Brock Larson and Nobutatsu Suzuki will do battle for the inaugural ONE FC Welterweight World Title on March 14 in a fight which will potentially serve as an audition for the role of welcoming Ben Askren to Asia’s biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
The welterweight title fight will be the main event of ONE FC: "War of Nations," the promotion’s first card of 2014, which is set for Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur and will also feature some of the best fighters on the roster at flyweight, bantamweight and lightweight.
Larson (37-7) is a UFC and WEC veteran who introduced himself to Asian fight fans with a hard-fought decision win over Melvin Manhoef in a middleweight match up at ONE FC: "Kings & Champion: while Suzuki (10-1-2) has spent most of his career fighting for Zst and scored a first-round stoppage win over Phil Baroni at ONE FC: "Rise to Power."
With Askren set to make his ONE FC debut in May or June, the winner of this fight is likely to be in line to face the undefeated former Bellator champion, although it’s possible matchmakers might be reluctant to give him an immediate title shot in his promotional debut.
That's not all.
Two of the top contenders in the bantamweight division will face off when Kevin Belingon (12-3) takes on Dae Hwan Kim (9-0-1). The Korean was a target for UFC but opted to sign with ONE FC and got off to the perfect start with a second round stoppage win over Thanh Vu at ONE FC: "Moment of Truth."
Belingon became the first fighter to ever beat David Santacana at the same show and these two will be battling to establish themselves as the number-three fighter in the division behind reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and 135-pound grand prix winner Masakatsu Ueda.
While Ueda is first in line for a shot at Fernandes the winner of the fight between Vuyisile Colossa (7-4) and Kamal Shalorus (8-3-2) will have no obstacles standing between them and a fight with reigning 155-pound champion Shinya Aoki, who has pledged to defend his belt at least once before dropping down a division.
Shalorus outpointed Eduard Folayang at ONE FC: "Rise to Power" but faces one of the division’s in-form fighters in the shape of Colossa, who followed up a decision win over Kotetsu Boku at with a hard-fought three-round victory over Caros Fodor at ONE FC: "Moment of Truth."
Four of ONE FC’s best flyweights will be in action in two fights which will in all probability decide who fights for the inaugural 125-pound title. Andrew Leone (6-2) and Shinichi Kojima (13-5-5) will meet in a match-up which was originally scheduled for late last year while Adriano Moraes (9-1) takes on Yasuhiro Urushitani (21-6-6).