ONE Championship: Masters of Fate Full Report

ONE Championship returned to Manila, Philippines on Friday, with “ONE Championship: Masters of Fate.” Headlining the card was Flyweight Champion Joshua Pacio defending his belt against Rene Catalan. The show was held within a ring, and had 13 bouts overall.

Bout 1: Rosham Mainam (3-1) vs. Khon Sichan (3-4) (135 lbs.) (MMA Bout)

Starting off the preliminary card was Indian fighter Rosham Mainam making his ONE debut against Khon Sichan. Mainam got a takedown a minute into the fight. He was dominant in top position, landing strikes and trying for submissions. After putting in an americano, Rosham Mainam got a quick victory to start the show.

Bout 2: Kim Kyu Sung (9-3) vs. Akihiro Fujisawa (5-2) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The next bout saw ONE Hero Series winner Akihiro Fujisawa face Kim Kyu Sung. Both fighters were trying to come back from losses. After a minute of striking, Kim landed an uppercut which dropped Fujisawa and ended the bout. The quick and flashy victory put Kim Kyu Sung to 1-1 in ONE. Akihiro Fujisawa extended his ONE losing streak to three in a row.

Bout 3: Kim Jae Woong (9-3) vs. Rafael Nunes (11-2) (155 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The next fight saw Kim Jae Woong make his ONE debut against Rafael Nunes, who attempted to bounce back from a loss. Both fighters had some good striking early on. Nunes tried for a single leg takedown in the second minute of the fight, and got pelted with punches on the way down. Nunes kept getting tagged in stand-up. Nunes tried again for a takedown by initiating a body lock but couldn’t get it. Nunes was on the back of Woong as the round ended.

The second round started with a close striking battle. Nunes got a takedown in the second minute of the round, but Kim ended up on top. They got back up with Nunes on Woong’s back. They went back to striking halfway through the round. Woong landed a good knee in the clinch. Woong avoided another takedown in the final minute. Woong had Nunes cornered in the end of the round and started to pick him apart.

Halfway through the first minute, Woong landed a body punch that hurt Nunes. Woong came in with knees to the head until the referee called an end to the bout.

Bout 4: Tukkatatong Petpayathai (242-33) vs. Hiroaki Suzuki (41-12 Kickboxing) (145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

The next preliminary bout saw experienced fighters Tukkatatong Petpayathai and Hiroaki Suzuki face off in a muay thai bout. They competed in MMA gloves. The first round saw lots of low kicks from both fighters. Suzuki was the quicker starter. Suzuki did a good job at catching kicks and using them as a counter. There was an especially good combination from Suzuki as the round ended, catching a kick and throwing hooks.

Suzuki continued to catch the kicks in the second round. Despite catching many kicks, damage started to show on the left side of Suzuki. Tukkatatong started to put together some solid punches in the second round.

The final round felt like it was mostly Tukkatatong coming forward and putting together strikes. With the fight going the distance, it needed scorecards to determine a winner. With a split decision, Tukkatatong Petpayathai got the victory.

Bout 5: Robin Catalan (8-6) vs. Gustavo Balart (8-3) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Switching back to MMA, Gustavo Balart faced Robin Catalan. Early on in the fight, Balart was landing good shots. Being the first Filippino on the card, Catalan had the crowd loud. Balart put on a body lock, slowing down Catalan’s offence. As billed by the commentators, this was a striking versus wrestling battle. Balart got a takedown with two minutes to go in the round.

When the second round started, Balart chased another takedown. He got one halfway through the round. In the closing minute of the round, Catalan threw a leg kick which collapsed Balart. After a devastating KO, Robin Catalan moved his ONE record to 5-4.

Bout 6: Han Zi Hao (61-16) vs. Kongsak (183-39-2) (145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

In the second-last muay thai fight of the evening, China’s Han Zi Hao faced Thailand’s Kongsak. The first round was a slow one, Kongsak catching a leg kick and countering with one of his own at one point.

Kongsak dictated the second round for the most part. The final round, like the ones before wasn’t a very fast-paced one. Heading to the scorecards, Kongsak got the victory via unanimous decision.

Bout 7: Yoshitaka Naito (14-3) vs. Pongsiri Misatit (10-3) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Finishing off the prelims was Yoshitaka Naito and Pongsiri Misatit in an MMA bout. Naito went for a single-leg takedown early on eventually getting it. They got back up, with it only taking a few more minutes before Naito brought it back to the ground. Misatit did not do much in the stand-up.

Similar to the first round, Naito got a takedown quickly. After being in top position on the ground for a few minutes, Naito tried for an armbar. Apart from a few moments, Naito had the whole round on the ground.

Misatit landed a leg kick early in the third round as Naito was getting up. We saw the first real striking battle between the two in the start of the third. Naito failed to score a single leg takedown. Misatit stuffed a takedown, landing knees to counter it. Naito tried for a heel hook. He was able to get in side control after Misatit escaped the heel hook. The fight ran out of time with Naito in top position landing strikes. The judges all favoured Yoshitaka Naito as the winner.

