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Leone to battle Kojima in ONE FC Jakarta main event

Andrew Leone chokes out Geje Eustaquio
American Andrew Leone chokes out Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines.

Leone to battle Kojima in ONE FC Jakarta main event

Following the historic announcement earlier this week of Cambodia’s inaugural appearance at a ONE Fighting Championship mixed martial arts event, the Singapore-based promoter on Wednesday released details of three further match-ups for its September 13 fight night in Jakarta. These include a highly anticipated flyweight contest between Japanese veteran Shinichi “BJ” Kojima and American wrestler Andrew Leone.

In the co-main event, Kotetsu ‘No Face’ Boku of Japan will look to get back to his winning ways against aggressive South African lightweight striker Vuyisile Colossa.

Also on the card will be Jake Butler of the US defending his reputation as the top light heavyweight in Asia when he battles Canadian James Kouame.

ONE FC expect to sell out the 15,000-seater Istora Senayan Stadium, which has more than three times the capacity of Jakarta’s BritAma Arena, where the previous event was held in February 2012.

“ONE FC will be back in Jakarta on September 13 with a stacked fight card that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping for the passionate Indonesian fight fans,” ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said in a press release.

“Two of the top flyweights in Asia square off in front of 15,000 screaming fans in the main event of the evening, and adding fan favourites Kotetsu Boku and Jake Butler on this card is icing on the cake. The thousands of fans in attendance and the millions watching around the world are in for another evening of world class MMA featuring the best in Asia.”

StarSports will broadcast the night live, while live online streaming is available for purchase at www.onefc.livesport.tv. The first two undercard fights, including the featherweight bout between Cambodia’s Long Sophy and Indonesia’s Max Metino, are available for viewing free of charge, while the main card fights are priced at $9.99.

Local channel MyTV will also screen the fights with Cambodian commentary, although company officials could not confirm whether it would be live.

Rey Docyogen (right) of the Philippines kicks at Japan’s Shinichi Kojima during their flyweight fight at ONE FC Return of Warriors in Kuala Lumpur on February 2
Rey Docyogen (right) of the Philippines kicks at Japan’s Shinichi Kojima during their flyweight fight at ONE FC Return of Warriors in Kuala Lumpur on February 2. ONEFC.COM

Kojima was once ranked the best flyweight in the world and was Shooto bantamweight champion in Japan for three successive years until a right knee injury in 2010 forced him to vacate the title.

Aged 34, he is a tenacious fighter with a professional MMA record of 13 wins, 5 losses and 5 draws, and knows he is still in his prime with a decade of professional MMA experience behind him.

In his previous ONE FC bout at Return of Warriors in Kuala Lumpur on February 2, Kojima defeated Filipino Rey Docyogen with a guillotine choke submission in the second round.

However, his opponent in September is no pushover and will also be eyeing flyweight title contention.

Leone is a former high school state wrestling champion from New York who has won numerous gold medals in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling tournaments all over Asia and currently trains out of Phuket, Thailand.

He has defeated several big names including South Korean Road FC bantamweight champion Kyung Ho Kong and won his ONE FC debut against Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines by unanimous decision at Rise to Power in Manila on May 31.

With a six-win, two-loss pro-MMA record, Leone will be looking to utilise his wrestling ability and dominant ground game to finish his Japanese rival in Jakarta in the biggest test of his career to date.

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