ONE FC 9: Nobutatsu Suzuki signed, bout against Phil Baroni in the works for Manila Event

Photo by Anton Tabuena

ONE FC has signed a Japanese knockout artist from ZST in Nobutatsu Suzuki, and sources have told BloodyElbow.com that he will likely take on Phil Baroni at ONE FC 9 this May.

ONE Fighting Championship will be hosting their 8th show this April, with a lightweight championship bout between Kotetsu Boku and Shinya Aoki happening in Singapore. Several bouts have already been set and reported here on Bloody Elbow, and while the complete ONE FC 8 fight card has yet to be revealed, it looks like the promotion is already starting to build their next event.

After some digging around, Bloody Elbow has learned that ONE FC 9 will happen in Manila, Philippines, and it will be on May 31st. Like ONE FC 8 this will also happen on a Friday, and according to ONE FC CEO Victor Cui, this change has to do with the Star Sports broadcast deal which will air their events live all over Asia. The event will likely be on the new Mall of Asia Arena, and this will mark the second time the promotion has hosted an event in that country crazy about combat sports.

No details about the event has surfaced yet, but one bout that is in the works on that Manila card has been learned by Bloody Elbow. According to separate sources close to the situation, ONE FC's latest signee, ZST star, Nobutatsu Suzuki will likely face PRIDE and UFC veteran, Phil Baroni. The bout hasn't been officially signed and delivered, but we're told that verbal agreements are in place and it is expected to be finalized soon.

Suzuki's signing has been first reported by our friends at MMA-in-Asia. This Kyokushin Karate based fighter is a home grown star from Japanese promotion ZST and has compiled a 9-1-2 record. Every single win he's had has come by way of knockout, and his only loss is from top welterweight, "K-Taro" Keita Nakamura. Baroni on the other hand is coming off an entertaining scrap against Hayato Sakurai at DREAM, and a soccer kick beatdown on his last ONE FC fight. If this bout pushes through, Asian MMA fans will surely be in for a fun slugfest.

Also, no word yet if he will make his debut on this card, but according to Zike of MMAOrient, the promotion has also signed Edward Kelly, the younger brother of ONE FC star and URCC champ Eric Kelly.

Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena

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