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Shinya Aoki Successfully Defends his Lightweight Belt on ONE Championship: Warrior’s Quest

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Shinya Aoki successfully defends his lightweight belt against Koji Ando

Shinya Aoki successfully defends his lightweight belt against Koji Ando

 

In a night with 2 title belts on the line, ONE Championship: Warrior’s Quest brings the whole nine yards in one night, complete with a razor-thin decision, a quick finish, back and forth actions, and slick display of ground game in one night.

 

Shinya Aoki (38-6 MMA, 5-0 ONE) is highly regarded as one of the top submission artists in professional MMA, pulling off chains of submissions from unorthodox positions or passing through opponent’s guard in an unconventional way, which is exactly what Aoki showed in the main event.

After getting quickly taking down Koji Ando (11-4 MMA, 2-1 ONE) and forced “The Commander” into a battle of survival in the opening round, Ando managed to briefly hold off “Tobikan Judan”’s assault with stiff jabs in round 2.

However, Aoki quickly picked up the pace, quickly taking “The Commander” down then methodically passed his opponents defenses before attempting to finish on all 3 rounds to win an Unanimous Decision victory and defend his ONE Championship lightweight belt for the second time.

 

Amnuaysirichoke becomes the first ONE Championship Strawweight Champion

The co-main event saw a back and forth battle between the Muay Thai champion Dedjamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (5-0 MMA & ONE) and boxing champion Roy Doliguez (6-2 MMA, 0-1 ONE). While the Filipino is actively seeking takedowns to negate Amnuaysirichoke’s powerful kicks and knees, he was confident to stand and trade with the Thai, and rightfully so. The Muay Thai champion is not sloppy on the ground either, countering Doliguez’s takedown attempts with sprawls and strikes as both attempted to stand up.

The bout was unfortunately marred with an accidental eyepoke on Doliguez in round 4 that for a moment ended the bout similar to Askren / Santos bout. Fortunately, Doliguez managed to continue and finish the round. However, after beginning the 5th round with an exchange of strikes, Doliguez indicated that he was unable to continue after what seemed to be another accidental eyepoke.

The bout was ended prematurely and went to the scorecards, where Amnuaysirichoke wins a Unanimous Decision and become the first ONE Championship Strawweight Champion.

 

Gafurov finished rising star Ting in the opening round

In this lightweight title eliminator bout, Marat Gafurov (11-0 MMA, 2-0 ONE) used his superior wrestling and top control to quickly dismantle Ev Ting (9-3 MMA, 3-1 ONE) in a quick fashion. After a brief feeling out process in the beginning, Gafurov scores a takedown and proceed to punish Ting with ground and pound before sinking in a rear naked choke before the round’s end.

 

Wiratchai wins a razor-thin decision against Khan

In this action-packed bout, Amir Khan (3-2 MMA, 3-1 ONE) started the fight in a dominating fashion, punishing Shannon Wiratchai (4-1 MMA, 2-1 ONE) from a distance and in clinch. Wiratchai picked up the pace in round 2 and turned the table with his striking, even landing a highlight-reel reverse elbow square on Khan’s head.

The final round saw a more competitive fight, with Wiratchai stalking Khan and pressing him to the cage in a clinch, and Khan getting the takedown in the closing stages of the round. In the end, 2 judges gave the fight to Wiratchai, awarding “One Shin” with a split decision victory

 

Angela Lee scores fastest finish of the night

Angela Lee (1-0 MMA, 1-0 ONE) may only have 3 amateur fights under her belt, but Lee, a purple belt in BJJ, quickly took the fight to the ground, proceeded to secure an armbar and forced a tap from her more experienced opponent, Aya Saeid Saber (3-6 MMA, 0-3 ONE), in less than 2 minutes.

