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ONE FC: Warrior Spirit gets late shake-up

American MMA fighter Tony Johnson (right) will face Australia’s Chris Lokteff at ONE FC Warrior Spirit on Friday in Kuala Lumpur
American MMA fighter Tony Johnson (right) will face Australia’s Chris Lokteff at ONE FC Warrior Spirit on Friday in Kuala Lumpur. ONEFC.COM

ONE FC: Warrior Spirit gets late shake-up

One Fighting Championship, Asia’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, have made some last minute changes to their ‘Warrior Spirit’ fight card set to play out at Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Putra this Friday.

The main event, originally scheduled to feature the inaugural ONE FC welterweight world championship battle between Malaysia’s Adam Kayoom (4-1) and Japanese veteran Nobutatsu Suzuki (10-1-2), has been forced to be altered due to Kayoom suffering a broken rib during training.

Taking his place in the headlining bout will be undefeated Portuguese fighter Vitor Pinto (7-0), although the welterweight title belt will not be on the line.

The proposed flyweight match-up between Brazilian Adriano Moraes (9-0) and Josh Paiva (4-0) of the US, has also been changed to feature Yusup Saadulaev (10-3-1) instead of his compatriot Paiva. This is now the co-main event.

Finally, a heavyweight clash has been added to make it 11 bouts on the night, with Chris Lokteff (11-1) of Australia facing American Tony Johnson (7-1).

A Fighter MMA Club’s Tok Sophon, who flew out to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, will become the third Cambodian in successive months to make his ONE FC cage debut when he goes up against Malaysian Muay Thai expert Saiful Merican (1-1).

Fight fans can watch the action live on both local channel MyTV and regional broadcaster Star Sports. Coverage on MyTV is slated to run from 6-10pm on Friday night.

New guys on the fight card
Lisbon native Pinto, who fights out of Kombat Klub, has put together an impressive professional record of seven wins and no losses. He has consistently faced high caliber opposition and has proved time and time again why he is emerging as one of the top welterweights in the world.

Known to look for the quick finish, fans should expect nothing but fireworks as Pinto battles Suzuki for pride and glory in Kuala Lumpur.

Originally from the Dagestan region of Russia, Saadulaev is a combat sambo champion who has won numerous grappling competitions.

With a reputation for submissions as well as an ability to knockout opponents with a devastating slam, he is coming off an impressive win over Ryan Diaz of the US at ONE FC: Rise to Power on May 31.

Heavyweight prospect Chris Lokteff is considered one of the top fighters to ever come out of Australia.

The Brisbane brawler packs 112kg of power behind his punches and is absolutely guaranteed to go for the KO right from the opening bell, having never previously gone the distance.

Johnson, meanwhile, is a former King of the Cage heavy-weight champion and high school wrestling star who is also tipped for the top of the division. He possesses incredible speed and power for his 1.86-metre frame and stopped fellow American Tim Sylvia in the third round of their catchweight contest at ONE FC: Rise to Power.

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