Joshua Pacio Retains ONE Strawweight Championship With Split Decision Victory

Joshua Pacio made the second defence of his ONE Strawweight Championship (125 lbs) on Saturday, defeating Alex Silva via split decision after five rounds of competition. The fight main evented “ONE Championship: Fire & Fury,” which took place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

The fight was focused heavily on the ground game, as Silva was constantly trying for takedowns throughout the fight.

Pacio was in trouble during the second round, having to escape a head and arm choke, and a following heel hook.

Pacio became two-time champion in April, stopping Yosuke Saruta with a fourth-round knee, avenging a previous loss. The first defense of this reign came against Rene Catalan in November, stopping him with an arm triangle within two rounds.

Silva came into the fight on a two-fight winning streak. He has fought 13 times in ONE, making his promotional debut in 2012.

In the co-main event of the evening, Pieter Buist got a split decision victory over Filipino veteran Eduard Folayang.

ONE Championship returns on Friday with “ONE Championship: Warrior’s Code” on February 7th. Headlining the card is a Featherweight Muay Thai Championship bout between Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy and Jama Yusupov. The show will take place at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Read the full report for ONE Championship: Fire & Fury.

ONE Championship: Fire & Fury Live Coverage

ONE Championship returns to Manila, Philippines on Friday for “Fire & Fury.” Headlining the card, the promotion’s Strawweight World Champion (125 lbs) Joshua Pacio will attempt to defend his belt against Alex Silva. Also featured on the card is notable ONE talent like Eduard Folayang, Danny Kingad and more.

Follow along with the blog throughout the morning as live results roll in from the show. The six-fight “Lead Card” for the show starts at 5AM EST, with the “Main Card” beginning at 7:30AM EST. From the Mall of Asia Arena, it’s ONE Championship.

Quick Results:

Lead Card (5:00 AM EST)

Bout 1: Jomary Torres vs. Jenny Huang via No Contest (Torres Groin Injury)

Bout 2: Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Chris Shaw via Unanimous Decision (Muay Thai Bout)

Bout 3: Gina Iniong def. Asha Roka via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 4: Lito Adiwang def. Pongsiri Mitsatit via Submission, Kimura (RD 1, 3:02)

Bout 5: Anne Line Hogstad def. Alma Juniku via Decision, Majority  (Muay Thai Bout)

Bout 6: Tatsumitsu Wada def. Ivanildo Delfino via Unanimous Decision

Main Card (7:30 AM EST)

Bout 7: Shoko Sato def. Kwon Won Il via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 4:05)

Bout 8: Petchdam Petchyindee Academy def. Momotaro via Decision, Majority

Bout 9: Danny Kingad (13-2) def. Xie Wei via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 10: Pieter Buist def. Eduard Folayang via Decision, Split

Bout 11: Joshua Pacio def. Alex Silva via Decision, Split (ONE MMA Strawweight Championship)

Live Coverage:

Bout 1: Jomary Torres (4-4) vs. Jenny Huang (5-5) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the first fight of the evening, Jomary Torres fought Jenny Huang. Both fighters were on a multiple-fight losing streak heading into this fight. A leg kick was caught by Torres at the start, throwing punches while keeping ahold of the leg. After trading punches, they went into a clinch against the cage. Injury time came as Torres was hit in the groin in the clinch. After a few minutes of a break, the fight resumed. Although the clinch was caused the strike, they resumed in stand-up. Huang tried for a judo throw in the clinch but couldn’t get it. In the clinch again, Torres was kneed in the groin again, causing another pause. Huang was awarded a yellow card, deducing 10 percent of her purse. The fight was then waved off and ruled a no contest.

Bout 2: Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym vs. Chris Shaw (145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

In the first of three Muay Thai bouts in the evening, Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym fought Chris Shaw. Worth noting that ONE Championship Muay Thai fights are done in their MMA gloves. Rodlek walked out with a gladiator mask and cape. Shaw’s height advantage in the fight was visible. Lots of leg kicks were landed by both fighters in the first minute. Rodlek caught a few kicks in the round, always answering back with a punch.