 

Full results for the night are as follows:

Shinya Aoki (38-6) def. Koji Ando (11-4) by Unanimous Decision

Dedjamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (5-0) def. Roy Doliguez (6-2) by Technical Decision (Unanimous)

Marat Gafurov (11-0) def. Ev Ting (9-3) by R1 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:30

Lowen Tynanes (7-0) def. Kuat Khamitov (18-4-1) by Unanimous Decision

Ariel Sexton (10-3) def. Eddie Ng (7-3) by R2 Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:10

Shannon Wiratchai (4-1) def. Amir Khan (3-2) by Split Decision

Angela Lee (1-0) def. Aya Saeid Saber (3-6) by R1 Submission (armbar) at 1:46

Alateng Heili (4-3) def. Stephen Langdown (2-2) by R2 TKO (Punches and soccer kicks) at 0:51

Benedict Ang (1-0) def. Waqar Umar (3-3) by Unanimous Decision

Yang Jianbing (4-0) def. Ali Yaakub (0-2) by R2 Submission (Armbar) at 0:49

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Interviews

UFC 219’s Jimmie Rivera to TJ Dillashaw “Defend Your Belt or Vacate.”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest had the chance to talk to #4 ranked UFC bantamweight Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera ahead of his fight at UFC 219 against John Lineker.

Rivera (21-1) extended his unbeaten run to twenty when he defeated Thomas Almeida at UFC Long Island in July. Originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, we began by asking Rivera how the opponent change had affected his preparation for UFC 219.

The only thing that’s changed is the game plan, everything else stays the same. Cruz is more of an irritating fight because he just doesn’t stop moving, but with Lineker, he’s going to stay in the pocket and bang, and I love that.

Recently, Rivera posted a video to his Twitter account of him sparring with the recently crowned bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. He told us about the context of this video, and how the sparring went down between them.

It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw.

I just sent it to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.

After briefly referencing the potential superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, I asked Rivera about his thoughts on the somewhat flawed UFC rankings system, and title fights being put together purely for entertainment value.

It sucks. When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.

Rivera concluded by telling me that although he isn’t looking past Lineker at 219, “the only fight that makes sense after this one, is fighting TJ for the belt.”

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Announcement

Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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News

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira Officially Booked for Belem, Brazil card

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The wait is over. Valentina Shevchenko (14-3, 3-2 UFC) will make her highly anticipated flyweight debut when the UFC returns to Brazil. She will face Priscila Cachoeira (8-0) on the February 3rd card scheduled for Belem, Brazil. Luciana Andrade was the first to report the match-up last week. On Tuesday, the UFC posted an article which stated the bout had been set.

Now that the flyweight tournament is over and the inaugural champion has her crown, many women shall migrate from the strawweight and bantamweight ranks in search of a more suitable weight class. The division is so infantile means a lot moving parts in the rankings. Yet, only women who fought at one hundred and twenty-five lbs. are ranked. Such practices muddy the title picture for the time being. Essentially ruling out the idea of Montano vs. Shevchenko for the first defense of the belt, illogical. An idea that floated around the internet until today’s confirmation of the newest female flyweight match-up. The TUF 26 winner, Nicco Montano called it, “kinda silly”, earlier this week while on The MMA Hour. Montano believes her first title defense, as it stands, should pit her against the original finalist of the flyweight tournament, Sijara Eubanks. Although Eubanks withdrew from the title fight, she is still ranked as the #1 contender in the division.

Shevchenko explained her desire for the flyweight belt on The MMA Hour, a week earlier than Montano, “For me it’s number one, to fight for the title… It doesn’t matter for me, if I have to have one fight before it, okay I will do it… my main goal is to be the champion… It doesn’t matter I move from one thirty-five to one twenty-five. My goal is still the same, to be the champion”. The Russian fighter is coming off an unsuccessful title shot in the bantamweight division against the current reigning champ, Amanda Nunes. The bout went to a decision after close five rounds, Nunes ultimately defeated Shevchenko via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).

Her opponent, Priscila Cachoeira, is not only new to the UFCs female flyweight division but the promotion’s roster as well. Cachoeira originally was scheduled to make her promotional debut against veteran Lauren Murphy at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 26. The Brazilian fighter withdrew from the bout due to visa issues. As a professional, she is undefeated with four knockouts in her eight fights.

UFC Belem is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018. The card will feature Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm in the heavyweight division. It will also have Thiago Santos taking on Anthony Smith in the middleweight division.

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