ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS
The Venetian, Macao
Bibiano Fernandes(c) vs Andrew Leone – For the One Bantamweight World Championship
Timofey Nastyukhin vs Koji Ando
Shannon Wiratchai vs Rob Lisita
Joshua Pacio vs Hayato Suzuki
Eric Kelly vs Kotetsu Boku
Chen Lei vs Saiful Merican
Herbert Burns vs Magomed Idrisov
Rika Ishige vs Jomary Torres
Leandro Ataides vs Michal Pasternak
Marc Marcellinus vs Tran Quang Loc
One Championship Press Release below
37-year-old Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil is the reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion, and widely considered one of the best bantamweights in the world. He made his promotional debut back in 2012 and captured the title in 2013, and has since then remained unbeaten inside the ONE Championship cage, showcasing tremendous striking and grappling ability. A winner of his last 12 bouts, including three submissions and two knockouts, Fernandes is set to defend his title against Andrew Leone.
Andrew Leone of Cortland, New York, is a 27-year-old martial artist who trains alongside some of the most talented combat sports athletes in Asia at the renowned Bali MMA gym in Bali, Indonesia. With a standout record of eight wins and only two losses, Leone is coming off three solid victories over top caliber opponents, earning him a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. In his next bout, Leone will challenge Bibiano Fernandes for the world title.
27-year-old Timofey Nastyukhin is a professional martial artist from Russia competing in ONE Championship’s stacked lightweight division. He owns a 10-3 record, with all of his wins coming by spectacular finish. With four submissions and six knockouts on his resume, Nastyukhin is considered one of the finest offensive forces in the promotion. He announced his arrival on Asia’s biggest stage with an emphatic flying knee knockout victory over Eduard Folayang in 2014, and also owns stoppage wins over top talents Rob Lisita and Yusuke Kawanago. This time, Nastyukhin is set to face Koji Ando.
Koji “The Commander” Ando is one of Japan’s fiercest competitors, having been a professional martial artist since 2008. The Japanese combatant is never in a boring bout, and always remains a threat no matter the opponent. With an array of diverse striking skills coupled with solid submission grappling credentials, Ando is ready to claim victory once again inside the ONE Championship cage. This time, he battles Timofey Nastyukhin.
Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai of Thailand is a staple in exciting and memorable battles inside the ONE Championship cage. A mainstay of Bangkok Fight Lab, he trains in various martial arts disciplines at home in Bangkok, including Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. An offensive innovator, Wiratchai likes to be creative with his striking, employing a myriad of unpredictable off-angle elbows and kicks. Wiratchai seeks to continue his winning ways in ONE Championship as he takes on the veteran Rob Lisita.
34-year-old “Ruthless” Rob Lisita of Campbelltown, Australia, is known as a relentless offensive force, armed with powerful striking combinations intended to score highlight-reel knockouts. He is 14-9 as a professional martial arts athlete, and has proven to be a fixture in big bouts owing to his fan-friendly style. A veteran competitor who has faced the best in his division and beyond, Lisita looks to continue fulfilling his goal of competing against the promotion’s top contenders. His next assignment is fierce striker Shannon Wiratchai.
21-year-old Joshua Pacio of Baguio City is a professional martial arts athlete with a 9-1 record. He is one of the Philippines’ most talented strawweights. A member of the famed Team Lakay MMA gym, Pacio is a wushu specialist with a solid grappling repertoire. All but one of his career victories have come by spectacular finish, including five wins by submission and three wins by knockout. A former ONE Strawweight World Championship title challenger, Pacio is looking to bring himself back to title contention with another victory. A tough task is ahead of Pacio, however, as he is slated to lock horns with Hayato Suzuki.
30-year-old Hayato Suzuki of Saitama, Japan, is a professional martial arts athlete with an unblemished 16-0-2 record. Spending the majority of his career competing in his native Japan, Suzuki is known as a well-rounded warrior who has the ability to stop his foes with his heavy hands and technical grappling skills. Out of 16 wins, Suzuki has finished 11 of his opponents, including six by submission and five by knockout. He is set to make his ONE Championship debut against rising star Joshua Pacio.
35-year-old standout Eric “The Natural” Kelly of Baguio City is widely considered one of the best homegrown martial arts athletes to come out of the Philippines. The wushu practitioner combines solid striking techniques with high-level grappling skills, which has resulted in nine impressive submissions and one knockout out of 12 total victories. Kelly’s most impressive showing to date came via a hard-fought submission win over Rob Lisita in 2014, a performance which earned him a US$50,000 ONE Warrior Bonus. In his next bout, Kelly will face tough striker Kotetsu Boku.
