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ONE Champions – Who’s Hot and Who’s not

Hazwady

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Just recently I’ve done a Facebook live on the MMA Latest page talking about the issues that were being discussed on Joe Rogan’s fight companion. As I was listing out the champions of One Championship, I didn’t remember that Roger Gracie is their light heavyweight champion. In fact, I didn’t even think the promotion has a light heavyweight champion.

So with that in mind, I decided to make a list from the HOTtest at number 1 to the NOTtest at number 10 in mid-2017. FYI the featured image has a discrepancy as there are only 10 Champions in the organization.

#1. Angela Lee (8-0), Women’s Atomweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Istela Nunes on 26th May 2017 ( 2nd round submission)
Title won: vs Mei Yamaguchi 6th May 2016 ( unanimous decision)
Total number of defense: 2

Angela Lee is obviously the hottest champion to grace the promotion. All over the news and constantly talked about on the internet since her last defense, the Canadian-American has been the face of One Championship since capturing the title in May 2016. And I foresee no one overtaking her throne for a long time to come.

#2. Eduard Folayang (18-5), Lightweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Ev Ting on 21st April 2017 ( unanimous decision)
Title won: vs Shinya Aoki 11th November 2016 ( 3rd round TKO)
Total number of defense: 1

Eduard’s huge upset over Aoki in Singapore last year to capture the title has elevated his name in the MMA world. In addition, his win at home over highly regarded lightweight contender Ev Ting in has helped solidified his legitimacy further. If Eduard can continue winning the big fights, the fight crazy nation of the Philippines will have to pay attention and he could possibly become the biggest star One Championship ever had,

#3. Ben Askren (16-0), Welterweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Agilan Thani on 26th May 2017 ( 1st round TKO)
Title won: vs Nobutatsu Suzuki 29th August 2014 ( 1st round TKO)
Total number of defense: 2

Askren is a much bigger name in the West than in Asia but he has gained a little more traction in Malaysia recently after beating their undefeated prospect Agilan Thani with ease in the first round. He also broke betting records on the fight with a whopping -4500 odds as the favourite; a world record in MMA. Playing him as the ‘Heel’ that will beat up the hometown heroes will be the best way forward from here.

#4. Vitaly Bigdash (9-0), Middleweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Aung La N Sang on 14th January 2017 ( unanimous decision)
Title won: vs Igor Svirid 9th October 2015 ( 2nd round TKO)
Total number of defense: 1

We are already at the not so hot part of the list and the only reason Bigdash is higher than the rest of this list is that he is going to be fighting soon. It’s not that exciting of a rematch but he could leave a mark on the fans in Myanmar if he dominated Aung La N Sang like how he did in Jakarta.

#5. Brandon Vera (15-7), Heavyweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Hideki Sekine on 2nd December 2016 ( TKO round 1)
Title won: vs Paul Cheng 11th December 2015 ( 1st round KO)
Total number of defense: 1

Former UFC, Filipino-American Brandon Vera will always have a following in the Philippines. But that’s all really. Lack of competition hurts Vera’s chances of moving up the list.

#6. Bibiano Fernandes (20-3), Bantamweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Reece Mclaren on 2nd December 2016 ( Split Decision)
Title won: vs Soo Chul Kim 18th October 2013 ( Unanimous Decision )
Total number of defense: 5

The Flash is the most dominant champion in the history of One Championship and it is unfortunate that he is pretty low on the list. His last defense with Reece was one of the best matches he had in the promotion but in honesty, that was the only exciting match he ever had. I find him as similar to Mighty Mouse’s position now in the UFC unless of they could get Aoki to cut down or Bibiano to move up to face Marat Gafurov.

#7. Marat Gafurov (15-0), Featherweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Jadamba Narantungalag on 11th November 2016 ( 1st round submission)
Title won: vs Jadamba Narantungalag 21st November 2015 ( 4th round submission )
Total number of defense: 2

I feel that Marat Gafurov is one of the best featherweights in the world. And like Bibi, sometimes being too good in your division is a bad thing, especially if you not as loud and outspoken as Ben Askren. Superfights are the way to go for Marat now while awaiting worthy contenders for the belt.

#8. Yoshitaka Naito (12-0), Strawweight Champion

Last title defense: vs Joshua Pacio 7th October 2016 (1st round submission)
Title won: vs Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke 27th May 2016 ( 4th round submission )
Total number of defense: 1

Naito emerge when he broke the hearts of Thais in One Championship debut show in Bangkok. Taking the belt from the former Muay Thai champ in his debut, Naito still has a long way to connect with the Asian MMA fans(bar Thailand and Japan) and deservingly sits at number 8 currently.

#9. Roger Gracie (8-2), Light Heavyweight Champion

Last title defense: Nil
Title won: vs Michal Pasternak 5th June 2016 ( 1st round submission )
Total number of defense: Nil

The only reason Roger is not last is that of his last name. I’m not joking.

#10. Kairat Akhmetov (23-0), Flyweight Champion

Last title defense: Nil
Title won: vs Adriano Moraes 21st November 2015 ( Split Decision )
Total number of defense: Nil

Debut and won the title two years ago in China. Nothing since.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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