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.
Christmas came early this year, well at least for us at TFN. Back in Christmas 2012, the only one gift that we asked Santa for, was the ONE FC debut of Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone and we weren’t fussy too. He didn’t have to be gift wrapped or sent over with a bow. He could be as scruffy as he always is. He just needed to be put in the cage with one tough SOB and let Leone prove his worth in Asia’s biggest MMA promotion. Guess good old fatso delivered because Andrew Leone will be making his ONE FC debut at ONE FC: Rise to Power in Manila, the Philippines, on the 31st of May.
Phuket Top Team has officially announced that Andrew Leone, will be making his debut at the next ONE FC event and he will be facing Filipino Geje Eustaquio. Leone (6-2), is one of the hottest prospects in ONE FC’s 125lb division and has notable wins over UFC’s Kyung Ho Kang and current ONE FC: Bantamweight Champion Soo Chul Kim. Leone has previously fought actively in Taiwan’s Pro Fighting and South Korea’s ROAD FC. Leone used to fight in the bantamweight division but now will be dropping to his natural weight class at 125lbs.
His opponent, Geje Eustaquio (4-1), fights out of Baguio City’s famed Team Lakay. Eustaquio’s most notable win was when he defeated Evolve MMA’s Alex Silva at ONE FC 2: Battle of Heroes. Eustaquio is the hometown boy and it’ll come as no surprise that the entire stadium will be behind him. It will be a challenge for Leone but one that we’re pretty sure the American is prepared for.
Check out Phuket Top Team’s documentary of Andrew Leone, who’s our pick on being one of the hottest prospects in ONE FC’s Flyweight division in the near future.
ONE FC 9: Rise to Power
May 31, 2013 -- SM MOA Arena, Philippines
- Honorio Banario vs. Koji Oishi [ONE FC Featherweight Championship]
- Bibiano Fernandes vs. Koetsu Okazaki [Interim ONE FC Bantamweight Championhip]
- Masakatsu Ueda vs. Kevin Belingon [Bantamweight GP Finals]
- Eduard Folayang vs. Kamal Shalorus
- Rey Docyogen vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
- Nobutatsu Suzuki vs. Phil Baroni
- Andrew Leone vs. Geje Eustaquio
- Lowen Tynanes