Rodlek was coming forward and being more active at the start of the second round. In a clinch, Shaw threw Rodlek to the ground. Shaw kept trying to land an elbow to the head but never connected with it, it seemed. Shaw had a small cut on his nose.

Early in the final round, it looked like a cut was open on Rodlek’s head. Maybe one of those elbows connected. Rodlek had a good start to the round, although it became a more back-and-forth exchange as the round moved on. Shaw was swept in the second minute. While in a clinch against the cage, Rodlek waved at the crowd to get them to cheer. In the final minute, Rodlek landed a left-and-right hook combination that dropped Shaw. Rodlek didn’t do much more before the fight ran out of time. After securing a 10-8 round in the final moments, Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym walked away with a safe unanimous decision win.

Bout 3: Gina Iniong (8-4) vs. Asha Roka (4-1) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the next fight, 115-pound fighters Gina Iniong fought Asha Roka in an MMA bout. Roka’s last fight was a loss to against ONE’s star Stamp Fairtex. Iniong shot for a takedown right off the bat, getting it after a little resistance. Iniong went from half guard into side control. She went back into half guard as Roka wrapped one of Iniong’s legs between hers. Iniong landed lots of punches to the body. Iniong went into full guard. Iniong stood up, then went back to the ground in half guard. Iniong continued to throw strikes from her position. The round ended on the ground after Iniong stood up for a short moment.

Iniong got her second takedown a minute into the next round. Roka was able to escape bottom position, taking side control. Iniong flipped the position, putting Roka back on her back. Iniong put in a guillotine choke with a minute left in the round. Roka tried to punch her way out, but endured the choke until the round ended.

In the final round, they went into the clinch as Iniong wanted the fight to go back to the ground. She got a trip takedown in the second minute. They stayed on the ground until the final minute, where the referee stood them up due to inactivity. Roka landed some good punches as the fight ended, although she didn’t do anything substantial. The fight went all three rounds, with Gina Iniong getting the unanimous decision victory.

Bout 4: Lito Adiwang (10-2) vs. Pongsiri Mitsatit (10-4) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Lito Adiwang, who is on a six-fight winning streak next fought Pongsiri Mitsatit, who has lost four of his last five. Adiwang charged forward with punches in the first minute, dropping Mitsatit. He continued with ground and pound, although Mitsatit was able to get back up and recover. Adiwang got a takedown in the second minute, trying for a choke although Mitsatit got up again, this time holding Adiwang from behind. They went back to the ground. Adiwang was still being held, although he was trying for a kimura. He went into a side control where he continued trying for the kimura, eventually making Mitsatit tap out. Lito Adiwang extended his winning streak to seven,  being the fifth of those five wins via stoppage.

Bout 5: Alma Juniku vs. Anne Line Hogstad (115 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Switching back to Muay Thai, the next fight was between Alma Juniku and Anne Line Hogstad. Juniku’s first fight in ONE was a Muay Thai loss to Stamp Fairtex. In the first round, Juniku caught a leg and ran Hogstad into the cage. The referee warned her that she can only hold the leg for a second. With under a minute left in the round, the referee told them to be more active.

Juniku took Hogstad down at the start of the second round by catching a leg again. Hogstad landed a good punch combination. Juniku caught a leg and swept Hogstad because of it. A pause came as the referee deemed this the third time that Juniku didn’t follow the rules for leg holding. Juniku was given a yellow card, which took away 10 percent of her fight purse. They resumed for the final few seconds of the round. 

Both fighters had maybe their best striking exchange at the start of the final round. The fight survived all three rounds, needing scorecards to decide who won. When looking at the scores, it was a majority decision that went in favour of Anne Line Hogstad.

Bout 6: Tatsumitsu Wada (21-11-2) vs. Ivanildo Delfino (8-0) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The preliminary card wrapped up with Tatsumitsu Wada facing the undefeated Ivanildo Delfino. Wada’s last fight was a loss to Demetrious Johnson in August. This was Delfino’s ONE debut. The fighters went into a clinch in the first minute after Delfino caught a kick. Wada got a takedown from the clinch. With two minutes left in the round, Wada landed elbows to Delfino. Wada stood up, raining punches down to Delfino. Wada stayed in top position, throwing punches and elbows until the first round ended.

