One Fighting Championship debut, Bibiano
Fernandes did not necessarily look like a prized MMA free
agent, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion did his job well,
technically outclassing Australian-based Brazilian Gustavo
Falciroli to win a unanimous decision in the One
FC 5 "Pride of a Nation" main event on Friday at the Smart
Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
The 32-year-old Brazilian’s debut for what is now the
highest-profile MMA promotion in Asia comes nearly three months
after a messy fracture of negotiations with the
UFC led “The Flash” to sign with One FC amidst much curiosity
In his first bout since taking the Dream
bantamweight crown last New Year’s Eve, Fernandes quickly took
Falciroli’s back with a butterfly guard sweep in the first 30
seconds. However, Fernandes, now training out of Matt Hume’s AMC
Pankration, was not able to find a finish and needed to play
position in order to best the blue-haired Falciroli.
Falciroli continued to use deep half-guard techniques and other
defensive tactics to slow down Fernandes’ guard passing, tiring him
and actually opening up some scoring opportunities on the feet.
However, Fernandes’ early dominance was far too much for Falciroli
to overcome. Following the three rounds, the judges returned an
easy unanimous decision for the Brazilian, who upped his record to
12-3 and remained unbeaten at bantamweight. Falciroli falls to
Initially, the fourth contest between former UFC heavyweight
champions and rivals Andrei
Arlovski and Tim Sylvia was
shocking because it was an entertaining bout between the two
long-faded titlists. However, One FC’s convoluted rule structure
ensured that the bout ended in a fashion that was shocking for
In the opening five minutes, Arlovski and Sylvia put on a
remarkably well-paced, back-and-forth exchange of strikes in which
both fighters landed clean and hard. Despite being far removed from
their primes, the fighters turned in the most entertaining single
round of fighting in any of their previous encounters, with Sylvia
charging ahead late with a salvo of crosses.
The second round again witnessed even footing, until the Belarusian
unloaded on a three-punch combination that sent Sylvia sprawling
onto the mat. In his zeal to seal the deal, Arlovski unloaded two
soccer kicks that seemed to end the contest. However, referee Yuji
Shimada had not declared “open attack” -- a One FC house rule in
which the referee declares it is safe for a fighter to soccer kick
another -- and so the strike was deemed a foul. Sylvia was given
five minutes to recover.
As the Quezon City crowd grew anxious, Sylvia told Shimada he could
“see two of [him].” The bout was unceremoniously halted and
declared a no contest, with both men casually agreeing to the idea
of a previously unthinkable fifth bout.
Filipino star Eduard
Folayang used his flair for dramatic, potent striking to
Enomoto in a de facto One FC lightweight title eliminator.
After dropping a razor-thin split decision to former K-1 Max
notable Ole Laursen
at One FC 3 in March, the Lakay MMA exponent was like a man
possessed, taking the fight to Enomoto with aggressive combination
punching and relentless kicking. Enomoto was unbowed, never letting
up despite Folayang’s constant pressure and striking volleys.
The 27-year-old’s best chance to finish came with 30 seconds to
spare in the second round. A right hook dropped Enomoto and
“Landslide” was on his foe in a heartbeat, but his follow-up shots
just could not put away the tough Swiss fighter. After 15 minutes,
it was a foregone conclusion that all three judges would return
with cards for Folayang, who moved to 12-2 with the win, handing
Enomoto his fourth loss in his last five fights.
Following the win, One FC CEO Victor Cui entered the cage and
announced that Folayang would meet lightweight champion Zorobabel
Moreira at One FC 6 on Oct. 6 in Kallang, Singapore.
Popular Malaysian-based Filipino Eric Kelly
continued his own ascent, stopping shopworn former UFC lightweight
Pulver in the second round of their 145-pound contest.
Pulver looked surprisingly crisp early, shucking off Kelly’s
attempted throws from the clinch and takedown attempts, while
asserting his dominance with his left hook. However, “Lil’ Evil”
faded quickly when the second stanza began, and, as has been the
case so often in the 37-year-old’s recent fights, the grains
disappeared from the hourglass almost instantly.
Kelly began landing punches with both hands and more easily dealing
with Pulver’s wrestling. After several clean combos, Kelly ripped
Pulver with a right hook that staggered him. The follow-up was even
more lethal, as a left roundhouse kick to the body whipped deep
into Pulver’s midsection, dropping him to the mat on his knees.
Kelly pounced with punches to coax the finish at 1:46 of the second
round. With the win, Kelly stands at 8-0 with seven stoppages,
while Pulver falls to 26-17-1, with 11 losses in his last 16