As the promotion’s first live show approaches, it becomes more and more apparent that despite of the setbacks in the Indonesian MMA in the mid 2000s, the sport has evolved beyond style-vs-style matchups, and all fighters need to be proficient in all aspects of the game.
The first fight of the night features Ahmad P. Prasekti from one of the nation’s more established MMA camps, Lindu Aji Semarang, fighting against Japanese Jujutsu exponent Badrul. The round opens with Badrul fighting from the outside with long range strikes, but the moment Badrul rushed in, Prasekti ducked in for double leg, and the wrestler’s strategy was apparent from that point on. Prasekti kept Badrul on his back and punished the latter with punches and elbows from Badrul’s guard for most of the round, with the latter unable to scramble out or mount any meaningful offense from his guard.
Round 2 saw Badrul initiate the clinch to open the round and obtained mount when he won the scramble after Prasekti attempted a hip throw at him. Prasekti, however, quickly put Badrul on his back, pass to side control during Badrul’s failed armbar attempt, and punished Badrul with a series of knees from grounded position – a legal move on the promotion, then attempted an armbar as the round ends.
Badrul came out of his corner in Round 3 with his face swollen from the knees. Realising he is behind on the scorecards, Badrul went for broke and swung for the fences and managed to hurt Prasekti with an uppercut, only to be taken down as he chased the latter. Prasekti passed to Badrul’s side and quickly locked in an Americana to end the fight on the third round.
The second fight features the clash between 2 established camps in Indonesia, where Rama Supandhi from Max Metino’s Warrior camp will fight against Senna Kurnia from Johan Mulia Legowo’s HAN Academy in the bantamweight tournament’s second semifinal.
The fight went off slowly, with Rama waiting for Senna, who has a 7cm height advantage, to attack. The fight escalated quickly when Kurnia faked a low kick and landed a right hook that sent Supandhi to the fences. Kurnia made a strategic error when he followed up too closely, allowing “Hellboy” to secure a double underhook, effectively eliminating his reach advantage and right into the Indonesian submission wrestling champion’s comfort zone. Supandhi quickly took Kurnia down and quickly secured a back control when the latter attempted to scramble out, then quickly secured a rear naked choke before the halfway mark of the opening round, earning him the ticket to the bantamweight tournament finals against Kurnia’s teammate, Abro Fernandes.
Finally, on the second semifinals of the featherweight tournament, Paul Lumihi faced off against Jefri A. Utomo. Lumihi starts off the round charging forward with a superman punch and a high kick, but Utomo easily avoids them. Lumihi darts in and out with his kicks, but as he became repetitive, Utomo catches Lumihi’s kick to midsection and counter with an overhand right , then proceed to mount. Before Utomo managed to do any meaningful offense, Lumihi scrambled back up, locked up into a clinch, and managed to trip Utomo down but failed to keep his back on the ground.
As both fighters stood up, Utomo proceeded to rock Lumihi with several overhand right counters, until Lumihi managed to close into a clinch and took Utomo down with a single leg, then proceed to mount and punish Utomo with elbow strike, cutting him above the right eye.
Second round saw Lumihi attempted to close the distance with his kicks, with Utomo avoiding the clinch and countering the kicks whenever the opportunity presents itself. Lumihi’s persistence prevailed when he shoots for a double leg takedown against the fence and took his opponent down, proceed to mount, and continue to rain down punches and elbows until Utomo rolls over, allowing Lumihi to secure a rear naked choke victory on the second round.
Lumihi will face Hafid Nur Maradi, who has a clear preference to fight on the ground on the featherweight tournament.
Full results are as per below:
Featherweight Tournament Semifinals: Paul Lumihi def. Jefri A. Utomo via R2 Sub (RNC)
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Rama Supandhi def. Senna Kurnia via R1 Sub (RNC)
Bantamweight bout: Ahmad P. Prasekti def. Badrul via R3 Sub (Americana)
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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