A Preview and Breakdown of One FC 3: War of the Lions
One Fighting Championship has released the official fight card for its third inaugural event on March 31 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The card features some of Asia's and the World's top fighters, such as Eddie "The Magician" Ng, Tatsuya "The Crusher" Kawajiri, Zorobabel Moreira, Eduard Folayang, Ole Laursen, Masakazu Imanari, Yodsanan Sityodtong and Melvin Manhoef. Fight fans will also get the opportunity to see Singapore's very first female MMA Fighter, Nicole Chua, in action.
Furthermore, the One FC-DREAM partnership will allow fighters from the Japanese organisation to come over and show their skills in the One FC cage. Fans will get the chance to see world-class fighters compete in Sunny Singapore!
However, fans may be disappointed that Renato "Babalu" Sobral will not be gracing the ONE FC cage with his presence.
Sobral was originally scheduled to face Melvin Manhoef, but will now instead serve as a wrestling coach for Team Wanderlei in the coming edition of the UFC's TUF: Brazil. One Fighting Championship released a statement a few days ago that the former Strikeforce light heavyweight Champion will fight in a future One FC event.
With that said, here's a breakdown of the entire card:
Danny Van Bergen vs. Richie "Hell Boy" Whitson
A professional fighter since 2004, van Bergen has competed primarily in Europe. He has also fought in famed organisations such as Cage Wars Championship and M1-Global.
The former KSW Tournament semifinalist, who currently competes as a lightweight, has already fought 19 times in his career.
Now that van Bergen has won his last two fights by submission, he'll be looking to carry on that wave of momentum as he prepares to face Team Quest's Richie Whitson.
But by all standards, Whitson is no slouch. The 26-year-old has won 11 out of his 13 professional MMA fights, in which he has finished seven of his opponents. Furthermore, he has only gone the distance five times. "Hell Boy" recently had a 1-1 stint with Maximum Fighting Championship, where he won his debut fight by decision before succumbing to a rear-naked choke submission loss at MFC 31 last year.
Jiang Long Yun vs. Yodsanan Sityodtong
Yodsanan Sityodtong needs no introduction. Perhaps one of the best boxers to have ever made the transition to Mixed Martial Arts from Boxing, the former WBA Super Featherweight Champion will no doubt be the favourite heading into this fight.
After knocking out 47 of his 58 opponents in professional boxing, Sityodtong made his MMA debut last September at One FC's debut event. He faced a former South African Muay Thai Champion in Daniel Mashamaite. Sityodtong impressed pundits and fans alike, by delivering a spectacular flying knee to end the fight via TKO.
Jiang Long Yun, on the other hand, will have to set up the barricades in this fight. The Chinese international has won three of his five professional MMA fights. One of his most recent fights was against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, Leandro Issa, although he lost the fight via submission.
Quek Kim Hock vs. Juan Wen Jie
Not too much is known about the fighters mentioned above, but they'll certainly be looking to make a good impression when they go head-to-head on March 31.
Juan Wen Jie, who trains out of Singapore's very own Impact MMA, has won several accolades thus far. He won the All Styles Martial Arts Championship in 2007 and the International Muay Thai Championship Qualifiers in 2007 and 2009. The Singaporean also serves as a coach in Impact MMA.
Quek Kim Hock has also won several regional/national boxing championships of his own. So with a boxer and a Muay Thai specialist on either ends of the cage, do not expect this fight to hit the mat.
This bout has Fight of the Night written all over it and could easily turn into slug-fest.
Jeet Toshi vs. Nicole Chua
Along with having some pressure and expectations, Nicole Chua will be looking to follow Radeem Rahman's footsteps by representing Singapore as its first ever female Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
Nicole will perhaps look back at her Muay Thai roots when she enters the cage against Jeet Toshi. Although it is well-known that Nicole has been improving in all aspects of her MMA game, the Singaporean native will still, no doubt, want to keep this fight standing.
Moreover, with the likes of grappling maestro Shinya Aoki training at Evolve MMA, one cannot simply underestimate the ground game of Nicole Chua.
Jeet Toshi, on the other hand, is a seven-time National Kickboxing champion. Toshi has only fought once professionally in her career. She decisioned Pooja Mehra in her debut at Full Contact Championship 5.
It'll be interesting to see if Toshi would be looking to take this fight to the ground. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that both women are efficient strikers, and fans may very well expect fireworks from this fight.
This bout will also mark the debut of Women's MMA in One Fighting Championship!
Masakazu Imanari vs. Kevin Belingon
Perhaps one of the best fighters that Japan has ever produced, Masakazu Imanari is the favourite to win this fight. "The Master of Leg-Locks," as he's so commonly referred to, is well-known for his unorthodox style of fighting. Moreover, Imanari has fought for numerous promotions, including DEEP, PRIDE FC, DREAM and Cage Rage.
However, Imanari will looking to bounce back from a disappointing decision loss to Antonio Banuelos when DREAM held it's New Year's event late last year. It's also worth noting that Imanari has not suffered back-to-back defeats in nearly eight years.
