Arnaud Lepont has been fighting in Asia since 2011, and with a combination of his fighting skills and flamboyant style, he has become one of the more recognizable faces in Asian MMA. After bouncing back from a 3-fight losing streak with a win against Suasday Chau, the Frenchman was away from MMA for almost 18 months prior to his return to the ONE Championship cage in Jakarta this September 27th.
“It as been a long year away from the Cage and a crazy hell of a ride. I left my former gym to take the lead of the MMA program in California Fitness and Yoga Centers, the leaders of Fitness sports in Asia and without a doubt in Vietnam. I work now on a major project that will be Press Released in the next weeks.
I spent my year sharpening my skills in stand up but especially on the ground. My hands are stronger and faster, and my ground is in another dimension. I won the Pan Asian Brown belt Master and Absolute division this year. Now I can’t wait to get back to my original love for MMA fights.” – Arnaud Lepont
Being on the sidelines for over a year after a convincing win surely brought a lot of dissatisfaction to any professional fighter, but in true “The Game” style, the Frenchman didn’t pull any punches on his last interview with MMA Latest, and neither did he this time around.
“Nothing really changed. My relationship with ONE Championship is very complicated. Basically, I am very very low paid to compete for someone with an 11-4 record and a gifted entertainer/tickets seller. I tried to get fights outside of the ONE Championship network, but it has always been denied. I still think I don’t have neither the respect or the exposure that I deserve. I might just consider giving up after that fight [with Chau]”
Come September 27th, he will face a Tatsujin Dojo product Vincent Latoel, and the Frenchman is confident that he will come out victorious against the Dutchman.
“I think I have the edge everywhere the fight goes, I am stronger, more aggressive, better cardio, my ground is top notch and I want to go there and make a statement. Style makes fight….and I will be a poison for him….. there is no way this fight go to the limit. I will finish him in two rounds.” he exclaimed.
Arnaud Lepont will face Vincent Latoel on One Championship – Odyssey of Champions on 27th September in Istora Senaya, Jakarta, Indonesia.
RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2017: 1st Round Results
The first day of RIZIN FF action is in the books after a action packed yet bizarre night/morning of fights. We now have the semi finalists of the bantamweight GP which will take place on the stacked New Years Eve card. The card displayed plenty of Japanese MMA talent, 3 of which are in the semi finals of the bantamweight GP. The undercard featured plenty of close fights including upsets over Reina Miura and Anthony Birchak. The full results are as follows:
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Gabriel Oliveira via TKO (punches) – Round 1 – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)
Manel Kape def. Ian McCall via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1 – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Kevin Petshi via knockout (punch) – Round 1 – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
Takafumi Otsuka def. Khalid Taha via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3 – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
Jiri Prochazka def. Karl Albrektsson via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Cindy Dandois def. Reina Miura via split decision
Jae Hoon Moon def. Anthony Birchak via split decision – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal reserve bout
Kai Asakura def. Kizaemon Saiga via TKO (punches, knee) – Round 2
Kana Watanabe def. Shizuka Sugiyama via unanimous decision
Kiichi Kunimoto def. Satoru Kitaoka via unanimous decision
Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship
28 Years Old, Zhang Weili(16-1) from China has challenged Strawweight champion Angela Lee for her strap in One Championship according to a source close to the Chinese fighter. Zhang who is the champion and fighting for Chinese based promotion Kunlun FC is currently negotiating on a one fight deal to face Angela. According to the source, they would like to determine who is the best women fighter in Asia in a one-off match and would have no problems to fight under the One Championship banner.
Since her pro debut loss in 2013, Zhang has racked up 16 wins in 3 years with a total of 15 finishes. She is the number #6 ranked women strawweight in the World according to Fightmatrix.com, just behind Rose Namajunas who will be facing UFC champion and number #1 ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title next month. Angela, on the other hand, is 9 rungs below Zhang at number 15.
While ONE was very eager to have a cross-promotion fight between Angela Lee and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to determine who has the better strawweight, they seem less eager to have a Kunlun FC champion on board for a one fight deal. The source states that ONE would need for Zhang to sign a 2-year exclusive contract first before discussing further for a fight with Angela.
If the source is accurate, ONE seems to be covering their bases this time and would not like for their champion to lose the belt to another promotion without securing Zhang on an exclusive contract. Kunlun, on the other hand, would also not want to lose their best fighter to another Asian promotion. Zhang would be a huge asset to ONE for their expansion in China but it would be tough for them to pry off the Chinese fighter as the source states that Zhang is being paid handsomely on Kunlun FC.
While things are looking bleak for a match between Angela Lee and Zhang Weili to happen in the ONE Championship cage, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they could witness a fight between two of the best women Strawweights in Asia.
Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship
After speculations on who Martin Nguyen’s next opponent when he signed a fight contract, ONE Championship have confirmed that Martin Nguyen is set to challenge Eduard Folayang’s lightweight title in Manila on ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD on 10 November.
The fight is the latest in a series of cross-division fights announced after Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren and Aung La NSang vs Alain Ngalani, but this will be the first time the reigning ONE Championship titleholders from two weight divisions will clash.
Nguyen’s coach, Fari Salievski, did tease on the idea of Nguyen fighting for the title in different weight divisions , but he teased on a bantamweight division since Martin was underweight for his featherweight title fight against Marat Gafurov.
Despite being on the lighter side of a featherweight division, the new champion decided to challenge the title against a fighter a weight class above him, and opens the possibility of the first fighter in ONE Championship to challenge the title in 3 weight divisions.
“I’m not out only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner” – Martin Nguyen
ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD will be held in Malls of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November 2017
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