One Championship: Age of Domination


Tonight, all roads will lead to SM MOA Arena for the much-anticipated MMA event of the year – the One Championship: Age of Domination.

one-age-of-dominationHeadlining the event is the 39 year old mixed martial veteran 14-7-0, 1 NC professional record Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is set to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship title against the yet undefeated Japanese fighter Hideki Sekine, who is making his One Championship debut. The Japanese heavyweight contender Hideki Sekine is unbeaten as a mixed martial artist with seven wins and no losses. For these two fighters, the match is all about their mixed martial arts skills. Brandon Vera with his devastating striking and well-rounded submission grappling skills againts Hideki Sekine with his brute strength and technical grappling ability.

The co-main event features the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Filipino-Australian bantamweight sensation Reece McLaren. McLaren has since come a long a way with two highly-impressive victories over top caliber opponents inside the ONE Championship cage, and this earned him a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship title. Drawing inspiration from Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, McLaren takes on the spot against Fernandes who has has strung together eight straight victories including four exciting finishes, making him ONE’s longest reigning champion.

Next on the fight card is the 28-year-old Filipino MMA sensation Mark “Mugen” Striegl, who is one of the top fighters in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. He returns to the ONE cage in a highly anticipated fight against professional MMA Brazilian Rafael Nunes. Striegl began his professional career on a 12-fight win streak and made a successful ONE Championship debut in 2014 against American Casey Suire. He now trains with Asia’s best world champions in Singapore. Nunez is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Nunes is equally comfortable finishing his opponents by submission or strikes. He looks to showcase his multi-faceted skill in his next bout, and will face a tough challenge when he takes on Mark Striegl.

Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is back in the ONE cage, who is known as one of the highly skilled wushu fighters in the country. Training with the famous Team Lakay of Baguio, his solid striking and grappling skills will once again be put to test as he faces Toni “Dynamite” Tauru of Utti, Finland. A feared grappling specialist, Tauru is looking for his first victory inside the ONE Championship cage, but he will have to contend against Geje Eustaquio in order to get it.

Another of Team Lakay’s ward is Honorio “The Rock” Banario. With his vast cage experience, Banario possesses a high level-striking skill and a steadily improved grappling ability. As a former ONE Featherweight World Champion, Banario is an expert in wushu, and is ready to showcase his lightning-quick strikes against India’s Rajinder Singh Meena in the ONE Championship lightweight division. Meena possesses a robust grappling skill set and owns five impressive wins by submission. Will that be enough to topple down Banario?

Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly is one of the brightest featherweight prospects in the country. Complete with striking and grappling skills, Kelly will bring Team Lakay’s world-renowned wushu to centre stage. He takes on Jakarta’s Sunoto “The Terminator”. Kelly scored a one-punch knockout of veteran fighter Vincent Latoel during his last fight. Is it going to be a repeat against Sunoto, owns an MMA record of five wins and two losses, including three highly-impressive submission victories?

The Atomweight division features Team Lakay’s April Osenio and Taiwan’s Jenny Huang. Osenio impressively brought down her last opponent with a guillotine choke submission, highlighting her growing skills beyond the striking art of wushu. Not to be taken for granted, Huang tucks four wins and no losses under her belt and owns two impressive submission victories. This is going to be one exciting match!

Two Filipinos step up to the ONE cage in the flyweight division. With three wins and no loss in his resume, Danny Kingad of Team Lakay faces another standout Eugene Toquero. Coming off from his training camp in Baguio, Danny Kingad is a tremendous striker, operating out of his world-class wushu base. Eugene Toquero has great highlight-reel striking techniques and operates at a pace, which his opponents find hard to keep up with. An epic fight between the standouts, who will really standout?

Completing the fight card are flyweight fighters Liu Peng Shuai and Sim Bunsrun, who are set to do battle in a three-round bout. Liu is the Hefei Flyweight Tournament Champion, while the Cambodian Bunsrun is a winner of his last two fights including an impressive first-round submission in his promotional debut.

The pre-event fight features the 18-year-old Chinese fighter Xie Bin who takes on Indonesia’s Mario Satya Wirawan. Xie last appeared in a tremendous contest against Casey Suire, while Wirawan went to battle with Burn Soriano. Both fighters are looking to get back on track with a victory.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com. For live Twitter and Instagram updates, @ONEChampionship. Or like One Championship on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

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Ben Askren Overcomes Tremendous Challenge from Nikolay Aleksakhin


Ben Askren defeats Nikolay Aleksakhin by Unanimous Decision in Catchweight Super Fight (85.3kg)

Ben Askren defeats Nikolay Aleksakhin by Unanimous Decision in Catchweight Super Fight (85.3kg)

In the main event of last Friday’s ONE Championship: Global Rivals, United States’ Ben “Funky” Askren overcame a tremendous effort from Nikolay Aleksakhin of Seltso, Russia to win by unanimous decision in a five-round Super Fight. Askren put on an amazing display of high-level wrestling to score on multiple takedowns, maintaining control of Aleksakhin on the ground while doing damage from the mounted crucifix position. Aleksakhin connected on a few solid strikes, but it wasn’t enough to trump Askren’s overall solid performance.

