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Moraes out on top in KL title contest

Brazil’s Adriano Moraes aims a kick at the head of Japan’s Riku Shibuya at ONE FC
Brazil’s Adriano Moraes aims a kick at the head of Japan’s Riku Shibuya at ONE FC: Age of Champions in Kuala Lumpur on Friday night. ONE FC

Moraes out on top in KL title contest

Adriano Moraes defeated a tenacious Riku Shibuya by unanimous decision to retain the ONE FC flyweight championship belt in the main event of ONE FC: Age of Champions in Kuala Lumpur, on a night that saw Chan Rothana chalk up Cambodia’s first-ever ONE FC win on foreign soil on Friday.

ONE FC flyweight champion Moraes and Japanese challenger Shibuya entertained the crowd with a showcase of striking and grappling exchanges in the main event.

In the first round, Shibuya came out looking to take the fight to Moraes as the Brazilian worked to get Shibuya to the ground.

On the mat, Moraes controlled the action by advancing position multiple times to Shibuya’s back, although Shibuya exhibited an exceptional defence. In the second, Shibuya did a better job of keeping the fight on the feet as he continued to stalk Moraes across the cage.

Rounds three to five saw much of the same action with Shibuya continuing to press as Moraes dominated the ground game. In the end, Moraes’s various takedowns and submission attempts earned him a hard-fought decision.

Rothana overcame two spinning back-kick attempts from Filipino Ramon Gonzales to take a TKO victory late in the first round. After starting off on the feet, the two fighters found themselves on the mat when Gonzales missed wildly with a kick. Rothana was then able to sneak into full mount, raining down a series of punches to end the contest.

In a highly anticipated lightweight bout, Malaysia’s Peter Davis went to work against Rajinder Singh Meena of India, notching a vicious stoppage win in just under three minutes of the first round. Davis attacked Meena from the beginning of the fight, dragging his opponent to the ground and gaining full mount. Davis then punished Meena with a nonstop attack from top position, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest.

Ann Osman made quick work of Walaa Abbas, submitting her Egyptian opponent just minutes into their women’s flyweight bout. Abbas came out striking furiously and landed some good shots against Osman, but once Osman pressed Abbas against the cage she quickly worked on a takedown, securing a rear naked choke in the process. With Osman digging the hooks in deep, Abbas had no choice but to tap out.

In an intense striking battle, the Philippines’ Cary Bullos and Ev Ting put on a great show for fans in attendance. In the first round, Bullos tagged Ting with various sharp counters as the Malaysian looked to initiate the exchanges.

In the second round, Ting turned up the pressure, catching Bullos against the cage with underhooks. After impressively sweeping Bullos to the ground, Ting latched on a guillotine choke that forced Bullos to tap out.

Malaysia’s Gianni Subba got the packed Putra Stadium audience to their feet with a showstopping knockout victory over Thanh Vu seconds into the first round of their flyweight bout. Subba caught Vu with a stiff left hook and followed it up with a powerful kick that landed clean, prompting the referee to step in and stop the bout just 20 seconds into the contest.

Kirstie Gannaway dug deep against a game opponent in Team Lakay’s April Osenio to gut out a submission victory in two rounds. In the first round, Gannaway made her grappling advantage clear with a few near submissions, but Osenio defended well. Osenio then landed a couple of good kicks as the two got back to their feet.

In the second round, Osenio tried her best to keep the fight standing with a few solid strikes, but once the fight hit the mat again, Gannaway was able to secure a rear naked choke.

Agilan Thani kicked off the night’s action with a spectacular first round TKO over his Indonesian opponent Reant Fabriza Rainir. After a quick scramble, Thani found himself in mount and took advantage of the situation. Thani made quick work of Reant, finishing his opponent by ground and pound just slightly over a minute into the fight.

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