ONE World Welterweight Champion Ben Askren Goes Head-to-head with Russia’s Nikolay Aleksakhin in One: Global Rivals


ONE Championship™ (ONE) announces its fightcard for the upcoming ONE: Global Rivals happening on April 15, 2016 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Headlining the event are ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren who is set to defend his title against the Nikolay Aleksakhin of Russia.

ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui is proud that the promotion has “an absolutely stacked card planned for fight fans in Manila for another awesome night of MMA.”

“Each time, our Manila show gets bigger and better, and this year is no exception,” Cui added.

An Olympian, Ben Askren is a collegiate wrestling legend and is one of the finest mixed martial artists in the world today. In just a few stints in ONE, Askren had seized the ONE Welterweight World Championship with a resounding technical knockout victory over Nobutatsu Suzuki. He is widely considered to be the absolute best in his division and one of the best fighters in the world pound for pound. His next challenge is tough one as he goes head-to-head with Russia’s Nikolay Alekskhin.

Nikolay Aleksakhin is a veteran welterweight fighter and will make his highly-anticipated return to the One Championship cage this April. He made in impressive debut when he submitted Burenzorig Batmunkh with a rear naked choke in just three rounds.

With Askren and Aleksakhin for the final fight, MMA fans are in for a huge and intense action.

Team Lakay’s bantamweight Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is one of the most proficient Wushu practitioners in the Philippines. Eustaquio’s accurate striking and cool composure has led him to a few big wins over the course of his career in ONE Championship. In his last bout, Eustaquio scored a scintillating one-punch knockout over Malaysian prospect Saiful Merican. He’s pitted to face Gianni Subba and looks forward to replicate his previous wins.

Gianni Subba is one of the most promising prospects at ONE. At just 23-years old, Subba is already a seasoned athlete with a stellar 7-1 clip in his young career. He has won his last four bouts and in his last outing, he defeated the highly-regarded Anatpong Bunrad of Thailand. These two talented and skillful fighters are surely going to heat up the ONE cage.

Lowen Tynanes of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, is a 25-year old unbeaten lightweight competitor and one of the most talented fighters in his division. Tynanes uses his aggressive striking approach and no-frills wrestling techniques to subdue his opponents inside the cage. He has defeated some of the biggest names in Asia, and now he is scheduled to take on Japanese veteran Koji Ando.

Koji “The Commander” Ando is one of Japan’s fiercest competitors, having been a mixed martial artist since 2008. The Japanese fighter is never in a boring fight and always remains a threat no matter who the opponent. With an array of diverse striking skills coupled with solid submission grappling credentials, Ando is ready to claim victory once again inside the ONE Cage.

Featherweight standout Eric “The Natural” Kelly of Baguio City is highly-regarded as perhaps the best homegrown mixed martial artist to come out of the Philippines. The Filipino matches his solid striking techniques with a high-level grappling game, which has resulted in 9 submissions out of 12 victories. Kelly is on the trail for a shot at the featherweight title, but he’ll have to go through Timofey Nastyukhin to get it.

Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin has notched a series of ferocious finishes since joining ONE Championship, including technical knockouts of top fighters Eduard Folayang and Yusuke Kawanago. He fell short of victory in his last bout against Herbert Burns and Nastyukhin now returns to action against one of the biggest names in the Philippines.

24-year-old Filipino-Australian bantamweight standout Reece “Lightning” McLaren scored the biggest win of his young career in his last bout, a submission victory over Mark “Mugen” Striegl. McLaren showcased great striking skills paired with a technical ground game which resulted in a spectacular come-from-behind finish. McLaren now gets the chance to connect with his Filipino roots as he takes on Muin Gafurov in Manila.

Muin “Tajik” Gafurov of Dushanbe, Tajikistan proved in his ONE Championship debut that he is a relentless, aggressive fighter with solid all-round mixed martial arts skills. He is unbeaten at 10 wins and no losses and is a force to be reckoned with at bantamweight. In his last bout, Gafurov defeated Finnish MMA sensation Toni “Dynamite” Tauru via technical knockout and now he looks to do the same against Reece McLaren.

Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario has long been one of the Philippines’ most respected mixed martial arts veterans. The former ONE Featherweight World Champion, Banario is back and ready to show fans exactly what he’s been working on in the past few months since his last fight. An expert in Wushu, Banario will showcase his lightning quick strikes against fellow Filipino fighter, Vaughn Donayre.

Lightweight standout Vaughn “The Spawn” Donayre is a Filipino mixed martial artist based in Dubai. The Cebu native quit his mechanical engineering job to become a fighter. Donayre is highly regarded as an exciting mixed martial artist constantly in pursuit of a finish and in his next bout, he takes on Filipino MMA veteran Honorio Banario.

Team Lakay’s April Osenio made her much awaited ONE Championship debut against Singapore’s Kirstie Gannaway last year. Although Osenio fell short of victory, the 21-year-old female atomweight learned a lot in her first time inside the ONE Cage. Osenio now looks for her first victory, but it will have to come against fellow Filipino Natalie Gonzales Hills.

Filipino-Australian Natalie Gonzales Hills is a worthy female atomweight contender with a solid record. Her two wins inside the cage have both come by submission, with her ground game proving to be an asset. Aside from grappling, Hills also boasts high-level striking technique to round out her skillset. Against April Osenio, Hills will have to dig deep to emerge victorious.

Young prospect Bernard “Hitman” Soriano of the Philippines will take on Indonesian Sunoto in a three round bantamweight contest, while Team Lakay flyweight Danny Kingad makes his ONE Championship debut against Muhamad Haidar of Malaysia to kick off what should be an action-packed evening of world-class mixed martial arts.

Tickets for ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS are available at http://www.smtickets.com.

Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at http://www.onefc.com/livestream. The event will be available for purchase at just US$9.99. For more updates on ONE Championship™, please visit http://www.onefc.com and follow Twitter and Instagram @ONEFCMMA and Facebookatwww.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA

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