ONE Fighting Championship's third event is happening this weekend in Singapore, 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.
3: War of the Lions
March 31, 2012 -- 8 a.m. ET
Singapore Indoor Arena, Singapore
How to watch:
FIVE things to look forward to:
1. A STACKED CARD OF TOP STARS AND ASIAN CHAMPIONS - If well known stars like Tatsuya Kawajiri and Melvin Manhoef won't be enough to convince you to watch, they will also be on the stacked card along with 4 fighters from the World MMA Scouting Report, and boat load of champions and Asian stars.
There's DEEP Champions Masakazu Imanari, Yuya Shirai, and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, URCC Champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, and KOTC Champ Donald Sanchez. There are also multiple champions from different disciplines such as former WBC Boxing Champion, Yodsanan Sityodtong, BJJ World Champion, Zorobabel Moreira, and the list goes on and on.
2. CAN FELIPE ENOMOTO PULL OFF ANOTHER UPSET AGAINST A TOP FIGHTER LIKE ZOROBABEL MOREIRA? - Zoro, who is one of the most talented guys coming out of the famed Evolve MMA gym, is a high level BJJ world champion with an ever improving stand up game. At 6-foot-3, Zoro is one of the largest guys in the lightweight division, and on his last fight, he dismantled Andy Wang and showcased his improving stand up. Zoro's notoriety has skyrocketed and has been named as one of the top prospects in the world, leading to a lot of people thinking that he will run through Enomoto.
The thing is, this was the exact same thing that people said about his last fight against Ole Laursen. The very well rounded and tough fighter in Enomoto proved every single one of his doubters wrong when he dropped the Muay Thai champion and submitted him. Despite his performance at ONE FC 2, people are still pegging him as the underdog on this fight, but much like his last bout, Felipe still doesn't pay attention to what everyone thinks.
"I don't really care if that's what everyone is talking about," Enomoto said in an interview with BloodyElbow.com, "And I would also not really care if it would be the opposite way."
"It's good if he's ranked high on some list." he said, as he talked about the World MMA Scouting Report, "I don't look to replace him on that list, I just want to win. Such numbers don't mean anything to me."
Can Enomoto pull off another impressive victory in his second time headlining a ONE FC event? Or will Zoro live up to his potential and showcase his vastly improving MMA game? Either way, this is one fight you should keep an eye out for.
Much more after the jump, but don't forget to follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena.
3. OLE LAURSEN VS. EDUARD FOLAYANG - There's a bunch of story lines on this fight stemming from their contrasting styles of Muay Thai and Wushu, their friendship, their Filipino heritage, or from their original fight that was supposed to happen last September. I'm not going to go through all that anymore, but the bottom line is, this is a must watch fight simply because these two huge Asian stars have fighting styles that would never allow a boring fight. They're two of the most entertaining guys in the region and it's guaranteed to be a fast paced, explosive, and very entertaining match up from the opening bell.
4. MASAKAZU IMANARI VS. KEVIN BELINGON - This is personally what I consider as the unofficial main event. Kevin Belingon is undefeated at 9-0, and is one of the top prospects in Asia. He trains with Team Lakay who has produced numerous dominant Filipino champions like his teammate Eduard Folayang, who is fighting on this card. Belingon has been tearing through his opponents, but he will be taking a massive step up in competition to take on a very experienced veteran in Imanari, who has been a consensus top 15-20 bantamweight.
5. THE PROGRESS OF YODSANAN SITYODTONG AND EDDIE NG - Yodsanan Sityodtong (1-0), or "Little Tyson" was a very accomplished boxer, winning the WBC Super-Featherweight championship along with a good amount of Muay Thai fights also under his belt before seriously moving to MMA. Eddie Ng (4-1) on the other hand is a very young prospect and a highly skilled grappler of Hong Kong descent, who was originally from England. These two members joined the Evolve Fight Team and made waves on the promotion's inaugural show. They're very different fighters, but they both have been training with the Muay Thai, BJJ, and wrestling world champions at Evolve MMA, and it would be very interesting to see how much they have developed since we last saw them 6 months ago.
Hidden Gems and Fun Facts:
- Donald Sanchez, who will be facing Tatsuya Kawajiri on this card, fought just two weeks ago and claimed the KOTC bantamweight (145 lbs.) title.
- Nicole Chua, who apart from being an Muay Thai fighter, was also a full time accountant. She will be making her pro-debut on this card and as Singapore's first professional female fighter, she has been getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media.
- ESPN and ESPN Star Sports have been showing the first 2 ONE FC events all over Asia this past few weeks, and the network also featured, Zorobabel Moreira and his coach from Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong on Sports Center:
- Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiyuki Nakanishi promo:
Full Fight Card:
ONE FC 3: War of the Lions
March 31, 2012 -- Singapore Indoor Arena, Singapore
- Zorobabel Moreira vs. Felipe Enomoto
- Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Donald Sanchez
- Eduard Folayang vs. Ole Laursen
- Yuya Shirai vs. Fabricio Monteiro
- Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiyuki Nakanishi
- Eddie Ng vs. Jian Kai Chee
- Masakazu Imanari vs. Kevin Belingon
- Nicole Chua vs. Jeet Toshi
- Quek Kim Hock vs. Major Overall
Yodsanan Sityodtong vs. Jiang Long Yun
- Danny Van Bergen vs. Richie Whitson