Kotetsu “No Face” Boku, although originally from South Korea, is a Japanese martial arts legend and the former ONE Lightweight World Champion. With more than 30 professional bouts on his resume, Boku has the experience of a seasoned veteran and has seen it all inside the cage. Always a crowd pleaser, Boku utilizes his dynamic boxing background with world-class grappling to subdue his opponents. He’ll now get the chance to put on a show once again opposite Eric Kelly.
Unbeaten 28-year-old “Rock Man” Chen Lei of Changsha, China is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and the Shanghai Open BJJ Champion. His ability to grapple has led Chen to five straight victories as a professional martial artist. In his last bout, Chen made his ONE Championship debut a successful one, defeating Jeremy Meciaz by first-round technical knockout. Chen now moves on to his next contest, a tough assignment against Saiful Merican.
Saiful “The Vampire” Merican of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an explosive bantamweight striker who starts bouts fast, always looking to end matters early. He has had great success inside the ONE Championship cage with his fan-friendly and aggressive style. In his last bout, Merican stopped Burn Soriano, winning by TKO at the end of the first round. This time, Merican takes on the surging Chen Lei.
28-year-old Herbert “The Blaze” Burns of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the most talented featherweights in ONE Championship. The grappling specialist has a penchant for locking in bout-ending submissions, and is a legitimate threat to any opponent on the mat. With his strong background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Burns is widely considered as one of the top contenders in the division. He squares off against Russian combatant Magomed Idrisov next.
Professional martial arts athlete Magomed Idrisov is a newcomer in ONE Championship, competing previously for local Russian promotion M-1 Global. He owns a 7-1 record comprising of four wins by decision and three by knockout. Since dropping his first bout as a professional, Idrisov has gone on to win six straight contests, which includes capturing the M-1 Global featherweight title. He will now look to take his talents to the global stage of Asian martial arts. Idrisov will take on tough grappler Herbert Burns in his promotional debut.
Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige is a 28-year-old female atomweight from Bangkok, Thailand. She is of mixed Japanese and Thai heritage, beginning her martial arts training at age nine with aikido and taekwondo. Heavily influenced by her late father who trained in judo, Ishige went on to hone her skills as a martial artist, and turned pro earlier this year. In her last bout, Ishige defeated Nita Dea, impressing fans with her solid grappling skills. She is currently on a two-bout winning streak in ONE Championship. Next up, Ishige takes on the Philippines’ Jomary Torres.
Jomary Torres is a female atomweight contender from the Philippines with a 1-0 professional martial arts record. In her last bout, Torres dominated opponent Krisna Lindaga to win by unanimous decision after three rounds. Torres is set to make her ONE Championship debut against Thai competitor Rika Ishige.
Leandro Ataides of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a 30-year-old martial arts veteran who owns a professional record of nine wins and three losses, with only two of Ataides’ victories reaching the final bell. In his last bout, Ataides scored a much-needed win, stopping Mohamed Ali with a highlight-reel flying knee that was named ONE’s Knockout of the Year 2016. Despite mixed results so far in his career, the hard-charging Ataides remains a force to be reckoned with at middleweight and will look to excite the crowd by defeating his next opponent, Michal Pasternak.
Middleweight contender Michal Pasternak of Pinczow, Poland, is a tall and lanky martial artist with a 12-2 professional record. A well-rounded competitor, more than half of Pasternak’s victories have come either by knockout or by submission. In May of 2016, Pasternak challenged Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Roger Gracie for the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship, falling short of victory. Now, Pasternak takes on Leandro Ataides.
Malaysian warrior Marc Marcellinus makes his return to the ONE Championship cage and to professional competition after taking a short break. He is a solid competitor with solid all-around skills and a knack for striking. Marcellinus is set to go shot for shot with Vietnam’s Tran Quang Loc, who is making his professional debut.
UFC Shanghai: Michael Bisping vs Kelvin Gastelum Preview
UFC Shanghai is only 2 days away, something that looked unlikely only a few weeks ago after Anderson Silva was pulled from the main event after testing positive for a banned substance. With little options and very few interested, the main event and entire card looked in tatters. Then up stepped the always reliable company man Michael Bisping. Fresh from defeat at UFC 217 no one would have expected Bisping to step up to fight in Shanghai just three weeks later. But here we are, two days out from Bisping vs Gastelum.
