The following article was part of the coverage for a mixed martial arts tournament in in Sept 2013 when I reported live from the ring. Find an archived version here.
Ben Askren carried out a successful One FC debut at Honor & Glory but Evolve MMA team-mates Bruno Pucci and Eddie Ng suffered unexpected losses.
Askren, a former welterweight champion at Bellator, was matched up against Azerbaijan’s Bakhtiyar Abbasov who was also on 12 wins prior to the fight.
The main event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium ended within the first round itself as Askren weathered the Azerbaijani’s high-tempo start and finished off the match with an arm triangle choke with just 39 seconds left in the clock.
‘Funky’ Askren secured the 13th straight win of his career and should now be a shoe-in for a title bout against current One FC Welterweight Champion Nobutatsu Suzuki.
Ng, on the other hand, endured his first defeat since 2009 as he was knocked out by Netherlands’ Vincent Latoel. But the defeat came under baffling circumstances as the Evolve fighter did not appear to have lost his senses and wanted to carry on fighting.
The Hong Kong fighter began the lightweight fixture with typical enthusiasm and the crowd was especially supportive of the 28-year-old who has been based in the city since 2011.
But he fell victim to a quick jab in the second minute that knocked him off balance and, as he fell to the floor, two further punches made it seem like he was out for the count.
After the decision was called by the referee, Ng surprisingly got to his feet and the crowd roundly booed Latoel – many felt the Dutchman had tricked the referee by celebrating too quickly – although the Evolve man accepted the defeat with grace.
The colourfully named Major Overall proved his worth when he handed rising featherweight prospect Bruno Pucci the first loss of his career.
Overall, who had previously lost on his One FC debut, had a laidback attitude against Evolve wonderkid Pucci and followed up a thundering right hook with a devastating soccer kick; the referee had no choice but to rush to the 23-year-old Brazilian’s rescure.
The tournament had earlier begun with a bantamweight match-up between Singapore’s Stephen Langdown and American Casey Suire which ended after three minutes when the latter successfully carried out a rear-naked choke.
But Radeem Rahman managed to restore some pride for both the host nation and Evolve as he submitted Malaysia’s Raymond Tan in a much-improved performance in the second round after struggling to respond to the Penang Top Team fighter’s extensive reach in the first.
A catchweight bout between Ritual Gym CEO Brad Robinson and Malaysia’s Nik Harris saw the businessman come out on the losing end via a split decision.
On the other hand, a heavyweight fight between Alain Ngalani and Chi Lewis Perry was a non-affair as the Cameroonian had to call off the tie after enduring a painful knee to the groin.
Honorio Banario, who suffered successive losses to featherweight champion Koji Oishi last year, failed to take the chance to get back into One FC’s good books as suffered a unanimous decision loss to Mongolian veteran Jadamba Narantungalag.
Honor & Glory also saw AMC Pankration’s Caros Fodor bounce back from his loss to Vuyisile Colossa earlier in the year with an effortless kimura hold on the hapless Willy Ni.
It remains to be seen, however, if Fodor will be thrust back into title contention as Colossa is expected to be given a shot against reigning champion Shinya Aoki.
One FC heads to Jakarta for the next edition titled Era of Champions on June 14 with the main card yet to be finalised.
Official results for One FC: Honor & Glory
Welterweight bout: Ben Askren defeats Bakhtiyar Abbasov by Submission (Arm Triangle) at 4:21 minutes of round 1
Lightweight bout: Vincent Latoel defeats Eddie Ng by Knockout at 3:16 minutes of round 1
Lightweight bout: Caros Fodor defeats Willy Ni by Submission (Kimura) at 3:29 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Major Overall defeats Bruno Pucci by Knockout at 2:52 minutes of round 1
Heavyweight bout: Chi Lewis Parry and Alain Ngalani declared No Contest
Bantamweight bout: Radeem Rahman defeats Raymond Tan by TKO (Strikes) at 2:14 minutes of round 2
Catchweight bout: Nik Harris defeats Brad Robinson by Split Decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3
Bantamweight bout: Casey Suire defeats Stephen Langdown by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:41 minutes of round 1