ONE Fighting Championship have officially announced the line up for September, thus completing the partial card I gave out a few days ago. PRIDE color commentator Bas Rutten will be heading back to the booth and will be calling the action on this fight card that now includes a few more popular names. Here's a complete rundown of the fights.
This will be a meeting between two of the most popular and talented fighters in the region. As I said when the match up was first reported here on BloodyElbow, this will be a very entertaining stylistic match up. It will be Wushu vs. Muay Thai as Folayang, the Asian games medalist and URCC champion, takes on Laursen, a K-1 veteran and kickboxing champion.
This match up is a bonus fight for a card and promotion that focuses on Asian bred fighters. Both guys bring it every time, and this battle between UFC veterans guarantees to be a very explosive bout that would give much deserved exposure to the rest of the card.
Chilson is a two-time Martial Combat champion, training out of the famed Evolve MMA camp, while Eric Kelly is a URCC champ training out of Yaw-Yan Adrigma in the Philippines. Chilson is a talented fighter who has been receiving a heavy marketing push from both Singapore based promotions, ONE FC and Martial Combat. That being said, the undefeated Filipino champion should provide a stern challenge with a very real chance of playing spoiler on his opponents home country. Expect this one to be one of the most exciting bouts of the evening.
Wang Sai is a Sanda champion coming out of China Top Team. This means he will have decent takedown defense coupled with a dangerous and unorthodox stand up game. Gregor Gracie, as you obviously know, is a beast on the ground having won multiple jiu jitsu titles. Unless Wang Sai knocks him out early, expect Gregor to be able to take things to the mat and earn his 4th straight victory.
Wang is an Ultimate Fighter veteran who is very popular in Taiwan, while "Zorro", is a BJJ world champion training out of Evolve MMA. Wang will be the more experienced fighter, but Moreira has been the more active fighter recently, also picking up a quality win over Ferrid Kheder on DARE last month.
After the jump, a complete rundown of the One FC preliminary card, and information regarding the rule-set they're planning to implement. (Hint: PRIDE fans will rejoice)
Radeem Rahman is Singapore's first professional MMA fighter, and he will be facing Ghosh, an Indian Karate champion. The home town hero should be able to pull it off in front of a partisan crowd.
Kim is a top undefeated prospect from Korea. He's a Road FC veteran and a Rising On champion, who will be taking on Issa, a BJJ champion and a Martial Combat champion. Kim is extremely young at 19 years of age, and he will be taking on a more experienced guy in Issa, who is currently on a 5-fight win streak. This should be a great fight, with both guys having bright futures regardless of the outcome.
Wang is a Sanda World Champion, while Colossa is a former Muay Thai champion. On most stylistic match ups like this, Sanda usually has an advantage cause they have the wrestling base to take opponents down when they need to. This specific match up will most likely be an exception though. Wang is unlikely to take this to the ground, and even if he does, Colossa has a rapidly improving ground game to compliment his top notch striking. Expect this to be an entertaining stand up battle with Colossa getting the better on the exchanges.
Yodsanan is a former WBA boxing world champion training with several BJJ world champions in Evolve MMA. He is probably the most talented boxer to make a serious jump to Mixed Martial Arts, and will be facing Mashamaite, who is a former Muay Thai champion. This is another excellent stylistic match up that guarantees fireworks.
Wu is another Sanda champion taking on Hong Kong's top prospect in Eddie Ng, a former Total FC Combat champion who is also training out of the famed Evolve MMA camp.
All in all, this is a very good line-up filled with multiple champions and the top talent from around Asia. This card is definitely a great start for Victor Cui and the crew behind ONE Fighting Championship, as they are poised to take over the Asian MMA scene.
As for the rule-set to be implemented, the plan is to host a slight mix of PRIDE and UFC (Unified) rules.
The 3 points rule, where a fighter can't knee the head of an opponent who has at least one hand touching the floor, is out, meaning knees from any position are allowed, as long as it isn't on the back of the head. This also means that upkicks, like the one Anderson Silva used to KO Yushin Okami before, are legal.
The plan is for fights to be held in a cage, with full PRIDE rules and elbows on the ground. This means soccer kicks and stomps are also to be allowed.
- Note that changes are still possible, as their management will still have to meet with officials before getting these finalized.