ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), Asia’s largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization with a 90% market share, impressed the sold-out crowd in attendance at the NTU Sports Center in Taipei, exciting the city with a dazzling display of intense, world-class mixed martial arts action. In the main event of the evening, Eric ‘The Natural’ Kelly of the Philippines turned in a tremendous technical performance, defeating Australian Rob Lisita by Rear Naked Choke.
In a colossal clash of ferocious featherweights, Eric Kelly overcame a monstrous effort by Australian Rob Lisita to win by submission in round 2. The first round saw Kelly and Lisita trade heavy handed blows in the clinch. After which, an evenly matched battle on the ground saw both fighters having their moments. Kelly attempted a plethora of submission attempts, while Lisita opted to strike. In the second round, Kelly was bleeding profusely from the nose but in an incredible display of heart and tenacity, the Filipino showed why he is held in such high regard by busting out another submission, securing the Rear Naked Choke he had worked on the entire fight. The choke forced Rob Lisita to tap out.
Koji Ando of Japan dealt previously undefeated Brazilian Rafael Nunes the first loss of his career, winning by submission in the first round. Ando stalked his opponent for a good minute and a half as Nunes circled away. The fight went to the ground shortly after and Ando was able to take Nunes’ back. In an impressive display of Jiu-Jitsu, Ando snuck his right arm deep under Nunes’ neck and squeezed out the Rear Naked Choke.
Japanese mixed martial artist Koetsu Okazaki overcame a dominant first round by Yusup Saadulaev to win by referee stoppage. The first round was all Saadulaev as the Russian used a beautifully executed trip to take Okazaki to the ground and keep him there, dealing damage from a dominant position. Okazaki fired back by boxing well in the second, rocking his opponent with a few counter right hands as Saadulaev was coming in. Saadulaev scored on a takedown and an extremely technical grappling exchange ensued on the mat. In a quick turn of events, Okazaki took control of Saadulaev’s back and unleashed a tirade of unanswered strikes to the head, causing the referee to put an end to the match.
Former NCAA Division I wrestler Jake Butler put his elite wrestling skills on full display as he battered Egypt’s Mohamed Ali, winning by referee stoppage in the third round. After an intense feeling out process in the opening moments, Butler shot for a double leg and took Ali to the mat. On the ground, Butler used his superior wrestling skills to smother his opponent, scoring on a couple of hard strikes from side control. The second round saw much of the same action as Butler secured the single leg takedown, assuming side control shortly after. In the third round, the American got double underhooks taking his opponent to the ground once again, this time winding up in full mount. Butler finished the fight with ground and pound from the top position.
In a clash of two heavyweight behemoths, former Canadian Football League defensive lineman Paul Cheng of Taiwan outlasted Egypt’s Mahmoud Hassan, winning by verbal submission at the end of the second round. In the first round, both fighters immediately locked horns in the center of the cage in a furious exchange of strikes. Cheng then dropped levels for a double leg takedown and dragged Hassan to the canvas. On the ground Cheng pounced on Hassan as his opponent covered up. Hassan got in a good left hook that rocked Cheng but the Taiwanese star again found success with the takedown. Cheng suffocated Hassan with heavy-handed strikes in the full mount, piling on the damage. Before the beginning of the third round, Hassan failed to answer the call to action with a verbal submission.
In a do-over of their first encounter, Chi Lewis Parry gave the Taiwanese audience their first taste of what a heavyweight bout in ONE FC looks like, defeating his opponent Alain Ngalani of Cameroon by TKO. Parry looked to have the advantage in the stand-up as soon as the two warriors exchanged strikes. Sensing this, Ngalani went for the takedown by executing a successful Judo trip to achieve full mount. From top position, Ngalani hit Parry with a series of elbows but the 6’9” MMA star from England was able to score on a quick reversal. In side control, Parry struck Ngalani with a hellacious elbow to the head and followed that up with a couple more, knocking out his opponent.
Taiwanese bantamweight star Sung Ming Yen delighted his hometown crowd with an inspired performance as he defeated Singapore’s Nicholas Lee, taking his opponent completely out of his game with high-level grappling. As soon as the fight began, Sung immediately closed the gap on Lee with a quick but powerful hip toss, sending his opponent to the canvas. On the ground, Sung slowly advanced to mount and caught Lee in a beautifully executed Guillotine choke, forcing the Singaporean to tap out as the capacity crowd loudly cheered on their local mixed martial arts hero.
Taiwanese fighter Jeff Huang overcame a spirited performance by his opponent Bala Shetty of India to win by TKO in round 1. Both fighters wasted absolutely no time by going right at each other from the opening bell. A furious scramble led to a battle on the mat as Shetty caught Huang in a side headlock. Huang impressed the crowd with his technical ground work scoring on a reversal and twice catching his foe in a rear naked choke. Ditching the submission attempts, Huang went to work on his ground and pound raining down a series of unanswered hammer fists that caused the referee to stop the fight saving Shetty from further punishment.
It was a short night’s work for Eliot Corley as he showcased his solid Muay Thai skills by defeating Rayner Kinsiong by TKO in the very first round. Corley went right at Kinsiong with two vicious body kicks that found their mark. He then snuck in a short right hand that sent Kinsiong backpedalling towards the cage fence. A sharp right elbow over the top dropped Kinsiong and the referee stepped in to stop the fight before Kinsiong could take more damage.
Featherweight Nathan Ng of Hong Kong kicked things off for ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS with an impressive submission victory over Florian Garel of France. Ng came out of his corner looking to strike landing a quick right hand that sent Garel crashing to the mat. Both fighters made it back to their feet but Ng mixed things up and quickly went for a takedown. On the ground, Ng worked to secure a reverse head and arm choke that forced Garel to tap out in round one.