The fight card for ONE FC 3: War of the Lions, has been announced, and as first reported here on BloodyElbow.com, Felipe Enomoto will take on Zorobabel Moreira in a lightweight bout that will headline the March 31 event.
Other familiar names that will be featured on the stacked event in Singapore are K-1 striker, Melvin Manhoef, DREAM and DEEP stars Tatsuya Kawajiri, Masakazu Imanari, Yuya Shirai, and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, URCC Champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, Plus other ONE FC stars such as Ole Laursen, and Eddie Ng.
Here's the official card that has been released, along with a brief background and breakdowns on each of the fights:
Zorobabel Moreira vs. Felipe Enomoto: 'Zoro' is a BJJ world champion that is coming off impressive wins over Andy Wang, and Ferrid Kheder. He is ranked as the #7 lightweight in the 2012 World MMA Scouting Report, and has shown huge improvements on his overall MMA game while working with Shinya Aoki, and the guys at Evolve MMA. He will be facing Felipe Enomoto, the brother of M-1 Champion, Yasubey Enomoto, who is coming off the biggest win of his career against Ole Laursen. This will be his 2nd straight time to headline a ONE FC event, and it will be interesting to see how he performs just 7 weeks after that war he had in Jakarta.
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. TBA: Well, it's just Kawajiri so far...
Eduard Folayang vs. Ole Laursen: This bout was supposed to headline the first ONE FC event, but Laursen got injured. The Wushu expert in Folayang instead defeated A Sol Kwon on a "Fight of the Night" performance, and followed up with a URCC fight, knocking out a Nova Uniao BJJ Brown belt and Muay Thai champ in Wadson Teixeira. Laursen on the other hand, succumbed to Felipe Enomoto last month on a very entertaining back and forth bout. Folayang has been ranked as the #6 lightweight in the 2012 World MMA Scouting Report, while Laursen was #8 on the 2011 edition. Both Filipinos are huge stars in Singapore, and their styles basically guarantees a highly entertaining bout, which is probably the main motivating factor on why they've been re-booked for this card.
UPDATE: Apparently, the reports from Korea were wrong. A Sol Kwon hasn't retired, and is just currently doing service for the military. Apologies for the confusion this may have caused.
- Yuya Shirai vs. Fabricio Monteiro: Shirai is the current DEEP welterweight champion who has competed with several top notch fighters throughout his career. He will be competing against Monteiro, a veteran who will be trying to rebound and get back on track with the help of his new teammates at Evolve MMA.
- Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiyuki Nakanishi: The dangerous K-1 striker in Manhoef was supposed to take on Renato Sobral, until the latter had to pull out of the fight, citing lack of time for a proper training camp with his coaching duties on TUF Brazil. Stepping in for Babalu is Nakinishi, who is a former DEEP Light Heavyweight champ, who will be dropping to middleweight.
- Eddie Ng vs. Jian Kai Chee: Ng, who is also part of the Evolve MMA camp, will look to follow up on his impressive win at the first ONE FC event, and will once again have the hometown crowd on his side when he takes on the Malaysian Muay Thai champ in Jian Kai Chee.
- Masakazu Imanari vs. Kevin Belingon: While the top three bouts are probably going to gain more attention and recognition, this bout, at least to me, seems to be the unofficial main-event of the night. Belingon (9-0) is part of the famed Team Lakay camp that houses several of the URCC's best champions who all have a Wushu-base. He was ranked as part of the top Flyweights in the 2012 World MMA Scouting report, and will be looking to stay undefeated as he faces the toughest and most experienced challenger yet. Imanari is widely considered as the 19th best bantamweight in the world, and he will be a big test for a guy who is probably the most dominant prospect in the region. We'll see if Belingon can stop Imanari and graduate from top prospect to top fighter, or if the Master of Leg Locks can crank on one of his limbs and live up to his nickname.
Check out the rest of the card after the jump. Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena
- Nicole Chua vs. Jeet Toshi: This would be ONE FC's first female MMA fight, and it features two decorated strikers fighting making their MMA debuts. Nicole Chua is a Muay Thai champion who has been working diligently on his MMA game with the world champions at Evolve MMA, and will be taking on a decorated kickboxer from India in Jeet Toshi. Chua has been gaining quite the following on her hometown in Singapore, as she will be gaining the recognition of being the first professional female fighter from the country.
- Quek Kim Hock vs. Juan Wen Jie: This is another bout set up for the locals as it pits two lightweight prospects from Singapore against each other.
- Yodsanan Sityodtong vs. Jiang Long Yun: Yodsanan, who is known as "Little Tyson", is a former WBA boxing champion who compiled a 58-3 record, with 47 KO's. While already a decorated boxer, he actually won his MMA debut on ONE FC's first event by showcasing his Muay Thai skills. He's already getting up in years at 37-years-old, but we'll see how much he has improved after getting more experience with training with the world champions at Evolve MMA. He will be facing Jiang Long Yun, who is a very talented Chinese fighter, who already has a win over Yao Honggang, the former Legend FC bantamweight champion.
- Danny Van Bergen vs. Richie Whitson: These are two lightweights who haven't really fought much in the Asian region before. TUF 9 alum Richie Whitson, who is training out of Team Quest, will face Manhoef's teammate, Van Bergen who is looking to extend his winning streak to 3.
As always, stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more coverage and updates on the Asian MMA scene.