Feeling empty with the lack of MMA this weekend? Don’t worry, ONE Fighting Championship has got you covered!
ONE FC 2: Battle of Heroes takes place this Saturday, February 11th, live from Kelapa Gading Sports Mall in Jakarta, Indonesia. If you’re not familiar with ONE FC, the fast-growing Singapore based promotion burst onto the Asian MMA scene in 2011 with their inaugural card (Champion vs. Champion), which featured notable fighters such as Phil Baroni, Eduard Folayang, Eric Kelly, and Gregor Gracie. ONE FC uses a combination of unified rules, as well as PRIDE Rules, in their fights. With soccer kicks, head stomps and elbows all permitted in the fights, fans of PRIDE, fans of violence, and fans of all types MMA in general, are in for a treat.
With this card less than 24 hours away, here is a look at the bouts, what to expect, and why you should wake up early Saturday morning to tune in.
The preliminary card gets started live on Saturday morning, beginning at 7:30am EST. Featuring five bouts with some Asian MMA veterans, as well as exciting prospects, the undercard promises to deliver some exciting, interesting, and excellent bouts. The preliminary card is available for viewing live at the ONE FC Facebook page.
Check back in later tonight when I break down the main card as well.
Zuli Silawanto (5-5) vs Agus Nanang (0-0)
Tigershark Fighting Academy product, Indonesian Silawanto comes into this fight after a nearly eight-year break from fighting. Having made his professional debut nearly a decade ago, Silawanto fought all ten of his fights in the now-defunct TPI Fighting Championship with mixed results. After trading wins and losses in all of his fights, he looks to make a triumphant return to the sport and improve his .500 record.
Fellow Indonesian Nanang makes his professional debut, fighting out of the Bandung Fighting Club. Nanang has twelve previous MMA bouts on the amateur fight scene. Nanang is a regarded as a wrestler and will likely be looking to take things to the ground, however, if the fight stays standing, he should be more than able to hold is own.
This fight flirts with the unknown. How will Silawanto look after an eight-year layoff? What can we expect from Nanang? There is very little relevant tape to study on either fighter, so how this fight will play out is a mystery, which adds an interesting element to this fight.
Ngabdi Mulyadi (5-2) vs Peter Davis (3-1)
Indonesian based Mulyadi fights out of the Lindu Aji camp. A decorated wrestler, Mulyadi went 5-0, with four finishes, to start off his career, before suffering back-to-back losses. Much like Silawanto, Mulyadi returns to MMA after nearly an eight-year layoff. Mulyadi, however, remained active during much of his time away from the sport, competing in wrestling competitions throughout Asia.
Davis represents the Muayfit team out of Malaysia and enters the fight looking for his third straight win. The unorthodox striker stepped away from professional fighting for some time to focus on other commitments, such as modelling and acting, but made a triumphant return in December 2011, making short work of Nursultan Arsen Uule. The former UKMMAC welterweight champ brings an interesting striking attack to the fight.
A classic striker vs. grappler match in the purest sense of the phrase, it will be interesting to see how a long time away from the sport affects Mulyadi, as well as how Davis will deal with his primarily wrestling based attack. There is much hype around Davis, and this fight could be pivotal in determining the future of his MMA career.
Irshaad Sayed (2-1) vs Jessie Rafols (6-2)
Sayed, a South African, makes his major promotion debut with less than two years under his belt as a professional fighter. Fighting out of Hong Kong based IMPAKT MMA, Sayed makes his promotional debut coming off the strength of a split decision victory over Jumayi Ayideng at RUFF 2 in December 2011. Widely regarded as an outstanding muay Thai practitioner, Sayed looks to make some noise in the bantamweight division with a victory over Rafols.
Seeking his seventh win, Filipino Rafols enters the cage fighting out of D’Elements Gym. “The Finisher” has a 100% finishing rate in his six career victories, with five coming by submission. A professional fighter for just over four years, Rafols is known for his frantic pace and relentless aggression, as well as his ability to put the pressure on his opponents.
One of the more interesting fights on the preliminary card, this bout promises to be an exciting, and potentially violent part of the evening. If I had to suggest a fight to keep yours eyes peeled to, this would be it.
Alex Silva (1-0) vs Geje Eustaquio (2-1)
Brazillian Silva is the first fighter of the night based out of the Evolve MMA camp. A BJJ world champion, Silva recently made his MMA debut by defeating Suchat Lukamkuha by submission in just over two minutes. Silva has the benefit of training with grappling ace Shinya Aoki, and will be looking to make a definitive statement on behalf of Evolve.
The Filipino Eustaquio is The Team Lakay fighter, and looks to represent his camp, widely regarded as one of the best in Asia, against a fellow top team. Nearing the one-year anniversary of his professional debut, Eustaquio is coming off a split decision loss to David Cho at PXC 28 in a contentious affair.
Eustaquio’s Wushu-based attacks could prove an interesting factor in this flyweight tilt, as he will most certainly have to keep this fight standing if he wants to secure the victory. One should expect Silva to take the action to the ground as soon as he can, and look for a quick submission. One way or another, one team will most certainly have bragging rights as soon as the closing bell sounds.
Victorio Senduk (0-0) vs Raymond Tiew (0-0)
Indonesian based Senduk fights out of Versus Martial Arts Team and makes his professional debut with ONE FC. An experienced striker, Senduk has tried his hand at boxing, kickboxing, and karate. What Senduk brings to the table in this fight is unknown, as his most prominent professional competition was at the South East Asian Games, where he took home the silver medal in San Shou.
His opponent, Tiew is the second fighter on the card to come out of Team Muayfit in Malaysia. Compiling a 5-1 record on the Malaysian MMA scene, Tiew has competed in kickboxing as well, and is regarded as the better MMA striker. A Wushu champion in his own regard, his well-rounded striking game could be the key to victory against Senduk.
With both men having so much experience in striking-based combat sports, one can imagine this action will stay on the feet. Fans expect this to be a striking clinic, as does ONE FC, as it is the feature fight on the preliminary card. Both men need a definitive victory to cement their position in the Asian MMA scene.
The preliminary card promises to be an exciting, action-packed two hours of fights. Can’t get up for 7:30am? In my next piece, we’ll take a look at the main card which features plenty of notable fighters, and exciting, pivotal fights.