Arguably the best mixed martial arts (MMA) Bantamweight in the world outside of the Big Three (UFC, Bellator and WSOF), Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes, will defend his ONE FC title inside Mall of Asia Arena (MOA) in Manila, Philippines, this Friday morning (Dec. 5, 2014) when he faces unbeaten Dae Hwan Kim in the main event of "Warrior's Way."
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE ONE FC 23: "Warriors Way" coverage, starting with the online broadcast at 6 a.m. ET.
Eight-year Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Brandon Vera will make his promotional debut in the co-main event, facing Ukraine's Igor Subora, who has knocked out his last two opponents in a combined 86 seconds.
Elsewhere on the card, hometown hero Eduard Folayang will look for his third straight win against Russian finishing machine Timofey Nastyukhin, while Roger Gracie returns to MMA after more than one year away against James McSweeney.
ONE FC 23: "WARRIOR'S WAY" QUICK RESULTS:
Bantamweight Championship: Bibiano Fernandes def. Dae Hwan Kim by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:16 of Round Two
Heavyweight: Brandon Vera def. Igor Subora by TKO (punch and soccer kicks) at 3:54 of Round One
Lightweight: Timofey Nastyukhin def. Eduard Folayang by knockout (flying knee and soccer kick) at 3:11 of Round One
Light Heavyweight: Roger Gracie def. James McSweeney (body kick and punches) at 3:15 of Round Three
Bantamweight: Kevin Belingon def. Koetsu Okazaki by unanimous decision
Featherweight: Herbert Burns def. Honorio Banario by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:59 of Round One
Light Heavyweight: Jake Butler def. Sylvain Potard by unanimous decision
Flyweight: Dejdamrong sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Rene Catalan by KO (knee to the body) at 2:30 of Round One
Flyweight: Ana Julaton def. Walaa Abbas by unanimous decision
Atomweight: Jujeath Nagaowa def. Tharoth Sam by TKO (punches and elbows) at 3:34 of Round Two
ONE FC 23: "WARRIOR'S WAY" PLAY-BY-PLAY RESULTS:
Bibiano Fernandes (c) vs. Dae Hwan Kim
Round one: Bibi shoots in right away. Kim resists and lands a left, so Bibi changes levels again, eventually completing a takedown against the cage. Kim seated with his back on the cage and Bibi attached to his hips. One minute in. Kim dropping elbows, enough land on the back of the head for him to earn a yellow card, having been warned earlier. Bibi attempts to take his back, but winds up on the bottom in the scramble. Kim looks to drop punches, only for Bibi to latch onto a triangle. He switches to an armbar, but Kim defends well, nearly taking his back as they stand after the scramble. Back to the feet. Two minutes to go.
Kim tries a flying knee, which Bibi catches and uses to take him down. Kim scrambles up and Bibi wings some haymakers at him against the cage. Back to the center. Bibi left hook goes high. Spinning back kick from Kim, then one that lands to the head with the knee. One minute to go. Bibi ducks an overhand left, Kim denies the takedown but eats a knee when they rise. Bibi immediately shoots in again and completes the double into guard. Round ends there. Fernandes ahead to far.
Round two: Kim lands a left, Bibi a right. Kim stuffs a takedown. Front kick to the body by the Korean. Spinning back kick lands again for him. Bibi ducks an overhand right, taking Kim's back in one fluid motion. Bibi flattens him out and grabs the RNC, earning the tap in short order.
Final result: Fernandes def. Kim by submission (rear-naked choke)
Brandon Vera vs. Igor Subora
Round one: Low kick from Vera to start. Straight left, then a glancing head kick rocks Subora. Vera looking to pour on knees from the plum. Good elbow as they separate. Subora comes in with a Superman punch that misses, eats a body kick. Another. Right hook by Vera as Subora wades in. One minute in. Left hook lands for Subora. Leg kicks by Vera. Two minutes in. Vera head kick blocked. Subora with a 3-2 that connects. Straight right misses, as does a left hook. Vera leg kicks and oblique kicks. Two minutes to go.
Straight left connects for Vera. Subora coming close with power punches. Straight to the body by Vera. Now he goes high with it and drops Subora. Vera smacks him with soccer kicks until the ref steps in.
Final result: Vera def. Subora by TKO (punch and soccer kicks)
Eduard Folayang vs. Timofey Nastyukhin
Round one: Quick punching exchange, both men make good contact. Low kick from Nastyukhin. He counters a kick, then rocks Folayang with a left hook. Folayang survives after tying up and they return to the center. One minute in. Folayang lands a low kick. Spinning back fist attempt. Body kick by the Russian. Right hand connects as they trade. Folayang leg kick. Again, Nastyukhin tries to counter with the overhand. Two minutes in. 1-2 by the Russian. 3-2, Folayang tries to counter. Spinning back kick by Nastyukhin. 1-2 lands for him. Two minutes to go.
