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Herbert Burns and Fransino Tirta fought to a draw on IBC “Unlocked” in Jakarta

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Fransino Tirta may have been an underdog against the No-gi BJJ World Champion, Herbert Burns on IBC Unlocked Superfight, but that does not deter the local hero in any way. After a short feeling out process, Burns fires off the first offense with a double leg takedown which Tirta promptly stuffed, then switched to pulling guard and attempt to control Tirta from the bottom. Undeterred, Tirta countered with leg lock attempts each time Burns attempted to pull guard, all of which the Brazilian quickly escaped.

Toward the second half of the submission only match, Burns began to show his dominance, starting with a jumping guard pull while simultaneously sweeping Tirta to obtain mount to threaten the Indonesian with a series of submissions from mount while preventing Tirta from regaining top position. Tirta eventually got back on his feet on the closing stages, only to be taken down at the end of the round and ended the match in a draw.

On the main event, Hardian Kristiady, who was promoted to brown belt days prior to the fight, managed to defeat Allen Salomon Chong with Kimura. As many had expected, Kristiady started off from the bottom, which Chong gladly obliged. After a brief moment of stalemate, Chong managed to pass Kristiady’s guard after a failed leglock attempt, only to fall for a Kimura attempt and tapped the Malaysian before the round’s end.

The 17-fight event also featured Keanu Subba who filled in as a last-minute replacement for the injured brother and ONE Championship fighter Gianni Subba against SEAGC and Taiwan BJJ Challenge gold medalist Shinya Kakita. The younger Subba managed to hold off Kakita’s onslaught of takedown and submission attempts and forced a draw from the purple belt.

Finally, the match of the event goes to the showdown between 2 submission grappling standouts Randolf Immanuel and Riko Suci Alam. Suci Alam, a long time player in the Indonesian grappling scene, attacked Immanuel from the top, constantly pressuring with strong guard passes and submission attempts, while Immanuel made a full use of his flexibility and made every position, even top of mount, to be a dangerous position for his opponent. Both players exchanged various submission attempts from start to finish, even Suci Alam slapped in a tight triangle choke seconds before the bell rang and forced an overtime until Immanuel completed his escape and ended the match in a draw.

Fransino Tirta attempted a leg lock en route to a draw with world champion Herbert Burns (Photo Credit: Bramono Lunardi)

Fransino Tirta attempted a leg lock en route to a draw with world champion Herbert Burns (Photo Credit: Bramono Lunardi)

Full results of IBC “Unlocked” are as follows:
• Fransino Tirta (Pitbull Academy) vs Herbert Burns (Evolve MMA) – draw
• Hardian Kristiady (Synergy IMPACT) def. Allen Salomon Chong (Alpha MMA) by kimura
• Shinya Kakita (Onyx MMA) vs Keanu Subba (Bali MMA) – draw
• Leo Krishna (Synergy Elite) def. Zuli Silawanto (Tiger Shark) by heel hook
• Stefer Rahardian (Jakarta Muay Thai & MMA) vs Budi Wibowo (Synergy Bandung) – draw
• Suwardi (Synergy Warrior) vs Lucky (Brazilian Fight Club) – draw
• Randolf Immanuel (VFC) vs Riko Suci Alam(Synergy Bandung) – draw
• Inandya Citra (Jakarta Muay Thai & MMA) vs Jeanette Tan (Synergy Body & Mind) – draw
• Budi Hermanto (VFC) def. David Chio (Alpha MMA) by Kimura
• Rumzy (Dogo Argentino) def. Adri Kumara (Indonesian Top Team) by armbar
• Vincent Martin (Synergy Elite) def. Adien (Arena MMA) by reverse heel hook
• Rama (Synergy Warrior) vs. David Krav (Jakarta Muay Thai & MMA) – draw
• Martin (Synergy Warrior) def. Mario Satya Wirawan (Jakarta Muay Thai & MMA)
• Setiono Ang (Pitbull Academy) vs. Marsell (VFC) – draw
• Jerome S. Paye (Pitbull Academy) vs. Anthony Engelen (Alliance) – draw
• Rienaldy Achadiat (Arena MMA) def. Bayu Tachril (Jakarta Muay Thai & MMA) by Armbar
• Sun (Synergy Warrior) def. Ranoe Gussfi (Tigershark) by Kimura

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Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship

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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.

Zhang Weili(Left) at Kunlun FC 12

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.

Fightmatrix rankings as per 9/10/2017

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.

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Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship

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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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Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship

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Bashir Ahmad is appointed as the Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships, the role made to develop and strengthen the relationships between ONE Championship and various MMA gyms and promotions.

“EssentiallyI see myself doing what I did in Pakistan and working to accelerate the growth of MMA in Asia with other players in the MMA scene,” Ahmad explained.

As the pioneer of Pakistani MMA, Bashir Ahmad has worked to promote MMA in Pakistan, most notably the Shaheen Gym project, a non-profit gym which serves to take at-risk youth off the street with the appeal and focus of MMA. With his new position in ONE, Ahmad believes he will be better positioned to develop MMA in Asia, particularly in his hometown Pakistan.

“I think it’s a win-win. I’ve learned about developing MMA in a really difficult market – Pakistan, and I bring that experience with me.”

“On the flip side, I get work with one of the world’s most professional martial arts brands and bring those lessons to my mission in Pakistan.”

4-3 on his professional MMA career, Ahmad has been fighting for ONE Championship since April 2013 and became the first ONE Championship athlete to make the transition from into the management role in the promotion. Despite this additional role, Ahmad is adamant that his new role in ONE Championship does not take him away from active competition.

“100% not retired. I can certainly train. If Martin can beat Gafurov while being a full-time mechanic, I can certainly train when I work in the MMA industry for a living. It’s about time management and training smart.”

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