Two of the top fighters from the Philippines emerged victorious in front of their home crowd in the first ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) card held in Quezon City.
A packed out Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday witnessed Eric Kelly and Eduard Folayang give the passionate local fans something to cheer about as they won their respective matches.
Kelly, the reigning national featherweight champion, defeated former world champion American Jens Pulver with a barrage of punches and kicks that simply didn’t give his opponent any time to recover, ending the fight in the second round.
Folayang, meanwhile, almost finished his lightweight opponent, Felipe Enomoto of Switzerland, in the second round but was denied by the bell. He dominated the entire fight en route to a unanimous decision victory.
After their respective wins, it was announced that both fighters would be getting a title shot at their weight classes in the next ONE FC event, much to the crowd’s delight.
The grudge match between Belarusian Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia from the US ended in controversy when Arlovski landed a soccer-style kick on his American nemesis, deemed illegal due to a complicated rule devised by the organisers.
The decision to mark it down as a no contest is likely to lead to calls for ONE FC to adopt the unified rules in use by most other MMA organisations. Arlovski and Sylvia now face a potential and unprecedented fifth fight to settle their differences.
The main event turned out to be relatively anticlimactic, as former World bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes edged his fellow Brazil-born opponent, Gustavo Falciroli. Fernandes clearly showed he was the superior fighter in the first two rounds, but failed to score a knockout or submission.
Fernandes remains a big draw for the promotion and he will be looking for a more convincing victory from his next outing. ONE FC now returns to its home base of Singapore to host a third event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 6.