Friday Fight Facts: A boatload of bouts

One Championship Singapore Angela Lee
Unstoppable! ONE Championship kicks off a huge weekend in Asia MMA. Photo: David Ash.

ONE: Unstoppable Dreams

This is ONE Championship’s 87th event and it drops three title matches on top of an eight-fight card in its hometown of Singapore. Undefeated atomweight champion Angela Lee will rematch her toughest opponent to date, V.V Mei Yamaguchi. The pair first matched for the inaugural strap almost two years ago to the day. The fight of the year candidate went all five championship rounds then, and likely Lee and Yamaguchi will be eager to put on a repeat performance.

In the second title match, Champ Champ Martin Nguyen puts one of his two belts on the line – the featherweight one – in a rematch with Christian Lee. Nguyen’s been on a tear racking up six finishes and two titles, one which avenged his loss to Gafurov. His recent bid to claim a third belt from bantamweight Bibano Fernandes wasn’t successful but it went five rounds and he couldn’t be finished. Since Lee’s loss to Nguyen, he’s also been on a win streak of all finishes, putting away gatekeeper Boku and handling the great Kazunori Yokota with panache. If Lee’s recent performances prove his development, Nguyen could have a very different fight on his hands.

Several other barn burners are on this ONE card, including ONE’s first ever Muay Thai title bout between the legendary Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (365-46-9) and Dutch-Surinamese Sergio “The Samurai” Wielzen (45-18-2). It might just steal a show that features eight MMA bouts and three of the stand-up variety.

Jokey-chokey Aoki puts his puroresu persona to the side to face fresh-off-a-win Rasul Yakhyaev. Former lightweight champ Eduard Folayang welcomes dangerous finishing newcomer Kharun Atlangeriev. Hometown favorite Amir Khan gives Lee Sung-Jong a stiff welcome to the big stage. Cross border fan pleasers Meas Meu and Xie Chao should deliver a walloping good time.

ONE: Unstoppable Dreams takes place at 19:00 SG time at the Singapore Indoor Arena and can be watched live and free on the newly-launched ONE app.

Champ Champ Martin Nguyen puts one of his two belts on the line. Photo: David Ash.

ACB 87: Nottingham

Surging ACB picked up perennial star Takeya Mizugaki after his departure from the UFC, however it hasn’t reinvigorated his career. Mizugaki lost his first two fights with the promotion which brings his skid to four; he hasn’t won since a unanimous decision over George Roop in 2015. Mizugaki’s next test comes in the form of a crafty Pietro Menga, a promising flyweight who is moving up to bantam. Other than a drastically reinvented game, Miz can hope to reclaim his glory days by tapping his massive experience, and if Menga shows up affected by the broadway lights and his recent – only – loss.

ACB 87 takes place at 18:00 UK time Motorpoint Arena.

UFC FN 129: Maia vs Usman

UFC knew that Pancrase and Krush champion Syuri Kondo has done it all – from J-Pop to pro-westling in Mexico – when they picked her up to debut at home in Saitama Super Arena. Syuri brought a wide appeal with her into her first UFC match against Chan-Mi Jeon and when the heat was on she delivered. Next up on her plate is Brazil’s Nova Uniao product Poliana Botelho. Botelho also makes her sophomore UFC outing on this card, fresh off a decision win over Pearl Gonzalez. Both women are strikers, have cardio, and have proved their insane toughness. Of course we’re rooting for Syuri, but we are excited to see these two put on a show. UFC FN 129 takes place at 18:30 Chile time at the Movistar Arena.

Syrui Kondo on her way to a successful UFC debut in Japan. “I just love to fight,” she says.

Pancrase 296

Come Sunday, Pancrase delivers a title fight on top of a 15-bout card peppered with well-known Japanese names. Masakatsu Ueda gets a long awaited (interim) title shot in a revenge match against Rafael Silva – his only loss in three years. The former OG Shooto champ counts wins over Kyoji Horiguchi, Rumina Sato, Jens Pulver, and Kid Yamamoto (yes, in college wrestling!). Submission ace Silva made his way to Pancrase via Bellator, which culminated in a title shot exactly a year ago. He was not able to finish gold belt King Shintaro Ishiwatari in five rounds, yet he remains at the top of the rankings, thus the interim belt shot. Ueda is a wrestling tactician; Silva is a grappler with a gas tank. Please get your snacks and beers before this match begins.

Aside from the Interim King of Pancrase title, there are quite a few good bouts to check out. Former DEEP champ Hiroto Uesako and Hiroshige Tanaka get faced up after recent losses. Brutal brawler Emi Fujino welcomes Invicta’s Sharon Jacobson to Japan. Super striker Tom Santos takes on a very tough Kenichiro Togashi. Hot prospect Takaaki Nara gets a stiff test against veteran warhorse Akihiro Murayama.

Pancrase 296 takes place at 16:30 Japan time at Studio City and can be watched live on UFC FightPass.