Singapore-based promotion ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) is set to stage one of the biggest MMA events in Asia when they bring ONE FC: Pride of a Nation to Manila on August 31 in the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
MMA stars Shinya Aoki, Andrei Arlovski and Bibiano Fernandes all make their ONE FC debuts in the stacked card, which will also feature Filipino fighters Eduard Folayang and Eric Kelly.
ONE FC CEO Victor Cui promised an explosive event for the Manila fans, especially with the stacked roster of talent set to compete in the card.
“We are holding nothing back,” Cui said. “We are bringing the biggest, the baddest, the best, the most stacked card ONE FC has ever had, for Filipino fans right here on August 31.”
“When you put Shinya Aoki and Bibiano Fernandes on the same card, one can expect nothing less than an epic night of world-class MMA action like Manila has never seen before. Manila is the fight capital of Asia and I want to bring the best fighters in Asia to the awesome fight-fans of this great city.”
DREAM lightweight champion Aoki is one of the best submission specialists in MMA, with 19 of his 30 MMA wins coming from submission. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo black belt has a wide array of submission techniques, with memorable wins by hammerlock, gogoplata and even a flying triangle.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski is a devastating striker whose 17 MMA wins includes 13 by knockout. He holds wins over Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson and has been in the cage with some of the best in the sport, including legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. His boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, once said that he possesses the most lethal hands in MMA.
Fernandes, one of the most highly-sought after free agents in MMA a few months ago, is another BJJ star with multiple gold medals in the World Jiu-jitsu Championship and the Brazil National Jiu-Jitsu championship and an 11-3 MMA record.
Fernandes takes on CFC Australia champion Gustavo Falciroli in the main event while Arlovski takes on Soa Palelei, who is on a seven-fight win streak, all of them TKOs. In another big matchup, former UFC fighter Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver will face local MMA star Eric ‘The Natural’ Kelly.
The fight card has not been finalized, with Aoki and Folayang still having unnamed opponents. Cui also hinted that URCC flyweight champion Kevin Belingon could be added to the final card.
The foreign fighters all expressed their excitement to compete in front of the Filipino audience.
“It’s his first time in the Philippines and he’s very happy to be here. He’s very excited to fight in front of Filipino fans and will be putting on a show for you guys,” said Aoki’s translator.
“I want to thank you for the opportunity to fight in ONE FC and fight in Asia,” said Arlovski. “I promise I’ll put on a good show. Thank you and hopefully I’m going to make a fanbase in the Philippines.”
» Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon added to ONE FC fight card in May
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» ONE FC to return to Philippines in May; Featherweight champ Banario, Folayang on card