One FC: Pride of a Nation Makes History

One Fighting Championship™ made its debut event in Manila with One FC: Pride of a Nation at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on August 31, 2012. The fight card was one of the best fight cards that One FC had. It featured the five MMA Filipino fighters Eduard ‘The Landslide’ Folayang, Eric ‘The Natural’ Kelly, Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon, Honorio Banario and Andrew Benibe;

Jens ‘Lil Evil’ Pulver, Shannon ‘Oneshin’ Wiratchai, Mitch ‘The Dragon’ Chilson, Phil Baroni, Rodrigo Rebeiro, Nicholas Mann, South Korea’s Jung Hwan Cha and Soo Chul Kim, Tony ‘The Gun’ Bonello, Felipe Enomoto, Tim ‘The Maine – iac’ Sylvia, Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski, Gustavo Falciroli and Bibiano Fernandes.

And for the first time in the history of MMA, the three Gracies – Rolles Gracie, Igor Gracie and Gregor Gracie were featured in one MMA event. The Gracie Family is considered the Royal Family of MMA;

It was a night of victory for Filipino MMA fighters Eduard Folayang Eric Kelly. Folayang was pitted against Felipe Enomoto. It was a fired up match from Round 1 to Round 3. Folayang let out a series of left and right punches, 90 degree and turn around kick combo on Enomoto. Days before the fight, in an interview that I did with him, he said that will put on a very good performance for his Filipino fans. And true to his words, he didn’t fail all the MMA fans who trooped to the coliseum to watch his fight. He won via a unanimous decision. He may have not won via a knock out, but he did put a very exciting fight. I’m sure that everyone enjoyed that fight.

Eric Kelly wowed the audience with his intense performance against the seasoned MMA fighter Jens Pulver of the USA. At the start of the match, Pulver took him down. He bounced back by letting out a left punch and a 45 degree kick combo to Pulver. But his training and aggressive behavior in the cage took Pulver in his most vulnerable. The referee stopped the matched and declared Kelly a winner by knock out.

Their performance in their respective fights gained more following, that right even before the event wrapped up, One Fighting Championship™ CEO Victor Cui announced that both of them will be part of the One FC: Rise of Kings fight card. (The event is happening on October 6, 2012 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Please click HERE for the official results.)

Aside from the main event, the Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski match was one of the most anticipated matches. Both had a history since this was their fourth match. From a personal stand point, Sylvia can easily take down Arlovski in a close fight. In the first round, he gave Arlovski a series of punches. This somehow placed Arlovski in a situation where he had to do something drastic to win over Sylvia. In the second round, he let a big punch at Sylvia’s left jaw. A punch that brought Sylvia down. At that instance, he kicked Sylvia in the head. His action may have been triggered by his emotions, yet that was pretty nasty. The judges gave him a yellow card. A two minute time out was given by the referee for Sylvia to recover. During this time, the judges deliberated on the preceding situation. They finally came up with a decision and ruled out the fight was a No Contest fight.

Because of what happened, the crowd booed Arlovski, which came out quite naturally. Nonetheless, Arlovski managed to acknowledge what he did and apologized. At the end of the day, in the spirit of true sportsmanship, they still showed respect for each other, and respect for the sport.

The main event featured Australian CFC Champion Gustavo Falciroli and Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu expert Bibiano Fernandes. Falciroli holds a Second Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu. During the open work outs and the weigh ins, he was asked what he thinks the fight’s gonna be and what he expects from it, he humbly said that he “wasn’t expecting anything” from his opponent, and that he’s expecting more from his performance. Prior to the match, he holds a record of 12 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws. Fernandes, on the other hand is high level submission specialist and holds a record of 11 wins and 3 losses. He fights out of the AMC Pranknation Team. During the side pocket events held at the Discovery Suites Gym, he said that “in MMA, anything can happen.” These two guys are champions and are experts in the cage. Taking a look at their track records, they can rightfully brag about their experience but listening to them, they exude an honest to goodness behavior and a modest attitude.

It was an exciting three round match. Falciroli entered the cage singing along with the song that was being played back. He was calm, and he looked pretty cool with his blue hair, though. At the start of the first round, Falciroli showed his fighting skills by taking Fernandes down. But Fernandes managed to break from Falciroli’s grappling technique. In the second round, there was a slip in Falciroli’s move that brought him down, which Fernandes took advantage of. By the end of the fight, the judges declared Fernandes a winner by a unanimous decision.

One thing that I have noticed among them, whether they win or loss, is that they made the effort to pay respect to their opponent. Like in the case of the Thai fighter Shannon Wiratchai who squared off with Mitch Chilson. It wasn’t an easy victory for Shannon but after being declared a winner by knock out, he bowed down to show his respect to Chilson for putting on a very good fight.

MMA is not just a sport like any other. It’s a discipline. Discipline that starts from within. Like what Eduard Folayang said (in an interview that I did three weeks before the event), when it’s time for training, then you train well and hard. Be with the right people who can motivate you to further develop your skills. It’s about respect towards your opponent, and to the sport itself.

One FC: Pride of a Nation is pretty special for the One FC CEO Mr. Victor Cui. Bringing One FC to Manila not only gives MMA a different perspective, but also it’s a homecoming event for him. Though born and raised in Canada, he proudly said that his family is from Cebu and he is a Filipino by heart. He aims to give all Filipino MMA fans the best matches through Pride of Nation. And if you can’t get enough of their first offering, One FC will be back in February, 2013.

I admit that I have never been a big fan of MMA in the past. That is despite of the fact that I play taekwondo a little. In addition to that, I haven’t done any taekwondo in roughly a couple of years now. Having gone to an MMA event like One FC: Pride of a Nation took my interest in the sport a notch higher. I’m going back to my trainings. Definitely, I won’t be doing MMA yet. But don’t you think it’s something to look forward to?

Thanks to Will Hsu, Loren Mack and Mela of Monster and Centaur Productions for the media pass and to One Fighting Championship™ CEO Victor Cui for the warm accommodation and undivided attention everytime I come to your events. Thanks also to Jeff Lo of and to my Ok Ok Runner brother Aquiz Minlay.

For a full list of matches and winners, please click HERE.

Please visit for more MMA updates.


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