It's no secret that the "Ashikan Judan" will look to pull guard before attempting a submission. Imanari has also never been submitted in all of his 36 professional fights.
And that brings us to Kevin Belingon, who is perhaps currently one of the top ten flyweight prospects in the world. The reigning URCC flyweight champion currently holds a perfect 9-0 record and poses a huge threat to his more experienced opponent.
Belingon trains with a mixture of URCC champions at Team Lakay, and will be looking to keep his unbeaten record intact when he steps into the cage on March 31.
A well-rounded fighter, Belingon will hope to make his excellent cardio count should the fight go all three rounds.
Imanari is undoubtedly Belingon's toughest challenge to date. How will he respond to the unorthodox style of Imanari? Will Belingon be in shallow waters should the fight go to the mat? All these questions will be answered when the cage door closes on March 31!
Jian Kai Chee vs. Eddie Ng
One of the "poster boys" for this event, Eddie "The Magician" Ng will be looking to improve his record to 5-1, when he takes on Malaysia's very own, Jian Kai Chee.
The 25-year-old Hong Kong native already has two KOs and two submissions to his credit. His most recent win came at One FC's debut event, where he knocked out Chun Bo Yuan in just 45 seconds. Throughout all of his five fights, Eddie has never made it past the first round.
Ng's upcoming opponent, Jian Kai Chee, will be heading to the cage with a 3-3 record. He is 3-2 in his past five fights and will be looking add his name to the winners column when the fight ends.
Eddie Ng will no doubt be Jian Kai Chee's toughest opponent to date.
Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiyuki Nakanishi
As a former Cage Rage light heavyweight champion, Melvin Manhoef has been up there with the best, facing the likes of Tim Kennedy, Robbie Lawler, Mark Hunt, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Gegard Mousasi, and the list goes on and on.
Manhoef is known for his aggressive style of fighting. His bout with Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos will be remembered by MMA maniacs for years.
However, for the first time in his career, Manhoef will enter the cage on a three-fight losing streak. And his upcoming fight is not any easier, as he will be taking on the current DEEP light heavyweight champion, Yoshiyuki Nakanishi.
Nakanishi, who is currently on a two-fight win streak, has finished eight of his 13 opponents and has only gone to a decision thrice. In this fight—only his second one outside of Japanese shores—the Japanese superstar will look to carry on this wave of momentum, as he looks to upset the odds against Melvin Manhoef.
It's no secret that Manhoef will most likely keep this fight standing as he has 23 KOs out of his 24 wins.
Expect the fighters to let their fists do the talking.
Yuya Shirai vs. Fabricio Monteiro
Yuya Shirai will be heading into this fight on a two-fight win streak. The Japanese fighter defended the DEEP Welterweight strap in his last fight and managed to decision Taisuke Okuno in Tokyo, Japan.
Shirai has won seven of his last 10 fights, while facing the likes of Che Mills, Paul "Semtex" Daley and Jason High.
Now he will be facing an opponent who loves the ground game as much as he does.
Fabricio Monteiro will be looking to showcase his Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu skills on March 31. The Brazilian, who currently trains at Evolve MMA, has won numerous BJJ accolades and tournaments.
Monteiro, however, hasn't been doing very well in his MMA career lately, picking up only one win in his past six fights. He has lost his past two fights, both of which resulted in stoppages.
On a side note, it'll be interesting to see whether the Singaporean crowd will bear witness to a grappling clinic.
Eduard Folayang vs. Ole Laursen
Ole Laursen will be fighting for the second time in the One FC cage after suffering a defeat at the hands of Felipe Enomoto. Laursen showed lots of heart and desire but eventually forced referee Matt Hume to stop the fight late in the second round after Enomoto applied a rear-naked choke.
Laursen has fought for various promotions including K-1 and Martial Combat.
But Laursen's upcoming opponent may be his toughest to date.
URCC Welterweight Champion, Eduard Folayang, has 11 wins and five KOs to his credit. The Filipino has won nine of his past 10 fights, which makes him a huge favourite heading into this bout. Folayang has also fought in One FC before, when he marked his debut with the organisation with a win over A Sol Kwon.
Both fighters will be looking forward to showcase their skills on March 31 and will most certainly be looking to win Fight of the Night honors, too.
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. TBA
Please check back soon for updates.
Main Event: Felipe Enomoto vs. Zorobabel Moreira
The main event pits fighters who are coming off of impressive wins. The two Mixed Martial Artists are highly talented and will be looking to wow the Singaporean crowd on March 31.
As a holder/winner of many championships and tournaments, Zorobabel Moreira will no doubt try to implement his terrific ground game on his opponent. Training out of Evolve MMA in Singapore, sources have claimed that Moreira has been improving his Muay Thai skills, too.
Moreira has won five of his past six fights and has only gone the distance twice in his MMA career.
Enomoto, however, broke his recent two-fight losing streak by submitting Ole Laursen last month. The 29-year-old will be looking to make it two wins in a row on March 31.
Moreover, Enomoto has also fought the likes of Rich Clementi and TUF 14 alumnus, Akira Corassani.