It's back-to-back events for Asia's biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion with ONE: "Unbreakable Warriors" set for Stadium Negara on Friday night (local time) in Kuala Lumpur. The card is stronger than last weekend's and is headlined by an intriguing lightweight bout between Ev Ting and Rob Lisita.
Malaysian fan favorites Peter Davis, Ann Osman, and Gianni Subba are also in action along with exciting welterweight prospect Agilan Thani. In total there are 11 fights on the card with a flyweight bout between Rene Catalan and Zhang You Liang added at the last minute.
Here's my preview of the first five fights (as always with ONE weights are normal walking weight).
125lbs.: Rene Catalan vs Zhang You Liang
Both fighters will be hoping that a drop down to flyweight can reinvigorate their ailing MMA career. Rene Catalan (0-2-0-1) will still be giving away an incredible 17 cms in height as his opponent looks set to be one of the taller fighters in the division.
Catalan's a two time Wushu world champion with some devastating kicks. Liang comes from a background in kickboxing and Kung Fu which could make for an unusual clash of striking styles.
155lbs.: Muhammad Aiman vs Hisyam Samsudin
Muhammad Aiman (0-1) has a 7-1 amateur record and entered the Malaysian Invasion tournament three years in a row before eventually winning it. He decided to travel to China to take on a touted Korean prospect on his pro debut and it's a decision the 21 year old probably regrets, he was stopped midway through the opening round.
Hisyam Samsudin (1-1) has fought twice for Full Metal Dojo but is best known for winning a minor title in boxing. He fights out of Borneo Tribal Squad while his opponent is representing Bali Muay Thai & MMA so both should be well drilled but Aiman's amateur experience could give him the edge.
115lbs.: Jeet Toshi vs Jenny Huang
The women's atomweight division is starting to heat up and this fight pits together two potential contenders. Jenny Huang (3-0) is tough but not particularly technical and specializes in grappling while Jeet Toshi (3-2) comes from a kickboxing background but is also comfortable on the ground.
The Taiwanese fighter holds a Judo black belt which makes her tough to take down and is not afraid to engage in wild striking exchanges. That's a trait she shares with Toshi and they could both end up planting their feet and throwing bombs.
155lbs.: Bruno Pucci vs Nuerdebieke Bahetihan
Bruno Pucci (4-1) is a BJJ black belt and No Gi Grappling world champion which gives you a pretty good idea of where his skillset lies. Nuerdebieke Bahetihan (5-1) is more of an enigma, he has a similar level of MMA experience to the Brazilian but has faced a significantly lower level of opposition.
The blueprint for beating Pucci was set by Major Overall; keep him standing and knock him out. Without having seen any footage of Bahetihan it's difficult to speculate about exactly what his intentions might be but if he has any sense he will look to stuff the takedowns and use his striking.
155lbs.: Keanu Subba vs Waqar Umar
Waqar Umar (4-3) always seems to be the underdog but has a tendency to cause problems for more 'renowned' fighters. He's got a Wushu striking style which is quite effective and is strong on the ground, the Pakistani has never been submitted.
Keanu Subba (3-2) is coming off a decision loss to Li Kai Wen which unfortunately wasn't broadcast anywhere. He has a 6-1 amateur record and with a wide stance and fast footwork his style is tailor made for MMA. The Malaysian will be the favourite here.
185lbs.: Agilan Thani vs Trestle Tan
Trestle Tan (4-5-0-1) has proven to be something of a surprise package with first round stoppage wins over both Jeff Huang and Djatmiko Waluyo. They were both fights he was expected to lose so the Filipino, who has spent many years living in Malaysia, is used to being an underdog.
His opponent is one of the best prospects in Malaysia right now. Agilan Thani (5-0) already has four ONE Championship wins as well as a 5-0 amateur record. He will want to get the fight down and use his ground game, Tan's best chance of winning is to throw bombs and hope something lands.
ONE: "Unbreakable Warriors" is being broadcast by The Fight Network and several other television stations worldwide. It can be purchased for $9.99 USD from www.ONEPPV.com.