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ONE Championship Dawn of Heroes: Alvarez, Johnson and Full Results, Highlights

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

FILE - In this May 13, 2017, file photo, Eddie Alvarez competes at UFC 211 in Dallas.  Alvarez is a coach on UFC's long-running reality series,
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Former UFC star Eddie Alvarez beat Eduard Folayang in the lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final at ONE Championship's Dawn of Heroes event on Friday.

Fellow UFC alumni Demetrious Johnson was also in action at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, where he beat Tatsumitsu Wada in the flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final via a unanimous decision.

Johnson will face off against Danny Kingad in the final after he won in the other semi-final against Reece McLaren.

Martin Nguyen defended his lightweight title against Koyomi Matsushima, while in the main event of the evening, Jonathan Haggerty gave up his flyweight muay thai belt against Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

Here are the results from Friday's event:

                                

Main Card

(Featherweight) Martin Nguyen def Koyomi Matsushima via Round 2 knockout

(Flyweight) Rodtang Jitmuangnon def Jonathan Haggerty via unanimous decision

(Lightweight) Eddie Alvarez def Eduard Folayang via Round 1 submission

(Flyweight) Demetrious Johnson def Tatsumitsu Wada via unanimous decision

(Flyweight) Danny Kingad def. Reece McLaren via split decision

(Bantamweight, Muay Thai) Rodlek Jaotalaytong def. Andrew Miller via Round 3 knockout

                                 

Preliminary Card

(Flyweight) Yuya Wakamatsu def. Geje Eustaquio via Round 1 knockout

(Lightweight) Dae Sung Park def. Honorio Banario via unanimous decision

(Bantamweight) Daichi Takenaka def. Leandro Issa via Round 3 TKO

(Welterweight) James Nakashima def. Yushin Okami via unanimous decision

(Featherweight) Xie Bin def. Edward Kelly via technical decision

(Catchweight) Miao Li Tao def. Pongsiri Mitsatit via unanimous decision

(Strawweight) Ayaka Miura def. Samara Santos via Round 2 submission

(Bantamweight) Muhammad Aiman def. Sunoto Peringkat via unanimous decision

                       

Recap

After being well beaten in his ONE Championship debut, it was important Alvarez produced a strong performance in his second outing in the competition.

In the initial stages of his meeting with Folayang, he appeared to be in trouble again, as Alvarez had to fight off a flurry of punches and kicks from his opponent.

However, he was able to recompose himself and eventually notch a submission win in the opening round:

ONE Championship @ONEChampionship

Eddie Alvarez overcomes Eduard Folayang’s fearsome wushu striking to score a submission victory and a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix finals! @Ealvarezfight #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts https://t.co/GsC9RNqL9F

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani praised Alvarez for his perseverance, especially as he appeared to suffer an injury early in the contest:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Eddie Alvarez with an incredible comeback win. Appeared to injure his leg, survives and wins via RNC. Never underestimate The Underground King.

As for Johnson, he continued his strong start to life in the promotion. The lightweight star was unable to stop Tatsumitsu Wada, but he dominated the bout for long spells and eventually earned a routine decision win:

ONE Championship @ONEChampionship

Demetrious Johnson books his place in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals with a unanimous decision win over ultra-tough Tatsumitsu Wada! @MightyMouse #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts https://t.co/1uaCiNgQHn

Nguyen added to his reputation as one of the biggest pound-for-pound punchers in the competition when he pummelled Matsushima in the second round of their fight.

After an even first round, the 30-year-old moved through the gears in the second and put together a clinical finish.

Earlier, Rodlek Jaotalaytong improved his record to 127-40-5 with his knockout win over Andrew Miller.

Rodlek came into the bout on the back of an impressive ONE Championship debut in June, in which he secured a third-round knockout of eight-time muay thai world champion Liam Harrison.

The Thai fighter had offered Miller—who had only stepped in on July 24 after Chris Shaw had to pull out through injury—a warning about his right hand earlier in the fight:

ONE Championship @ONEChampionship

Rodlek has his right hand LOCKED AND LOADED 💥🤛 #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts https://t.co/eqsbwjP2es

In the third round, Rodlek duly delivered:

ONE Championship @ONEChampionship

🚨 KNOCKOUT ALERT 🚨 Muay Thai World Champion Rodlek connects with a devastating right hand to turn the lights out on Andrew Miller! #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts https://t.co/gsbh5p8bfb

On the preliminary card, James Nakashima maintained his unbeaten record with a unanimous decision win over Yushin Okami, taking the American to 12-0.

Meanwhile, Xie Bin, having lost two of his first three fights, has now won seven in a row thanks to his technical decision win against Edward Kelly.