Flying knee by Nastyukhin lands flush. Folayang crashes to the mat; he's somehow still awake, but a vicious soccer kick ends the fight. Wow.
Final result: Nastyukhin def. Folayang by knockout (flying knee and soccer kick)
Roger Gracie vs. James McSweeney
Round one: Roger sticking out his jab. McSweeney body kick results in a brief tie-up and a Gracie knee to the head. McSweeney low kick. Once again. One minute in. Both men's right hands come up short. Left hook by Roger. McSweeney just misses with a head kick. Front kick attempt. Roger answers. Another left and jab from Gracie. Roger ties up, McSweeney exits quickly. Two minutes in. McSweeney again short with the high kick. Leg kick lands for him. More jabs by Gracie. Two minutes to go.
McSweeney having difficulty with Gracie's length. Roger ducks a hook, lands a knee in the tie-up. James lands a leg kick. One minute to go. Low kick lands. High kick clips Roger on the chin, prompting him to tie up. McSweeney slings him down and stands over him, not engaging on the mat. Back to their feet. Round ends. Roger was in control for the majority, but McSweeney did have him hurt. Close fight.
Round two: Leg kick exchange. Counter overhand connects for McSweeney. Roger just misses with a knee. One minute in. McSweeney comes up short with the head kick. Roger continuing to find success with the jab. Low kick from the Brit. Two minutes in. Roger shoots in, can't get it. Left and right hooks by Roger land. McSweeney body kick blocked. Two minutes to go.
Roger flicks out a front kick. Body kick from James. McSweeney's eye is increasingly damaged and Roger's targeting it with the jab. McSweeney goes high, connects. Low kick by James. Roger on the advance. One minute to go. Roger winging punches, unable to land a finisher. McSweeney blocks a high kick before the bell. Certainly Roger's round.
Round three: McSweeney lands a body shot. High kick blocked, teep lands. Roger's jab working well. One minute in. James again just misses with the head kick. Roger left hook, glancing overhand by McSweeney on the counter. McSweeney body kick blocked. Good body kick from McSweeney. Roger tries a knee tap, nothing there. Two minutes in. Roger blocks a body kick. Relatively long period of inaction follows. Two minutes to go.
Leg kick from McSweeney, but his foot may be injured. Roger hurts him with a front kick to the body and continues to pour on punches until McSweeney goes down. A few more shots from Roger and the referee steps in.
Final result: Gracie def. McSweeney by TKO (body kick and punches)
Koetsu Okazaki vs. Kevin Belingon
Round one: Both men hanging out on the outside in the early going. Two low kicks from Belingon, one glancing, make up the entirety of the action in the first minute. Belingon still flicking out low kicks. Okazaki has not thrown a strike yet to my knowledge. Two minutes in. More leg kicks from Belingon. One strays into Okazaki's groin, prompting a pause in the action. There's a joke here about nothing changing. They restart and Belingon is back to throwing kicks. Two minutes to go.
I think Okazaki still hasn't committed to a single strike. Belingon is battering that lead leg with impunity. Okazaki finally throws a leg kick and comes in with a pair of punches after four minutes of nothing. Okazaki rushes and Belingon blasts him with a right hand that stumbles him. Head kick by Belingon as he continues to attack. Okazaki shoots, but gets swept and Belingon pours on punches and elbows. Okazaki looks for a leglock, Belingon snuffs it out. Bell, all Belingon.
Round two: Lead right hand from Okazaki after some glancing Belingon low kicks. One minute in. Lots of feinting, no connections. Low kicks land for Belingon. Okazaki doing nothing to counter these. Lead right connects for Okazaki. Two minutes in. Leg kick from Okazaki, Belingon answers. Okazaki looking to jab. Low kick, Belingon answers. Two minutes to go.
Belingon overhand just misses. Both miss with right hands. Belingon cracks him with an overhand to the temple that takes out Okazaki's legs. Okazaki falls to his back, but keeps Belingon off with his legs. Belingon waves him up. One minute to go. Belingon tries to go high with the kick, eats a counter punch. Spinning back kick by Belingon puts Okazaki on his seat. The Japanese fighter is back up quickly. Nothing of note happens between then and the bell. Still all Belingon.
Round three: Okazaki sticking out the jab, blocks a spinning back kick. Left straight by Okazaki, Belingon leg kick. Good leg kick by Okazaki. One minute in. Belingon to the legs, then a head kick as Okazaki's leg buckles. Okazaki manages to shoot in and complete a single-leg, getting the rear waistlock when Belingon stands. Okazaki tries to take him down and take the back, but Belingon reverses into top half guard. Two minutes in. Short arm punches by Belingon. Two minutes to go.
