ONE FC has rolled out the big guns for the top half of this card with the two biggest names on the roster both in action. Bibiano Fernandes is looking to unify the bantamweight belts by beating Soo Chul Kim while Shinya Aoki will want to prove he is a title contender at featherweight when he faces Cody Stevens in his 145-pound debut.
With Asian mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Tatsuya Mizuno in action as well as up and coming stars such as Eddie Ng, Jake Butler and Peter Davis, the top half of this card is stacked with five match-ups featuring some of ONE FC's more recognizable fighters.
Jake Butler vs Sylvian Potard
A year ago Jake Butler was completely unknown outside of wrestling circles but the Princeton Graduate has rapidly established himself as the fighter to beat in the light heavyweight division with three consecutive first round ONE FC wins.
He is facing increasingly experienced opposition and Syvlain Potard is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) black belt and a veteran of the European scene who has a 5-3 professional record. So far Butler has scored with every single takedown attempt and no fighter has ever been able to get up again once the Evolve MMA standout has got them to the ground.
Potard might be more difficult to control but Butler's skill set makes him a very tough test for anyone in Asia and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him run through the French fighter just as rapidly as he has his three previous ONE FC opponents.
Tatsuya Mizuno was defeated by Renato Sobral on his ONE FC debut and will be looking to revitalize his career after dropping down to middleweight. The Japanese veteran's 11-9 record is uninspiring but he has consistently taken on some of the top light heavyweights and heavyweights in the world and could be a completely different fighter at 185 pounds.
Rafael Silva has an impressive 39-13 record and with 21 of his wins coming by way of submission it's easy to see where his strength lies. He will presumably be in a hurry to get this one to the ground but that will be no easy task against the Judo black belt.
The Portugese submission specialist is riding a seven-fight win streak but none of those victories have come against opponents of Mizuno's caliber. The K-1 and Dream veteran will have to cope with the weight cut but if he can do that I expect him to have too much for Silva who is facing a significant step up in terms of opposition.
This bout was bumped down from co-main event status after Aoki was added to the card but it is one which is eagerly anticipated locally. Although originally from Hong Kong, Eddie Ng's been based at Evolve MMA in Singapore since 2011 and is a popular figure there while Peter Davis has a big fan following in his native Malaysia
Ng has won three fights out of three for ONE FC and is very well-rounded with solid Muay Thai, a strong submission game and brutal ground and pound. Davis comes from a more unorthodox Kung Fu background but has proven power and is no novice on the ground.
If Davis catches Ng with one of his unconventional spinning strikes he could finish the fight in an instant and that makes him a dangerous opponent, but the Malaysian sometimes takes a while to find his range and rhythm. The Evolve MMA fighter might try to use a wrestling based gameplan to neutralize his opponent's striking but this is the sort of fight which could go either way.
This is an intriguing and somewhat surprising match-up with Shinya Aoki's debut unexpectedly pushed forward for October 18. On paper, the Japanese fighter's experience and submission skills should be too much for Cody Stevens but no one knows how he will cope with the cut down to 145 pounds.
Stevens has a high school wrestling background so taking him down won't be a straightforward process and he will probably be looking to turn the fight into a brawl in the hope that he can catch Aoki with something. The reigning ONE FC 155-pound champion has been working tirelessly on his Muay Thai at Evolve MMA and might take the opportunity to use it, particularly as he will have a significant height and reach advantage over the American.
Aoki looked increasingly confident in his striking against Satoru Kitaoko and Antonio McKee but wasted no time in shooting for takedowns against Arnaud Lepont and Kotetu Boku. It will be interesting to see what gameplan he employs here, but if he isn't on top form in this fight then Stevens has the tools at his disposal to take advantage.
No one seems to be giving Soo Chul Kim too much of a chance in this fight but I think he is the perfect opponent to bring the best out of Bibiano Fernandes. The Korean is aggressive and sets a very fast pace which the Brazilian, who won the Dream Grand Prix at both 135 and 145 pounds, will need to match.
Previous opponents seem to have employed a safety first strategy against Fernandes but I don't think that will be the case in this unification bout because Kim will take the fight to him. The ONE FC interim champion may be a BJJ black belt world champion, but the Korean has shown solid submission defence against BJJ black belts in the past and will feel he can at least survive if the action goes to the ground.
Fernandes' stamina is outstanding but I think this is the one area where Kim has an advantage and if he can survive into the championship rounds and continue to push a frantic pace he has a chance to pull off the upset. The Brazilian does have an advantage in terms of both speed and skill and if his opponent is too aggressive he is likely to capitalize ruthlessly.
Both Fernandes' previous ONE FC fights have been a little lackluster but Kim's style should make for a much more entertaining contest this time around. Of course, the Korean is a major underdog but that was also the case when he beat both Leandro Issa and Kevin Belingon so write him off at your own risk.
There you have it.
The undercard of ONE FC: "Total Domination" will be streamed free online while the entire show can be purchased for $9.99 and the main card will be screened live in Asia by Star Sports and elsewhere in the world by a variety of different local broadcasters.
Be sure to check back with us on Friday morning for full ONE FC 11 results and LIVE play-by-play.