Predictions: Pinoys will rise in ONE FC Manila return
SINGAPORE – Excitement fills the air as One Fighting Championship (ONE FC) returns to Manila for another go around this Friday, May 31, in an event dubbed “Rise to Power” featuring the best offerings of Asian mixed martial arts. The show will feature in the new Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, in front of thousands of screaming Pinoy MMA fans.
Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world, and it’s no different on this side of the Pacific.
Aside from showcasing MMA vets like “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and former UFC Heavyweight champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia, ONE FC looks to display its roster of rising Asian superstars, particularly Filipino fighters who will figure in some significant matches on fight night. (READ: The World's 10 Best MMA Fighters)
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang versus Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorus
It will be the classic striker against grappler matchup when Folayang meets Shalorus inside the ONE FC cage. Shalorus boasts a polished wrestling pedigree and will look to take the fight to the ground to get a taste of Folayang’s improved grappling. Folayang trained in the United States for this fight in order to iron out his weaknesses in the guard, so it will be interesting to see if his newfound skills will be put to the test.
If Folayang can keep the fight standing, he’ll have the advantage with his faster hands and feet. On the ground, the fight will be entirely different. Folayang was badly beaten by Lowen Tynanes in his last fight, which prompted him to work on his wrestling. If this fight goes to the ground, look for Folayang to better hold his own this time around. He’ll outclass a limited Shalorus on his feet.
Prediction: Eduard Folayang by Decision
Rey Docyogen versus Yasuhiro Urushitani
The last time we saw Rey Docyogen was in Kuala Lumpur against Shinichi Kojima, whom he was handily dominating. He got caught in a Guillotine Choke however, and tapped out shortly after. Aching to get back in the win column, in front of his hometown crowd nonetheless, Docyogen will put his speed and voluminous attack to work.
Docyogen’s small stature does not accurately depict his big heart and even bigger game. Before the first loss of his career in his ONE FC debut, he was tearing opponents up left and right. His opponent, Yasuhiro Urushitani, will be up to the challenge. The former Shooto Bantamweight Champion and Japanese MMA veteran is more than capable of giving Docyogen a run for his money.
Docyogen’s slick moves and fast feet should be too much for Urushitani to handle in what figures to be a fast fight. Don’t blink.
Prediction: Rey Docyogen by Stoppage
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon versus Masakatsu Ueda
Another classic wrestler versus puncher matchup, Belingon and Ueda will fight to be tournament winner of ONE FC’s Bantamweight Grand Prix.
Ueda is a former Shooto Featherweight Champion in his days back in Japan and will definitely look to take the fight to the ground where the hard hitting Belingon is more vulnerable.
If Belingon can keep the fight standing, against a dangerous shoot wrestler like Ueda, he’ll have a better chance at notching the victory. It’s no secret that Belingon’s strength lies in his vast Wushu and Muay Thai background.
Look for Belingon to be the quicker fighter. He’ll get to his spots first, and Ueda will try to take the fight to the ground. Once there however, Belingon will defend well and get back on his feet to close this tournament out.
Prediction: Kevin Belingon by Stoppage Due to Strikes
Honorio “The Rock” Banario versus Koji Oishi
Banario completely dominated fan-favorite and fellow Pinoy Eric “The Natural” Kelly in his last fight in Kuala Lumpur, to take the ONE FC Featherweight title. He didn’t throw down any fancy moves or flashy strikes, Banario did it the old fashioned way – through sheer grit and perseverance.
The Rock isn’t what you would call a terribly exciting fighter. He’s more thorough than he is unpredictable. In the vein of a Georges St. Pierre, Banario is a jack of all trades and a master of none. He won’t excel in any particular aspect of his game, but he’ll do everything just good enough to be better than whoever stands in front of him at any given time.
His opponent, Koji Oishi has experience on his side, having amassed over 43 professional fights. He’s the former Lightweight King of Pancrase and is considered a seasoned veteran. Oishi has competed against some big names in Nick and Nate Diaz, Chris Lytle and Carlos Condit, among others. This Friday, he’ll look to take out the Philippines’ numero uno and become the new champion.
Banario’s overall polish should shine in this matchup. He’ll be awfully accurate with his striking and frustratingly hard to submit with his world class grappling defense. Oishi will bring the action right to his grill though and it will be an exciting fight, perfectly suited for a Main Event. Look for Banario to land just enough strikes to take most of the rounds and emerge as the clear-cut victor to retain his ONE FC Featherweight championship.
Prediction: Honorio Banario by Decision