With all 3 fights under ONE Championship held against hometown fighters, fighting against hometown heroes is no strange matter for Indonesian-based American Casey Suire. However, on the 27 September, Suire will fight with the crowd cheering for him for the first time in his international career.
“The fight card on September 27 is one of the best I’ve seen put together by ONE Championship, and I’m a super excited to be able to fight in Jakarta in front of the many friends that I have made here in my home away from home over the past 5 years. I’ve kind of been portrayed as the enemy in my first three ONE Championship fights, so it will be nice to feed off the energy of the crowd this time,” Suire said.
The road hasn’t always been smooth for the -year old Louisianan. In April this year, he was defeated for the first time in his professional career fighting against Mark Striegl.
“The fight against Striegl was a setback, but sometimes we need experience failure to enable ourselves to achieve real growth. Simply stated, I hate to lose and the bitter taste of my last fight is enough to remind me that I need to work harder in every aspect of the fight if I want to be successful.”
His loss 5 months ago and fighting on home ground does not grant him an easy fight either. Suire will face a highly heralded Tajik prospect Muin Gafurov, who is 5-0 and submits all of his past opponents within the first round and will be making his debut in ONE Championship.
“There is no point in accepting easy fights at this stage of my career, especially if I want to make noise in the division. Padding a career on meat fights will not force you to improve, or earn you any respect along the way and I would love to be able to look back and be proud of my career regardless of my final record. Muin is 5-0 or 7-0, and on a tear right now. He is a great young fighter with a similar style to Striegl, so I’m getting a second shot at implementing my game-plan that I failed to in my last outing, so it was an easy decision to take the fight.
[But] every fight camp is approached in the same manner, with a goal to improve in every possible area to allow me the best chance of success. I’m working with the fight team at Bali MMA for a second time, and I have a much better understanding of the team and what it takes to accomplish my goals. I do feel a sense of urgency to get back on the winning track, but that internal pressure gives me the extra push in everything I do to prepare for Muin. I look forward to the opportunity to pay it forward and take his “0” away.”
Casey Suire will face Muin Gafurov 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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