Bibiano Fernandes Becomes the Undisputed 135 lbs Champion and Shinya Aoki Makes a Successful 145 lbs Debut at ONE FC: ‘Total Domination’
Special submission by guest MMA Reporter James Goyder
Interim champion Bibiano Fernandes unified the ONE FC bantamweight titles by beating regular champion Soo Chul Kim by unanimous decision in the main event of ONE FC: ‘Total Domination’ in Singapore tonight. The Korean is tough, tenacious and has experience beyond his 21 years but couldn’t prevent the two time Dream Grand Prix winner from repeatedly taking him down throughout the course of their five round title fight.
Kim looked confident in his striking and countered a kick from Fernandes with an overhand right early in the opening round but the BJJ black belt wasted no time in getting the fight to the ground where he worked hard to pass guard but was frustrated by the submission defence of the Korean.
This pattern continued for the remainder of the fight with Kim looking to land elbows in the striking but unable to prevent Bibiano from effectively executing a wrestling based ground game. The Korean’s best moment of the night came in the dying seconds of the fourth round when he landed a flurry of hooks to the body but other than that it was a frustrating evening for the 21 year old.
Kim drops to 7-5 after seeing the three fight winning streak which culminated with a title win over Leandro Issa at ONE FC: ‘Rise of Kings’ snapped. Speaking after the fight Fernandes, who improves to 15-3 with his seventh straight win, said,
In the co main event Shinya Aoki proved he can compete as a featherweight by outpointing Cody Stevens. The reigning ONE FC lightweight champion needed time to recover after taking a knee to the groin in the opening round but was able to repeatedly take the Americandown and keep him down.
Stevens defended valiantly and stayed busy off his back by peppering Aoki with strikes but couldn’t prevent the Japanese veteran from getting him to the ground with takedowns and trips. The American looked more confident in the striking and a head kick early in the second round glances off the gloves of the renowned submission specialist.
The only disappointment for Aoki is that he never looked like finishing the fight or adding to his 22 career submissions. The closest he came was in the dying seconds when Stevens, whose record now stands at 11-6-1, gave up his back trying to escape from an adverse position on the ground but the bell put an end to his hopes of securing a rear naked choke.
Speaking after the fight Aoki, who moves up to 34-6-1 with his fourth successive win stated that,
“I wasn’t 100 per cent (after the groin shot) but I have a warrior spirit and you’ve just got to do it. It was my first fight at featherweight and my performance wasn’t that good but next time I will put on a real good show’
Two of ONE FC’s top lightweights met in a fight which, assuming Aoki stays at 145 lbs, could well serve as a de facto title eliminator. In the opening round Eddie Ng came out with a hard body kick followed with a right hand which knocked Peter Davis back.
The Hong Kong native went to work with ground and pound but Davis reversed the position and ended up in mount. It proved to be no more than a temporary reprieve for the Malaysian as Ng escaped and transitioned from a triangle attempt into an armbar, forcing the tap at 1:46 of the first round.
The win was Ng’s fourth for ONE FC and takes his overall record to 7-1 potentially putting him in pole position for a shot at the 155 lbs belt. Davis drops to 6-3 after a second submission defeat in quick succession.
After competing primarily light heavyweight and facing the likes of Mirko Crocop, Gegard Mousasi and Renato Sobral in his career to date Tatsuya Mizuno dropped down to middleweight to take on Portugese veteran Rafael Silva. The Japanese fighter seemed very tentative to begin with as Silva’s wild striking caused him a lot of problems.
Towards the end of the second round Mizuno began to find a home for his knees, landing three in quick succession to the midsection of Silva which seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the European submission specialist. In round three Mizuno landed a hard head kick and followed it up with soccer kicks and a barrage of ground and pounds as Silva looked visibly exhausted. The Japanese veteran continued to batter him for the remainder of the round to claim a unanimous decision win which snaps hiss two sight losing streak and moves him up to 12-9 while Silva drops to 39-14.
Jake Butler’s rise through the light heavyweight ranks was abruptly halted by unheralded Frenchman Sylvian Poutard. The American has NCAA division one wrestling credentials but relied more on his Muay Thai in the opening round. Butler was scoring with some solid low kicks but Poutard caught him with a perfectly timed counter right hand early in the second round which caused the 30 year old’s legs to give way and was followed up with ground and pound for a win which sees the French fighter improve to 6-3 while Butler drops to 3-1.
The second fight on the main card represented redemption for Shannon Wiratchai after the result of his first meeting with Mitch Chilson at ONE FC: ‘Pride to a Nation’ was changed to a no contest due to an illegal soccer kick. That fight caused ONE FC to abandon the ‘open guard’ rule and allow unlimited use of soccer kicks and Wiratchai made the most of it. Chilson missed with a spinning back elbow and was dropped with a left hook which the Thai fighter followed up with a series of soccer kicks and a hard right hand. The win came at 1:52 of the opening round and sees Wiratchai’s record improve to 3-1-0-1 while Chilson drops to 4-2-0-1 after his first defeat since a submission loss at the hands of Eric Kelly at ONE FC: ‘Champion vs Champion.’
Kim Dhima became the first Cambodian to ever register a win inside the ONE FC cage when he stopped Filipino Rene Catalan in the second round. Despite his Wushu background Catalan, who drops to 0-2 after this defeat, looked to take the fight to the ground throughout the first round. In the second stanza Catalan found himself on the receiving end of a series of punches and downward elbows as he worked for a takedown. Dima got a warning for shots to the back of the head but was relentless with his barrage causing referee Kenichi Serizawa to call a stop to the contest at 3:40 of round two. (*)
The undercard consisted of three Singapore vs Malaysia fights with all of the hometown fighters emerging victorious. In the opening bout Steohen Langdown stopped Marc Marcellinus with ground and pound in a battle of bantamweight debutants while Juan Wen Jie needed only 18 seconds of the second round to stop Alex Lim with a left hook followed by a flurry of ground and pound in their catchweight fight.
The final fight on the undercard was a contender for ‘fight of the night’ as debutant female fighters Ann Osman and Sherlyin Lim went toe to toe for three rounds with Lim getting the nod from two of the three judges for a split decision win.
(*) Editor’s note: Dhima vs Catalan was overturned to a No Contest due to illegal strikes that the referee did not penalize.
Bibiano Fernandes def. Soo Chul Kim via unanimous decision at 5:00 of round five
Shinya Aoki def. Cody Stevens via Unanimous Decision at 5:00 of round three
Eddie Ng def. Peter Davis via Submission (Armbar) at 1:46 of round one
Tatsuya Mizuno def. Rafael Silva via Unanimous Decision at 5:00 of round three
Sylvain Potard def. Jake Butler via Knockout at 0:42 of round two
Shannon Wiratchai def. Mitch Chilson via Knockout at 1:52 of round one
Khim Dima def. Rene Catalan via Technical Knockout (Strikes) at 3:40 of round two – Overturned to No Contest
Sherilyn Lim def. Ann Osman via split decision at 5:00 of round three
Juan Wen Jie def. Alex Lim via Technical Knockout (Strikes) at 0:18 of round two
Stephen Langdown def. Marc Marcellinus via Technical Knockout (Strikes) at 1:49 of round one