ONE FC 18 Taipei card gets Cheng vs Hassan, Ando vs Nunes, Saadulaev vs Okazaki, Butler vs Ali

ONEFC 18
ONEFC 18

ONE FC 18 “War of Dragons” will take place on July 11, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwanese Paul Cheng versus Mahmoud Hassan, plus Koji Ando versus Rafael Nunes, Yusup Saadulaev versus Koetsu Okazaki.

Taiwan’s transplanted heavyweight Paul Cheng gets his dream come true to fight in his home country when he takes on Mahmoud Hassan. Cheng is 4-1 with his debut being a submission to punches win over Alan Ngalani. Hassan is on a losing skid in his young career that extended to his ONE FC debut where he got KOed by heel kick – to the same Ngalani.

A very interesting match up has been made between Legend FC Lightweight Champ Koji Ando and Premium FC Lightweight Champ Rafael. Ando started in an unusual way by debuting in Valkyrie, worked his way up the ladder through Sengoku, ROAD FC, and finally Legend FC. He has never been finished. His last loss was a split decision to superstar Chinese fighter Wang Guan.

Nunes has fought all of his matches in Brazil, and his unblemished record counts many warhorses with much stronger experience then himself. His recent outing claimed him the inaugural belt from Premium FC. Nunes has finished all of his opponents following his debut fight. Both fighters are well-rounded, so this will be one to watch for ranking implications.

More big men stack the card as massive wrestler Jake Butler takes on striker Mohamed Ali. Butler proved his hands are also up to the task with his first two wins coming by way of KO. Ali is much more experienced in the MMA arena and incidentally holds a win over Sylvain Potard who then KOed Butler. All eyes will be on Butler to shine as the role of a prospect in which he’s been cast.

Yusup Saadulaev is thankfully back inside the ONE FC cage to take on former contender Koetsu Okazaki. Saadulaev is one of the most exciting and impressive forces in the division, and should be working his way back up into a contender spot of his own, should this bout be successful for him. Okazaki – like the Dagestani – is also 50/50 inside ONE FC, with a failed attempt against Bibiano for the interim title being avenged by choking out Josh Alvarez. Two words for this match: don’t blink.

ONE FC 18 War of Dragons
July 17, 2014
Natl. Taiwan Uni. Sports Center
Taipei, Taiwan

Paul Cheng (4-1) vs Mahmoud Hassan (1-3)

Lightweight
Koji Ando (8-3-2) vs Rafael Nunes (10-0)

Bantamweight
Koetsu Okazaki (9-3) vs Yusup Saadulaev (12-3-1)

Light Heavyweight
Jake Butler (3-1) vs Mohamed Ali (9-6)

Press release:

ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP™ ANNOUNCES ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS IN TAIWAN ON 11 JULY
SET TO TAKE PLACE AT THE NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY SPORTS CENTER IN TAIPEI CITY
TAIWANESE HEAVYWEIGHT PAUL CHENG TO FACE EGYPT’S MAHMOUD HASSAN
3 EXCITING BOUTS ALSO ADDED TO CARD

PRE-SALE TICKETS FOR ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS ARE AVAILABLE FROM
8 JUNE AT WWW.IBON.COM.TW

9 June 2014 – SINGAPORE: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization with a 90% market share, will visit the city of Taipei for the first time on 11 July. The blockbuster event, titled ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS, will take place at the National Taiwan University Sports Center in Taipei City, Taiwan. The event will be in partnership with local partner, AMC Live Group Asia Pte Ltd. The organization is renowned for bringing in world-class entertainment from all over the world to hold sold-out events in Taiwan.

The first four bouts have been added to the card as Taiwanese heavyweight Paul Cheng competes in Taiwan for the first time when he takes on Egypt’s Mahmoud Hassan. A lightweight bout between top contenders Koji Ando and Rafael Nunes has also been added to the ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS card. Light heavyweights Jake Butler and Mohamed Ali are also set to do battle while exciting bantamweights Koetsu Okazaki and Yusup Saadulaev look to put on a show in their bout.

