ONE Fighting Championship’s third event was billed as War of the Lions, and it certainly lived up to its moniker with exciting bouts, quick knockouts and brilliant submissions. In the wake of the success of the event, we grade the fighters involved and look forward to what their next fight in ONE FC could be.
Zorobel Moreira (B+) defeats Felipe Enomoto(C) (Armbar, 1:04 of round 3)
Moreira, the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) instructor at Evolve MMA, demonstrated his striking skills in the first two rounds with an array of vicious leg kicks. Enomoto seemed to be wary of trading with Moreira, and the damage to his leg was evident when he crumbled after yet another leg kick but was able to hang on. When Moreira chose to take the fight to the ground, he displayed his BJJ prowess with a beautiful transition from the mount position to an arm-bar and Enomoto has no choice but to tap.
Tatsuya Kawajiri (A-) defeats Donald Sanchez (D) (triangle choke, 3:32 of round 1)
Donald Sanchez was billed as a wrestling, but it was Kawajiri who had the edge there as he took Sanchez down and worked the top position until he locked in a triangle choke and left the match more or less unscathed.
What’s Next: Tatsuya Kawajiri VS Zorobel Moreira.
Kawajiri is currently a featherweight, but there is nobody else for Zorobel Moreira to fight in the promotion, and Kawajiri has to fancy his chances. Moving up in weight could create a size and strength disadvantage, but the Moreira is not the kind of fighter to seize that advantage and the stock Kawajiri might even be able to muscle him around. This should be to crown the first ONE FC lightweight champion.
Ole Laursen (B-) defeats Eduard Folayang (B) (split decision)
This is a back-and-forth affair with Ole starting off strong and being able to take Eduard to the canvas several times. They traded dominant positions several times and had many good exchanges over the three rounds. All three rounds were extremely tight. We went to the Judges scorecard and Laursen, who looked worse than Folayang, prevented an upset by split decision.
What’s Next: Ole Laursen vs Eduard Folayang
This fight was an exciting extravaganza, and it was close the entire way. Clearly there were sections of the crowd who thought Folayang won and voiced their displeasure after the result. In the post-fight interview, Laursen was open to a rematch and the amount of action the first bout provided, seems like a easy call.
Fabricio Monteiro (C+) defeats Yuya Shirai (C-) (unanimous decision)
For the majority of the three rounds, Monteiro used his superior strength and clinch work to grind Shirai against the cage, with a few punches and knees thrown in to stop the referee from quickly separating them. Shirai demonstrated cleaner boxing techniques but kept getting into clinch range with Monteiro who was more than happy to clinch.
What’s Next: Fabricio Monteiro VS Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Yoshiyuki Yoshida brings vast experience to the cage and was victorious the previous time he was in ONE FC, defeating Phil Baroni. He provides a stiff test for the Brazilian and is another big name for him to potentially add to his list.
Melvin Manhoef and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi ruled a no-contest
They trade shots for awhile with none of them finding its target, thankfully for Nakanishi as Manhoef is famous for his powerful punches. Midway through the first round, the referee stops the fight as both the fighters had cuts on their legs. Manhoef’s cut is incredibly nasty as it goes from the knee to just above the foot and is at least a few centimeters thick. The referee makes the unpopular decision of calling off the fight after the doctor’s advice.
What’s Next: Melvin Manhoef VS Yoshiyuki Nakanishi
Clearly there is unfinished business, and it is very likely that their next fights will be against each other, though that fight might occur in a different promotion, possibly in Japan.