In a much-awaited bantamweight match up, Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio completely outclassed top Malaysian prospect Gianni Subba in an exciting three-round bout in front of Eustaquio’s home crowd at SM MOA Arena. Eustaquio kept Subba at bay all night at the end of his lightning fast kicks and sharp counterpunching. Subba could not get his offense going as Eustaquio dominated from end-to-end to earn the unanimous decision.

Geje Eustaquio defeats Gianni Subba by Unanimous Decision in the Bantamweight match.

Geje Eustaquio (red shorts) defeats Gianni Subba by Unanimous Decision in the Bantamweight match.

Lightweight standout Lowen Tynanes of Ewa Beach, Hawaii defeated highly-regarded Japanese veteran Koji “The Commander” Ando by unanimous decision in a gruelling contest. Tynanes used his superior wrestling skills to control the action in the cage, while also getting the better of Ando in the stand-up with his powerful leg kicks and straight right hand. After three rounds, Ando couldn’t amount to much as Tynanes ran away with the judges’ nod.

Filipino-Australian fighter Reece “Lightning” McLaren showed the world that he is an absolute force to be reckoned with by dominating former combat sambo world champion Muin “Tajik” Gafurov over three rounds. McLaren completely shut down Gafurov with his impeccable mat and cage control, displaying a high-level grappling game that Gafurov had no answer to. McLaren wins a unanimous decision in a very technical affair.

A memorable lightweight contest ensued between Filipino combatants Honorio “The Rock” Banario and Vaughn “The Spawn” Donayre. Banario dominated the striking exchanges, landing the right hand over the top frequently and with good, solid power. The former featherweight champion also controlled action on the ground, almost finishing the fight with an armbar submission, showcasing his improved grappling. In the end, Banario did just enough to earn the unanimous decision.

In an intense, crowd-pleasing fight, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen and China’s Li Kai Wen brought fans up to their feet with a display of fierce and explosive striking exchanges. The two fighters unloaded on each other from the opening bell. As they traded blows, Li dropped Nguyen with a punch but Nguyen was able to withstand the damage and recover. Once on the ground, Nguyen’s superiority showed as he was able to control Li’s back and finish the fight with punches from the top.

Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio debuted for ONE Championship with a solid victory over Rabin Catalan, remaining an unbeaten young prospect. Pacio controlled the action from top position after scoring on a big slam over Catalan, landing some heavy blows in the first round. In the second round, Pacio again scored with a big overhead slam. This time, Pacio was able to step over into mount and finish the fight with ground-and-pound.

April Osenio defeats Natalie Gonzales Hills by Submission (Armbar) at 3:23 minutes of round 1 in the Women’s Atomweight bout.

April Osenio defeats Natalie Gonzales Hills by Submission (Armbar) at 3:23 minutes of round 1 in the Women’s Atomweight bout.

Team Lakay’s lady warrior April Osenio impressed the crowd with vastly improved grappling skills to win by submission over British-Filipina fighter Natalie Gonzales Hills in a battle of female atomweights. Although Hills was able to take Osenio down successfully, it was Osenio who was dangerous on the back. In her rubber guard, Osenio needed only a brief moment to latch on the fight-ending armbar.

Indonesia’s Sunoto overcame an ill-advised kimura attempt by Filipino contender Burn “Hitman” Soriano to win by technical knockout. After Sunoto found himself in mount position, the Indonesian fighter unloaded a volley of strikes to force the stoppage just minutes into the first round.

Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad made an impressive ONE Championship debut with a victory over Malaysia’s Muhamad Haidar to kick off an exciting evening at ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS. Kingad showcased his wrestling ability by shooting for a double-leg takedown and taking Haidar for a ride with two emphatic slams before finishing the Malaysian off with ground-and-pound.

Official results for ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS

  • Catchweight Super Fight (85.3kg): Ben Askren defeats Nikolay Aleksakhin by Unanimous Decision
  • Bantamweight bout: Geje Eustaquio defeats Gianni Subba by Unanimous Decision
  • Lightweight bout: Lowen Tynanes defeats Koji Ando by Unanimous Decision
  • Bantamweight bout: Reece McLaren defeats Muin Gafurov by Unanimous Decision
  • Lightweight bout: Honorio Banario defeats Vaughn Donayre by Unanimous Decision
  • Featherweight bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Li Kai Wen by TKO (Strikes) at 4:44 minutes of round 1
  • Catchweight bout (57.4kg): Joshua Pacio defeats Rabin Catalan by TKO (Strikes) at 3:19 minutes of round 2
  • Women’s Atomweight bout bout: April Osenio defeats Natalie Gonzales Hills by Submission (Armbar) at 3:23 minutes of round 1
  • Catchweight bout (67.3kg): Sunoto defeats Burn Soriano by TKO (Strikes) at 3:50 minutes of round 1
  • Flyweight bout: Danny Kingad defeats Muhamad Haidar by TKO (Strikes) at 2:20 minutes of round 1

In case you missed the action log on to www.onefc.com/livestream for the full replay of the fights at only US $9.99.

