ONE FC: "Champions & Warriors" is set for the Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta on Friday (Sept. 13, 2013) and with Andrew Leone having pulled out of his flyweight bout against Japanese veteran Shinichi Kojima, the event will now be headlined by the lightweight match-up between Kotetsu Boku vs. Vuyisile Colossa.
Here is part two of my preview for the final four fights on the card. To read part one click here.
Mahmoud Hassan vs Alain Ngalani
This fight probably won't last more than a minute because Mahmoud Hassan is a crude brawler who will come out and swing for the fences, whereas Alain Ngalani is a Muay Thai world champion with devastating power but minimal takedown defense and ground game.
Ngalani will want to keep the fight standing and subject the Egyptian to a striking clinic. It will be interesting to see whether Hassan goes for broke and looks to catch the Hong Kong-based Cameroonian with something wild or plays it safe and attempts to execute a more wrestling-based strategy.
Hassan (1-1) is a veteran of over 20 professional boxing bouts so he might back himself in a striking match with Ngalani but given that his opponent is making his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut and has limited experience on the ground, he would be well advised to try to get him down.
Both of these heavyweights hit hard and neither are defensively minded so this is more likely to be a quickfire slugfest than a drawn out, strategic affair. It could all come down to who lands the first telling blow and I expect this fight to end quickly and violently.
Jake Butler vs James Kouame
Jake Butler (2-0) is the fastest rising light heavyweight in Asian MMA and the NCAA division one wrestler will be looking for his third straight first-round win inside the ONE FC cage. Kouame (2-1) comes from a kickboxing and karate background and has a slight advantage in terms of MMA experience.
Butler captained the wrestling team at Princeton University and there are very few fighters in Asia who can match his wrestling credentials. For Kouame, whose strength is striking, this must be a concern and the Canadian could have his work cut out trying to keep this fight standing.
If Kouame can avoid the takedown, even though Butler has been training under the boxing and Muay Thai world champions at Evolve MMA in Singapore, he will have a clear advantage and should win by knockout, but if he gets taken down it's going to be very difficult for him to get back up again.
Both Butler's previous ONE FC fights have ended in the opening round and I don't expect this one to last much longer. If the American gets the takedown then he should be able to ground and pound his way to victory, but if Kouame keeps things standing he is more than capable of stopping him with strikes.
Vincent Majid vs Willy Ni
This fight pits two experienced Dutch lightweights with roots in Asia together. Willy Ni (15-7) comes from a Malaysian family while Vincent Latoel (13-13-2) is ethnically Indonesian and will be sure of some vocal support from the Jakarta crowd.
Latoel has only been to a decision once in 28 fights while Ni has only been the distance three times in 22 bouts so a stoppage looks on the cards. With neither fighter having competed since 2009 it's difficult to make specific predictions and much will depend on what sort of shape they are in after such a lengthy layoff.
At one point Ni was one of the top prospects in Europe but he lost focus and six losses in his last seven fights have tarnished what was an outstanding record. Nine of his 15 wins are by way of submission but he trains alongside Melvin Manhoef at Mike's Gym so he is unlikely to be out of his depth in the striking exchanges.
Latoel's been submitted 12 times, so Ni will probably feel this is his best chance of victory and the Indonesian might look to try and keep it standing. With both fighters so experienced and well-rounded anything could happen but it would be a surprise if this one went the distance.
Kotetsu Boku was the first ever ONE FC lightweight champion, a belt he won by stopping Zorobabel Moreira in the second round but he has never faced a stand-up fighter of Vuyisile Colossa's pedigree before. The South African is a former Muay Thai world champion who has devastating striking skills.
While that might be bad news for Boku it is good news for the ONE FC fans because the Japanese veteran is unlikely to shy away from a stand-up war. He showed against Moreira he has one-punch knockout power and he can also take enormous punishment and I expect him to absorb Colossa's strikes and look to land one big overhand right.
Boku's superior MMA experience should give him the edge if the fight goes to the floor but with both fighters generally happy to keep things standing, that might not even be a factor. Colossa will take confidence from the way in which Moreira was able to systematically break the former Shooto champ down with low kicks and might look to employ a similar strategy.
I expect Colossa to showcase his superior striking and stalk Boku looking to land quick combinations but the Japanese fighter has excellent footwork and will keep circling away, absorbing punishment if he has to and looking for an opening to plant his feet and land that right hand.