ONE FC 9 set for May 31 with Banario-Oishi, Fernandes-Okazaki title fights
Date: May 31, 2013
Venue: SM Mall of Asia Arena
City: Pasay City, Philippines
Featherweight Championship: Honorio Banario vs Koji Oishi
Bantamweight Interim: Bibiano Fernandes vs Koetsu Okazaki
Bantamweight Grand Prix: Kevin Belingon vs Masakatsu Ueda
Lightweight: Eduard Folayang vs Kamal Shalorus
Welterweight: Phil Baroni vs. Nobutatsu Suzuki
Flyweight: Rey Docyogen vs Yasuhiro Urushitani
Flyweight: Andrew Leone vs Geje Eustaquio
Lightweight: Felipe Enomoto vs Lowen Tynanes
Heavyweight: Tim Sylvia vs Tony Johnson
Bantamweight: Ryan Diaz vs Yusup Saadulaev
The Asia-based ONE FC organization has unveiled a championship doubleheader for its next event, "ONE FC 9: Rise to Power."
The event takes place May 31 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. It streams via online pay-per-view.
Two title fights headline the card. ONE FC featherweight champion Honorio Banario (8-1) meets Koji Oishi (23-9-10) in the main event, and in the co-headliner, Bibiano Fernandes (13-3) and Koetsu Okazaki (8-2-1) fight for an interim bantamweight title while current champ Soo Chul Kim recovers from shoulder surgery.
"ONE FC will be back in the fight capital of Asia on 31 May with a stacked fight card that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping for the passionate Filipino fight fans," ONE FC CEO Victor Cui stated. "This event could possibly be the largest in ONE FC's history and features the top names in MMA, headlined by ONE FC featherweight world champion Honorio Banario."
Banario, who's also URCC's reigning lightweight champion, makes his fourth ONE FC appearance. The Filipino made his promotional debut with a submission loss to Bae Young Kwon, but he rebounded with TKO wins over Andrew Benibe and Eric Kelly. The latter earned him ONE FC's inaugural featherweight title.
Banario now meets Oishi, a longtime Pancrase fighter who previously held the organization's lightweight belt. The Japanese fighter has lost just one bout since 2009 while posting a 6-1-5 record. Recently, he scored wins over Rob Hill and Jon Shores, and in his latest bout, he fought Takumi Nakayama to a majority draw at Pancrase 246. He also owns past wins over Satoru Kitaoka, Chris Lytle and Nate Diaz
Fernandes, meanwhile, is a former DREAM featherweight champion and current bantamweight titleholder who looks for his sixth consecutive victory. The Brazilian most recently submitted Yoshiro Maeda in a DREAM non-title fight back in December.
He takes on Okazaki, a Japanese veteran of the Shooto organization who was on a three-fight win streak before a May 2012 loss to Hiromasa Ogikubo. The ONE FC title fight will mark his first bout in a year.