ONE Fighting Championship has added four more thrilling bouts to its ONE FC: Era of Champions mixed martial arts card, which is slated to pack out the state-of-the-art Mata Elang International Stadium in Jakarta on June 14.
Indonesian fight legends Yohan Mulia Legowo and Zuli Silawanto will be proudly flying the home flags when they face ominous opponents in Malaysia’s Ev Ting and Barbod of Iran respectively.
An explosive flyweight match up between Filipino Geje Eustaquio and Kentaro Watanabe of Japan and a clash between Egyptian welterweight Mahmoud Salama and Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang have also been added.
“Indonesian fans in attendance and ONE FC fans watching all over the world are in for an unforgettable night of explosive world-class mixed martial arts action,” ONE FC CEO Victor Cui stated in a press release yesterday.
Legowo (7-2) grew up in Magelang, central Java, and was exposed to all forms of martial arts from a young age. Since the age of nine, he has been committed to mastering each one before progressing to the next.
The 33-year-old has earned accolades in kickboxing, sanda and submission grappling, and a had a sustained run in the now-defunct TPIFC from 2002 to 2004, including a contest against the undefeated compatriot Fransino Tirta, another recent signing by ONE FC.
Legowo’s career stalled in 2007 when he suffered a broken arm, but he resiliently fought back to return to cage action in 2010, vowing to make up for lost time.
24-year-old Ev Ting (6-2) is regarded as one of Malaysia’s top MMA fighters, but also represents his adopted home of New Zealand.
Having discovered the sport on the internet, he had an undefeated stint as an amateur in Auckland before turning pro in 2011.
Silawanto (6-7) has more than 10 years of professional cage fighting experience. ‘The Shark’ will look to bite back after falling short against Malaysia’s Nik Harris in his previous ONE FC bout last November.
The Indonesian has a diverse martial arts arsenal that includes kickboxing, pencak silat and submission wrestling, and will garner the support of the home crowd after a two-year separation fighting abroad.
Barbod is a former taekwondo coach who transitioned into Muay Thai and eventually mixed martial arts. The Iranian has travelled the globe extensively, including spending time in South Korea, and has now settled into a head coaching role in Malaysia.
A deadly striker with extremely fast hands, he will have them full against the likes of Silawanto.
La N Sang (14-9) will become the first mixed martial artist of Myanmar descent to enter the ONE FC cage. During studies in the US, he discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu and subsequently MMA. His nickname ‘The Burmese Python’ comes from his constricting ability which has led him to nine submission wins.
Salama (4-4) is a veteran of the Egyptian MMA scene, having never been defeated in his home country. The 37-year-old boasts power in both hands and will look to knock out his Myanmar opponent in what represents a classic clash of striker against grappler.
The bout was originally scheduled to take place in ONE FC: Rise of Heroes in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, but was postponed due to visa issues.
Eustaquio (5-2) is a skilled flyweight who trains alongside fellow Filipinos Eduard Folayang and Honorio Banario at the renowned Team Lakay in the high altitudes of Baguio City.
With his immense speed and agility, the man they call ‘Gravity’ is eyeing a shot at the ONE FC flyweight title with an impressive victory on June 14. In his last outing six months ago, Eustaquio dispatched compatriot Eugene Toquero in convincing fashion.
Watanabe (10-4) is a Japanese flyweight who will also be looking to make a mark in the ONE FC division. The 30-year-old has come through the ranks of the Shooto organisation with his signature lightning-quick striking style that has made him a favorite among home-based fans.
The next ONE FC event, Honor & Glory, is on May 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and will be headlined by a welterweight meeting between American wrestling star Ben Askren (12-0), who visited Phnom Penh last week, and Bakhtiyar Abbasov (11-2) of Azerbaijan.