ONE Championship returns to the Philippines on April 24, 2015 for ONE FC 26: Valor of Champions. The main event will be Ben Askren’s next defense of his Welterweight title against Luis Santos.
Bellator Champ Askren has continued his onslaught of the welterweights in ONE FC with back to back finishes. There is longer discussion involving his opponents’ possible advantages than there is debate over his own. The next one in line is “Sapo” Santos, a Brazilian circuit warhorse with his own Bellator appearances. That’s the last semblance of similarity the two fighters possess.
It will be style versus style in this one, with the American wrestling Olympian facing a Brazilian striker owning 35 KOs. Askren is widely regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world, and Santos sits atop the Brazil rankings, so this will have international ramifications. No one has found Askren’s kryptonite yet.
The next high profile bout will be bantamweight standout Mark Striegl taking his first fight under the ONE FC banner against Casey Suire. Striegl was an undefeated journeyman who methodically finished opponents to end up with the title shot in PXC. Ending up with his first loss, he took a year off to reinvent himself at bantamweight, where he found success by choking out Kai Kara-France at the MIMMA 2 Grand Finale.
Striegl’s opponent is Suire, who will be making his third ONE FC appearance. Both of Suire’s ONE FC performances have ended with him winning by choke, and he’s finished all of his five fights. However, he hasn’t met the level of Striegl, nor has he faced the level of opponents Striegl has. At 38, Suire is a little past being called a prospect, but it could be that he hasn’t had the opportunity to show his caliber. He’ll get that in Manila for sure.
In a pair of flyweight bouts, entertaining striker Eugene Toquero is back against Brianata Rosadhi and the ever-improving Geje Eustaquio will face Thai transplant Anatpong Bunrad.
Three featherweight bouts have also been newly announced. Aspiring Kelly brother Edward will face undefeated striker Jimmy Yabo. Martial arts journeyman Shannon Wiratchai will meet Singaporean hot prospect Amir Khan. ONE FC China tournament winner Ya Wei Wang will take on Tsu Notto.
Rounding out the card is a heavyweight clash between Taiwanese linebacker and actor Paul Cheng and URCC Heavyweight Champ Igor Subora.
ONE FC 26
April 24, 2015