ONE FC 17: "Era of Champions" sees Indonesia's two all time greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters make their comebacks as well as two match ups which will have huge significance for the future of the flyweight division. Set for the 20,000 capacity Mata Elang International Stadium, it looks set to be the biggest MMA event Jakarta has ever seen.
The first two fights will be streamed online free of charge and the main card will be broadcast live all over Asia on Star Sports and on various other networks around the wold and will be available to purchase for $9.99 by clicking here.
Here's part two of my preview (for part one click here):
Mahmoud Salama vs. Aung La Nsang
Aung La Nsang was born in Myanmar but moved to the U.S. as a teenager and has not been back since. He holds a 14-9-1 professional record but it promises to be an emotional occasion because not only is he fighting in Asia for the first time, but his father who he hasn't seen in 11 years will be in attendance.
La Nsang will need to keep his composure against an Mahmoud Salama who is an all out brawler and will probably come out swinging. The "Burmese Python" almost never goes the distance, his wins are all stoppages and this middleweight match up promises to be fast and violent with the 4-4 Egyptian likely to be at massive disadvantage if it goes to the ground.
Kentaro Watanabe vs. Geje Eustaquio
Kentaro Watanabe (10-4) is a Shooto veteran who has a crazy, brawling style of fighting and has been in some real wars. He tends to stand and swing with his chin high in the air but I think his power could cause problems for Geje Eustaquio (5-2) who has never previously faced an opponent with this caliber of striking.
Eustaquio has a much more diverse offense and his strategy will surely be to use his kicks to keep Watanabe at bay and avoid turning the fight into a toe-to-toe war. The Filipino will require massive discipline to pull off this game plan and if he does he could win by decision but the Japanese fighter has a clear advantage in terms of both power and experience and is capable of scoring the KO.
Fransino Tirta vs. Sami Amin
For the Indonesian fans this is the real main event as Fransino Tirta (15-0-1) fights in Jakarta for the first time in nearly 10 years. He has a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt, solid boxing and Sambo as well as that astounding MMA record and is very confident of victory.
Sami Amin (4-1) is an EFC 145-pound champion from Egypt who has a background in kickboxing and knows this is the biggest moment of his career. It would be a massive upset if he won, but if Tirta shows any signs of rung rust he will be determined to take advantage.
This is a massive moment in Tirta's career and there is a danger he could let the occasion get to him and fail to fight to his full potential but he seems very composed, didn't seem to struggle getting down to 145 pounds for the first time and should be good enough to prevail against the Egyptian on Saturday night (local time).
Adriano Moraes vs. Kosuke Suzuki
Adriano Moraes (10-1) looks like the most exciting flyweight prospect on the planet at present and will want to put in an emphatic performance against Kosuke Suzuki to underline his championship credentials and potentially set up a title match with the winner of the Eustaquio vs Watanabe bout.
Kosuke Suzuki (10-3-2) is making his ONE FC debut on the back of a five fight winning streak but the first thing that stands out about this match up is that he is giving away five inches in height. Even for a fighter who is known for his aggression and fearlessness that represents a potentially insurmountable obstacle.
Suzuki does have a penchant for leg locks and might try to grab one of Moraes' long limbs, but I suspect the Shooto veteran will want to lure his Brazilian opponent into a firefight. If that happens he stands a chance but the Brazilian is strong on the ground, knows how to use his height and reach in the striking exchanges and is definitely a favorite for this fight.