Friday night in Singapore, Rebel Fighting Champinoship's started their 8-man Featherweight 'Battle Royale' to crown the promotion's inaugural champion. Brackets were determined last May, and as Miguel Torres and Will Chope picked up wins at Rebel FC 2, they both advance to the next round to forge a semi-final bout between the two UFC veterans.
Torres took on a talented DEEP veteran in Takahiro Ashida during the headliner, and by all accounts, it was a highly entertaining and closely contested match throughout the duration of the bout. In the end the former WEC champion won by a split decision, with judges scoring it 30-27, 29-28 for Torres, and 29-28 for his Japanese foe.
"Tonight I fought for Rebel FC in Singapore against a well prepared opponent, it was a war and got the victory," Torres said on social media, "Want to thank all of my students, training partners, everyone who helped teach for me while I was training, my family for all the support, and Rebel FC for the opportunity. Felt great to fight a war against a larger opponent and have to dig down deep to pull out the W."
After an earlier rough patch, the 33-year-old former dominant champion has now won all three of his bouts this year, while competing above his normal weight class.
Chope co-headlined the event, and for 15 minutes, he shutdown Mauricio dos Santos Jr's game as he stuffed his attempts of controlling him on the ground en route to a clear cut decision. At one point, the UFC veteran even added insult to injury, playfully slapping the BJJ blackbelt's behind while on the ground. The bout marks Chope's first win since his controversial UFC release, and it sets him up for a future semi-final bout against Torres.
On the other side of the bracket, Yojiro Uchimura fended off a strong first round from Reydon Romero, to eventually stop the URCC champion by strikes at the 3:46 mark of the 2nd stanza. With the victory, Uchimura advances to face unbeaten Australian prospect Michael Tobin who received a 'bye' and advanced to the semifinals as his original opponent in Pat Promrangka, failed to make weight.
The semi-final and final rounds of their featherweight tournament are to happen on a future date yet to be announced by the promotion.
Rebel FC 2: Battle Royale Results
August 1, 2014 -- Singapore
Miguel Torres def. Takahiro Ashida by Decision (Split)
Will Chope def. Mauricio Dos Santos Jr by Decision (Unanimous)
Yojiro Uchimura def. Reydon Romero by TKO (Strikes), R2 3:46
Doo Hwan Kim def. Samiuela Kei by Decision (Unanimous)
Gyo Pyung Hwang def. Kris Barras by Decision (Unanimous)
May Ooi def. Sharma Devaiah by TKO (Strikes), R2 2:13
Syafiq Samad def. Kenny Thompson by TKO (Punches), R1 2:47
Kenny Yeung def. Silvio Romero Da Silva by TKO (Strikes), R2 1:18
Suman Moktarian def. Mohamed Ashraf via TKO (Punches), R2 2:10