Aoki, Fernandes topbill One FC Manila-A A +A
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
DREAM Champions Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes are set to headline Asia’s biggest mix martial arts promotion seen to take place on Aug. 31 at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aoki and Fernandez will headline the One Fighting Championship event dubbed Pride of Nation that will also feature Filipino MMA star and Baguio based fighter Eduard Folayang together with Team Lakay teammates Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario.
Folayang, the URCC welterweight champion and multi-medalist in wushu in the World and Asian and Southeast Asian Games, battles CFC Europe titlist Felipe Enomoto of Japan, while Belingon, the URCC flyweight king, collides with Rising On titlist Soo Chul Kim of Korea to headline the local bid.
Another URCC champion in Banario will also test his mettle against fellow Filipino Andre Benibe with Eric Kelly colliding with American UFC veteran Jens Pulver in a featherweight showdown.
“The guys are motivated to get back at their winning ways,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao in an earlier interview.
Aoki is the most deadly submission grappler in MMA and Fernandes is ranked amongst the best bantamweight fighters in the world. Both are well-known as astounding athletes with a huge fan base amongst Asian and international fans alike.
Aoki’s opponent is due to be announced shortly while Fernandes will take on Cage Fighting Championship (CFC) Australia bantamweight champion Gustavo Falciroli.
In addition, two former UFC Heavyweight Champions will meet for the fourth time in a grudge match that has escalated over the years.
Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia will clash in Manila after a series of fights that saw Sylvia lose the first bout, and subsequently win back-to-back fights against the tough Belarusian.
Sylvia is currently in the midst of a three-fight winning streak and has won seven of his last eight bouts.
The legendary Gracie family will also be represented thrice in event with Rolles Gracie taking on Tony Bonello, Igor Gracie will battle Korea’s Jung Hwan Cha and Gregor Gracie will look to get back to his winning ways when he goes toe-to-toe with Nicholas Mann.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 16, 2012.