MMA – It’s More Fun In The Philippines By Mark Sangiao

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

As the event is fast approaching, we become more excited. The ONE Fighting Championship 9: Rise to Power is scheduled tonight, May 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This is going to be historic, since this is the biggest event in Philippine MMA yet.

Five of our Team Lakay Warriors will be proudly representing the Philippines. The ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be having his first title defense against Koji Oishi from Japan. Honorio, who is also the current URCC Lightweight Champion, has no plan of giving away his belt. He intends to take a hold of it for a long time.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, the undefeated URCC Bantamweight Champion, is fighting another Japan’s pride, Masakatsu Ueda, for the finals of the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix. Belingon has a goal to be the next Filipino to have a World Championship Belt around his waist and a win against Ueda is going to be a great stepping stone for him to reach that goal.

Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, the reigning URCC Welterweight Champion, is undoubtedly the face of Filipino MMA. He will be battling against Iranian Kamal Shalorus, who also plans to give the Filipino fans a great fight. Eduard promised to bring a different game this time and we will be witnessing that on his fight tonight.

The current URCC Pinweight Champion, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen, is going to give the never-say-die attitude and wants to redeem himself from his lost to Shinichi Kojima last April of this year in Malaysia by aiming to defeat the second Japanese fighter he has to face, Yasuhiro Urishitani. Both are fighting under the ONE FC Flyweight division, the most fast-paced and fast-moving division in MMA.

Another flyweight bout, Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will be fighting Andrew Leone, an American who is fighting out of Phuket Top Team, one of the best gyms in Asia. This will be one of the most exciting fights of the night. They both expressed their desire to bring explosive fight, so we’ll see about that come fight night.

So there you go about the ONE FC event. The weigh-in is done. All the Team Lakay fighters made weight. Cutting weight is one of the most significant aspect in preparing for a fight. Besides fighting in the ring/cage, which of course is the most important thing during a fight; not everybody knows the importance of cutting weight. The effort, time, and sacrifices given to cutting weight are very essential factors to be considered. I think for a fighter to be called “professional”, he has to give his everything to make his weight to be fair with his opponent and to follow respectfully the rules of the promotion.

On the other hand, another event going on right now in Manila is the PNG-POC, Wushu National Championships, where most of our Wushu scholars and members from the Cordillera Admininstrative Region are also here for the competition. The event is on-going and ends on June 02, 2013.

Almost all Team Lakay members and supporters are now in Manila for the two events especially for the ONE FC event. Their families, relatives, friends, fans and supporters are here to show their love and support.

Another great thing here is that fans from the northern part of the Philippines, as well as from around the country, are now in Manila for the said event. Likewise, fans from other countries came to visit the Philippines to watch the biggest MMA event the ONE FC has ever had yet. For this reason, therefore, events such as these contribute to the tourism campaign of the country.

After the events local and international tourists can still go on other tourist destinations in the Philippines. While it’s still vacation time particularly in the Philippines, for the students who came to Manila for this event, , they also have the chance to go to some places around Metro Manila and its nearby tourist spots before the start of classes in the coming weeks.

The ONE FC: Rise to Power is going to be fun and exciting! Like that of the first ONE FC event last year in Manila, which was held at the Smart Araneta Colliseum, the deafening cheers from the fans will again fill up the Arena at the SM Mall of Asia. It’s going to be amazing since the fighters promised to give their best and the fight of the night thereby, giving the fans full entertainment and at the end of the night, we hope we all go home with fulfillment, enjoyment, and positive results that we all have been hoping and praying for. GOD Bless Team Lakay Pilipinas on this endeavor!

On behalf of our Team Lakay fighters, Thank you very much for your support and prayers!

Matago-tago tako am-in! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Indeed, when it comes to MMA and other Combative sports, It’s also More Fun in the Philippines!

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Mark Sangiao Is Preparing His Pupils For The Biggest Fights Of Their Careers

coach mark 2

In the past few years, Team Lakay has been a major force in Asian MMA scene, especially in Philippine MMA. They are one of the reasons why Philippines is the hot bed for MMA in Asia today.

Team Lakay is the home of MMA champs such as ONE FC featherweight world king Honorio “The Rock” Banario, who is also the current URCC lightweight title holder. The Baguio-based MMA fight team is also the residence of PXC world bantamweight champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, URCC welterweight champion and Martial Combat Superfight title holder, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, URCC flyweight champion, Kevin “Silencer” Belingon and the longtime URCC flyweight title holder, “The Punisher” Rey Docyogen.

If there is one man who is responsible for producing such great fighters, that would be none other than Team Lakay’s head coach, former URCC bantamweight champion, and former SEA Games Gold Medalist, Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.

