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Sports

One FC returns to Manila with ‘Rise of Heroes’

Ernest Hernandez, Unblogged Sports - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization, the One Fighting Championship, returns to Manila with another blockbuster event on May 2 at the SM MOA Arena. Three fight cards have been announced to the public, with the main event featuring One FC bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes taking on Japanese sensation Masakatsu Ueda.

Ueda, will get his chance to win the championship after beating Filipino fighter Kevin Belingon via a unanimous decision during the One FC: Rise to Power card last May 31.

Fernandes (15-3-0, 1 KO, 5 submissions), who previously had a successful title defense against Kim Soo-Chul in One FC: Total Domination in Singapore last Oct. 18, acknowledges the challenge that he faces.

“The boy is a very tough kid and he beat a lot of Brazilians. He is even saying that he will beat me but I am ready for him,” Fernandes said. “I’m going to show him why I’m the champion”

The second fight will be a rematch between two of the top featherweights in Asia in Rob Lisita and Yusuke Kawanago, which seemed to have a personal angle into it. Lisita, who was defeated by Kawanago, is seeking revenge after a controversial decision during their first encounter.

“If he thinks the results will be the same, well I’m going to win this time.” Lisita said. “If I was close to last time, he’d better be ready. I’m a different animal now.”

Local fighter Eugene Toquero, will now look forward to avenge his One FC debut defeat and it will not come easy against the 21-year-old rising Malaysian star, Gianni Subba, who is currently undefeated at 3-0.

Toquero (4-1, 4 KOs), who was defeated by countryman Geje Eustaquio the last time around, said that he has improved his ground skills since the defeat but will still look to his striking as his main arsenal during the fight.

“Meron na akong takedown at submission pero dun pa rin ako sa striking,” Toquero said. “Gusto ko lang makabawi at ayaw ko lang matalo.”

Toquero even finds time to joke about his trademark hairdo, which he said will be his asset in defeating Subba.

“Kaya nga lahat ng mga kalaban ko, one round lang o KO kasi ayaw ko magulo ang buhok ko. Nawawala diskarte ko kasi usually sa gitna ng laban inaayos ayos ko pa buhok ko,” Toquero said.

Furthermore, Toquero will now enjoy home court advantage and he believes that it will be a big factor for him in this upcoming fight.

“Wala akong game plan, usually susugurin ko lang yan. Walang atrasan. Away kaagad,” Toquero said, “Wala nakong takot, matagal na ako lumalaban. Natatakot lang ako magulo ang buhok ko.”

On the other hand, Subba is never worried about Toquero’s home court advantage and he believes that preparation is his key to winning this fight.

“The last fight I had was with a Singaporean in Singapore, so I know how it feels like.” Subba said. “I train and work with guys who are southpaw. So yeah, I’ve been working on it. “Eugene should be worried about his face.”

With all three fights, local fight fans have been asking if more Filipino MMA fighters will be gracing the event.

“You might be wondering where is Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio and Kevin Belingon. Let me tell you, we are just teasing you right now,” said the One FC CEO Victor Cui.

Tickets for One FC: Rise of Heroes are now on sale at SM Tickets (www.smtickets.com). Ticket categories include with a full red carpet and a cageside experience at Php6,360, patron at Php3,180, lower box at Php1,280, upper box at  Php640 and general admission at Php220. Pre-sale packages are available from March 11-23.

BIBIANO FERNANDES EDUARD FOLAYANG EUGENE TOQUERO FERNANDES FIGHT GEJE EUSTAQUIO GEJE EUSTAQUIO AND KEVIN BELINGON ONE SUBBA TOQUERO
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