On a day which ONE FC announced the signing of several new fighters, the March 14 card in Kuala Lumpur card was bolstered by a lightweight match-up between Hong Kong's Eddie Ng and Iranian WEC and UFC veteran Kamal Shalorus.
Ng (7-1) faces the toughest test of his career to date when he takes on Shalorus (8-3-2) in a match-up between two of the organization's top 155-poundrs which will take place at Stadium Negara in the Malaysian capital on a card headlined by the welterweight title bout between Nobutatsu Suzuki and Brock Larson.
ONE FC recently added undefeated former Bellator 170-pound champion Ben Askren to the roster and matchmaker Matt Hume has clearly been busy with multiple new signings announced in a press release issued by the Singapore-based promotion earlier today.
M-1 featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (8-0), Brace MMA featherweight champion Martin Nguyen (3-0) and PXC heavyweight champion Kelvin Fitial (12-7-2-1) have all been added to the ONE FC roster along with Australian featherweight Rob Lisita (13-5), Japanese flyweight Kentaro Watanabe (10-4), and Canadian Indian K-1 veteran Kultar Gill (12-8).
The signings bring new depth to the 145-pound division where Koji Oishi holds the belt and Eric Kelly and Honorio Banario are the leading contenders, with Shinya Aoki set to drop down after the next defense of his lightweight title. Australians Nguyen and Lisita look set to be immediate contenders with the former fresh off a successful title fight under the Brace MMA banner and the latter coming off two of the biggest wins of his career.
Gafurov is one of the top featherweight prospects in the world and won the M-1 145-pound title in November 2012, defending the belt successfully once before signing with ONE FC. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and trains out of the Legion Fight Team in Moscow but is originally from Dagestan.
Fitial has not fought since 2011 but will bolster the heavyweight ranks which currently include Chris Lokteff, Paul Cheng and Tony Johnson Jr. while Gill is a K-1 veteran of Indian descent who is coming off a successful two fight stint with the Super Fight League.
Watanabe is a Shooto veteran and he will be following ONE FC: "War of Nations" closely because two of his compatriots are in flyweight action that night with both Shinichi Kojima and Yasuhiro Urushitani on the card. The 30 year old is on good form having won six of his last seven fights.