Sangiao is a long-established martial arts practitioner. From kickboxing to taekwondo, judo to Brazilian jiu jitsu, Sangiao is truly, the pioneer of MMA in his home town Baguio City and arguably one of the people who brought MMA in the Philippines into a whole new level.

Sangiao knows how to build champions, he knows how exactly a fighter should train and eat because he is a former fighter himself; he understands the point of view of every fighter who trains at his gym.

mark sangiao 2

Team Lakay’s journey on top continues as they prepare for the biggest fights of their MMA careers. Mark Sangiao is getting his fighters ready for two of the most anticipated mixed martial arts events not only in the Philippines, but in whole Asia, as 8 of his best pupils will compete in PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 ‘Riste to Power’. Both events will be headlined by two Team Lakay world champions.

First up, PXC 37, happening on May 18th at The Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines, as the current champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge makes his first-ever title defense against the undefeated and ground specialist from Japan, Michinori Tanaka. Also, two of Team Lakay’s young fighters, Troy “The Hunter” Bantiag and Jerome Wanawan will make their appearances at the said PXC event. Bantiag will go up against Guam’s Trevin Jones, while Jerome Wanawan looks to comeback to his winning ways against a very talented fighter from San Pedro, Laguna, Ernesto Montilla Jr.

After PXC 37, the mammoth ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is up next for the Baguio-based fight team. The current ONE FC world featherweight champion from Team Lakay, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will also make his first title defense against a seasoned veteran in Koji Oishi of Japan.

Four more well-recognized Team Lakay fighters will make their toughest fights so far as Eduard “Landslide” Folayang faces WEC and UFC vet, Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorous, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon battles grappling wizard Masakatsu Ueda for the Bantamweight GP Finals, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen takes on former UFC fighter, Yasuhiro Urushitani and “The Gravity” Geje Eustaquio is finally back inside the ONE FC cage against his toughest opponent to date, Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone.

team lakay elites

Mark Sangiao’s pushing his fighters to the limit to prepare them for tough battles against some of the big names in Asian MMA today. Team lakay fighters are known for their excellent condition, power and rigorous training regimen. Mark is assured that his boys are ready come fight night due to a very much-improved training that his fighters are doing for the big events coming up,

“They are doing great. The training leveled up compared to the last ones because they are training together and they know that they have their own big fights to win.”

mark sangiao 3

Getting a fighter ready for a big event is a very difficult taks to do. But from Mark Sangiao’s standpoint, as long as you and your fighters work together, nothing is impossible,

“No, it’s not hard to train them because we really work as a team and brought in some additional coaches who specializes in boxing and Muay Thai. Also, we have our own Sanshou background that we can add well with some wrestling techniques. We also added some extra time on our grappling. But all in all, training our guys here isn’t too difficult.”

Aside from bringing in coaches who specializes in Boxing and Muay Thai, Sangiao also arranged additional outdoor training for his fighters and added extra hour to every practice just to make sure that they are well prepared when they go to battle,

team lakay

“We adjusted our time of practice; we extended our training hours. Also, in this training camp, we only not focused ourselves inside the gym and having uphill sprints, we also added some extra training at Teacher’s Camp here in Baguio City for strength and conditioning.  So those are some of the adjustments that we made for this camp.”

All of Team Lakay fighters that will compete at PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 are matched up against world-class grapplers. It is evident from their past fights that whenever a grappler fights a Lakay fighter, it is either that grappler’s going to give the Lakay fighter a tough fight or submit him.

But as we all know, the game is continuously evolving so as the fighters. Lakay fighters, through their setbacks against ground specialists, gave them a serious motivation to train harder and focus more on sharpening their grappling skills.

First on Mark Sangiao’s list is Crisanto Pitpitunge’s title defense against Michinori Tanaka, who we all aware of being such a deadly fighter whenever he’s on the ground. Sangiao has been working on improving Pitpitunge’s take down defense and how to escape from various submission holds. Also, in PXC 37, Troy Bantiag will face Trevin Jones, a fighter who has a very intimidating wrestling game and serious punching power. Jerome Wanawan will make his first appearance of the year as he comes off a humbling loss against Eugene Toquero last year,

“Crisanto’s training is great. We know that Tanaka’s well-trained on the ground and has very decent grappling skills. That’s why we trained Crisanto’s take down defense and focused more on his grappling because we know Tanaka will try to take him down, so we also practiced various submission escapes.”

“Troy and Jerome also are doing great. They are very positive the whole training because they really want to win their fights. Another great thing about this camp is that everyone is helping each other to improve. They are forcing everyone to sharpen their skills and aim to level their skills up together. They will be ready on May 18th for PXC 37.” Sangiao added.

