ONE Fighting Championship's second event is happening this weekend, and since most of our readers are from outside of Asia, here's an in-depth preview and a complete guide on everything you will need to know about the upcoming event.
ONE Fighting Championship 2: Battle of Heroes
February 11, 2012 -- 7:30 a.m. ET
Kelapa Gading Sports Mall, Jakarta, Indonesia
How to watch:
If you're not going to be in the Arena to watch the event, you can also catch the event online. Prelims will be shown live and free on their facebook page, while the main card will be available as an online PPV at UStream or at ONEFC.com for $9.99.
The event will also have a delayed telecast all over Asia at ESPN Star Sports.
SIX Things To Look Forward To:
The card will have 10 fights, and here are seven things that you should look forward to during the event.
1. OLE LAURSEN'S RETURN TO COMPETITION - Ole Laursen (5-2) is a K-1 veteran, and a super-fight champion from Martial Combat. He was thrown on the deep end early on his MMA career when he faced and lost to Genki Sudo and Caol Uno back in 2006. He has since rattled off 5-straight victories since then, and was ranked as the #8 lightweight on the 2010 World MMA Scouting Report. He was supposed to headline ONE FC's debut event against Eduard Folayang, but a knee injury has kept him sidelined for months.
The Filipino-Danish fighter who has been based in Thailand for several years began building a new Legacy gym on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in Boracay, Philippines. He will be returning to competition this weekend and he will have a tough task at hand when he headlines the event against Felipe Enomoto (5-3), a former CFC champ who founded the Enomoto dojo along with his brother, M-1 Global champ Yasubey Enomoto.
2. A PRIDE STYLE FREAKSHOW-ISH FIGHT - ONE FC has a rule-set that is very similar to PRIDE in which knees and soccer kicks (depending on a signal from the referee) to a grounded opponent is allowed. Another thing PRIDE was known for, was having those "freakshow" bouts which blurred the lines between sport and spectacle.
A lot of people enjoyed those types of matches during the PRIDE days, but a lot of people also hated it. Either way, at least for this card, that's one more thing ONE FC has that's similar to the popular Japanese promotion, as the 350 lb. "Beast", Bob Sapp (11-9) will be taking on UFC veteran and 3rd degree BJJ black belt, Rolles Gracie (5-1) in a super-heavyweight bout.
3. ANOTHER URCC CHAMPION FROM TEAM LAKAY - Back in September, North American fans were introduced to one of the most popular fighters in Asia, in Eduard Folayang. The Wushu fighter displayed tremendous grit and toughness coupled with his very entertaining style of fighting that is common among the guys at Team Lakay.
Co-headlining the event will be undefeated URCC lightweight champion, Honorio Banario (6-0), who is one of the youngest guys from the famed camp that's based on the mountain province of Baguio. The URCC champions have been faring well in international competition, but Banario will be dropping down a weight class and will be facing a very talented Korean fighter on his featherweight debut. He'll be taking on Bae Young Kwon (6-2), one of the top featherweights from Korea's ROAD FC promotion, who recently pulled off an upset over the highly touted prospect from Evolve MMA in Brian Choi.
Much more after the jump, but don't forget to follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena.
4. EVOLVE MMA'S BJJ WORLD CHAMPS AGAINST JACKSON'S MMA AND TEAM LAKAY - You have probably heard about Evolve MMA, the home of guys like Shinya Aoki and Rafael Dos Anjos, and it's one of the most beautiful gyms in the world that is also stacked with several world champions from Muay Thai, BJJ, and now wrestling. Two of their BJJ world champs will be competing at this event, and they will be taking on guys from arguably the best gym in the US, and the best gym in the Philippines.
Rodrigo Ribeiro (9-7), a very experienced BJJ world champion and third degree black belt, will be taking on Rustam Khabilov (12-1), a top prospect and M-1 veteran who is also a Combat Sambo world champion. The Russian fighter trains out of Jackson's MMA, and his background provides a very interesting contrast and battle of styles that could make waves in ONE FC's welterweight division.
