One Fighting Championships continued its strong run earlier today (August 31, 2012) with One FC: Pride of a Nation in Manila, Philippines, and fans were treated to quite an interesting show which featured the best and worst of mixed martial arts.
Not even an earthquake and tsunami warning could stop the upstart promotion's momentum.
The main event of the evening featured bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes, who infamously scorned the UFC to return to Asia against Gustalvo Falciroli in a showdown of grapplers. Falciroli repeatedly looked for the takedown, but he could never find himself in top position.
Time and time again the bout would go to the ground, but after a scramble, the immensely talented Fernandes would finish each exchange primarily in Falciroli's deep half guard pounding away with punches and elbows.
Eventually, Fernandes' pace would slow in the third round and Falciroli landed a few nice strikes, but it wouldn't be nearly enough to win him back the fight as Fernandes was easily able to coast to a unanimous decision victory.
The rest of the event featured some entertaining (and disappointing) finishes as well.
The co-main event of the evening featured two extremely exciting lightweights in talented Filipinostriker Edward Folayang and aggressive Japanese 155-er Felipe Enomoto.
Enomoto never stopped going forward despite Folayang repeatedly bashing him with huge counter strikes in the first two rounds. Time and time again Folayang would land heavy hooks, kicks and straight punches that would force Enomoto to back into the fence and hang on for dear life, but he couldn't overwhelm the scrappy Japanese fighter.
Despite dropping Enomoto twice in the first two rounds, Folayang couldn't put him away and Enomoto showed great guts, coming out hard in the third round, continuing to pressure his opponent and showcasing superior conditioning at the end of the fight, although it wouldn't be enough as Folayang had done his share early to win the unanimous decision.
The fourth showdown between exiled UFC champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski couldn't have finished any stranger. Despite showing up considerably flabbier than his opponent, Sylvia looked pretty solid early, landing nice strikes on the inside and nearly overwhelming Arlovski with a nice flurry at the end of the first round.
By round two, Sylvia was pretty much done. Arlovski's superior conditioning started to pay off as he was dancing circles around "The Maine-iac" and landing at will. Eventually, Arlovski crushed Sylvia with a pair of brutal right hands which sent the 6' 8 fighter crashing to the canvas.
While One FC allows head kicks to a downed opponent, Arlovski didn't wait for the signal to attack from the referee and he threw a pair of soccer kicks directly at Sylvia's exposed dome, and the referee intervened.
Unfortunately for Arlovski, he was not stepping in to put an end to the fight, but to give Arlovski a yellow card and then allow Sylvia five minutes to recover. When Sylvia told him he was seeing double, the bout was stopped and officially ruled a "no contest."
Who's ready for Sylvia vs. Arlovski 5?
Also on display was a featherweight battle between unbeaten Filipino standout Eric Kelly and former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. While Pulver is on the last legs of his career, he showed some serious life early, landing his powerful left hand at will and hurting Kelly badly in the opening round.
Sadly, for "Lil Evil" fans around the world, Pulver faded in the second and Kelly picked up on the physical signs. After landing a big flurry of blows, Pulver was on serious wobbly legs and a huge kick to the body sent the veteran down for the count.
Afterwards, the 37 year old Pulver announced that while retirement is coming, he's got "one or two more fights left in him" and will be dropping back down to 135 to potentially compete in the next bantamweight tournament.
Also on the main card was a bout between Rolles Gracie and veteran Tony Bonello. This fight was a serious mismatch as Gracie repeatedly took Bonello down and passed to mount, although Bonello defended with a body lock to avoid major ground and pound or submissions.
Eventually, Gracie was just too much as he took Bonello's back during a third round takedown attempt and finished the fight via rear naked choke.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was this a strong showing from One FC in its debut in the Philippines? What do you make of the promotion's prospects moving forward? What did you love and hate last night?
For complete One FC: Pride of a Nation results and detailed round-by-round commentary of all the televised fights as well as the main event click here.