After PXC 37, ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is next as Honorio Banario defends his title against Oishi, Belingon battles Ueda for the GP finals, Docyogen faces former UFC fighter, Urushitani and Eustaquio to lock horns with Leone.

Banario captured the title against Eric Kelly on February 2, 2013, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Now that he is going to defend his belt for the first time, fighting in front of his home crowd adds up to the pressure. It is a tough task to fight world-class fighters in your backyard, but Sangiao is confident that Banario and the rest of his fighters will be 110% ready on May 31,

“Honorio’s training is phenomenal, especially that Eduard is fresh from the U.S and has some great techniques with him that he can impart to his training partner, Honorio. He really wants to retain his title and I am happy to see him doing all his best in every training session we have.”

“With regards to Oishi’s ground skills, I saw some of his fights and the truth is, he is not really that fighter who loves to take the fight to the ground. I watched some videos of him and he also likes to strike. I am pretty sure that this fight is going to be electrifying. My prediction for this match up is that thousands of fans will be on the edge of their seats. But just in case Oishi will take Honorio down, we are ready for that; Honorio can beat Oishi at his own game.”

Fresh off his TKO victor over Thanh Vu last April 5th in ONE FC 8, Belingon’s next assignment is to beat a fellow GP finalist, Masakatsu Ueda.

belingon vs ueda

Belingon is an extraordinary fighter. He comes to every fight with a lot of surprises. Whenever he steps inside the cage, he is a different man, a much-improved fighter every time he fights. He will face another high-level grappler in Ueda for the ONE FC Bantamweight GP Finals,

“Ueda is very refined on the ground, but Kevin obviously has a significant advantage in the striking department. If Ueda will take Kevin down, I’m positive that with the much improved grappling skills of Kevin, he can keep up very well with the Japanese’s game. Kevin is getting better and better every fight. So I know he will soon be a contender to the ONE FC Bantamweight title.”

After 7 weeks of refining his ground game in the U.S, the poster boy of Team Lakay, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is back and hopes to beat Kamal Shalorous using his much-improved ground game. Sangiao believes that Folayang’s U.S trip was a huge eye-opener for the reigning URCC welterweight champion to train harder to improve his wrestling and jiu jitsu game,

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

“We cannot say that in just 7 weeks of his training in the U.S, we can see a well-versed Eduard Folayang on the ground. But at least, he absorbed some important techniques that he can use in his future fights. His U.S trip was a great eye-opener for him to work harder to refine his grappling.”

Shalorous has been in the UFC and fought some of the best in the world, which makes him a real threat to Eduard Folayang. But Mark saw something about Shalarous game that Eduard can take advantage of and he believes that his pupil will win the fight,

“We watched some of Shalarous fights and we saw something that Eduard can capitalize on. I cannot reveal what it is, but I think Eduard is much faster and technical than him. I know he can beat Shalorous. But if Eduard can do it via KO or TKO, much better.”

When asked if his boys are ready for PXC 37 and ONE FC 9,

“Of course, they are good to go. But as of now, we are very cautious about them not getting any injuries as the fight day approaches very fast. That’s the only concern we have right now.”

Being a coach, adviser, provider and a second father to his fighters, aside from making their dreams come true; one great thing about handling these fighters in Sangiao’s assessment is changing those fighters to become a better person,

“That’s one of the great things about this sport. We’re dealing different personalities and change them for the better. For me, even if sometimes I am not around during practices, I know they will do their part as a fighter. I know they will do what is right whenever they’re in the gym, even though sometimes my eyes are not monitoring them. Because I am always telling them that you will not be a champion unless you train like one.”

When asked on who are the naughtiest Team Lakay fighters,

“I would say Rey (Docyogen) and Honorio (Banario). (Laughs) Unlike their other team mates, those two are the loudest people everytime we train; they always make their team mates laugh. Also, Troy (Bantiag), maybe it’s because of his age, but he sometimes doesn’t take things seriously, but I understand that. He still got a long way to go.”

Last year, through his personal Facebook account, Sangiao asked a question to his fans on whether they like to see him back in action inside the ring/cage. It was obvious in the comment thread that a lot of fans and friends want him to go back and fight. But due to his tight schedule preparing his fighters to various gigantic MMA events around Asia, it seems like he really hang up his gloves and focused himself on handling his fighters and setting up local MMA and grappling tournaments,

“We already discussed about that matter, but as much as I’d like to go back into fighting, with the tasks I have as the head coach of the team; organizing some local shows like Team Lakay Championship and Team Lakay Grapplers’ Cup, it is really rational for me to not fight anymore. It’s not that my body cannot do it anymore, it’s just my schedule is so tight that I cannot train hard because I have more important things to do like those I’ve mentioned a while ago. So right now, that is my focus, coaching and organizing our events.”

