ONE FC 15: Bibiano defends title, Folayang defeats former champ

Bibiano Fernandez vs. Ueda in ONE FC 15

Bibiano fails to find the finish again, but defends ONE FC Bantamweight Championship belt from Ueda without much trouble


Bibiano Fernandez timed his takedowns very well against Masakatsu Ueda and worked his way to a full mount a couple of times, forcing Ueda to turn away from the ground-poundings and gave away his back for the "world class grappler" to attempt the rear naked choke but Ueda never failed to defend it off and survive or reverse. Ueda threw some good kicks, got Bibiano's left eye swollen badly, defended all submission attempts brilliantly and shown urgency in the final championship round (the fifth) after the crowd booed for the lack of action during the fourth round, but that's about it, unfortunately, he could not stop his Brazilian opponent from dominate in almost every area, particularly on the ground. It was a clear cut decision win for the defending undisputed champ.

Philippines win all 5 fights of the night while Japan lose all 4 of theirs


Ueda's failure to capture the belt was only one of the all four Japanese losses. In the co-main event, Filipino star Eduard Folayang thrilled the home crowd defeating the former lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku with a well-deserved unanimous decision, showing his greatly improved wrestling and grappling skills. He managed to take Boku down on a couple of occasions, attempted guillotine and armbar submissions, landing wheel kicks and also, significant one-twos that dropped his opponent once. The people watching must be thinking, wow, is this really Folayang?! He was finally showing the great potential he always had. Boku stayed active only when on top of Folayang, causing a cut above his eyes, but other than that, there was just no comeback allowed for the Japanese this time.



In perhaps the most entertaining fight of the night, the local Rey Docyogen was back with his hopping back and forth, Bruce Lee-like stance, this time defeating Joshua Alvarez of Guam (it was the first time I've ever heard of this country) via unanimous decision as well. Besides getting into a little trouble at the beginning of the first down with his back taken, Docyogen seemed to have everything under control. Landing many punches and kicks, attempting many flashy strikes during exchanges. He even connected with a combination of hard punches in the final round but Alvarez got away with it after accidentally uppercutting Docyogen's nuts at close range (literally a lowblow, ouch!). Alvarez got a takedown and tried to get Doc's back again but the Filipino defended well, reversed to go on top and stayed busy until the final bell.

Leandro Ataides goes 8 - 0 after walking over Tatsuya Mizuno. There was literally no fight at all, Ataides was just too strong for the Japanese fighter to handle. The Brazilian closes down and beats Mizuno to a TKO in less than 50 seconds, without even needing to explode. Singapore's Evolve MMA gym victorious once again, and Ataides might just be one of the first contender for the inaugural ONE FC Middleweight title.

Eugene Toquero, the confident 30-year-old hair-obsessed Filipino fighter, came out to Katy Perry's "Eye of the Tiger" (what garbage!) gave Malaysia's calm and composed 21-year-old prospect Gianni Subba his first ever MMA loss. Subba tried to take advantage of his superior range but was surprised by Toquero's takedown abilities despite supposedly being more specialised in that department. Subba shown great movements, hopping around a lot, but was unable to find his range and stop the local from dictating the fight. Toquero was more aggressive in overall and was allowed to score a lot of points from knee strikes in clinch positions and takedown.

Both Filipino female fighters, too, won with pleasantly unexpected exclamation. Ana Julaton, Filipino boxing star, defeated the aggressive Egyptian Aya Saeid Saber after getting full mount in third round and delivered the ground strikes accurately for the TKO. I was personally more impressed with newcomer Jujeath Nagaowa's completely dominant performance against India's Jeet Toshi. She was very aggressive, accurate, technical, she looked very comfortable and she didn't scramble as much as the other Asian female fighters I've seen. Toshi tried her best to look unfazed by the attacks she was absorbing but referee Oliver Coste had to step him and stop the fight in the final minute of round 2 as Nagaowa was hitting her too constantly and too easily.

Yuji Shimada continues to show inconsistent refereeing

In the previous event, referee Yuji Shimada stopped the fight between Boku and Arnaud Lepont immediately after the latter went down. This time, however, he allowed a fighter to get Ip Man-ed to the head for seconds before he finally decided to end the bout. It was a rematch between two former Legend FC fighters, Rob Lisita of Australia and Yusuke Kawanago of Japan, with the latter being the winner two years ago. This time Lisita managed to catch the Japanese with a left hook within seconds of the opening round, dropping him and firing machine-gun punches to the head until Shimada finally jumped in. Lisita actually went over to the referee to complain that he took too long to stop the fight. On this night, I felt that Shimada also allowed fighters to stay on the ground longer than he usually does, even for fighters who were in non-full mount position. If he doesn't stick with this the next time, it'd cement his inconsistency.

In the only bout without any Japanese or Filipino fighter involved, former UFC fighter from England, James McSweeney, ended Chris Lokteff's little streak with a knee early in the very first round. McSweeney connected with many kicks while Lokteff tried swinging his strong overhands but none landed cleanly. With Lokteff backed up against the cage, McSweeney launched a knee to Lokteff's chin, knocking the Australian out.

This event was initially planned to have 10 bouts but it seems that ONE FC is still unable to prevent any fight from being changed or removed at the very last minute. The bout between Mahmoud Salama and Aung La N Sang being postponed due to the latter's visa issues.

ONE FC: Rise of Heroes - Full results


Main Card

Bantamweight title: Bibiano Fernandes def. Masakatsu Ueda | Unanimous Decision | 5 rounds
Lightweight: Eduard Folayang def. Kotetsu Boku | Unanimous Decision | 3 rounds
Flyweight: Rey Docyogen def. Joshua Alvarez | Unanimous Decision | 3 rounds
Featherweight: Rob Lisita def. Yusuke Kawanago | TKO (Strikes) | R1 0:28
Heavyweight: James McSweeney def. Chris Lokteff | KO (Knee) | R1 3:04
Middleweight: Leandro Ataides def. Tatsuya Mizuno | TKO (Strikes) | R1 0:47
Flyweight: Ana Julaton def. Aya Saeid Saber | TKO (Strikes) | R3 4:01

Undercard

Flyweight: Eugene Toquero def. Gianni Subba  | Unanimous Decision | 3 rounds
Atomweight: Jujeath Nagaowa def. Jeet Toshi | TKO (Strikes) | R2 1:07

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