Referee calls for action. Elbows from Belingon. Short punches, then a good series of elbows. Belingon going body-body-head. One minute to go. Belingon keeps up the steady diet of ground-and-pound until the bell, opening up in the last few seconds. Can't imagine him not getting the decision.
Final result: Belingon def. Okazaki by unanimous decision
Herbert Burns vs. Honorio Banario
Round one: Front kick by Burns, Banario advances but gets caught in a guillotine. Burns pulls guard, then rolls him over before losing the choke . He quickly scrambles onto Banario's back and looks for the RNC. Banario breaks the grip, but is caught in the body triangle. One minute in. Burns looking to soften him up with short punches and elbows. Banario rolling, unable to dislodge Burns. Burns gets his forearm underneath the chin, Banario breaks the grip after grimacing unpleasantly. Two minutes to go.
Elbows from Burns. He finally manages to lock up the RNC just before the four-minute mark, earning a quick tap.
Final result: Burns def. Banario by submission (rear-naked choke)
Jake Butler vs. Sylvain Potard
Round one: Butler flicks out a front kick. Both men tentative early. Glancing low kick by Butler. He ducks under a Superman punch attempt and shoots in, winding up on top in side control. Butler with a few knees to the head from that position, taking advantage of ONE FC's ruleset. One minute in. More knees by Butler as Potard tries to turn into him. Potard scoots back, Butler takes the front headlock. Butler pressing him against the fence. Potard rises and pulls his head out, is still being clinched. Two minutes in. Knee to the body from Butler, then a short left hand. He's not active enough for the referee's liking and they return to the center of the cage. Potard avoids a two-punch combo. Two minutes to go.
Lead right falls short for Butler. Left hook into a takedown attempt. Potard stays on his feet, is pressed against the fence. Short knees from Butler as he works from over-under. One minute to go. The referee separates them after insufficient action. Butler enters the clinch once again, looking for the rear waistlock and landing a knee. The round ends there. Butler ahead so far.
Round two: Butler again tossing out the front kick and low kicks, nothing landing clean. Double-leg attempt, which he chains into a single, tossing Potard down into turtle against the cage. Butler moves quickly into full mount, postures up, and drops punches. One minute in and Potard is taking some big shots. He manages to roll to the side into bottom side control. Butler retakes mount, then takes the back when Potard gives it up. Butler continues pouring on the punishment before looking for the RNC. Two minutes in. He abandons the choke and starts punching again. Potard scooting to the fence. Potard turns into him, eats a knee to the face. Butler teases a guillotine, then goes back to punching away. Two minutes to go.
Butler keeping up a continuous stream of punches near the fence. Potard works his way back up, is still clinched. One minute to go. Butler changes levels for a single-leg, can't get it and returns to the clinch. The referee breaks them up with less than 30 seconds to go. Nothing transpires in the last half-minute. Massive round for Butler.
Round three: Butler again ducks a Superman punch to shoot, this time Potard stays on his feet. Butler pressing him against the fence. Knee to the body. Potard reverses position. The referee breaks them up at about the one-minute mark. Butler quickly shoots in for a single-leg, can't get it but lands a body kick and enters the clinch. Knee to the body. Not much action and the ref separates them. Two minutes in. Straight right by Butler. Potard sprawls on a shot, looking for knees from the front headlock. Butler moves him to the fence and extricates his head. Two minutes to go.
Referee breaks them up quickly. Both men fatigued. Potard sprawls on another shot, landing a knee. Butler gets his head out and Potard presses him against the cage. One minute to go. They jockey for position and Butler takes him down into half guard. Potard attempts to kick him off, cannot do so. Potard uses the cage to get to his feet. Potard gets out but can't put hands on Butler before the end of the fight. Should be a win for Butler.
Final result: Butler def. Potard by unanimous decision
Dejdamrong sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Rene Catalan
Round one: As with the last time I covered one of his fights, Amnuaysirichoke will be referred to as "DSA" for the sake of my fingers and mental health.
Catalan left hook falls short, as does a DSA low kick. Elbow attempt from DSA, then both wing high kicks successively before Catalan takes him down into side control. DSA clinging to a guillotine position on the wrong side as Catalan lands short punches to the body. One minute in. DSA sweeps his way to the feet with the underhook, although Catalan still has the front headlock. Catalan pressing him against the fence. DSA pushes him away. Lead right hand connects for DSA and Catalan ties up, eating knees to the body. More knees by DSA as they jockey. Catalan can't avoid them and a big one sends him down in agony. DSA raises his hands and the referee rightly steps in.