Wada landed a solid right hook in the first minute of the second round. He came in and went into a clinch with Delfino against the cage. They stayed in the clinch for many minutes, both landing strikes. Wada got a takedown in the final minute of the round. Wada did ground and pound for the final minute.

The final round opened with Wada getting another takedown, although they stood up in a clinch before much was done. They went back to the ground, where Wada was on top in side control. The rest of the round felt like a replay of the first, as Wada stayed in control and kept with striking from the top. Going to a decision, there was no doubt that Tatsumitsu Wada would prevail on all three scorecards.

Bout 7: Kwon Won Il (8-2) vs. Shoko Sato (34-16-3) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The main card started with the very experienced Shoko Sato facing knockout artist Kwon Won Il. Il was showing some strong punches early in the fight. Sato put them into a clinch, backing Il up against the cage. They separated, with Sato trying for a takedown a minute later. Sato was wrapped around Il’s right leg against the cage. He failed to get the fight to the ground this time, as they returned to striking. Sato tried again for a takedown with two minutes left in the round. He got it to the ground with just over a minute left. Sato got on Il’s back, putting in a rear naked choke. The choke was fully put on, making Il tap out within seconds. While it took a while for Shoko Sato to get the fight to the ground, once he did, this fight was over.

Bout 8: Petchdam Petchyindee Academy vs. Momotaro (135 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

In the final Muay Thai bout of the evening, Petchdam Petchyindee Academy fought Momotaro. Like the other two Muay Thai fights earlier on the card, it was fought with the promotion’s MMA gloves. The fighters had fast leg kicks at the start. Momotaro came forward with punches in the first minute, dumping Petchdam at the end of the clinch. Momotaro caught a knee to the body, throwing Petchdam down. The referee warned him for that throw. In the final seconds of the round, Petchdam landed a hard elbow in the clinch. Petchdam danced while heading to his corner at the end of the round.

Momotaro opened the second round by dumping Petchdam to the ground. While it didn’t connect clean, Momotaro threw the rare axe kick to the head. This was a really good round for Momotaro, who landed lots of punches and came off as confident. Petchdam had a good combo of punches as the round ended.

Petchdam landed good knees in a clinch in the third round, and followed up with a kick to the body. The final round was a close one. The fight went to the scorecards. Both fighters were very respectful to each other after the fight. A majority decision went in favour of Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.

Bout 9: Danny Kingad (13-2) vs. Xie Wei (5-2) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

The first of three headlining fights featuring a Filippino fighter was Danny Kingad facing Xie Wei. Wei was making his ONE Championship debut after winning five-straight on the ONE Warrior and Hero Series. Kingad landed a loud left hook early in the fight. Xie caught a leg kick, connecting with punches because of it. Xie got a takedown, trying for a guillotine as Kingad picked him up and slammed him. Kingad had half guard on top. Xie was able to get up with two minutes to go in the round.

Xie landed a hook at the start of the second round which shook Kingad. They went into a clinch in the second minute. Xie did shoulder strikes in the clinch. Xie tried to throw Kingad down for a takedown, although Kingad got back up in the clinch a second after. They went back to striking with two minutes left.

Kingad shot for a takedown in the first minute of the final round. Xie stuffed it, landing knees to the head in the process. Xie got the fight to the ground, catching a kick and throwing punches which tripped Kingad. The referee stepped in and ended the ground game as Xie headbutted Kingad once. When they resumed, they went into a clinch against the cage. Xie threw another shoulder strike. Xie got a takedown and tried for a rear naked choke, although Kingad escaped and got back to his feet. They went back to the clinch. Xie stuffed another takedown in the final minute. Another timeout happened in the final minute as Xie kneed Kingad in the back of the head. They resumed in stand-up, in a clinch as the fight concluded. Consulting the judges, all three were in agreement that Danny Kingad won.

