Fans filled the SMART ARANETA Coliseum for One FC 5: Pride of A Nation on Friday night in Manila, Philippines. They were treated to another exciting card from the quickly growing promotion.
In the main event, it was former Dream champion Bibiano Fernandes who was able to pull out a unanimous decision win over CFC champion Gustavo Falciroli. Fernandes implemented his game plan and stifled Gustavo at will. Falciroli worked most of the fight to get the battle to the ground, but even when he was able to get the fight there, he couldn’t do much with it.
The turning point in the fight was when Fernandes landed a left hand that dropped Falciroli, and Fernandes worked some ground and pound from top control, cutting the nose of Falciroli. Although the fight was a stalemate on the ground at times, Fernandes did more than enough to get the unanimous decision.
In the co-main event, it was all one way traffic for Eduard Folayang against Felipe Enomoto. Enomoto spent the fight trying to gauge the timing of Folayang, but wasn’t able to do so. Folayang seemed to have Enomoto measured up by the second round, and halfway through the round he dropped him. Enomoto proved to be a tough out, and although he was clearly getting beat, he came forward and was always willing to engage. The main storyline of the fight was the striking of Folayang, who was landing solid combinations, and when Enomoto landed much of anything it was one or two punches at a time.
The grudge match of the card was a heavyweight bout between former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia. Unfortunately for fans, when the fight was over, neither fighter was declared the winner. After Sylvia edged out the first round with his striking, he was clearly the more tired fighter at the beginning of the round two. While Arlovski was jumping in and out of the pocket, he landed a solid three-punch combination that dropped Sylvia to the floor. Going in for the finish, Arlovski swarmed Sylvia and landed two soccer style kicks. He landed one to the body and then one to the head. Sylvia seemed to go out, and the ref jumped in.
Everyone in the arena thought that Arlovski was the winner, but it became apparent that the ref was just calling the action to a halt as he deemed the head kick an illegal strike. After getting time to recover, Sylvia told the ref he was seeing double and couldn’t continue. After the judges and officials got together, they determined that the fight would be ruled a no contest. After the fight, announcer Jason Chambers and Tim Sylvia both spoke of doing the fight again, but Arlovski was upset, as he thought he clearly won the bout.
In a featherweight fight, Eric Kelly was able to finish Jens Pulver by strikes in the second round. In the first round, the fighting was a back-and-forth affair that showcased both striking and grappling. While the round was close, the harder shots seemed to be landed by Pulver. He landed a knee in the first round that dropped Kelly to one knee and prompted him to shoot in for a takedown. In the second round, Kelly seemed to have figured out the Pulver’s timing and was almost content on just countering everything he threw. After backing Pulver up with a combination, Kelly landed two body kicks that folded Pulver over onto the cage floor. Kelly swarmed in for the finish and the ref saved Pulver at 1:46 of the round.
After the bout, Pulver announced that he would probably only be fighting one or two more times, but the announcer had good news for Kelly. One FC announced that Kelly would face Honorio Banario, who won earlier in the night, on Oct. 6 for the One FC featherweight championship.
Rolles Gracie faced off against Tony Bonello, and the action really seemed to all go in Gracie’s favor. This was a smothering performance by Gracie that showcased his grappling skills. Bonello made Gracie earn the win, but it was clear from the beginning he was outclassed on the floor. At one point in the second round, Bonello swept Gracie, but almost as soon as it happened Gracie scrambled to his feet and got another takedown.
At the beginning of the third round, Bonello came out looking to turn the fight into a brawl. Gracie was able to stifle the pressure from Bonello and get a takedown. After a short scramble, Gracie was on Bonello’s back, where he sunk in the rear naked choke. Bonello had no choice but to tap at 1:33.
Jung Hwan Cha and Igor Gracie fought a grueling bout that showcased some top-level grappling. Gracie, as expected, was looking for takedowns right away, but even when he was able to get Cha to the floor, he couldn’t keep him there. At the end of the first round, Igor seemed to have slipped and went to his back, and Cha came storming in. Almost immediately Cha found himself in a belly down armbar, but after working the defense, he was able to sneak out of it and attempt a submission of his own.
The second round was another battle that took place on the floor, but this time it was Cha who was running the show. At points, he effortlessly worked in an out of side mount to twice secure a crucifix position. The shots were definitely taking their toll as you could clearly see Gracie start to gas out by the end of the round. At the beginning of the third round, after some clinching, Cha was able to get the back of Gracie. While in back mount, he started landing elbows that prompted the ref to save Gracie a little more than a minute in.
Kevin Belingon and Soo Chul Kim fought to the only close decision of the night. While the first two rounds clearly went to Kim because of his grappling, the last round showcased the exact opposite of what we saw in the first two. Kim controlled Belingon from the top and worked some ground and pound, but in the third round Belingon was the one on top. The big difference was that although Kim was the more tired fighter, he never gave Belingon the room he needed to posture up and land significant strikes. The judges gave the fight to Kim by unanimous decision.
Gregor Gracie fought Nicholas Mann to kick off the main card, and this was Gregor’s fight from the opening bell. While Mann tried to turn the fight into a brawl, Gracie landed a solid body kick and was able to close in and clinch with Mann. Gracie secured a Muay Thai plum and landed some knees that he used to take down Mann. Gracie landed in full mount, and from there he used ground and pound and worked the angles to free up an arm. Gracie rolled off of mount with the arm secured for the armbar submission.
On the undercard, Phil Baroni made quick work of Rodrigo Ribeiro. Baroni was able to finish him with strikes only a minute into the first round to snap his two-fight losing streak. In Shannon Wiratchai vs. Mitch Chilson, Wiratchai was able to drop Chilson in the second round and finish him with soccer kicks to get the knockout. In the first fight of the night, Honorio Banario defeated Andrew Benibe by knockout with strikes in the third round. Banario was awarded a title shot at the One FC 6 in October.
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