In a smashing homecoming, ONE FC returns to Singapore with a mixed bag of goodies that will begin to stamp the mark of longevity on the promotion. The card is so far stacked with stellar fighters and up-and-comers alike, including Japan legend Shinya Aoki versus fan-cum-contender Arnaud Lepont, two title fights, and the beginning of a Bantamweight Grand Prix that includes none other than top international Bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda.
The first title is for the Bantamweight strap, a battle between Evolve MMA’s top prospect Leandro Issa versus Kim SooChul of Team Force, ROAD FC CEO Jung HongMoon’s gym. Issa’s jiujitsu is nearly unparalleled, yet Kim’s defense has showed marked improvement. This rematch has a lot at stake for both of them. Evolve’s standout lightweight Zorobabel Moreira will take on ONE FC newcomer Kotetsu Boku, former Shooto Champion, for the LW strap. This is a ‘classic grappler versus striker’ match up, however Zoro’s vastly improved stand up will make it an interesting game.
BloodyElbow has also sources quoted as saying Honorio Banario‘s opponent for the Featherweight belt may be Bae Yong Kwon. The title contentions were originally announced with Eduard Folayang, Ole Laursen, and Eric Kelly among the contenders, however the URCC‘s tenth anniversary event has seen two of the three Philippines-based fighters sidestep back to that promotion.
In the first match of the Bantamweight Grand Prix, Jens Pulver is going to make a quick return after a fantastic action-packed battle with Eric Kelly at ONE FC 5. He’ll face young and hungry Zhao Ya Fei, a standout natural bantamweight from China with great endurance. If he can take Jens’ shots, this could go the distance. The second match sees Team MAX Korea’s Song MinJung set foot outside his country for the first time since his Sengoku debut. He’s facing an uphill battle against one of the world’s top bantamweights, former Shooto Featherweight Champion Masakazu Ueda, fresh off the Bellator roster where he lost a controversial decision in the opening round of the tournament.
As the card gets announced in the few short weeks coming up to the event, it will be interesting to see what other matches get made outside the Bantamweight Grand Prix for rumored returning Melvin Manhoef and the four or five other remaining spots left on the line up.
Heres the full PRESS RELEASE:
18 September 2012 – Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC) announced today that for the first time in the organization’s history, two World Championship titles will be contested for at ONE FC: RISE OF KINGS on 6 October. The World Championship Title Fights will be for the ONE FC Lightweight World Champion and the ONE FC Bantamweight World Champion titles. Brazilian submission expert Zorobabel “Zoro” Moreira takes on top Japanese Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) veteran Kotetsu Boku for the Lightweight crown and BJJ World Champion Leandro Issa battles former RisingOn Champion Soo Chul Kim when ONE FC heads back to Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, 6 October.
CEO of ONE Fighting Championship™ Victor Cui stated, “We are coming back to Singapore to put on one of the greatest fight cards in Asian MMA history. The Lightweight and Bantamweight divisions of ONE FC are both incredibly stacked with the largest roster of Asian champions. Moreira, Boku, Issa and Kim have proven that they are the best and most exciting prospects in the divisions and we are giving them the chance to earn themselves a World Championship Title Belt. Each fighter understands the magnitude of a ONE FC World Championship Title being on the line and I expect each fighter will look to win impressively come 6 October. Also, the pool of talented Bantamweight fighters in Asia is fast increasing and I decided the best way to start choosing contenders for the title in the Bantamweight division was by putting on an eight-man Bantamweight Grand Prix. We are bringing the best of the best from all over Asia and the world for the start of this historic tournament.”
The Bantamweight eight-man Grand Prix kicks off with American MMA legend Jens Pulver taking on China’s rising star Zhao Ya Fei while Korean slugger Min Jung Song clashes with Japan’s very own Masakatsu Ueda. The Grand Prix will culminate in late 2013 where the finalists will contend for the title.
ONE FC: RISE OF KINGS will be available on Pay-Per-View in the United States on 6 October at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT on iN DEMAND, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of US$29.95.
Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at www.onefc.com/livestream. The first two undercard fights are available for viewing free-of-charge and the main card fights will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.
Tickets for ONE FC: RISE OF KINGS are now on sale at SISTIC (www.SISTIC.com.sg). Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and Cage-side experience for VIPs at $348 followed by Arena $148, Terrace $68 and Balcony $38.
For more updates, log on to www.ONEFC.com
About ONE Fighting Championship™
Headquartered in Singapore, ONE Fighting Championship™ (http://www.onefc.com) is Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization. ONE Fighting Championship™ hosts the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Fighting Championship™ has partnered with ESPN STAR Sports, the number one leader in sports content, for an unprecedented 10-year cable television deal with a coverage that spans across 28 countries in Asia.