Bout 10: Eduard Folayang (22-8) vs. Pieter Buist (16-4) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Before the next fight, Brandon “The Truth” Vero announced he will return on May 29th to defend his ONE Heavyweight Championship in the Philippines. In the co-main event of the evening, Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang challenged Pieter Buist. While Folayang entered the cage with more experience, Buist was riding a seven-fight winning streak heading into the fight. Buist was kicked in the groin, causing a pause in the second minute. When they resumed, Folayang went into a clinch after Buist landed some strikes. Buist tried for a standing guillotine from the clinch. Folayang got a takedown, escaping the choke in the process. Buist got up, and was caught in a guillotine choke in the process. They went back to the ground, where Buist was able to scramble out of the choke. They got up again, with Folayang still holding onto Buist. They returned to striking for the final seconds of the round.

After 30 seconds of striking at the start of the second round, they went into a clinch again. During that striking, Buist landed a good right hook. Buist slipped and fell in the second minute, allowing Folayang to get top position on the ground. Buist tried for a triangle choke on the ground. He switched to an armbar attempt which Folayang got out of. Folayang went into half guard. Not much more happened on the ground until the round ended.

Buist landed a head kick in the first minute of the final round which hurt Folayang. Buist tried for a standing guillotine, but Folayang escaped and went into a clinch. When they returned to striking, it was much slower paced as they were quite tired. Folayang caught a leg kick in the final minute, landing a takedown from it. The fight went all three rounds. The judges had a split decision, with two of the three judges giving the win to Pieter Buist. A great performance for Buist, who took the fight on two-weeks notice.

Bout 11: Joshua Pacio (18-3) vs. Alex Silva (9-4) (125 lbs) (ONE MMA Strawweight Championship)


Finally, the main event of the evening saw Filipino fighter Joshua Pacio attempt to defend his ONE Strawweight Championship against Alex Silva. Silva landed a punch at the start, then clinched up and pulled guard. Pacio got up and made the fight go back to the feet. They clinched up again in the second minute. While Silva was the one trying to get the fight to the ground, Pacio ended up in top position. Pacio eventually got up, forcing the fight to go back to the feet again. Pacio landed a spinning back kick to Silva’s body. Pacio caught a leg kick in the final minute, bringing Silva to the ground. Silva stood up after Pacio did not seem interesting in going down. Silva shot for a takedown but got caught in a guillotine choke on the way down. He escaped, trying for a heel hook before they stood up again.

Silva caught a leg kick at the start of the second round, going to the ground again. While Pacio was in top position at the start, Silva scrambled into top position. Pacio threatened a guillotine choke many times. They got up and went back down with Pacio in top position, although stood up shortly after. Silva got another takedown with two minutes left in the round. Silva put in a head and arm choke from top position. Pacio eventually escaped the choke. Pacio almost got trapped in a heel hook as the round ended.

The third round started slow after two very active rounds. Silva was denied a takedown attempt many times in a row. When he finally got to the ground, he was in bottom position. They went back to stand-up shortly after. Silva got another takedown denied. Silva got top position on the ground in the final minute, although they didn’t do much.

In the fourth round, Silva pulled guard again. They stood up with just under half of the round left. Silva hit a head kick. A few moments later he also landed a good overhand left. Pacio’s jabs were powerful. Silva got a takedown with over a minute left in the round. Pacio scrabled into top position in north-south, and then half guard.

The fighters hugged to start the fifth and final round. Pacio landed a flying knee which rocked Silva. Silva got a takedown to stop the momentum. They got up again in a clinch. Pacio dumped Silva to the ground, then waited for the referee to stand him up. With two minutes to go, Silva got a single leg takedown. Silva stayed in top position until the round ended. Going all 25 minutes, scorecards we needed to see if Pacio would keep his belt. When going to decision, the fight was a split decision. Two of the three judges saw the winner as Joshua Pacio, making it the second defence of his championship.

Watch ONE Championship: Fire & Fury Weigh-Ins & Hydration Tests

On Friday, ONE Championship will return to the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines for “ONE Championship: Fire & Fury.” Headlining the card is Joshua Pacio attempting to defend his ONE Strawweight World Championship (125 lbs) against Alex Silva.

