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Fernandes set for ONE FC bantamweight belt defence

Bibiano Fernades (below) grabs the arm of Koetsu Okazaki during their ONE FC Rise to Power
Bibiano Fernades (below) grabs the arm of Koetsu Okazaki during their ONE FC Rise to Power at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on May 31, 2013. ONEFC.COM

Fernandes set for ONE FC bantamweight belt defence

Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organisation ONE Fighting Championship will host its fourth fight card at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on December 5.

The main event of the night will feature ONE FC bantamweight world champion Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil defending his title against undefeated South Korean Dae Hwan Kim.

ONE FC: Warrior’s Way will also feature the ONE FC debut of Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon “The Truth” Vera as he takes on Igor Subora of the Ukraine.

“ONE Fighting Championship will hold nothing back as it returns for another night to remember at the state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena in Manila,” ONE FC CEO Victor Cui stated in a press release.

“Brandon Vera is a global mixed martial arts superstar, and ONE FC will finally give fans in the Philippines the opportunity to see him in action live for the first time.”

Fernandes (16-3) is one of the most decorated MMA fighters in the world today. The 34-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, nicknamed “The Flash”, is currently on an eight-fight winning streak and has yet to be defeated inside the ONE FC cage.

Kim (10-0-1) is one of the best bantamweights to come out of South Korea and shares Fernandes’s propensity for submissions. The agile and crafty 27-year-old defeated highly-touted Filipino contender Kevin Belingon in his last appearance at ONE FC on March 14 to earn his title shot.

New ONE FC acquisition Vera (12-7-1) has promised to wow the Manila fans as he competes in the land of his ancestors for the first time. “The Truth” has faced some of the top light heavyweights and heavyweights in the world and also triumphed at multiple grappling championships. The 37-year-old possesses excellent Muay Thai skills with some of the most powerful kicks in the business.

Former URCC heavyweight champion Subora (5-1) is riding a five-fight win streak, all of which have been via submission or knockout. The Ukrainian is trained in sambo and aims to demonstrate his elite grappling skills when he steps into the cage against Vera.

Beijing card postponed
ONE FC have been forced to postpone their historic break into mainland China, with tonight’s scheduled fight card at the Beijing’s Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium pushed back several weeks to accommodate an extra event.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the incredible response by fans, partners and sponsors in mainland China,” Cui posted on the ONE FC Facebook page on Monday.

“We’ve decided to add an additional event in China this year to ensure that our fans get what they want ... Our Beijing event, ONE FC: Dynasty of Champions, will be held on December 19. Thank you for the support everyone, I will announce the other new dates shortly. China, here we come!”

Singapore card set
ONE FC have added the three remaining bouts to their 10-match card set to fill the Singapore Indoor Arena next Friday.

ONE FC: Battle of Lions will see the return of top lightweight contender Zorobabel Moreira of Brazil, who takes on streaking Japanese star Koji Ando in the co-main event.

“Zoro” Moreira (7-2) is a BJJ world champion and third-degree black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior. The 31-year-old has only been to a decision once in nine professional bouts and marks his returns to the cage after a two-year absence.

Ando (10-3-2) has won his last four outings including a victory last year over ONE FC featherweight world champion Jadambaa Narantungalag of Mongolia. “The Commander” finished in the top eight of the all-Japan Judo Tournament when he was still a high school student.

Other clashes in Singapore include Rocky “The Outlaw” Batolbatol (5-0) of the Philippines against Australian featherweight Martin Nguyen (3-0) and Jeff Huang (4-1) of Taiwan against Indonesian welterweight Zuli Silawanto (6-8).

In the main event next Friday, the inaugural ONE FC middleweight world champion will be crowned when BJJ world champion Leandro Ataides of Brazil meets Kazakhstan prospect Igor Svirid.

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