Final result: Amnuaysirichoke def. Catalan by KO (knee to the body)
Walaa Abbas vs. Ana Julaton
Round one: Abbas steps in with a missed low kick but connects with a series of punches, prompting Julaton to tie up. Knees in the clinch from Abbas. They jockey for position on the fence, Abbas landing dirty boxing and knees. She slings Julaton to the side and Ana gets on on a leg. Abbas teases a guillotine, doesn't get it. One minute in and they continue working from the clinch. Julaton with some dirty boxing of her own. Two minutes in, still on the fence. Abbas with an arm-in guillotine, but it's not deep and they split. Good right hands by Julaton, who shoots in soon after and is rebuffed. Abbas lands a front kick to the body. She rushes with punches, landing a glancing right hand. Left hook fby Julaton and they tie up and hit the mat. Two minutes to go.
Julaton looking for the back and manages to get the rear waistlock when they stand. Julaton tosses her down into turtle and begins dropping punches and knees. Abbas turns into her and gets in on a double-leg. Julaton with some Browne elbows as Abbas presses in. Abbas to her feet as they engage in dirty boxing. One minute to go. Jockeying for position on the cage. Julaton with a front choke attempt, nothing there until the bell. Julaton ahead so far.
Round two: Both prod with left hands. Abbas counters a right with a flurry. Julaton steps in with a left and grabs the clinch. Julaton pressing her against the fence. Both land knees to the body, Ana with punches to the body and head. Abbas separates and they briefly slug it out. One minute in. Stiff jab from Julaton. Julaton avoids a four-punch combo and counters with a right hand. Two minutes in. Julaton's jab working well as she avoids Abbas' wide shots. Abbas lands a left inside. They move to the clinch and trade punches from the collar tie. Two minutes to go.
Abbas low kick. Short punches from her as Julaton briefly changes levels. Abbas winging punches with much more volume than Julaton. Brief clinch. Left hook by Julaton, then a right over the top as Abbas tries to throw off her back foot. Julaton changes levels and hits the body. Abbas fires a four-punch combo that prompts Julaton to tie up. Abbas moves her to the fence and they end the round there. Still Julaton's fight, I believe.
Round three: Julaton tries a spinning back kick as Abbas attacks with low kicks. They move into the clinch, trading punches as they do. Julaton presses her against the fence, lands a knee up top. Abbas reverses after taking some punches to the body. Abbas with some knees to the body. Julaton reverses position. One minute in. Abbas reverses, eats a knee to the head before they separate. Lead right by Abbas, right hand inside by Julaton. Two minutes in. Stiff jab from Abbas and they tie up. Julaton looking to dig with punches and changes levels for a single-leg. Abbas with a front headlock. Soon, they split back up. Overhand right from Julaton. Abbas starting to jab. Two minutes to go.
They clinch, Julaton gets the front headlock and lands some knees to the body. Abbas now pressing her against the fence, though they separate before long. One minute to go. Step-in jab from Abbas, they trade punches inside. More exchanging inside, Abbas landing with more volume. They tie up and jockey for position on the fence. Julaton moves to the rear-waistlock but can't do anything before the bell. Better round for Abbas, still Julaton's fight.
Final result: Julaton def. Abbas by unanimous decision
Tharoth Sam vs. Jujeath Nagaowa
Round one: Glancing low kicks from Sam as Nagaowa presses forward. They tie up and Sam drills her with a few knees to the body. Nagaowa trying to dig in a few uppercuts of her own. Sam gets the plum and continues attacking with knees, but concedes the takedown. One minute in. Sam returns to her feet, Nagaowa on a leg. Nagaowa moves her to the fence and tries to change levels. She separates a bit and fires punches, prompting a takedown attempt from Sam. Nagaowa sprawls on it and flattens her out, working towards the back. Two minutes in. Nagowa looking for the RNC and attempting to get her hooks in. Sam in the turtle position. Two minutes to go.
Nagaowa still working for it, although she doesn't have a hook in. One minute to go. Sam on her side, working her way out. Nagaowa landing some punches with her free hand while Sam moves towards taking her back in responds. Nagowa manages to deny the attempt and end up on top in guard. Nagaowa lands some small slams to end the round. Close so far.
Round two: Sam forgets her mouthpiece, prompting a quick pause. Back to the action. Teep from Sam, Nagaowa trying to enter with haymakers. More teeps and low kick attempts by Sam. Nagaowa enters and rips to the body with punches, Sam counters with knees. One minute in. They exchange in the clinch briefly before separating. Sam doing well at range. Nagaowa again wades in with body shots and overhands before shooting in. Sam denies it and shoots herself. Nagaowa sprawls on it hard, quickly taking her back and locking in the RNC. Two minutes in. Nagaowa has no hooks in and Sam manages to turn to her back. Nagaowa on top, Sam looking to bridge. Two minutes to go.
Nagaowa takes full mount and postures up, dropping punches. Sam tries unsuccessfully to buck her off. Sam covers up as the elbows start coming and the referee steps in.
Final result: Nagaowa def. Sam by TKO (punches and elbows)