Tickets for ONE FC: WAR OF DRAGONS will be on sale at www.ibon.com.tw from 8 June onwards. Ticket categories begin with the full red carpet and cage side experience for NT7,200. Tickets priced at NT3,600 and NT1,200 are also available. All applicable service charges apply.

CEO of ONE Fighting Championship™ Victor Cui stated, “After wowing sold out audiences across Asia, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization will be broadcast live from Taiwan for the first time on 11 July. Fans in Taiwan have been clamoring for a live MMA event in their country and ONE FC will now bring world-class mixed martial arts action to Taipei City for the first time! Fans in Taiwan will pack the National Taiwan University Sports Center for one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year!”

Paul Cheng is a former Canadian Football League star who already has four wins on his professional mixed martial arts record. He was impressive in his ONE FC debut last December, forcing his opponent to tap out in the first round. Based in Canada but of Taiwanese heritage, Cheng cannot wait to showcase his skills for the first time in front of his home crowd in Taipei.

Mahmoud Hassan is a heavyweight boxer training out of Naser City, Egypt. Weighing in at 105kg, Hassan possesses deadly power in both hands ready to knock anybody out in an instant. He made history as the first Egyptian to compete for ONE FC when he made his debut last September and will be looking to do his country proud in Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization.

Koji Ando is a Japanese fighter who has competed for some of the top regional promotions in Asia. The 29-year-old lightweight has won his last three outings and holds a victory over recent ONE FC signee Jadambaa Narantungalag. As a judoka, Ando finished in the top eight of the All-Japan Judo Tournament when he was still a high school student. His love of judo led him to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he later transitioned into mixed martial arts. Ando trains at Tokyo’s Wajutsu Keishukai. He has tasted defeat just once since 2010.

Rafael Nunes is one of the top lightweights to emerge from Brazil in recent history. He has steamrolled through the competition in Brazil, with all but one of his 10 wins coming by stoppage. Nunes is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and is equally adept in finishing his opponents by strikes or by submission. He comes to Asia looking to showcase his multi-faceted skillset and will face a tough challenge when he takes on Japanese stalwart Koji Ando.

Jake Butler has firmly established himself as one of the top light heavyweights in the division. He has earned all of his victories by finishes, and possesses some of the best wrestling acumen in the sport having honed his skills as the captain of the Princeton wrestling team. Butler has been unstoppable when he utilizes his signature wrestling techniques, but he has also improved his striking skills training with Muay Thai world champions at Evolve MMA.

Mohamed Ali is a mixed martial arts veteran who hails from Egypt. The well-travelled striker has competed in six different countries in his mixed martial arts career. Initially a Muay Thai practitioner, he has finished most of his opponents by KO or TKO, a clear indication of his striking capabilities. He now faces one of the most decorated wrestlers currently competing in ONE FC in Jake Butler. This clash is the classic striker against grappler matchup and both parties will be looking to prove their style as the superior discipline.

Russian wrestler Yusup Saadulaev is a Combat Sambo Champion who has won numerous grappling competitions. He is known for his submission skills and his record of 8 submission victories indicates that. He was given the main event spotlight in his last bout and emerged victorious over Adriano Moraes in one of the most entertaining bouts of 2013. Saadulaev is hungry to continue his 3-fight winning streak and will get an opportunity to extend the streak when he takes on Okazaki.

Koetsu Okazaki has worked his way up the ranks of Shooto by dominating the opposition and earning the Shooto title belt. He has never been knocked out or stopped with strikes and has an excellent chin and the ability to take and give a punch. He defeated Guam’s Josh Alvarez in his last bout, and gets a step up in competition when he takes on one of the division’s best In Saadulaev.

Fans in Asia can catch all the action live on STAR Sports. Check your local listings. Also, fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at www.onefc.livesport.tv. The event will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.

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

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