Both fighters are coming off difficult losses that must have been hard to swallow. Bisping was doing well against a tired and damaged GSP, and Gastelum had knocked down Weidman at the end of the first round and was moments away from a finish, but both men went on to lose in the third round.
Both fighters will be motivated and desperate for a win to cleanse the demons their respective last fights have brought them.
Gastelum is a fantastic young talent, not many fighters are considered top level guys in two divisions like he is. Gastelum is a good all-rounder in all aspects of MMA, his tenacious boxing and solid wrestling are stand outs in his game. There is no question he has the skills to succeed in the 185lb division. But his biggest struggle is the physical disadvantage he faces in the middleweight division.
Gastelum is 5’9″ with a 71.5 inch reach. Since his return to middleweight he has been the smaller man in every fight. After his loss to Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC on FOX 25, Gastelum told reporters “He felt really big, he felt really strong” and “170 is my home” (MMAJunkie). A clear indication that Gastelum knows he is too small at this weight, but perhaps the aura of facing Anderson Silva was too much to turn down.
By now you know what Michael Bisping brings to the table. This is his 29th fight with the UFC. He is the definition of a UFC veteran.
Bisping excels on the feet where he uses his great boxing skills and high work rate to nullify his opponents. Bisping also has underrated wrestling skills and a gritty clinch game to match his own gritty style. Under Jason Parillo, Bisping’s striking has only gotten better and better. Just look at the Rockhold fight as an example. His kicks have vastly improved and so have his hands, especially his killer left hook.
Unsurprisingly, as he is a former light heavyweight, Bisping will be the much larger of the two men in the octagon. Bisping stands at 6’1″ and has a reach of 75.5″.
Two main components of Mixed Martial Arts will come into play in this fight, boxing and cardio.
You have to imagine most of this fight take place on the feet. The only way it goes to the ground is if Gastelum can’t keep up with Bisping’s relentless pressure, and feels it’s the best way to get the victory. But after seeing the way Bisping battered and bloodied GSP from his back, Gastelum should be wary.
Gastelum uses his excellent and aggressive jabbing technique to gauge distance against his opponents. He did an excellent job of keeping Tim Kennedy at bay as he tried to enter the pocket. As Bisping is a fighter who uses movement and feints to put a volume of strikes together inside the pocket, Gastelum must use his jab to nullify Bisping’s main tools and keep him at bay, especially as the rounds progress and Bisping throws more combinations. Gastelum can then hide behind that jab to set up more strikes and find a knock out blow. After all Bisping is a very hittable fighter, who focuses more on offence than defence.
But with all that being said, no jab on earth will stop Bisping marching forward.
Bisping will also use his jab throughout the fight as he looks to set up multiple strikes. However, when Bisping dives in with his jab he leaves himself open to a counter punch. We saw GSP do this perfectly, which ultimately set up his finish. Gastelum may want to fight as a counter puncher rather than the aggressor. Not only will it allow him to conserve his energy, but it also means he may find that knock out punch when Bisping leaves himself open, especially to the left hand.
Gastelum must try to slow Bisping down with hard shots to the body, because if Bisping is fresh after UFC 217, like he said he is, then he can go all night at a pace Gastelum won’t be able to keep up with.
The later the fight goes the more aggressive Bisping can be as his shots get harder to grind you out and put you away. He increases his output, which will make Gastelum have to work even harder as the rounds progress. Even if Gastelum does not gas, he will naturally slow down and that’s when Bisping smells blood. Bisping will close the distance and change his game from jabbing you to death to landing some brutal combinations.
I believe Gastelum will win the early exchanges. Whilst Bisping will land a few pecking jabs, it will be Gastelum who finds success early. Gastelum may even look for an early knock out. But as time goes on and the fight progresses, I feel Bisping will find his groove and take over.
His reach advantage will come into play as he dances around Gastelum and finds a range where he can get off several long strikes at once. And once the fight enters the later rounds Bisping will close the distance to up the tempo and fight his fight.
As much as I can envision a TKO victory for Gastelum, with his experience and composure I believe a fired up Bisping will overcome Gastelum’s boxing skills to right his wrongs at UFC 217.
Official Prediction: Michael Bisping defeats Kelvin Gastelum via Unanimous Decision – 48-47
UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF
As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.
Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.
Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.
It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.
This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.
Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?
These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
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