ONE Fighting Championship’s second show had a little bit of everything, submissions, knockouts, all out wars and...Bob Sapp.
The evening got off to an entertaining start as Agus Nanang and Zuli Silawanto decided to just throw haymakers at each other until someone got knocked out. In the end, Nanang was the first to fall after 48 seconds of a fun fight which probably won't please the purists.
Next up was another Indonesian, Ngabdu Mulyadi who brought a respectable 5-2 record into his fight with Malaysian Peter Davis. The first round was a bit tentative with both men struggling to find their range, Ngabdi got a takedown but ate a few upkicks in the process.
Round 2 was notable only for a right hook from Davis which dropped the Indonesian. The fights should have been finished there and then but to his credit, Ngabdi recovered well as his opponent tried to finish him with ground and pound.
It would have been interesting to see whether the judges rewarded the superior striking of Davis or the takedowns of Mulyadi but the Malaysian saved them that dilemma by sinking in a triangle choke with about a minute left on the round, an emphatic ending to a fairly uneventful fight.
Next up was Irshaad Sayed vs. Jessie Rafols in what I had predicted would be a Fight of the Night contender. The Muay Thai champion came out very aggressively and landed some good combinations. As expected, Rafols tried shooting for the takedowns, but they were easily stuffed.
This seemed to affect the confidence of the Filipino who allowed himself to be backed up, although he did land a couple of counter-strikes. Sayed's stand up skills are world class and he was already starting to score with punches and kicks when a straight right hand knocked Rafold out cold.
As someone who watches a lot of Muay Thai, I always appreciate a good striker and Sayed is as crisp and technical as just about anyone in MMA today. Everything he threw was on point and perfectly timed. His ground game was never really tested but he is big for a bantamweight and looks to be an exciting prospect. Rafols might like to consider dropping down to 125 lbs.
With three stoppages in three fights, the crowd in the BritAma Arena were already having a good time and Geje Eustaquio vs. Alex Silva ramped the atmosphere up a notch or two. Silva is a BJJ expert and it was no surprise when he shot for the takedown. He ended up underneath in a bad position and Eustaquio started to tee off with hammerfists.
When the referee separated the fighters, Silva was bleeding profusely from a cut above his eye but the action was allowed to continue and with his face a mask of blood, the Brazilian worked diligently for a rear naked choke but Eustaquio was able to defend.
This would be a theme throughout the fight as Silva was able to get the fight to the floor but could not quite impose his BJJ skills on his opponent. Eustaquio has a couple of flurries in the stand up where he threw multiple strikes forcing Silva to cover up. In the end this probably got him the nod from the judges at the end of a highly entertaining contest.
Victorio Senduk won a silver medal for Wushu at the SEA Games and had the Indonesian crowd well and truly behind him when he tackled Malaysian Raymond Tiew. The fights started badly for Senduk who was taken down and mounted. However, after a sustained onslaught, he escaped and went for the leg lock.
Tiew looked to be in trouble and when he was eventually able to get back to his feet it was with a grimace of pain on his face. He continued a little longer but the leg lock had done its damage and he was forced to quit due to a knee injury, to the delight of the Indonesian crowd.
The main event started badly when Bob Sapp tapped almost immediately to strikes from Rolles Gracie. There was a certain inevitability to the outcome once the fight went to the floor after Sapp had attempted to land a big knee.
Fortunately, this fight was the only real disappointment of the night and was followed up by an entertaining scrap between Soo Chul Kim and Gustavo Falciroli. They exchanged strikes early and Kim appeared to be holding his own but his determination to try and take down the BJJ black belt cost him and he ended up falling victim to a rear naked choke.
The Korean is only 20 years old and his record falls to 4-3 after losses to Andrew Leone, Leandro Issa and Gustavo Falciroli. Those are three incredibly tough opponents to face at such an early stage in your career and I hope he is allowed to progress a bit more steadily in future because he is a fun fighter to watch.
The big question before Rustam Khabilov vs. Rodrigo Ribeiro was how well would the Russian's Combat Sambo stand up to the Brazilian's BJJ. The answer was pretty damn well, as Khabilov controlled the fight and landed some brutal ground and pound.
Ribeiro never gave up and kept looking for the submission, even when a lesser man might have tapped due to strikes. However, he was simply overwhelmed by the powerful Khabilov, who looks to be a very good prospect indeed and won a clear decision victory.
Honorio Banario had a 6-0 record but had never fought outside of the Philippines before facing Korean Bae Young Kwon. It was expected to be one of the closest fights of the night but Kwon capitalized on a slight error by the URCC Featherweight Champion to slap on a rear naked choke and hand him the first loss of his career.
The main event was one of the best fights ONE Fighting Championship viewers have ever witnessed as Ole Laursen and Felipe Enomoto went at it. The Filipino came out swinging, looking very wild, and got caught with some good shots by Enomoto who had been billed as the inferior fighter.
Laursen showed how confident he is in his ground game by electing to keep the fight there once Enomoto was down. He did this by throwing some flying punches and looking for stomps and soccer kicks although he also had to fight off a couple of submission defence.
Round 2 seemed to belong to Laursen who hit Enomoto with a series of solid left hooks which the Swiss-Japanese fighter just walked straight through. By this stage, Laursen was starting to find his rhythm and started to land leg kick after leg kick to the left thigh of his opponent.
All in all it was a very entertaining night of fights and rumour has it that the next ONE FC card, in Singapore on March 31st, is going to be a little bit special.
Felipe Enomoto vs. Ole Laursen
Enomoto wins via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:49 of Round 2
Bae Young Kwon vs. Honorio Banario
Kwon wins via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:56 of Round 1
Rustam Khabilov vs. Rodrigo Ribeiro
Khabilov wins via decision (Unanimous)
Gustavo Falciroli vs. Soo Chul Kim
Falciroli wins via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:12 of Round 1
Rolles Gracie vs. Bob Sapp
Gracie wins via submission at 1:18 of Round 1
Victorio Senduk vs. Raymond Tiew
Senduk wins via TKO (Knee Injury) at 4:02 of Round 1
Geje Eustaquio vs. Alex Silva
Eustaquio wins via Decision (Unanimous)
Irshaad Sayed vs. Jessie Rafols
Sayed wins via KO (Punch) at 1:49 of Round 1
Peter Davis vs. Ngabdi Mulyadi
Davis wins via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:54 of Round 3
Zuli Silawanto vs. Agus Nanang
Silawanto wins via TKO (Punches) at 0:47 of Round 1