Headlined by a rematch between Honorio Banario and Koji Oishi, which will have the Japanese fighter's featherweight title at stake, the top half of the ONE FC: "Moment of Truth" card contains plenty of champions and former champions from Asian organizations like Shooto, Pancrase and URCC.
The FiIipino fans will be desperate for Banario to avenge his May loss to Oishi and win back the 145-pound belt, but after enduring the disappointment of seeing all the local fighters lose at ONE FC: "Rise to Power," they will be desperate for any sort of success.
Edward Kelly vs. Herbert Burns
This fight was only confirmed in the last 24 hours and will be on the undercard. Edward Kelly (5-0) is the younger brother of Eric and has a similar skill set, albeit not quite at the same level, with Wushu based striking and a solid ground game.
Unfortunately for him his replacement opponent is Herbert Burns (1-0) a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt and decorated grappler who despite only having fought once, has been training MMA for over four years and joined the Evolve MMA fight team a few months ago.
Kelly's Wushu should give him the edge in the striking exchanges but if Burns gets the takedown, and given that the fight was made last minute, Kelly won't have had much time to work on his takedown defense. I expect the Brazilian to claim a submission win.
Koetsu Okazaki vs. Josh Alvarez
This fight has been bumped from the main card onto the undercard after Josh Alvarez stepped in as a late replacement for Leandro Issa. Okazaki went five rounds with Bibiano Fernandes in his ONE FC debut but never really looked like he was winning and the former Shooto champion will be looking for a much better performance the second time around.
Alvarez (12-5) has mainly been fighting in the Pacific but is on a five-fight winning streak with nine submission wins to his name overall. Factors not in his favor include the lack of preparation time, as he only stepped up at around two week's notice, and his size, because he is capable of making 125 pounds and is not as big as Okazaki.
Okazaki (8-2) will be desperate not to register a third straight loss after losing out on two titles in his two previous fights. The Japanese fighter showcased excellent submission defense against Fernandes, so Alvarez could find it tough to finish him on the floor.
Vincent Latoel vs. Eduard Folayang
It's difficult to pick a favorite in this fight because Vincent Latoel (14-13-2) is vastly experienced but only has one quickfire submission win to his name in the last four years. He trains at Golden Glory in Holland and, as you would expect from a anyone coming out of that camp, is confident in his striking.
Folayang (12-4) will be looking to recapture the form which saw him win 11 out of his first 12 fights after back-to-back defeats. He had problems with his weight cut prior to the loss to Kamal Shalorus and his stamina suffered as a result, but has had no such issues this time around and will be looking to try and set the sort of frenetic pace for which he was once renowned.
Both fighters are fairly versatile and have been known to try and get fights to the ground, so the tactical approach will be interesting. Folayang might want to test his Wushu against Latoel's Muay Thai and the Dutch Indonesian might be happy to oblige.
Kevin Belingon vs. David Santacana
ONE FC has recently signed a bunch of unbeaten prospects and David Santacana (9-0) is one of three who will be making their promotional debuts on this card. The Spanish submission specialist is taking on Kevin Belingon (11-3) who did his reputation no harm in going three rounds with Masakatsu Ueda in a close and competitive fight earlier this year.
Santacana has faced some seasoned opponents in Europe so this isn't necessarily a massive step up, but Belingon is one of the fastest fighters in the division and his Wushu skills should make him far superior to the Spaniard in striking terms.
Santacana is capable of firing off crisp one-two combinations, but doesn't have the array of striking tools at his disposal that Belingon does. Ueda was able to beat him by taking him down and keeping him down and if the Spaniard wants to keep his undefeated record intact he will need to do the same exact thing.
Will it be redemption time for Honorio Banario? Or will Koji Oishi cement his status as the ONE FC featherweight champion? If the first fight is anything to go by, then pretty much anything could happen, but seeing as how it lasted less than two rounds and both men came close to finishing with strikes, you suspect this probably won't go the distance.
Oishi (24-9-10) has a huge advantage in terms of experience and has already proved that a huge overhand right is his most dangerous weapon. Banario (8-2) needs to take care to not be predictable with his striking, a trap he fell into in the first fight and got brutally punished for.
Banario is much lighter on his feet and more explosive with his footwork, but that won't bother Oishi, who will be happy to plant his feet and wait for an opening when the Filipino springs into range. I think the challenger has the tools to win a striking match but can't afford to get careless, because the champion has far greater power.
With so much pressure on Banario fighting in front of 20,000 fans in the Philippines much will depend on how he copes mentally. He needs to fight the perfect fight if he wants to win his belt back and remain tactically astute at all times, if he lets the occasion get to him or loses composure, Oishi has the tools to finish him.