Before that, however, Pacio, Silva and the 20 other fighters on the card have to weigh-in and take their hydration test. The process will be broadcasted live on Youtube on Thursday at midnight EST. Watch in the link down below. Results from the weigh-ins will be posted below:

Fights confirmed (made weight and passed hydration test):

Bout 11: Joshua Pacio (18-3) vs. Alex Silva (9-4) (ONE Strawweight Championship) (MMA Bout)

Bout 10: Eduard Folayang (22-8) vs. Pieter Buist (16-4) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 9: Danny Kingad (13-2) vs. Xie Wei (5-2) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 8: Petchdam vs. Momotaro (135 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Bout 6: Kwon Won Il (8-2) vs. Shoko Sato (34-16-3) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 4: Lita Adiwang (10-2) vs. Pongsiri Mitsatit (10-4) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 3: Gina Iniong (8-4) vs. Asha Roka (4-1) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 2: Rodlek Jaotalaytong vs. Chris Shaw (145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Bout 1: Jomary Torres (4-4) vs. Jenny Huang (5-5) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Fights awaiting retest (cut-off time is 4PM PHT).

Bout 6: Tatsumitsu Wada (21-11-2) (Passed) vs. Ivanildo Delfino (8-0) (Failed) (135 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 5: Alma Juniku (Failed) vs. Anne Hogstad (Passed) (115 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

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.

ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes Full Report

On Friday morning, ONE Championship hosted one of it’s bigger cards of the year. Besides it’s two championship bouts, the card also featured former UFC fighters Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson in their second ONE Championship fights. Since the card took place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, the show also had its fair share of Filippino fighters. Let’s look at the stacked 14 fight card, beginning with the prelims.

Bout 1: Sunoto vs. Muhammad Aiman (Bantamweight)

Starting off the evening in Manila was a MMA bout between Sunoto and Muhammad Aiman. Aiman had the youth advantage, being a whole decade younger than Sunoto. The first two minutes had evenly matched striking. Sunoto got a takedown in the third minute. Aiman was able to stand up and take it back to striking. Throughout the bout it was Aiman who was frequently coming forward. With two minutes left in the second round, the referee asked them for more action. Aiman landed a good overhand right shortly after. Sunoto got a takedown stuffed. Aiman tried for a guillotine in the final round. The fight went all three rounds with Aiman having a good finish, putting Sunoto in a corner and landing punches. Muhammad Aiman got the unanimous decision victory.

Bout 2: Ayaka Miura vs. Samara Santos (Strawweight)

In the next bout we had Japan’s Ayaka Miura face Brazil’s Samara Santos. Miura swarmed Santos right off the bat and scored a takedown. Miura landed knees to the head from top position while in the hold. Miura was in the hold for a few minutes, only escaping in the closing seconds of the round. Miura did the same thing at the start of the second round, getting another takedown. She put in an americana from side position, which gave her the win. 

Bout 3: Miao Li Tao vs. Pongsiri Misatit (Catchweight 125 lbs)

In a catchweight bout, Miao Li Tao fought Pongsiri Misatit. Misatit comes from the Tiger Muay Thai gym. Tao landed a takedown in the first minute, eventually going into top position and throwing elbows and punches. He took Misatit’s back and tried for a rear naked choke. At the start of the second round, Tao threw Misatit to the ground. Tao stayed dominant until there was a minute and half to go, where Misatit got up. He was able to take Tao’s back for a few moments before he lost it. As the round as concluding, Tao put in a rear naked choke but couldn’t hold it for long enough. By the time the third round came around it was obvious that Tao was in complete control. It was easily his best round. The fight went it’s allotted time, with all three judges giving the fight to Miao Li Tao.

