Bibiano Fernandes defeated Masakatsu Ueda on Friday to retain his ONE FC bantamweight title and extend his winning streak to eight consecutive fights. The Brazilian controlled the action at the SM Mall of Asia Arena for all five rounds to claim a clear-cut unanimous-decision win.
ONE FC: Rise of Heroes was the promotion’s fourth card in Manila and Fernandes’ third time fighting in the Philippines. Ueda was expected to provide the most rigorous examination of his championship credentials to date, but it was a test the Brazilian wound up passing with flying colours.
In the dying seconds of the opening round, Fernandes took Ueda’s back and worked for a rear naked choke, but the Japanese fighter was able to defend intelligently and hang on long enough to hear the bell.
Ueda did find a home for his trademark left body kick, but was taken down far too frequently to have any chance of winning the decision. Fernandes also scored with straight punches as the Japanese fighter continually backed away, allowing the champion to seize the initiative.
The win sees Fernandes move up to 16-3 and will only intensify speculation that he is on the verge of a return to the 145-pound division with the remaining challenges at 135 pounds few and far between, while Ueda drops to 18-3-2.
It was a good night for the Filipino fighters who all tasted victory with Eduard Folayang triumphant in the co-main event. The popular lightweight used a combination of takedowns and Wushu style spinning kicks to keep Kotetu Boku at bay for three rounds.
The decision win was Folayang’s second in succession and elevates his record to 14-4, while Boku drops to 21-10-2. The Filipino fighter, who finished the bout with a wild barrage of strikes, declared afterwards that he wanted a shot at the title.
His Team Lakay training partner Rey Docyogen also tasted victory as he subjected Josh Alvarez to a barrage of ground and pound en route to a unanimous-decision victory, which takes him to 11-2 and sees the Guam native drop to 12-7.
The rematch between Rob Lisita and Yusuke Kawanago ended in sudden and dramatic fashion when the Australian dropped the former Legend FC 145-pound champion with a left hook and then punished him with follow-up punches. He moves to 14-5, while the Japanese fighter drops to 13-4-1.
There were two more first-round knockouts on the main card, as Leandro Ataides (7-0) enhanced his growing reputation by finishing Tatsuya Mizuno (12-10) with a barrage of punches and James McSweeney ( 13-11) dropped Chris Lokteff ( 12-2) like a stone with a devastating knee to the head.
Former boxing world champion Ana Julaton (1-0) got her MMA career off to a good start with a decision win, while Filipino flyweight Eugene Toquero handed Malaysia’s Gianni Subba his first career loss after claiming a comfortable win on points.
ONE FC Rise of Heroes Results
Bibiano Fernandes def. Masakatsu Ueda by Unan Dec, R5
Eduard Folayang def. Kotetsu Boku by Unan Dec, R3
Rey Docyogen def. Joshua Alvarez by Unan Dec, R3
Rob Lisita def. Yusuke Kawanago by TKO (Strikes) at 0:28, R1
James McSweeney def. Chris Lokteff by KO (Knee) at 3:04, R1
Leandro Ataides def. Tatsuya Mizuno by TKO (Strikes) at 0:47, R1
Ana Julaton def. Aya Saeid Saber by TKO (Strikes) at 4:01, R3
Eugene Toquero def. Gianni Subba by Unan Dec, R3
Jujeath Nagaowa def. Jeet Toshi by TKO (Strikes) at 1:07, R2
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