One FC on Thursday announced three more bouts for its upcoming One FC 9: Rise to Power, which takes place on May 31 at the MOA Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Kevin Belington and Masakatsu Ueda will square off in the promotion’s Bantamweight Grand Prix final. The winner will earn a shot at the One FC bantamweight champion.
Eduard Folayang is also back in action against UFC and WEC veteran Kamal Shalorus and fan favorite Phil Baroni return face Japanese knockout artist Nobutatsu Suzuki.
“One FC: Rise to Power will feature some of the biggest names in Asian MMA as we return to the fight capital of Asia,” said One FC CEO Victor Cui. “I’m beyond excited to see Honorio Banario back in action in front of his home crowd at the state-of-the art Mall of Asia Arena. Bibiano Fernandes taking on Koetsu Okazaki has all the ingredients for a possible Fight of the Night with one of the world’s greatest pound-for-pound fighters squaring off against a Japanese submission artist who is known for his impressive grappling game. I know fans cannot wait to watch these warriors collide on 31 May.”
Bantamweight Grand Prix finalist Kevin Belingon is a Filipino MMA champion and one of the top MMA fighters ever to emerge from the Philippines. It took him a few fights to become accustomed to competing inside the One FC cage, but once he found his rhythm, the result was spectacular as he blasted through Yusup Saadulaev and Thanh Vu in less than a round to earn a slot in the Bantamweight Grand Prix Final.
Masakatsu Ueda is a Bellator veteran and former Shooto featherweight champion, a belt he defended successfully three times. He has an outstanding 17-2-2 record, and is widely regarded as one of the top bantamweights in the world. A very well-rounded fighter, he submitted MMA legend Jens Pulver at One FC: Kings & Champions to earn a slot in the final of the Bantamweight Grand Prix.
A lightweight bout that is sure to get the crowd on their feet will pit Filipino MMA legend Eduard Folayang against UFC veteran Kamal Shalorus.
Folayang, a former schoolteacher, he is renowned for being humble and respectful outside the cage, but a determined and relentless competitor inside. Folayang will square off against the resilient submission specialist from Iran, Kamal Shalorus.
Shalorus was born in the city of Khalkhal in Iran. He began wrestling as a teenager before moving to the United States to train in MMA. He is a UFC and WEC veteran with notable wins over Justin Milles and Bart Palaszewski.
Phil Baroni, a UFC and Pride veteran, will be back in action on May 31 when he battles up-and-coming Japanese mixed martial artist Nobutatsu Suzuki. Baroni has faced some of the toughest opponents in the world and is renowned for his one-punch knockout power. Despite being one of the hardest punchers to ever compete in MMA, it’s not just Baroni’s hard-hitting fists that the fans come to see. His brash and charismatic personality and inimitable swagger down the fighter’s entrance makes him one of the biggest showmen in MMA.
Suzuki is the complete opposite in personality, but identical in fighting style. Eight of his fights have been won via knockout. On May 31, he will look to make Baroni number nine.
One FC: Rise to Power is headlined by a featherweight championship bout between reigning champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario against number one contender Koji Oishi and Bibiano Fernandes taking on Koetsu Okazaki for the One FC bantamweight interim title.