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Bantamweight title fight set for ONE FC homecoming in October

Bibiano Fernandes tries to choke out Koetsu Okazaki during the ONE FC Rise to Power event in Pasay City on May 31
Bibiano Fernandes tries to choke out Koetsu Okazaki during the ONE FC Rise to Power event in Pasay City on May 31. ONEFC.COM

Bantamweight title fight set for ONE FC homecoming in October

One Fighting Championship, Asia’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, is to return to its homebase of Singapore for another blockbuster event on October 18, the organisation revealed.

Headlining the ONE FC: Total Domination fight card at the 12,000-seater at the Singapore Indoor Stadium is arguably the most highly-anticipated fight in ONE FC history: the unification bout for the ONE FC Bantamweight World Championship title between Brazilian Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Soo Chul Kim of South Korea.

Fernandes, the current Interim ONE FC Bantamweight Champion, is rated as one of the world’s best fighters in the division, with a professional record of 14 wins and three losses. He has not lost a fight in more than two years and made his ONE FC debut in Manila a year ago when he defeated CFC Bantamweight Champion and compatriot Gustavo Falciroli.

The Flash then followed that up with a first-round submission win over DEEP bantamweight champion Yoshiro Maeda of Japan.

At ONE FC: Rise to Power in Pasay City, the Philippines, in May, Fernandes captured the Interim Bantamweight World Championship title by winning a unanimous decision over Japanese striker Koetsu Okazaki.

In Singapore the 33-year-old, who fights out of Seattle’s AMC Pankration gym, will be looking to cement his status as the division’s best pound-for-pound fighter in Asia by taking home the unified bantamweight belt, although he faces his toughest test yet when he battles Kim.

The reigning ONE FC bantamweight world champion is only 21 years of age but he is already a veteran of 11 MMA fights.

Kim brings an unusual combination of both youth and experience into the ONE FC cage, having consistently matched himself against the top fighters in the division and competing in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Team Force fighter was forced out of action last year due to an aggravated shoulder injury, but will return to the exact same venue that he claimed the bantamweight title 12 months previously by defeating Brazil’s Leandro Issa by TKO.

Kim feels that the bantamweight title is rightfully his and will look to cause a major upset by overcoming Fernandes to prove he is the undisputed champion.

“We always step it up a notch in Singapore and October 18 will be no different,” ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said in a press release.

“Thousands of fans in attendance and the millions watching live around the world are set for another evening of world-class MMA action featuring the best in Asia.”

Lion City fight fans are also licking their lips in anticipation of hometown hero Sherilyn Lim’s debut, who is representing Singapore’s oldest mixed martial arts gym, Fight G, which she joined as a muay Thai student in 2007 under the tutelage of Singaporean MMA pioneer Darren De Silva.

Lim has quickly established herself as the republic’s best female mixed martial artist and will be looking to thrill the home supporters in October against an unnamed opponent.

Viewers in Asia can catch all the action live on STAR Sports. Live streaming is available at www.onefc.livesport.tv with the first two undercard fights free-of-charge and the main card bouts for purchase at US$9.99.

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