His teammate, fellow BJJ world champ, Alex Silva (1-0), just recently moved to MMA, winning his debut by rear naked choke a few months ago. He will be taking on a fellow flyweight prospect in Geje Eustaquio (2-1), who is one of the newer guys from Team Lakay. He may not yet be as technical as some of his more experienced and more popular teammates, but Eustaquio already possesses the trademark grit, endurance, and toughness that is common among the champs found in the Lakay Wushu gym. Both guys are still developing their overall MMA game with the champions they train with day in and day out, but their specialties and styles makes this a very intriguing match up. Plus these flyweights are always exciting, so this is probably one of the sleeper candidates for FOTN.
5. CFC CHAMP GUSTAVO FALCIROLI VS. SOO CHUL KIM - For those who were able to see ONE FC 1, you would already know that Soo Chul Kim is a gamer. He's a very tough fighter and even though he ended up losing a decision, he gave Evolve MMA's Leandro Issa all he can handle, winning over a lot of the fans that night.
Kim, at 20-years-old, is still a very young prospect with a bright future ahead of him, but unfortunately for him, he's again matched up against another accomplished grappler in Gustavo Falciroli (11-3-2), who is a 2nd degree BJJ blackbelt. There's a bit of hype surrounding the current CFC bantamweight champion in Falciroli, with people constantly singing high praises for the Australian-based fighter. We'll see if he will be able to live to that hype and stop the very game and durable Korean, or if Kim will be able to live up to his potential and upset the CFC champion.
6. THE AGGRESSIVE STYLE OF JESSIE RAFOLS - If you want a fight that is guaranteed to be entertaining, you should really keep an eye out for the prelim bout between Interim URCC Bantamweight Champion, Jessie Rafols, and Muay Thai Champion, Irshaad Sayed. Why? Cause Jessie Rafols is probably one of the most aggressive fighters in Asia, and it's guaranteed that he will be pushing the pace, going 100% from the opening bell.
Rafols is a high-level athlete and fighting just comes naturally from him. He is probably not as technical standing up as his opponent, who is a Muay Thai champion that trains with Vuyusille Colossa, but what he lacks in technical ability, he makes up for with tenacity, explosiveness and aggression. That all-out style has cost him on his last bout in the Philippines, but Rafols has been making the right moves in his career, moving out to one of the top camps in the country, training at BAMF MMA, home of Alvin Aguilar and the DEFTAC crew, to shore up his overall MMA game, and close out the few holes he has in his game.
Will Sayed be able to use his world class striking to win against the Filipino? Or will Rafols' improved MMA game coupled with his relentless pace and aggresiveness overcome his South-African counterpart? Either way, this prelim bout is one to keep your eyes out for, cause fireworks are guaranteed.
Hidden Gems and Fun Facts:
Here are a few notes about some of the other competitors that you might not know of:
- Peter Davis, a very popular model and actor from Malaysia, will be competing on the card. He's also a talented fighter though, and although he has been competing on an off since 2004, he has compiled a respectable 3-1 record. For ONE FC, he has upped the notch for his preparations and has been training with one of the Philippines' top fighters in Eric Kelly.
- There will be two South East Asian Games Medalists from Indonesia competing on the card (think of it as the equivalent of the Pan American Games). Ngabdi Mulyadi, a 2009 bronze medalist for wrestling will be competing against Peter Davis, while 2011 silver medalist for Wushu / San Shou, Victorio Senduk will be taking on Raymond Tiew, who has a similar martial arts background.
- There will be 20 fighters from 10 different countries on this card.
Full Fight Card:
ONE Fighting Championship 2: Battle of Heroes
Preliminary Card (Free Facebook Stream)
- Victorio Senduk vs. Raymond Tiew
- Alex Silva vs. Geje Eustaquio
- Jessie Rafols vs. Irshaad Sayed
- Ngabdi Mulyadi vs. Peter Davis
- Zuli Silawanto vs. Agus NaNang