We haven't heard much from One Fighting Championship in recent weeks but I am reliably informed that some major announcements are imminent. The organization are keeping their cards close to their chest but it is believed they are constantly adding new fighters to the roster and a couple of names have emerged in the last couple of days.
The first is Brian Choi who as a member of the Evolve MMA fight team and a Martial Combat veteran was an obvious addition to the roster. One FC tweeted a link to an article about him which, I think it is safe to assume, they wouldn't have done unless they were either serious about signing him or he had already put pen to paper.
The second is Adam Kayoom who has a quite unbelievable list of accomplishments in multiple martial arts such as BJJ, Taekwondo and Muay Thai. No sooner had he choked out Seok Mo Kim (the man Gregor Gracie couldn't submit) at Dare Championship 2/11 then he grabbed the microphone and announced that he would be fighting for One FC.
Brian Choi (right) with Evolve MMA team mate Zorobabel Moreira at the Dare weigh in
So what will these two fighters bring to the table? Let's start with Choi, he is primarily a wrestler and despite being born in Korea was educated in the US where he wrestled at a collegiate level. He is currently 3-0 and has looked impressive every time he has fought, most notably at DARE Championship 1/11 when he defeated a French opponent with eight times as many fights.
Choi only took that fight at a week's notice and was very much an underdog against Sebastian Garguier but dominated from start to finish using his wrestling to get the takedowns and avoiding a number of submission attempts.
He has a blue belt in BJJ and has boxed professionaly and fought in professional Muay Thai fights meaning that when it comes to the MMA skill set he ticks every single box. Wrestling is very much his bread and butter but he has the ability to knock opponents out and submit them making him a fearsome prospect at featherweight.
Evolve MMA fighters are masters at weight cutting and if Choi can retain his explosiveness at 145 lbs he will be a strong contender for the One FC featherweight title. Although he has only fought once in 2011 he will have been working every day with the Lumpini champions, boxing champions and BJJ Mundials winners at Evolve MMA and is likely to have improved dramatically as a result.
It is testament to the year round approach that Evolve MMA fighters have to training that Choi was able to step up and take the fight with Garguier at such late notice and still arrive in phenomenal shape. Had he had a bit more notice I am confident he would have finished the Frenchman and if he is capable of a performance like that on a week's notice imagine what he could do with a full training camp under his belt?
I didn't know much about Adam Kayoom beore his fight at DARE Championship but the more I learn the more i am amazed he has not achieved more in mixed martial arts. He has world titles in Muay Thai, national titles in Taekwondo and has a black belt in BJJ and has actually won grappling tournaments in Brazil!
Adam Kayoom lands a head kick to Seok Mo Kim at Dare Championship 2/11
Had he decided to dedicate himself to MMA sooner I am convinced he would already be in the UFC but instead his career is only really starting out now with his record currently at 2-1. Fight comparisons can sometimes be disingenious but Gregor Gracie did not look good against Seok Mo Kim and was frustrated by the Koreans submission defence.
Kayoom had no such problems, nailing the Korean with a cross before putting him away with a rear naked choke. Depsite being a vastly superior striker he was on the receiving end of a couple of shots which I would put down to cage rust, hopefully he will be back in action soon as once he acclimatizes himself to MMA he will be almost unstoppable, there aren't many BJJ black belts with world titles in Muay Thai and welterweights won't exactly be quieing up to face him.
Kayoom is without doubt the top welterweight in Malaysia and could easily become one of the best in the region. Choi must be in the top five Koreans at featherweight and is likely to rise even higher in the rankings if he starts fighting more regularly.
These are two solid signing for One FC and if the rumours are to be believed there could be quite a few more to follow.