When asked on what advice he can give to those coaches who look up to him,

“For me, to be able to stay hungry in the sport, is they need to check their passion for this sport. Then they need to look at the future of MMA in our country. If they want to be successful in this sport, all they need to do is focus and get real serious about it.”

“I am always saying about this to other coaches – we need to have healthy competitions among us. If we have events here in Baguio, they are welcome to join us. If they do have events in their own provinces, we are glad to join and help them. Let us just take away that traditional mentality of comparing each other’s abilities; we need to have a healthy competition. We need to learn from each other for the benefit of the sport. Here at Team Lakay, we are willing to invite them to join our events. We set aside our pride because we know that we also need the knowledge of Muay Thai practictioners, Wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu, for us to be a well-rounded.” Sangiao added.

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP FINALIZES ONE FC: RISE TO POWER CARD WITH THREE EXCITING UNDERCARD BOUTS

5 team lakay

Here’s the official release:

08 April 2013 – Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), presented by Casino Filipino and in association with Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), announced today three undercard bouts for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER. Up and coming Lowen Tynanes will battle the seasoned Felipe Enomoto while MMA veteran Tim Sylvia is back in action against Tony Johnson and fan favorite Ryan Diaz will take on Russian ace Yusup Saadulaev. All the action takes place live on 31 May from the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines.

As a young MMA fighter, Lowen Tynanes has already made a big impression by winning fights against top opponents in the Philippines, Japan and Malaysia. The high school wrestling champion silenced the home-crowd in Manila by incapacitating crowd-favorite Eduard Folayang with a vicious elbow which caused the doctor to instantly stop the fight. In his last outing at ONE FC, Tynanes also defeated Hong Kong-based South African fighter Vuyisile Colossa via rear naked choke. A proud American, he loves nothing better than to travel to Asia to take on the best local fighters in their own back yards. Tynanes is once again looking forward to showcasing his skills when he takes on Swiss-Japanese fighter Felipe Enomoto.

Each time Felipe Enomoto has entered into the ONE FC cage, he has been the underdog. This time, it is no different. Having established a reputation as being one of the toughest and most durable fighters in Asia who always leaves it all in the cage, Enomoto will undoubtedly be looking to silence the crowd with a decisive victory in the early rounds. Any fight which involves Enomoto is going to be a treat for MMA fans because this fighter never backs down no matter who the opponent is or which round he’s in.

One of the most frightening figures the MMA world has ever witnessed in combat sports action is Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia. Towering at over two meters tall, this brute of a man poses a serious threat to every heavyweight fighter in the world. Sylvia has fought over 30 times, won numerous championships and knocked out countless opponents. Sylvia’s unusual combination of size and quickness has ushered in a new era of monstrous, weight cutting heavyweights who seek total domination of their smaller counterparts. Sylvia is looking for a spectacular KO when he squares off against Tony Johnson on 31 May.

Tony Johnson is an imposing heavyweight fighter. Considered a top prospect in the heavyweight division, Johnson is famed for being one of the fastest strikers in the division and is currently on a two fight win streak. At ONE FC: RISE TO POWER, he will be looking to make an impressive debut in the famed ONE FC cage.

Ryan Diaz has been training in MMA for over ten years and already has thirteen professional wins to his name. Over a long career, Diaz continues to perfect his background in BJJ, Muay Thai and boxing. He possesses incredible power and strength. Diaz is much more experienced of the two fighters and will be looking to use his strength to overpower his Russian opponent and return to the USA victorious. After 2 outings in the ONE FC cage, Russian wrestler Saadulaev is still searching for his first ONE FC victory and will enter the cage for the third time with the determination to prevent a Diaz win at all costs.

Tickets for ONE FC: RISE TO POWER on 31 May are exclusively available at Casino Filipino outlets nationwide. Refer to www.onefc.com/tickets for details.

Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming atwww.onefc.livesport.tv.

The first three undercard fights are available for viewing free-of-charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.

ONE FC: RISE TO POWER is headlined  by a ONE FC Featherweight World Championship bout between reigning champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario against number one contender Koji Oishi and pound-for-pound king Bibiano Fernandes taking on Koetsu Okazaki for the ONE FC Bantamweight Interim Title.  All the action takes place live from the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines.

 

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.

Eduard Folayang: “I have learned my lessons and it motivates me to go this far to learn and get better.”

