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Asian MMA: ONE FC 9: Banario to defend title, Fernandes and Folayang also on Manila card

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More details about the May ONE FC 9 card in Manila emerged. Honorio Banario will defend his Featherweight Title against the only man to ever defeat him, while Bibiano Fernandes and Eduard Folayang are also set to be on the card.

Bibiano Fernandes, during his last bout in the Philippines
Bibiano Fernandes, during his last bout in the Philippines
Photo by Anton Tabuena

ONE FC 9 will happen in Manila, Philippines on May 31 as first reported here on BloodyElbow.com. It will mark the second time this surging Asian promotion have hosted an event in the country, with their first trip being on August last year for ONE FC 5.

They're moving to a bigger venue at the SM MOA Arena, and as stated earlier, they have signed a Japanese KO artist from ZST in Nobutatsu Suzuki (9-1-2), who is set to face off against fellow slugger, Phil Baroni. More details have since been announced about the event, and the partial card already looks very promising.

Newly crowned ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Honorio Banario (8-1) will be defending his title for the first time when he returns to his home country. He will be taking on Bae Young Kwon (7-3), a Korean prospect who handed him the only loss of his career.

Also on the card, is the former two-division DREAM champion, Bibiano Fernandes, and URCC Champion and arguably the biggest MMA star in the country, Eduard Folayang. Both guys appeared on the first ONE FC event in Manila, but no opponents have been announced for either fighter as of this writing.

It is interesting to note though, that Folayang has been training for the past several weeks in the US at Robert Drysdale's gym at Reign with Mark Munoz's team. He's trying to round out his MMA game and learn techniques and best practicies from the top gyms, and he will be looking to showcase this come May.

ONE FC's next event is on April 5, and it will be host to Shinya Aoki vs. Kotetsu Boku along with the semifinals of their bantamweight tournament that features guys such as Masakatsu Ueda, Jens Pulver, Kevin Belingon and Thanh Vu. If all goes to plan, the finals and the GP winner could be crowned at this event in Manila as well.

Here's the current rumored fight card so far:

ONE FC 9
May 31, 2013 -- SM MOA Arena, Philippines

- Honorio Banario vs. Bae Young Kwon [ONE FC Featherweight Championship]
- Bibiano Fernandes
- Eduard Folayang
- Bantamweight GP Finals
- Nobutatsu Suzuki vs. Phil Baroni