ONE Fighting Championship returned to their home based, Singapore for the 6th time in the promotion’s history Friday evening, as ONE FC 16: Honor & Glory took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. The 9-fight card was headlined by the highly anticipated debut of top ranked welterweight and former Bellator champion, Ben “Funky” Askren (12-0), against Bakhtiyar Abbasov (11-2).
This fight marked the first time that Ben Askren fights outside of his home country of USA, and the first time since 2009 that he has fought outside of the Bellator promotion. A matchup of grappling disciplines as the 2008 U.S. Olympian wrestler took on the Combat Sambo champion from Azerbaijan.
Ben Askren has a successful ONE FC debut
Bakhtiyar Abbasov came out and to many’s surprise, took down Ben Askren at the start with a throw from the clinch. Askren quickly scrambled and got on top into crucifix position on the mat. He continued to control Abbasov with the over/under, all while doing damage by landing short punches. Askren continued his dominance on the ground, transitioning into an arm-triangle submission, getting Abbasov to submit in the first round.
Ben Askren remains undefeated and improving to 13-0, with his 3rd straight finish. And had a message to send to the ONE FC champion, Nobutatsu Suzuki, post-fight.
“You don’t go into the spider’s web, you’re just going to get beat down. What was he thinking taking me down?” Askren said of Abbasov’s takedown.
“Funky Ben had a great time in Asia, [Nobutatsu] Suzuki is going to bring me my belt. he can put it in the middle of the cage and give it to me, or I can take it the hard way!” Askren said of his upcoming fight against the current ONE FC welterweight champion.
Vincent Latoel upsets and hands Eddie Ng his first loss in ONE FC
The co-main featured ONE FC top lightweight Eddie Ng (7-2)—undefeated 4-0 in ONE FC, against Vincent Latoel (15-14-2). Ng knowing Latoel’s weakness, immediately went for the clinch to start the bout, but Latoel would defend several attempts at a takedown. A counter right hand landed by Latoel stunned Eddie Ng, Vincent followed up with a left -right-left combination that forced referee Yuji Shimada to step in and call the bout. Eddie Ng immediately protested the questionable stoppage, but to no avail. Latoel pulled off the huge upset, handing Ng his first loss in ONE FC.
“Sorry to beat your favourite fighter,” Latoel told the crowd, who continued to boo him after the fight.
“The referee is in here to look after the safety of the fighters, I’m not going to argue, guys you need to respect that decision,” said a classy Eddie Ng accepting defeat.
Jadamba Narantungalag defeats former ONE FC featherweight champion Honorio Banario
Coming off his back-to-back ONE FC featherweight title fight knockout losses to Koji Oishi, former featherweight champion Honorio Banario (8-4) returned to take on the debuting 38 year old Mongolian, Jadamba Narantungalag (9-3). The two fighters matched each others’ aggression evenly on the feet, both landing their considerable amount of strikes. Banario favored the kicking game–both leg and body, and landed a few takedowns on Narantungalag. While the Mongolian continually swung for the fences–landing on several occasions, left and right haymakers that stunned Banario.
The competitive back and forth bout lasted all 3 high-paced rounds, with the two being very evenly matched in the striking department, Jadamba came on strong late in the 3rd round and pressured Banario, landing several heavy blows that eventually proved to be the difference in the judges’ scorecards, taking the unanimous decision.
Caros Fodor submits Willy Ni for first finish since 2011
Caros Fodor (9-4) won his 2nd fight in ONE FC, against Willy Ni (15-9), who was looking to snap a 6-fight losing streak and for his first victory since 2006–unfortunately that streak would continue. The former Strikeforce prospect survived an early guillotine attempt by Willy Ni. Escaped and remained on top delivering punches, which opened up for the finish via a kimura lock in the 1st round.
Major Overall knocks out previously unbeaten Bruno Pucci
A pair of promising featherweight prospects, Major Overall (5-1) and Bruno Pucci (3-1) met in the ONE FC cage. Entering this fight, the two combined to finish all 7 of their victories by submission. However this fight would end unexpectedly when Bruno Pucci–after surviving on the mat with the 2-time no-gi world grappling champion on his back–came over the top with a 1-2 combination knocking down Pucci with the right hand, followed by a soccer kick that put Pucci out.
Chi Lewis Parry and Alain Ngalani fight to a no contest after an illegal knee
British heavyweight and former pro basketball player, 6’9″ Chi Lewis Parry (5-0) made his ONE FC debut against his much shorter opponent, 5’11” Alain Ngalani (1-1). The height discrepancy proved to be a detriment as Ngalani took a knee to the groin in the opening minute from Parry inside the clinch. And seemed to be in considerable pain on the mat for a few minutes. After given 5 minutes recovery time, Ngalani was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a no contest.
Radeem Rahman overcomes two early knockdowns to win 2nd pro fight
Evolve MMA’s Radeem Rahman (2-0) made his return after a successful pro debut in 2011 against the lanky 5’11” bantamweight, Raymond Tan (2-2). Tan’s long reach was of huge advantage early, knocking down Rahman twice—who maybe showed a bit of rust from his long 2.5 year layoff—with a right uppercut, followed shortly after by a left head kick. Rahman would recover and come back strong in the 2nd round, taking Tan down, mounting him and reigning down punches to get the TKO victory.
In a rematch from 2012, Nik Harris (6-2) evened up the score by winning a split decision over Brad Robinson (2-1). Harris utilized footwork and constant movement to stay outside the striking range of Robinson while using his reach advantage to land long jabs and leg kicks from outside over 3 rounds.
In the opening bout of the card, American Casey Suire improved to 5-0 with his 4th submission win over Stephen Langdown (1-1), Suire methodically worked towards a rear naked choke after dropping Langdown early with a left hook.
Full ONE FC 16 Results:
Main Card (8 AM EST / 8 PM Local, www.onefc.livesport.tv)
- Ben Askren def. Bakhtiyar Abbasov via Submission (arm-triangle choke)–Round 1, 4:21
- Vincent Latoel def. Eddie Ng–Knockout (punches)–Round 1, 3:16
- Jadamba Narantungalag def. Honorio Banario via Unanimous Decision
- Caros Fodor def. Willy Ni via Submission (kimura)–Round 1, 3:29
- Major Overall def. Bruno Pucci via Knockout (soccer kick)–Round 1, 2:08
- Chi Lewis Parry vs. Alain Ngalani—ruled a No Contest (illegal knee)
- Radeem Rahman def. Raymond Tan via TKO (punches)–Round 2, 2:46
Preliminary Card (7 AM EST / 7 PM Local, www.onefc.livesport.tv)
- 177lb Catchweight: Nik Harris def. Brad Robinson via Split Decision
- Casey Suire def. Stephen Langdown via Submission (rear naked choke)–Round 1, 3:19