The episode features the first of the semi final fights on both weight classes and a heavyweight bout.
On the first fight, Thodorus Teddy faced off against Abro Fernandes who instantly became the tournament favorite with his dominant win against Hendrick Wijaya on the quarter finals. Wary of Fernandes’ powerful leg kicks, Teddy circled the” Black Komodo” from the outside to capitalize his height and reach advantage.
Strangely, instead of firing off jabs and kicks from the outside, Teddy looked for the opportunity to counter Fernandes’ leg kicks instead. When Fernandes did fire his powerful leg kick, Teddy rushed in and eliminate his reach advantage, only to be taken down with Fernandes’ yet to be seen wrestling game. Once on the ground, Fernandes worked to soften Teddy with short elbows from side control, relatively uninterrupted as Teddy made little effort in scrambling up. Fernandes chose to disengage and stood up toward the end of the round, then handily scored another takedown and passed to mount as the round ends to ensure his advantage on the scorecard.
The second round’s action started when Fernandes fires off his low kick and successfully draw Teddy to rush into a takedown. After Teddy stalled once again on the ground, Fernandes stood up and repeated the same strategy, but was able to sink an arm triangle as he takes Teddy down to score a second round submission victory and the ticket to the bantamweight tournament final
The following fight is the promotion’s first heavyweight fight, which present the same problem as the the promotion’s light heavyweight fight – lack of competitors fighting at the weight class and small frames for heavyweight with both fighters no taller than 180cm – and the bout between Muhammad Ali Yanwar and Aceng Adih is just that. The bout quickly made Kimbo Slice’s street fight relatively technical, with the 120kg Yanwar swinging for thin air and Adhi delievering single, non-technical shots that sent Yanwar pedaling back. The bout ended when Adhi landed a headkick which sent Yanwar turtling up and unable to fight, awarding Adhi with a First Round KO victory.
The final fight features the first featherweight tournament semifinal between Sudirman Akbar and Hafid Nur Maradi. Nur Maradi has shown a clear edge on his ground game compared to other fighters in the featherweight tournament on his quarterfinal win against Dodi Mardian, and remained so during the semi final fight. Nur Maradi quickly close the distance once the opportunity arises and takes Akbar down at will. Akbar’s ground game was even more apparent when he tried to hold on to a guillotine even when Nur Maradi have passed to the other side, or when he tried an armbar from guard on the wrong side, the latter of which allowed Nur Maradi to apply a gift wrap, pass to mount and deliver straight elbows from mount. This forces Akbar to roll over and gave Nur Maradi the opportunity to sink in a rear naked choke to end the fight on the opening stanza.
Full results are as follows:
-) Bantamweight Tournament Semi Finals: Abro Fernandes def. Theodorus Teddy via R2 Sub (Arm Triangle)
-) Heavyweight bout: Aceng Adhi def. Muhammad Ali Yanuar via R1 KO
-) Featherweight Tournament Semi Finals: Hafid Nur Maradi def. Sudirman Akbar via R1 Sub (RNC)
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
Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship
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.
“Essentially, I 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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