Photo by: Willy Foo

Photo by: Willy Foo

After a devastating loss against Lowen Tynanes at URCC 22 ‘Dekada’, Filipino MMA superstar Eduard “Landslide” Folayang (12-3) looks for redemption as he faces a very tough opponent in Kamal Shalorous (7-3-2), an UFC and WEC vet who is known for his knockout power and wrestling skills in his home turf at One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ on May 31st at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena.

Folayang is currently in the U.S, training and honing his ground game at Drysdale Jiu Jitsu in Las Vegas with Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and Martin .He also made a quick visit at Reign Training Center, an MMA gym owned by Filipino-American UFC fighter, Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz.

“I have an opportunity to go and visit Reign Training Center at Orange County, California, but it was a limited time so I grasped the chance to visit Mark and train with him. I learned some techniques with him and I’m very glad I have that chance to be with him. Mark Munoz is a very accommodating and hospitable man you can ever meet in MMA world. I thank him even for that short time to talk and share the same faith we have. May God continue to widen his territory.”

“My trip here in the U.S is a good eye opener for me to see the MMA world in a wider perspective. It’s also a good opportunity to train with high level of fighters and train with the best coaches in the business. My training here in Drysdale is awesome, I joined their PRO MMA Class and it was great. A lot of great fighters to be with and lessons to be grasped. There is a lot of difference with the regime I used to have, that’s why it needs adjustment on my part. There is some similarity though on some part.”

Folayang is famous for his striking skills, never ending cardio and deadly ground and pound game, but one thing that is evident in his past fights is that he had some tough times avoiding his opponent’s take downs. Although he hasn’t been submitted in the past, the always humble Folayang admits that he really needs to improve his ground skills and that he is quite far from being a complete fighter; but he is working hard to bring his game into a whole new level. In fact, his training partner at Drysdale, Dan Hardy, who rolled with the Filipino fighter a couple of times, tweeted us that Folayang’s ground game is “very good”.

“Training with Dan is an opportunity. I don’t know that he is Dan Hardy though I have an idea that he is a UFC fighter that time we are on training. I’m happy to have the chance to roll and wrestle with him. You know, I learned here that training with high level fighters is not only about getting their backs or submitting them, because we cannot avoid that and even those who doesn’t know much about fighting who are good on the ground can submit you and dominate you. It’s more about learning a technique and applying it effectively.”

When asked on when he is coming home, “I’ll be coming home soon.”

On May 31st, 2013, Folayang will return inside the cage in front of his home crowd as he takes on a much decorated MMA fighter in Shalorous at One FC 9 ‘ Riste to Power’ happening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“It was announced already that my next opponent is Kamal Shalorous, a very decorative wrestler and brawler who already fought big names in the UFC and WEC. This fight is very important for me, I have learned my lessons on the past and it motivates me to go this far to learn, train and get better.”

When asked on what can his Filipino fans expect from him on May 31st, “Fans can expect nothing only something that God is preparing for the next step.”

For sure Eduard Folayang’s U.S trip is all worth it as he acquired new things and added them in his arsenal. We will surely see a better and more dangerous Folayang against Shalorous in Manila in May 31st. He is thankful for those people who supported his trip and to his fans that are always behind him supporting whatever decision he makes in his career.

“I thank my Lord Jesus for the provisions He provided for my expenses to be defrayed and to those people who contributed and willingly accommodated me for my training here: Kuya Dave Taclobao his wife Ruby Jean and his family, Alexander Bangsoy and his Goshenland Company, Dr. Harold Hiyadan, My brothers Joseph and Heraldo Carosen, George Forayang, Joel Aliping, Melvin Magata and his family, Nader Zamani. I also want to thank my teammates in Team Lakay and bro Mark Sangiao for their continuous support. My family, fans and fellow Kingdom of God citizens and Genevieve Aloy.”

One FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ will be headlined by a world featherweight championship as Folayang’s teammate, Honoro “The Rock” Banario will defend his title for the first time against a veteran Japanese fighter, Koji Oishi.

Bantamweight phenom Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes will make his second One FC appearance against highly talented Koetsu Okazaki for the interim bantamweight title.

Also, Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon will battle it out to win the One FC Bantamweight Grand Prix title. This will be a crucial fight for both fighters as they try to step closer to the title picture.

