War of the Lions thrilled a sold-out 8,000 seater Singapore Indoor Stadium tonight with non-stop excitement and surprises. The crowd was completely blown away in what proved to be one of the most historic and highly electrifying nights in the history of Asian mixed martial arts (MMA). The highlight of the show came from an impressive win by Brazil’s Zorobabel Moreira during the Main Event fight against Japan’s Felipe Enomoto.
Moreira showed why he is rated as one of the best lightweight prospects in the world by submitting Enomoto in the second round of their fight with an armbar. The Japanese fighter was coming off a spectacular win over Ole Laursen last month but this time around, he just came up short and was beaten. With this win, Moreira’s record improves to 6-1 and in the true spirit of sportsmanship; he saluted his opponent afterwards for putting up such a good fight.
Zorobabel Moreira, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion said, “I did one kick and he fell down so I had the opportunity to go for an armbar and I got it. My opponent is very tough, he is a strong guy, but I trained very hard for this fight with my team at Evolve MMA and I am so happy. It was great to see so many fans cheering for me, Singapore is great.”
Another one of the most anticipated fights of the night featured Ole Laursen and Eduard Folayang in an amazing showdown that got the entire crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on the edge of their seats for an entire 15 minutes. It could have gone either way with both fighters appearing to be in control at various stages in the fight, but in the end, the judges awarded the win to Laursen by split decision. The result was met with immediate calls by the crowd for a rematch between these two phenomenal fighters from the Philippines.
Earlier in the night, Japanese fighters Tatsuya Kawajiri and Masakazu Imanari proved their supremacy in their respective weight classes when they each won by first round submissions. However, the remaining Japanese fighters on tonight’s card were not able to clinch similar victories. DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai lost to Brazil’s Fabricio Monteiro who had not had a bout since retiring in 2009. Monteiro made an amazing comeback at ONE FC: War of the Lions by unanimous decision at the end of a close fight.
The only disappointment of the evening was the fight between Holland’s Melvin Manhoef against Japan’s Yoshiyuki Nakanishi. The fight had to be ruled a No Contest after the Dutch K-1 veteran sustained a huge gash on his shin which required immediate medical attention. Manhoef was determined to fight on but the doctors ruled that he could not continue due to the severity of the accidental injury.
It was an absolutely wonderful night for host nation fighters Nicole Chua and Quek Kim Hock. Nicole Chua is Singapore’s first female professional MMA fighter and she won in her debut fight this evening against Jeet Toshi, a 7-time National Kickboxing Champion from India. The pint-sized Singaporean girl won in the first round by a rear naked choke having just had less than a year’s experience training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Quek Kim Hock also won by rear naked choke against his American opponent Major Overall who put up quite a spirited challenge but eventually lost in the second round.
CEO and Owner of ONE Fighting Championship™ Victor Cui said, “This was the best show we’ve had yet. The fights were fantastic from start to finish, the stadium was packed and the crowd loved it so I can’t ask for more than that. The growth of MMA in the region has been astounding and I am so proud of how far we’ve come in just a matter of months. I can’t wait for these fights to be shown to 24 Asian countries by ESPN Star Sports next month because people are going to absolutely love them.”
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