ONE FC 6 just ended with an exciting night of fights that produced a ton of action and some very memorable upsets. BloodyElbow.com was at the Singapore Indoor Arena to witness all the action live, so here are several immediate thoughts from the event which was probably one of the most entertaining cards the Asian promotion has ever put on.
BOKU UPSETS ZORO TO TAKE LIGHTWEIGHT BELT:
- The biggest shocker of the night was probably Kotetsu Boku managing to land a few good shots to TKO Zorobabel Moreira, who for the most part, was clearly dominating the fight. Boku landed a good punch early that knocked Zoro down, but for the next 10 minutes or so, the Evolve MMA product clearly dominated and was landing chopping leg kicks over and over. Boku was limping around and was looking like a fighter that was clearly beat... until he pulled off what seemed to be impossible at the time.
Like the first round, Boku landed a big punch, and after a few follow up shots, that was all she wrote. The Japanese fighter shocked the world and pulled off a massive come from behind upset win to become the inaugural ONE FC Lightweight champion.
- As an interesting tidbit, Japanese insiders were saying that Boku was planning on dropping down to featherweight after the fight. Now that he claimed the promotion's lightweight title, will he still do that?
AOKI TAPS LEPONT, CALLS OUT BOKU:
- Shinya Aoki headlined the event in a 'Super-Fight' against Arnaud Lepont, and no matter how much jeering and pre-fight antics the French fighter did to try and bait the DREAM champion, it didn't matter once the cage door was shut. Aoki shot for a takedown very early, and as he quickly transitioned to mount the Tobikan Judan immediately locked in a triangle and finished the fight quickly.
- He left Lepont out cold for several seconds before referee Yuji Shimada even noticed. It looked a bit dangerous as Arnaud was left out and stiff as a board, but luckily he was okay and looked fine after the very late stoppage.
- It was a nice moment seeing Shinya run out and call for his baby so he could celebrate his victory with his child.
- After successfully making his ONE FC debut, when asked what he wants next, Shinya stated that he's now gunning for the lightweight title. It was a championship that he never mentioned or seemed to want in the past, but after seeing Zoro go down, the Japanese fighter clearly stated that he wants to exact revenge for his teammate.
- When asked about the next challenger, Victor Cui confirmed after the event that Aoki is likely next for Boku. He avenged Brian Choi's loss to Arnaud Lepont tonight, and it looks like he will have a chance to do the same for Zoro's as well.
SOO CHUL KIM KNOCKS OUT LEANDRO ISSA ON REMATCH TO CLAIM BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE:
- Another huge upset that night was during the bantamweight championship bout between Soo Chul Kim and Leandro Issa. The two faced off once before, with Issa winning an entertaining decision. He followed up that win with a dominant victory over Masakazu Imanari, leading most people to peg him as an easy favorite to win the title.
Unfortunately for him, the 20-year-old Korean phenom in Kim has very different plans. He defended takedowns and shrugged off early submission attempts from the BJJ champ, and eventually landed a picture perfect overhand that dropped Issa. He followed up with some vicious elbows and punches on the ground to finish the fight. Not only did this very young fighter erase the loss he had to Issa, he also claimed the promotion's first bantamweight title at the same time.
- Kim was full of emotions after the huge upset. He was literally screaming his lungs out to celebrate, then after a few moments, the young Korean was teary eyed and very emotional.
MELVIN MANHOEF DID WHAT HE DOES BEST
- After a few minutes frustrating Manhoef with it, King of Pancrase, Ryo Kawamura's awkward fighting syle eventually cost him. He faked a takedown, and as he decided to switch it up with all these unorthodox movement, Manhoef landed two masive punches that left him out cold.
- Manhoef followed up with a huge hammer fist that would've made Donkey Kong proud.
- Also, them shorts:
BANTAMWEIGHT GRAND PRIX: PULVER TAKES MASSIVE KICK IN THE NUTS
- Three of the four first round bouts of the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix were hosted in the event, and it delivered with some excellent action.
- Jens Pulver got kicked in the nuts twice, and the second kick produced the nastiest reaction I have ever seen to a groin shot. Pulver eventually got carried out to a stretcher, but they decided to go with the judges scorecards which awarded the former UFC champion with the victory.
- Before the nasty groin kick, Pulver landed a monster left hand which dropped the Chinese Sanda champion in Zhao Ya Fei and had his mouthpiece fly out a few feet from him. Lil' Evil may be slowing down a bit, but the man still packs dynamite on those fists.
- I know a lot of you are probably worried about the status of the "Lil Evils" after they got clocked really hard, but following the event, Victor Cui said that Pulver is doing fine, and didn't need to go to the hospital.
- The crowd was upset at the Chinese fighter, and many of the audience in Singapore wanted him to be disqualified for those two hard shots. I hope Jens didn't think he was the one being booed though.
BANTAMWEIGHT GP: BELINGON IMPRESSES ON UPSET, UEDA ADVANCES WITH DECISION
- URCC Champion, Kevin Belingon, and Russian Wrestling Standout, Yusup Saadulaev were two prospects that have both been highly regarded, and both fighters have been ranked at the World MMA Scouting Report. After his loss to eventual ONE FC Champ, Soo Chul Kim, most people expected Belingon to get taken down at will by such a strong wrestler in Yusup, but the Filipino Wushu-based fighter showed big improvements on such a short time.
Belingon defended takedowns, controlled the distance very well, and landed good kicks from the outside. After a failed suplex attempt, the Filipino got on top and surprisingly dominated the Russian grappler. Kevin landed in side control, and as he initiated a kimura attempt, he used it as a distraction to land land a well punch that put Yusup out.
- Yusup may have complained about the stoppage after he recovered, but his eyes rolled up and was clearly out of it before the ref saved him. Very good placement and timing by the ref on the bout. Following the victory, Belingon received a huge ovation, especially from the sizable Filipino contingent on the crowd in Singapore.
- Also on the Grand Prix, top ranked bantamweight, Masakatsu Ueda beat a very game fighter in Min Jung Song to advance to the next round.
One of the more interesting things on that fight actually happened before the match, when the South Korean fighter walked out to the insanely popular 'Gangnam Style' song. Min Jung Song and his cornermen danced to the song, and several audience members followed suit which was a very funny scene to watch.
- Ueda, Belingon, and Pulver advanced to the next round, with one more fight still needed to determine the last man to be on the semis.
- Following the event, Victor Cui confirmed that the winner of the tournament will be getting the next title shot.
- The semi-final and final rounds are likely to be held on the same day, and no matter how you mix and match those three competitors, it probably safe to say that we're going to have some very entertaining fights.
SUBBA WINS WITH SOCCER KICK KO, CHILSON PICKS UP TKO WIN
- On the opening fight of the night, Mitch Chilson dominated and stopped Indonesian wrestler, Ngabdi Mulyadi early in the second round of their fight.
- Bruce Loh stepped in on 10 days notice and represented Singapore, but unfortunately for him and the hometown fans, Gianna Subba defeated him, and he won in spectacular fasion. Subba landed a beautiful counter left hook as Loh was coming in, and when he got dropped, the Malaysian landed a very clean soccer kick that knocked him out.
- ONE FC has removed the confusing "open-attack" rule for soccer kicks, and this was the first event where all-out soccer kicks were allowed at any time, and Subba made very good use of it. Here's a gif courtesy of Zombie Prophet:
OTHER TIDBITS AND ANALYSIS:
- Fun fact: with the two title fights now in the books, ONE FC's first two champs are both from Asia with Kim and Boku hailing from South Korea and Japan respectively. While all 4 competitors are based in the region, Issa and Moreira are both Brazilian-born fighters who live in Singapore.
- This has been done in other sports, but as an interesting innovation in MMA, ONE FC has released these ear pieces that also lets you hear the commentary and other sounds from the broadcast. It's a very cool idea as it gives you the best of both worlds, you get the live experience and atmosphere of being in the arena, but you also hear every detail that people watching at home can get.
- As a guy taking photos from cageside, it's pretty cool to hear all the punches, to see everything up close, and to feel the arena's vibe, but it was awesome to hear Steve Dawson and Jason Chambers doing the play-by-play at the same time.
ONE FC will probably continue with this nifty idea, but I do hope other promotions follow suit as well.
- According to Victor Cui, ONE FC's next event is tentatively scheduled for December 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- December 1 is also the same date for the URCC's 10th anniversary event which will have Eduard Folayang and Eric Kelly who according to sources, are both competing against champions from other organizations. The URCC is part of the ONE FC network, and hosting two big shows on the same date, might pose some problems for them.
Shinya Aoki def. Arnaud Lepont via submission (triangle) at 1:25 in round 1
via TKO (strikes) at 1:02 of round 3
def. via KO (strikes) at :15 of round 2
Melvin Manhoef def. Ryo Kawamura via KO at 4:40 of round 1
Bantamweight Grand Prix
Jens Pulver def. via unanimous decision
Kevin Belingon def. Yusup Saadulaev by KO (punch) 4:18 at of round 1
Gianni Subba def. Bruce Loh by KO (soccer kick and punches) at :33 of round 1
Mitch Chilson def. Ngabdi Mulyadi by TKO (strikes) at 1:03 of round 2
All photos were taken by Anton Tabuena. Follow me on twitter.