You can check out the rest of the fight card for One FC ‘Rise to Power’ at http://www.onefc.com 

Shinya Aoki Dethrones Kotetsu Boku, Belingon and Ueda Will Face Each Other For The BW GP Finals

shinya5 April 2013 – Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), Asia’s largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, wowed the sold-out crowd in attendance at Singapore Indoor Stadium with ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS. Fans were treated to a night of unforgettable action as ONE FC’s best battled inside the famed ONE FC cage.

shinya 2

The ONE FC lightweight division crowned a new champion when Shinya Aoki submitted Kotetsu Boku in the second round of their championship bout. Aoki displayed superior grappling that knockout specialist Boku simply had no answer to. The finish came in round two when Shinya Aoki sunk in a rear naked choke that resulted in Boku tapping out and conceding his lightweight championship title.

In the co-main event of the evening, Brock Larson had to survive adversity to emerge victorious by unanimous decision. Melvin Manhoef nearly finished the fight in the first round with his signature kicks that clearly rocked Larson. Larson came back strong in the second round and ended the round with a tight armbar. Larson came on strong in the third round and neutralized Manhoef’s striking with superior grappling and relentless ground and pound. The judges unanimously awarded Larson the decision victory.

The packed Singapore Indoor Stadium also witnessed history as Kevin Belingon and Masakatsu Ueda earned wins in the prestigious ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix semi-finals and will face each other in the final. The winner of that bout will be guaranteed a future title shot.  Belingon dispatched of his opponent Thanh Vu with a relentless barrage of punches and kicks that led the referee to step in and stop the fight in round two.  Ueda also won in round two after he sank in a choke and the referee had no choice but to step in and stop the fight.

Official results for ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS:

Shinya Aoki defeats Kotetsu Boku by submission via rear naked choke at 4:04 minutes of round 2
Brock Larson defeats Melvin Manhoef by unanimous decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Masakatsu Ueda defeats Jens Pulver by d’arce submission at 3:52 minutes of round 2
Kevin Belingon defeats Thanh Vu by referee stoppage due to strikes at 1:00 minutes of round 2
Eddie Ng defeats Arnaud Lepont by armbar submission at 4:45 minutes of round 2
Leandro Issa defeats Yusup Saadulaev  by decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Alex Silva defeats Rene Catalan by armbar submission at 4:34  minutes of round 1
Bashir Ahmad defeats Shannon Wiratchai by decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Jake Butler defeats Swain Cangco by  submission at 2:52 minutes of round 1
Chen Yun Ting defeats Ronald Low by referee stoppage due to strikes at 3:58 minutes of round 1

In case you missed the action, log on to ONEFC.LIVESPORT.TV for the full replay of the fights at only US $9.99.

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.

Kevin Bleingon Starts Climbing Up The BW Ladder Tomorrow Night Against Vu

kevin havokk

After suffering a two consecutive losses in March and August of 2012 against Masakazu Imanari and the current One FC bantamweight champ, Soo Chul Kim, the fighting pride of the Philippines, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, promised that he will comeback stronger and better; which he exactly did when he put the top ranked bantamweight fighter Yusup Saadulaev to sleep in October at One FC 6 ‘Rise of Kings’.

Belingon is slowly climbing up the bantamweight ladder and aims to get the belt in the near future. The URCC flyweight champion is scheduled to fight Thanh Vu on Friday night in Singapore for the One FC Bantamweight Grand Prix Sem Finals.

Though he knows that he is heavily favored to win against Vu, the always humble fighter from Baguio City, Philippines, is not going to lax against Vu. He treats every fight as his last and he always act like a predator which is ready to slay his prey in an unexpected moment. If Belingon gets through this round, he will face the winner between Jens Pulver and Masakatsu Ueda, two of the heavy fovrites to win the said tourney on May 31st in Manila for the Grand Prix Finals.

If Belingon wins the tournament, he plans to have a rematch against Masakazu Imanari and Soo Chul Kim, because he knew that he can beat those two fighters who gave him the first two losses of his pro MMA career. The truth is that two weeks before his fight with Kim, he sustained a nasty cut on his forehead that forced him not to train grappling or wrestling. They didn’t bring out the news because his camp does not want to make the fans think that they are just making excuses, but it is the truth and they learned from it. All of those defeats are in Belingon’s rear view now and he is looking ahead on his goal – to become a MMA world champion.

Team Lakay head coach,  Mark Sangiao, said, “Kevin really trained hard for this fight against Vu. His ground game is phenomenal, his timing is perfect and he is more powerful compared to his previous fights.”

As part of his preparations against Thanh Vu, Belingon joined the 2013 Philippne BJJ No Gi International Open last February and bagged the gold medal in Men’s Intermediate Absolute (open weight catergory), by beating way heavier guys than him.

Tomorrow night, he will face Thanh Vu for the One FC BW Grand Prix Semi Finals. His arsenal is full of new tricks that will shock thousands of fans in Singapore. Expect a more deadly Kevin Belingon tomorrow night at One FC 8 in Singapore.