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

Top Malaysian Prospect Gianni Subba on the Road to ONE Flyweight World Championship Title


The author with Gianni Subba

Jared Baliguat with Gianni Subba

One of the top Malaysian mixed martial arts prospects, 23-year old flyweight standout Gianni Subba (7-1) returns to the ONE Championship cage tonight via ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS, against the Philippines best flyweight bet Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (7-4) of Baguio City’s Team Lakay. With a victory, Subba feels he will be one step closer to a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship.

“Whatever ONE Championship has planned for me, the goal is to win a world title for Malaysia,” said Subba, who faces his toughest test yet in Eustaquio.

Eustaquio is arguably the Philippines’ most talented fighter at flyweight, with a record of seven wins and only four defeats. The Filipino stalwart is known for keeping his cool and composure in the face of adversity, while dishing out some of the fastest strikes in the business nicely packed in Wushu Sanshou.

For Subba, the fact that Eustaquio is also on the rise makes him feel their paths would inevitably cross one day.

“I always knew that I would eventually be fighting Geje Eustaquio so I wasn’t surprised that I got the matchup,” said Subba. “He’s fought some of the best in the division and I’m working my way up, it was inevitable.”

At seven wins and just one loss, Subba is at the top of the list of flyweight prospects on the cusp of a breakout performance. All Subba needs is one solid victory against a highly-ranked opponent, and he could be next in line for a crack at ONE Championship gold.

Eustaquio, 26, has competed for the ONE title before, losing via Guillotine Choke submission to former champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes. Despite the loss, the Filipino was able to showcase his solid striking technique and impeccable timing and although Moraes was able to gut out the victory, it didn’t come without resistance.

In Eustaquio’s most recent bout earlier this year, he stopped another Malaysian fighter in Saiful “The Vampire” Merican. Eustaquio clipped Merican on the temple with a clubbing left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas. The Filipino then finished the job with a technical ground kick, coercing referee Joey Lepiten to call a halt to the contest.

It was an abrupt and sweet night for Eustaquio, whose highlight reel finish made the rounds on social media shortly after his victory.

Despite his opponent’s high caliber, Subba feels he is well equipped to handle anything Eustaquio brings to the table.

“Filipinos are known to be durable and strong. The strategy is to beat Geje everywhere,” said Subba. “ I’m not afraid to test my striking and I’m confident in my ground game. Geje is tough just like the rest of my opponents before.”

A victory here should bring Subba one step closer to a title shot against reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov, or a gatekeeper fight against former champion Moraes.

On the flipside, after Eustaquio’s stunning victory over Merican last January, a victory over Subba may be just the ticket the Filipino will also need to book another title shot.

The winner of this bout will undoubtedly be lined up for another huge fight in the near future. But even then, if the opportunity doesn’t immediately present itself, Subba says he is fine waiting.

“If I have to wait, it will just be more time to work on my game,” said Subba, constantly working on improving his skills. “The motivation is and has always been to be the best that I can be. Having a supporting family and great teammates who have the same goals makes it easy for me to work hard day in and day out.”

One Championship: Global Rivals Proudly Presents an Explosive Fight Card


The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has announced nine bouts for ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS which takes place 15 April at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Fans in the Philippines will witness all the action live as ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren returns to defend his title against hard-charging Russian opponent Nikolay Aleksakhin.

CEO of ONE Championship, Victor Cui stated: “We have an absolutely stacked card planned for fight fans in Manila, and we’re happy to be back at the Mall of Asia Arena for another awesome night of MMA. Each time out, our Manila show gets bigger and better, and this year is no exception.”

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

Former NCAA Division I All-American and Olympian Ben Askren is a collegiate wrestling legend and one of the finest mixed martial artists in the world today. In just a few fights in ONE, Askren was able to seize the ONE Welterweight World Championship with a resounding technical knockout victory over Nobutatsu Suzuki. The highly-skilled Askren 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 a tough one, as he goes head-to-head with Russia’s Nikolay Aleksakhin.

A veteran welterweight from Russia, Nikolay Aleksakhin will make his highly-anticipated return to the ONE Championship cage in Manila this April. Aleksakhin was impressive in his debut for the promotion when he submitted Burenzorig Batmunkh with a rear naked choke within three rounds. Now, Aleksakhin gets the call to face ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren and will look to surprise the crowd with intense action.

Team Lakay 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 now looks to replicate his success against Gianni Subba.

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. Subba now faces his toughest challenge yet in a bantamweight bout with Geje Eustaquio.

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. This time he battles Lowen Tynanes of the United States.

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. He’ll take on grappling specialist Eric Kelly next.

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.

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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