ONE FC 9 ended last night in Manila, Philippines and although the local fighters lost against the top fighters they were matched up against, it was filled with entertaining matches and memorable bouts. One of the most notable ones were the main event bout for the featherweight title between Honorio Banario and Koji Oishi.
The Filipino champion landed good combinations with his hands which badly hurt his Japanese foe early on the fight. Banario dropped him and immediately pounced to go for the finish, only for Oishi to literally get saved by the bell. The next round, the badly hurt Oishi was able to recover enough to land a huge punch of his own to knock out the champion and complete a remarkable come from behind victory in front of a partisan crowd.
Check out the gif below courtesy of Bloody Elbow's Zombie Prophet.
Here's the back and forth exchange, which led to a near finish from Banario during the end of the first round:
He probably could've used a few soccer kicks to finish the fight earlier on, because this is what happened to Banario when the fight continued on the second round:
During the co-headlining bout, Bibiano Fernandes won the interim Bantamweight title in a severely one-sided bout against Japan's Koetsu Okazaki. Fernandes dominated his opponent, and displayed the talent which makes him one of the highest ranked bantamweights in the world. The only criticism I see is that when he wasn't able to complete those rear naked choke, he was able to adjust and finish an opponent who he was completely outclassing. Regardless, it was a dominant performance, and you can check out the gifs below:
On the other feature bout, the finals of the ONE FC BWGP was held between Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon. This was yet another back and forth bout which was deserving of fight of the night honors. During the first two rounds, Ueda was ahead, controlling his Filipino opponent on the ground, and attempting a few submission attempts which Belingon was able to defend:
On the third round though, Belingon was able to turn things around by landing several hard shots which hurt and bloodied up Ueda. It was the most effective and damaging shots of the bout, but in the end, even if the fight was scored as a whole just like PRIDE, it wasn't enough to convince the judges that he won the bout. This awarded Ueda the decision victory and he became the first ONE FC BWGP champ in a very entertaining match which took Fight of the Night honors. Check out gifs of Belingon's spirited comeback below:
In one of the more controversial calls of the evening, the URCC Pinweight champion in Rey Docyogen seemed to have landed much more shots against UFC veteran Yasuhiro Urushitani, but the Filipino fighter still lost a decision on his home country. Check out some of the entertaining action, which included some nifty kicks from this Wushu-based fighter:
It was a great performance from Docyogen, and it's a shame he lost the disputed decision. Either way though, Docyogen has done extremely well against two of the top flyweights in Urushitani and Shinichi Kojima. He was winning both fights until he came up short in the end, and if ONE FC decides to eventually open a 115 lb division -- which I think they should since there's more lighter guys than heavies in Asia -- Docyogen would likely be a top contender on that division.
On one of the early portions of the main card, Geje Eustaquio lost a decision to a talented grappler in Andrew Leone. He spent majority of the fight defending from back control, but he did make it a bit interesting and entertaining:
One of the brightest prospects in the region added yet another talented lightweight to his resume. 22-year-old Hawaiian-Filipino in Lowen Tynanes, completely dominated Felipe Enomoto on his second ONE FC bout. He improves his professional record to 4-0, and his young MMA career already has him with dominant wins over some very highly regarded fighters such as Eduard Folayang and Vuyisile Colossa. Check out the gif below where he works from the crucifix position:
On the prelims, suplex machine, Yusup Saadulaev faced a former KOTC champ in Ryan Diaz, who came in weighing as a featherweight for a bantamweight bout. The weight cut didn't matter though as Saadulaev easily submitted Diaz in the first:
Gifs from the Phil Baroni bout where he broke his ankle, and from Tim Sylvia losing by Doctor's stoppage can be found here. You can also check out our more extensive coverage of the event, by checking out our ONE FC 9 stream.
In the end, two new champions have been crowned at this event, and while the hometown crowd had several entertaining bouts, their local heroes officially went 0-5 at the night. Even though every single fighter were considered underdogs coming in to the night, they still could've easily have been at 3-2, with Docyogen losing a disputed decision, and both Belingon and Banario both coming close to knocking out their opponents.
Either way, it's a fun card which saw a dominant performance from Bibiano Fernandes, gutsy performances from veterans such as Koji Oishi and Masakatsu Ueda. More importantly, it also produced some young rising stars to keep an eye out for, such as Lowen Tynanes, Andrew Leone, Nobutatsu Suzuki, and even the two Filipino fighters in Docyogen and Belingon.
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