One FC BW Grand Prix Semifinalist Thanh Vu: ” I will be fighting with all I got and I’m sure Kevin will do the same.”

thanh vu

Life changing events alters many individuals in a significant way. Becoming involved in martial arts is a monumental event that can without question shape one’s life for the better.

The chronological events from the day he was born, until he made his first pro MMA debut, has made a profound impact on Thanh Vu (3-1) for it has given him a great deal of motivation for perfecting every aspect of his life. Inspired by his parents who worked hard to give him a better life, Vu’s decision to become an MMA fighter in 2011 showcased his willingness in creating his own lane for himself in life.

“My biggest inspiration would be my parents; they’ve come from a country where it was hard to survive and where hard work is the only way to get far in life. They have been through more than I could imagine that’s why they are my biggest inspiration.”

Vu is coming off a very convincing TKO win over Mohd Fouzein at One FC 7 ‘Return of Warriors’ last February. Vu, in that fight, proved to other fighters in his division that he is for real and he aims to get the belt in the future, which currently owns by the South Korean fighter, Soo Chul Kim.

At the age of 5, Thanh Vu learned his first-ever discipline in Kung Fu, “I first got into Kung Fu when I was the age of 5 but I only did it for about a year then I stopped after that. So really MMA was my first in my eyes.”

Vu is currently signed under One Fighting Championship, a Singapore-based MMA promotion that is slowly becoming the face of Asian MMA.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be fighting in ONE FC, I couldn’t ask for more fighting for the biggest show in Asia. It means everything to me to be fighting on ONE FC.”

Even though he is slowly building his name in this tough sport, Vu still knows that he still has a long way to go and will do everything just to be at the top of the food chain.

“Life is still the same after my last fight; I came back to my full-time job and go to training afterwards everyday. What I can say is that it has made me more determined to make it as far as I can in ONE FC.”

“My ultimate goal in my fighting career is to succeed and be the best I can be and learn along the way and have a nice title belt around my waist one day.”, Vu added.

Vu’s next assignment is to get himself into the One FC’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Finals. But first, he must defeat a very tough opponent in Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon (10-2) on Friday, April 5th in Singapore.

“Kevin is an experienced fighter in the Phillipines and is the URCC flyweight champion. So he knows what he’s doing inside the cage, so this will be a tough fight. As far as what holes do I see in his game, I haven’t really paid attention to Kevin’s game as such. Whatever he does, I will surely have an answer for it.”

“ONE FC fans can definitely expect an exciting fight on April 5th. I will be fighting with all I got and I’m sure he will do the same, so it will be a good fight.” Vu added.

On the same night, another Bantamweight Semifinals matchup is set between two veterans of the sport as former UFC lightweight champ, Jens Pulver, looks to eliminate Japanese MMA icon, Masakatsu Ueda.

When asked on what are his thoughts on Pulver versus Ueda fight, “It’s a tough one to say between the two, both fighters have ton of experience and I really can’t pick one. I will just be grab my seat straight away to sit down and watch with the rest of the fans.”

Thanh Vu would like to thank the following:

Rockhard Supplements, MMA Factory, Plus Fitness 24/7. My coaches David and Glenn Taylor-Smith for all their time and effort into his training without them it would not be possible, his Muay Thai coach Khru Suriya and Khru Adam and of course, his training partners and the fight team. He would also like to thank all his friends and family for their awesome support and of course, ONE FC for giving me this opportunity.

One FC: Kings and Champions on 5 April 2013 will feature 10 explosive bouts of world-class MMA headlined by the most highly-anticipated bout in Asian MMA history – a title fight between One FC Lightweight Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku and probably the most famous name in Asian MMA, Shinya “Tobikan Judan: Aoki.

Visit www.onefc.com for more information

Melvin Manhoef Versus Brack Larson Added To One FC ‘Kings and Champions’ On April In Singapore

manoef

One of the deadliest strikers in the business today will face a submission wizard on 5 April 2013 in Singapore as Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef (27-9-1-1) takes on Brock Larson (36-7) in One FC ‘Kings and Champions’.

Manhoef doesn’t need any further introduction as he is known for his devastating power. He is a poster boy for annihilation and a true knock our artist. Manhoef has faced and beaten some of the greatest fighters in the business today and established himself as one the most respected fighters in the fight business today. This guy is a nightmare for anybody in his division; he can put you to sleep in any moment in a fight or worse, he can send you straight to the hospital.

brock larson

Meanwhile, Larson is a veteran of 43 professional fights. He is a UFC veteran and he loves to break somebody’s arm and put his opponent to sleep by choking them out. His name might not be as big as Manhoef, but his record will show you that he can stop a fighter as good as Manhoef. Let’s see if Larson can take Manhoef down before he gets knocked out.

