After RIZIN heats things up in Japan, ONE Championship’s doubleheader will keep things going until Sunday.
Dual champ Aung La Nsang (25-10) has made the most of his Lethwei and BJJ background, with sharp and technical striking to go with his stellar guillotine choke. For this go-round he’s got his hands full against the biggest challenge of his career so far against UFC veteran Brandon Vera (16-7). Haven’t seen Vera in a while? He’s been violent. Granted, some of it was against somewhat overmatched opposition, but he’s looked great regardless to land a four-fight win streak.
Filipino staple Honorio Banario has had some legit bangers during his time at ONE, and will also get a taste of fighting another longtime veteran with more international experience as he deals with Tobikan Judan himself, former champ Shinya Aoki (43-9).
Kevin Bellingon has been another prized talent for ONE in the Filipino market, and in a rare situation will face feared veteran Bibiano Fernandes (23-4) for the fourth time. The series is 2-1 in favor of Fernandes, but their third encounter was a DQ win due to Bellingon elbowing the back of the head. The series could still be considered tied, and none of their previous entanglements have been boring. Expect a great fight, as Bellingon is at his peak and Fernandes is must-watch MMA.
Mauro Cerilli came over form Cage Warriors and didn’t get the warmest welcome from Brandon Vera, but he’s made the most of his opportunity to rebound against Alain Ngalani. He’s gonna have his wrestling tested against Canadian National Team member and former UFC talent Arjun Bhullar (9-1).
Mei Yamaguchi (20-11) has had a busy 2019, with two wins under her belt and two cancelled bouts against China’s Bo Meng. She’s been an amazing talent, racking up finishes with ever-improving technique. Her next appointment is a rematch against Jenny Huang (5-4), a submission specialist that has had a rough go of it as of late but had some very promising early success. Anyone that can pull of a gogoplata is worth watching. Yamaguchi won their first fight by submission, and there’s no reason the second fight won’t be intriguing.
Also, this card opens with a four-fight combination of Shooto vs Pancrase championsunder the ONE banner. It’s a little unorthodox, but it’s a hell of a formula. The winner of each bout gets a $50,000 bonus as a cherry on top.
First up, Shooto strawweight champion Yosuke Saruta (19-9, 3 draws) comes off his back to back fights against ONE champ Joshua Pacio winning the first fight by split decision but getting his dome split in the rematch this past April. He’s up against Daichi Kitakaka (20-8, 1 draw, 2 no contests) as he’s got five wins in a row, three of them finishes. Kitakaka has devastating strikes and a scrappy submission approach.
Shooto’s Shoko Sato (33-16) meets Pancrase featherweight champ Rafael Silva, (31-6), and Hernani Perpetuo reps Shooto against Pancrase’s super exciting Hiroyuki Tetsuka (7-3). Finally Koshi Matsumoto (Shooto, 20-8) fights Pancrase’s Takasuke Kume (22-3, 3 draws) for welterweight supremacy.
Full card is as follows:
Aung La Nsang vs. Brandon Vera - Heavyweight
Shinya Aoki vs. Honorio Banario - Welterweight
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Kevin Bellingon - Featherweight
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Walter Goncalves - Muay Thai bout, 135lbs
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Samy Sana - Kickboxing bout, 155lbs
Mauro Cerilli vs. Arjan Bhullar - Heavyweight
Mei Yamaguchi vs. Jenny Huang - Strawweight
Yosuke Saruta vs. Daichi Kitakata - Flyweight
Shoko Sato vs. Rafael Silva - Featherweight
Hernani Perpétuo vs. Hiroyuki Tetsuka - Middleweight
Koshi Matsumoto vs. Takasuke Kume - Welterweight