Cordillera MMA should be feeling at the crossroads tonight as Eduard Folayang failed in his title retention bid and Danny Kingad lost his attempt to wrest a title during the staging of ONE: Legends of the World at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines last Novmember 10, 2017 but Joshua Pacio, Gina Iniong, and Kevin Belingon all won their bouts, although no titles were at stake.
Folayang lost his ONE Lightweight championship after he was knocked out in the second round by Martin Nguyen of Australia while Kingad fell victim to a rear naked choke from ONE flyweight defending champion Adriano Moraes in the dying seconds of round one.
On the other hand, Pacio knocked out compatriot Roy Doliquez in the second round in their strawweight bout, Iniong also knocked out Indonesian Priscilla Lumban Gaol in the second round of their atomweight bout, and Belingon dominated Kevin Chung of South Korea in their bantamweight bout.
Belingon captured another sensational victory in front of a jubilant hometown crowd by routing South Korean-American dynamo Chung, solidifying his position as a top contender in the stacked bantamweight division. Belingon effortlessly dictated the pace in the stand-up, where his opponent was at a stylistic disadvantage. The Baguio City native frequently caught Chung with crushing right crosses and lashing kicks to the body from bell to bell. Chung tried to change the complexion of the match by resorting to his superb grappling skills, but Belingon’s defense against submission attempts was enough to steer him to a unanimous decision triumph.
Team Lakay’s highly-touted atomweight prospect Iniong extended her winning streak inside the ONE Championship cage with an outstanding second-round finish of Gaol. With a diverse striking arsenal, Iniong unloaded her signature right hand on multiple occasions, finding the mark. In the second frame, Iniong found an opening to take Gaol down to the mat. Applying a crucifix, Iniong delivered a flurry of ground punches to force the referee to step in and call a halt to the contest.
In a battle of former world title challengers, Pacio emerged victorious against veteran martial artist Doliguez by notching a highlight-reel knockout in the second round. The young Team Lakay standout exhibited stellar form from the get-go, wearing down his fellow Filipino opponent with impeccable grappling and heavy high kicks. Hungry to place himself back on the winning track, Pacio put the finishing touches in the second frame, where he unleashed a well-timed spinning back-fist that sent Doliguez crashing down to the canvas.
Nguyen wrote his name in history books as the first man to hold two world titles simultaneously in ONE Championship in downing Folayang. After plastering each other with hard strikes in the first round, both men picked up where they left off in the second stanza, when Folayang and Nguyen continued to trade heavy blows at the center of the cage. When Folayang launched his patented spinning backfist, Nguyen saw an opportunity to turn the lights off on his Filipino foe by uncorking explosive signature right hand. With his remarkable conquest of Folayang, Nguyen now has both the ONE Featherweight World Championship and ONE Lightweight World Championship titles in his possession.
The newly-minted ONE Lightweight World Champion, stated: “This is a special place for me. Last year, I came in and won Fight of the Night, right now it’s possibly the Knockout of the Night. I think coming into the fight my main objective was a TKO or a submission. Eduard, I still love you like a brother, I hope you’re fine and I hope you come back stronger. I’m still your number one fan.”
In the co-main event of the evening, “Mikinho” Moraes remained the undisputed king of ONE Championship’s flyweight bracket, denying Kingad’s bid to become a world champion by submitting the Filipino talent with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Moraes put on a masterful performance, pacifying Kingad’s striking advantage in the early going as the Brazilian grappling expert utilized his high-level ground game. On the mat, Moraes executed a forceful transition into a rear-naked choke that left Kingad no choice but to submit in the final seconds of the round to retain his ONE Flyweight World Championship.
The defending ONE Flyweight World Champion, stated: ”This night was amazing for me. It was a tough fight against Danny Kingad. He has a big future ahead of him, but now it’s my time. This is my house, this is my belt, and this is my class.”
Previously unbeaten Japanese prospect Hayato Suzuki bowed down for the very first time in his professional career as he yielded to Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion black belt Alex “Little Rock” Silva. Both combatants started out aggressively, but it was SIlva who showed a more capable set of grappling skills. Silva spun a web of crafty grappling to overwhelm Suzuki as the Brazilian was able to get the submission finish in the first round, making Suzuki tap from an armbar.
Former world title contender Reece “Lighting” McLaren found a new home at flyweight as he pulled off a successful submission victory by defeating flyweight mainstay Anatpong Bunrad. Debuting effortlessly in his new weight class, McLaren showcased his fluid grappling skills and solid striking. With a mere eight seconds remaining in the very first round, McLaren caught Bunrad in an anaconda choke and transitioned into a D’arce choke to force the tap.
Chinese martial arts superstar “The Ghost” Zhao Zhi Kang made an astounding statement in his first assignment as a ONE Championship competitor, submitting Cambodian standout Thai Rithy in the first round. With a game plan to take matters to the ground, Zhao got the job done by fastening a rear-naked choke to force the tap from Rithy.
After an impressive promotional debut in Shanghai, China last September, Xie Chao made his trip to Manila a memorable one by picking up his second-straight win in ONE Championship at the expense of Malaysia’s Kelvin Ong. Xie easily staggered Ong with a hard knee, giving him the leverage to convert a takedown. Employing sturdy top control, Xie drilled Ong with crisp elbows to get the stoppage in the opening stanza of the featherweight showdown.
A three-round strawweight encounter set a promising tone for the entire evening of ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD as Peng Xue Wen collided with Phat Soda in the curtain-raiser for the event. Peng, a National Youth Greco Wrestling Champion, left a lasting impression in his maiden trip to the ONE Championship cage by scoring a knockout victory over Soda with a high-impact slam in the first round.
Full results of the card:
ONE Lightweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Eduard Folayang by Knockout (KO) at 2:20 minutes of round 2
ONE Flyweight World Championship bout: Adriano Moraes defeats Danny Kingad by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:45 minutes of round 1
Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Kevin Chung by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Strawweight bout: Alex Silva defeats Hayato Suzuki by Submission (Armbar) at 1:22 minutes of round 1
Flyweight bout: Reece McLaren defeats Anatpong Bunrad by Submission (D’arce Choke) at 4:52 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Zhao Zhi Kang defeats Thai Rithy by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:31 minutes of round 1
Women’s atomweight bout: Gina Iniong defeats Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol by TKO (Strikes) at 2:12 minutes of round 2
Strawweight bout: Joshua Pacio defeats Roy Doliguez by Knockout (KO) at 0:38 minutes of round 2
Featherweight bout: Xie Chao defeats Kelvin Ong by TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) at 1:48 minutes of round 1
Strawweight bout: Peng Xue Wen defeats Phat Soda by Knockout (KO) at 2:15 minutes of round
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS