MANILA — Four Filipinos and one FilAm mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters will compete for cage honors at ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Area May 2. They will be joined by 15 foreigners, led by Brazilian bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes who will be defending his title against Japanese challenger, Masakatsu Ueda in the main event.
Fernandes has won seven straight fights, including all three of his fights for ONE FC by unanimous decision. He hasn’t lost in more than three years.
Ueda, a former Shooto featherweight champion, has won three straight fights with ONE FC, including one against Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon at ONE FC 9, and has defeated some MMA legends.
The Filipino fighters will be featured in five of the 10 explosive fight cards which will be shown around the world to more than 500 million viewers by partner channels of ONE FC, considered the biggest MMA organization in Asia.
Leading the Filipino Team Lakay is Eduard Foloyang who will face off with Japanese knockout artist Kotetsu Boku for lightweight honors in the co-main event. Both fighters have won earlier with Boku registering a first-round knock-out victory over Arnaud Lepont at ONE FC 14 in March. Folayang took a decision from Dutch-Indonesian Vincent Latoel at ONE FC 13 in December at the MOA Arena.
Another Team Lakay fighter, Rey Docyogen, is looking forward to snatching his first ONE FC win in the flyweight division after an absence of almost one year without a fight. He is pitted against Guam-based Joshua Alvarez, who has an impressive record of 12 wins, nine of which were by submission.
A former pinweight champion of the URCC, Docyogen suffered two successive defeats at ONE FC, the first at ONE FC 7 against Shinichi Kojima and the second at ONE FC 9 in a split decision to Yasuhiro Urushitani.
Eugene Toquero, another Filipino MMA fighter, will be facing undefeated Malaysian-American Gianni Subba. Although Toquero had his first loss last December against compatriot Geje Eustaquio, his experience in the cage is expected to make the difference against Subba, who has only three MMA fights thus far.
Jujeath Nagaowa, the first Filipina fighting under ONE FC, will be squaring off with Indian seven-time kickboxing champion Jeet Toshi, who is also considered India’s pioneer for female MMA. Nagaowa has cut her teeth in Asian boxing before making the switch to MMA being a former WBC Asia Atomweight champion.
MMA fans are anticipating the first appearance in the octagon cage of Fil-Am world female boxing champion Ana Julaton after she decided to make the switch. She will test her newly acquired MMA skills against champion kick boxer Aya Saeid Saber of Egypt.
ONE FC chief executive Victor Cui described the Julaton-Saber fight as “explosive” as both fighters love to engage. “Filipinos and MMA fans around the world will surely like this match between two explosive fighters on May 2,” he said.
The other exciting bouts are between top Australian featherweight prospect Rob Lisita and Japanese featherweight champion Yusuke Kawanago in the bantamweight division; Japanese Tatsuya Mizuno and Brazilian Leandro Ataidas in the middleweight division; English James McSweeney and Australian Chris Lokteff in the heavyweight division, and Burmese Aung La Sang and Egyptian Mahmoud Salama in the middleweight division.