Bout 4: Xie Bin vs. Edward Kelly (Featherweight)

The next fight had the first Filippino fighter on the card. Of course he got a warm welcome from the crowd. Both fighters landed some hard shots early on. Bin landed a takedown in the first minute. They stood up in clinch up against a corner. Exiting clinch, Bin landed a clean right cross punch. Bin scored another takedown over halfway through the round. He tried for a d’arce choke which looked pretty secure. Kelly stayed in this position for a long time before Bin let it go. Kelly took top position, postured up and landed some strikes. He stood up and dove down onto Bin with more strikes. In the first minute of the second round, Bin caught a kick and turned it into a takedown. He was in control for the minute that they were on the ground. Halfway through the round he scored a trip takedown. In top position, Bin focused more on punches this time. The referee stepped in due to punches to the back of the head. He was given the designated five minutes for injury time. The fight ended during the break, with the judges deciding who won the bout. With Edward Kelly out of the ring, it was announced that all three judges gave it to Xie Bin.

Bout 5: Yushin Okami vs. James Nakashima (Welterweight)

The fifth preliminary bout included Yushin Okami from Japan and James Nakashima from the United States. Nakashima, who trains in the MMA Lab, was putting his undefeated streak of 11 wins on the line. Okami tried for a single leg takedown early on, getting Nakashima to the ground for maybe a second. He held Nakashima’s torso from behind until Nakashima spun around and grabbed his neck. Nakashima went to the ground in an attempt for a guillotine choke. Still trying for the choke, Nakashima transitioned from being on his back into top position. Nakashima let the hold go eventually. The first rounded ended with both fighters in a standing clinch. In the second round, Okami had a takedown blocked quickly. Nakashima landed a right jab which dropped Okami. He landed a few more shots from top position, but Okami recovered and stopped the flurry. Nakashima had many more takedowns stopped in the third round. The fight went the distance with all three judges giving it to James Nakashima. He seemed injured afterwards, having trouble walking around. 

Bout 6: Daichi Takenaka vs. Leandro Issa (Bantamweight)

In the second bantamweight bout of the night, Daichi Takenaka fought Leandro Issa. Takenaka demonstrated good striking from the start, stringing together fast combinations. Issa caught Takenaka, but Takenaka was the one who got the better of a takedown. While on the ground, a cut on Issa’s forehead became visible. Issa was able to take top position in a half guard after Takenaka was on his back for a while. During the stand-up trading in the second round, Issa landed a powerful overhand right, although it didn’t seem to both Takenaka. What seemed like another cut was opened on Issa’s face. While Issa was responding with strikes of his own, Takenaka had a higher volume of punches. With a minute left in the round, Takenaka tried for a guillotine. The stream cut out before round three started, with it coming back when Daichi Takenaka was announced as the winner via TKO. I guess that’s one of the downsides of covering an event online instead of in person.

Bout 7: Dae Sung Park vs. Honorio Banario (Lightweight)

Dae Sung Park was on the non-favoured end of the pro-Phillipines crowd, with Honorio Banario having the crowd on his side. Both fighters were in a clinch at the start, but the referee split them due to inactivity. The split seemingly favoured Park, as he exploded with punches and kicks, dropping Banario. In the closing seconds of the first, Banario landed a couple of punches that shook Park, and then got a takedown. The second round was a break for both fighters, with no takedowns or hard shots. Park landed a good body kick halfway through the final round. Park threw down Banario for a takedown in the closing seconds of the fight. 

Bout 8: Yuya Wakamatsu (10-4) vs. Geje Esta (Flyweight World Grand Prix Reserve Bout)

In the final preliminary bout we had the reserve bout for the flyweight grand prix. While still in the feeling out process of the fight, Yuya Wakamatsu landed a two-punch combo which dropped Geje Esta and ended the bout. The win was a good bounce back from his loss against Demetrious Johnson back in March.

Bout 9: Andrew Miller vs. Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym (Muay Thai) (Bantamweight)

After ONE did the introduction of all main card fighters, we had our first muay thai bout of the evening. Worth noting that the muay thai bouts on this card were done with MMA gloves. While both fighters threw punches in the first round, it felt like Rodlek threw the harder punches. Miller slipped in the final seconds of the round. Rodlek had another good round. In the final round, Rodlek landed a right cross which dropped Miller. He got up, although the referee had seen enough and ended it.

