m Coming Home’, it was the perfect song for me. It’s my first time to fight here and maraming salamat sa inyong lahat na pumunta rito, to all my friends, my family, thank you so much!”, Vera said.
The Truth has been set free from the limitations of not being able to use soccer kicks under his previous promotion. When asked what’s next on the Truth’s agenda, Vera answered, “I’m going to climb that ladder. Take on all the challenges and get that OneFC belt.”
Russian Top Team member Timofey Nastyukhin knocked out Filipino fan favorite Eduard Folayang in stunning fashion, in what could be considered one of the nastiest knockouts of the year. Just three minutes into the 1st round, Nastyukhin landed a huge flying knee that was exactly right on the button. With Folayang down, a huge punch to the head followed by two violent soccer kicks knocked Landslide out cold.
Former OneFC Featherweight Champion, Honorio Banario also lost his match against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Herbert Burns. Burns’s BJJ skills were on full display as he forced Banario to tap in just under four minutes with a tight rear naked choke.
The lone bright spot for Team Lakay was Kevin Belingon who was aggressive with his strikes in each round in taking a unanimous decision win over Koetsu Okazaki. This improves Belingon’s record to 13-4.
In other matches, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Roger Gracie churned in an amazing comeback win over former Ultimate Fighter contestant James McSweeney. McSweeney dominated the first two rounds before buckling his knee after a bad kick. Gracie took advantage of this to score a TKO win over McSweeney. Former NCAA Division 1 wrestler Jake Butler grinded his way in a win over Sylvain Potard to avenge his sole MMA loss.
The opening two matches also saw the Filipinas sweep the women’s matches with Ana Julaton picking up a unanimous decision win over Egyptian Walaa Abbas and Jujeath Nagaowa scoring an impressive TKO win over Taroth Sam.
OneFC 23: Warrior’s Way Results
December 6, 2014 – Mall of Asia Arena, Philippines
OneFC Bantamweight Championship
Bibiano Fernandes def. Dae Hwan Kim by submission via rear naked choke, R2 1:16
Light Heavyweight match: Brandon Vera def. Igor Subora by KO via soccer kicks, R1 3:54
Lightweight match: Timofey Nastyukhin def. Eduard Folayang by KO via soccer kicks, R1 3:11
Light Heavyweight match: Roger Gracie def. James McSweeney by KO via strikes, R3 3:15
Bantamweight match: Kevin Belingon def. Koetsu Okazaki by unanimous decision
Catchweight match: Herbert Burns def. Honorio Banario by submission via rear naked choke, 3:59 R1
Light Heavyweight match: Jake Butler def. Sylvain Potard by unanimous decision
Flyweight match: Dejdamrong sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Rene Catalan by TKO via knee to the body, R1 2:30
Women’s Flyweight match: Ana Julaton def. Walaa Abbas by unanimous decision
Women’s Atomweight match: Jujeath Nagaowa def. Taroth Sam by TKO via punches, R2 3:34