Headlining One FC ‘Kings and Champions’ is a lightweight bout between two of Japan’s well-known MMA as the always dangerous Shinya Aoki will challenge the crafty striker Kotetsu Boku for his One FC lightweight belt.

Also, Jens Pulver takes on Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon versus Thanh Vu are set for the Bantamweight Grand Prix semi-finals.

Another lightweight bout is set to make the fire up the crowd as the always entertaining French fighter, Arnaud “The Game” Lepont battles crowd favorite, Eddie “The Magician” Ng.

Two top bantamweight fighters will try to get back to their winning ways when Evolve MMA’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa squares off with Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev.

Leandro is coming off a very discouraging loss against the current One FC bantamweight champion, Soo Chul King at One FC 6 in October, while Saadulaev got his first TKO loss at the hands of Filipino MMA star Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon in October as well.

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.

One FC’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals Is Going Down On April 5th In Singapore!

one fc bw grand prixJens Pulver takes on Masakatsu Ueda, while Filipino MMA star Kevin Belingon battles Thanh Vu at One FC ‘Kings and Champions’ on April 5th.

Here’s the official press release:

20 February 2013 – Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC) announced today that the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix semi-final fights will be featured at ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS. The event will take place live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 5 April 2013. Former Lightweight World Champion from the United States, Jens Pulver, will take on Japan’s Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon of the Philippines will face Vietnamese-Australian Thanh Vu.

ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS will be broadcast live on STAR SPORTS across Asia. This historic moment will mark the first time ever a live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event will be broadcast on the network. ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS will be available live in 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers.

Fans from around the world can also witness the action online via livestreaming at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv. The undercard fights are available for viewing free-of-charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.

CEO of ONE Fighting Championship™ Victor Cui stated, “ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS is the biggest event in ONE FC history and will feature four of the world’s best Bantamweights fighting for a shot at the Bantamweight World Championship title. It is a must-see for MMA fans because when these four champions enter the ONE FC cage, nothing will matter more to them than making it into the finals of the Grand Prix. Get ready for explosive MMA action that will leave you on the edge of your seats!”

Jens Pulver is a former Lightweight World Champion whose career has seen him compete for the top promotions in the history of MMA, the UFC, PRIDE and ONE FC. Pulver loves to represent the USA and he has every intention of capping his incredible career by winning the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix. A true pioneer in the sport of MMA, Pulver brings a wealth of cage fighting experience as he faces Japanese veteran Masakatsu Ueda.

Masakatsu Ueda is the former undisputed Shooto Featherweight Champion, a title he successfully defended three times. He has an outstanding 16-2-2 record and is a widely regarded as one of the best Bantamweight fighters in the world. Ueda has studied BJJ extensively under legendary Japanese coach Yuki Nakai, who has also trained DREAM superstar Shinya Aoki. After making his debut in 2005, he has defeated the current Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas while defending the Shooto Championship Belt. With his impressive track record, Ueda will definitely be one of the favorites to win the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix.

What Kevin Belingon may lack in size, he makes up for with his lightning speed and well-honed striking skills. The current URCC Flyweight Champion is considered one of the most dangerous strikers in the Asian Bantamweight division. He sets a fearsome pace and can either shoot for takedowns to rough opponents up with ground-and-pound or keep it standing and pick them apart with his pinpoint precision striking. Belingon was incredibly enthusiastic about representing Pinoy warriors in the inaugural ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix because, as he puts it, there is no better feeling than fighting for Filipino pride.

Thanh Vu is a Vietnamese-Australian Bantamweight who is already rated as one of the best prospects in his weight class in Australia, where he currently competes. Vu is a decorated grappler who has placed in the Grappler’s Realm Australia and Events BJJ tournaments. Vietnam has a strong culture of martial arts but has produced few famous fighters and Vu is looking forward to representing the country in competitive action on the largest stage in Asian MMA. He made quick work of his opponent in the Final Elimination Bout in February and will look to do the same again in April.

ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS is headlined by the ONE FC Lightweight World Championship bout between reigning champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku and number one contender Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.

Tickets for ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS are now on sale at SISTIC (www.SISTIC.com.sg). Tickets categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cage-side experience for VIPs at S$348 followed by Arena – S$148, Terrace – S$68 and Balcony – S$38. Several ticket categories are almost sold out. Get your tickets now. All applicable service charges apply.

For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit http://www.onefc.com and follow on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.