Bout 10: Reece McLaren vs. Danny Kingad (Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-Final)

We got the first of two semi-final Flyweight GP fights next. Reece McLaren fought Danny Kingad. McLaren got a takedown in the first minute of the bout. Kingad tried for an armbar but lost it immediately. The crowd erupted when he almost put in the move. McLaren was on Kingad’s back for a long time, but then Kingad took top position as the round was ending. It was overwhelming how loud the crowd was cheering. McLaren took the fight back to the ground in the second round after Kingad missed a kick. When they went back to stand-up, Kingad threw good strikes. McLaren scored another takedown and kept in control for the second half of the round. At the start of the final round, Kingad was able to reverse a takedown. When they stood back up, he defended a take as well. McLaren stopped Kingad’s momentum with a takedown. Kingad had lots of ground control in the second half of the round. He had a strong round. In a split decision, Danny Kingad walked away with a victory. I doubt that score would be the same in a 10 point must system fight.

Bout 11: Demetrious Johnson vs. Tatsumitsu Wada (Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-Final)

To see who would face Danny Kingad in the finals, Demetrious Johnson battled Tatsumitsu Wada. During the fight, Wada looked way bigger than Johnson. In the first round, both fighters battled in the clinch for a minute or so before Wada took Johnson’s back and landed on the canvas. Johnson flipped himself around for a moment, until Wada brought him back to the position before. While he didn’t do much, Wada was in control for most of the first round. A large amount of the second round was contested in a standing clinch. Both fighters threw knees to the mid-section and legs during the clinch. Johnson eventually got a double leg takedown. He was in top position for the rest of the round. In the first minute of the third round, Johnson caught a leg and got a single leg takedown. Wada was hit with an elbow on the ground which cut him open. The referee stopped halfway through the round for the cut to be checked on. The fight resumed, with Wada getting up from the ground with a minute left in the fight. With 20 seconds left in the fight, Wada took Johnson’s back. Just like the other semi-final fight, the bout went all three rounds. While it was a challenging bout for Demetrious Johnson, he won the fight via unanimous decision.

Bout 12: Eduard Folayang vs. Eddie Alvarez (Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-Final)

Another familiar face for people who don’t frequent ONE was in the next fight. In his second ONE Championship fight, Eddie Alvarez fought Eduard Folayang in the semi-finals of the lightweight GP. Folayang was throwing explosive kicks throughout. Alvarez seemingly got dropped by a leg kick. Folayang did ground and pound, attempting to close out the fight, but Alvarez was able to take top position. Folayang gave up his back and was put in a rear naked choke which ended the bout. In what could have been another tragic stoppage for Alvarez, he was able to out-wrestle Folayang to win.

Bout 13: Jonathan Haggerty vs. Rodtang Jitmuangnon (ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship)

The co-main event of the evening was a muay thai bout for the promotion’s flyweight muay thai championship. Jonathan Haggerty attempted to defend his belt. It was schedule for five rounds of three minutes. Haggerty did a good job of utilizing push kicks in the first round. In the second round Rodtang landed an elbow after the referee shouted to stop a break. Rodtang woke up in the third round, letting his fists go a little more. This was a really exciting round to watch. Rodtang was obviously confident in his third-round performance, jumping on the ropes and egging on the crowd when the round ended. Rodtang’s performance peaked in the fourth round when he scored a knockdown via punches. The fight went all five rounds. By unanimous decision, Rodtang Jitmuangnon was crowned the new ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion.

Bout 14: Martin Nguyen (12-3) vs. Koyomi Matsushima (11-3) (ONE Lightweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Martin Nguyen attempted to defend his ONE Lightweight Championship against Koyomi Matsushima. After some quiet stand-up, Matsushima scored a takedown. Many more times Matsushima would score takedowns and out-wrestle Nguyen. In an attempt to defend, Nguyen would put some of his body outside of the ring, which Matsushima was fed up with by the time the round was ending. In the final moments of the first round Nguyen landed a knee exiting a takedown attempt by Matsushima. Early in the second round Nguyen was able to stuff a takedown. Nguyen kept it in stand-up in the second and started to lay down hard strikes. Matsushima was getting pelted with punches on the ground until the referee stepped in and ended the bout.