Bout 8: Paul Lumihi (7-3) vs. Li Kai Wen (9-4) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Starting off the main card, Paul Lumihi and Li Kai Wen battled. The fight started hectic, as Li Kai Wen came charging in with a Jorge Masvidal-like flying knee. After more striking, Wen landed a takedown and scored a knee strike. He tried for a guillotine choke, but Lumihi escaped and went back to stand-up. Wen kept coming forward with hard strikes. Wen charged forward with punches, eventually dropping Lumihi and getting a win. With a hard to follow and explosive performance, Li Kai Wen got his fourth stoppage victory in ONE in a row.

Bout 9: Stamp Fairtex (2-0) vs. Bi Nguyen (5-4) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the next fight, experienced muay thai fighter Stamp Fairtex fought in her third MMA fight against Bi Nguyen. Fairtex had a clear height advantage. Nguyen came forward with strikes early on, and got tossed by Fairtex. In a clinch, she landed knee strikes. After being in the clinch for a while, Fairtex landed a trip takedown. They got back up, but Fairtex stayed on Nguyen’s back. Nguyen caught a kick from Fairtex and backed her into the ropes. Fairtex had good combinations of punches throughout the round.

In the second round, Fairtex landed good knees in a clinch many times. Fairtex had a good flurry of strikes with a minute left in the second round. Both fighters showed a good pace, not slowing down their activity in the round. Fairtex danced as she headed to her corner at the end of the round.

The fight stayed as a striking battle in the third round, although the pace did slow down. Fairtex had some moments throughout the round still being the dominant striker. When going to the scorecards, all three judges favoured Stamp Fairtex as the winner. This was the first win for Fairtex in MMA that was no via stoppage.

Bout 10: Geje Eustaquio (12-8) vs. Toni Tauru (11-7) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the next fight, Finland’s Toni Tauru faced former ONE Bantamweight Champion Geje Eustaquio. Tauru had a significant height advantage. In the first minute of the fight, Tauru got a takedown, taking the back of Eustaquio. He searched for a rear naked choke, but never got his arm under the chin of Eustaquio. He escaped and took top position. With 20 seconds left in the round, both fighters were stood up due to inactivity.

The second round included more stand-up. Eustaquio was able to dip into the pocket and land strikes. He landed a great sweep after catching a kick. As expected, the crowd was behind Eustaquio.

Eustaquio was the more active striker much early in the third round. Halfway through the round, Eustaquio landed a spinning back kick which took down Tauru. The referee stepped in before Eustaquio had to do more damage.

Bout 11: Sangmanee Sathian Muaythai (180-26-5) vs. Azize Hlali (99-17-1)(145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

The final muay thai bout of the evening saw Azize Hlali face Sangmanee Sathian Muaythai. Both fighters were making their ONE debut. Hlali countered a body kick early, sweeping Sangmanee with a responding kick.

Sangmanee had a better second round, landing more kicks and knees in the clinch. Fighters were pretty tied up going into the final round.

Sangmanee landed a good trip in the first minute of the final round. The fight went all nine minutes, with Sangmee Sathian Muaythai taking the unanimous decision win.

Bout 12: Eduard Folayang (21-8) vs. Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu (5-1) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the co-main event of the evening, Eduard Folayang looked to come back from recent losses to Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez, facing 1-0 ONE fighter Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu. Both fighters started slow in the first round. Folayang had some good kicks in the first round.

At the start of the second round, the fighters went into a standing clinch after Tsogookhuu did a flying knee. Folayang got dropped halfway through the round, possibly colliding heads with Tsogookhuu. In top position, Tsogookhuu landed knees to the head. A doctor was brought in to check on Folayang’s cut. Since they passed the halfway point of the fight (by one second that is), they went to scorecards for a technical decision. Walking away with the victory was Eduard Folayang.

Bout 13: Joshua Pacio (17-3) vs. Rene Catalan (6-2) (ONE Strawweight Championship) (MMA Bout)

In the main event of the evening, ONE Strawweight (125 lbs) Champion Joshua Pacio put his championship on the line against fellow Filippino fighter Rene Catalan. The fight was scheduled for five rounds. Only a minute into the fight, Pacio got a takedown from a body lock. Catalan tried for a heel hook on the ground which Pacio eventually escaped. Pacio took top position on the ground, eventually switching into side control.

Pacio was the fighter marching forward with strikes at the start of the second round. Catalan tried for a takedown which Pacio stuffed. Pacio took top position on the ground in half guard. He looked for a head and arm choke. Catalan was in the head and arm choke for a while before finally tapping out. With a beautiful set up and head and arm choke, Joshua Pacio made his first defence of his championship reign.

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