Video: Andrew Leone vs. Shinichi Kojima Fight Preview

It’ll be a battle with title implications between young blood and an old Lion when Andrew Leone (6-2) locks horns with Shinichi Kojima (13-5-5) at ONE FC 14: War of Nations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this Friday.

Both men find themselves in this 125-lbs match-up after a series of interesting circumstances in 2013.

Initially, Kojima was booked in a main event title slot opposite former UFC vet Yasuhiro Urushitani at ONE FC 10: Champions & Warriors. But, Urushitani was pulled from that event due to undisclosed reasons, and soon after, Leone was sought as a replacement. Then, in an unfortunate turn of events, Leone suffered a serious knee injury in a training session, forcing the title bout to be scratched from the card entirely, leaving Kojima to face a temporary hiatus until 2014.

Now, it looks like we’ll finally have the Flyweight bout underway.

Kojima has been a mainstay in Asia’s 125-lbs division for a long time. The Japanese vet started his career in Shooto almost a decade ago in 2003, and after going 6-1-3 in a period of three years or so, he garnered the Shooto Bantamweight championship title.

The 35-year-old is known for his all round MMA facet given his ability to finish fights both on his feet, and on the canvas. He had a successful ONE FC debut against Rey Docyogen at ONE FC 7: Return of Warriors in February last year, in what was his first fight outside of Japanese shores.

Looking to tame the old Lion will be none other than Andrew Leone (pictured), a fighter hailing from Thailand’s Phuket Top Team. Leone isn’t as established as his Japanese counterpart yet, but the American starlet is slowly, and surely, working his way up as one of the top 125-lbs talents in the region.

Leone showcased his grappling skills in his lopsided decision victory over Geje Eustaquio at ONE FC 9: Rise to Power, impressing the masses with his sublime mat control and takedown prowess. The up-and-coming Asian MMA star owns victories over Soo Chul Kim and Kyung Ho Kang, but a win over Kojima will certainly be the biggest feather on his cap to date.

***

ONE FC 14: War of Nations takes place March 14th at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Leone vs. Kojima is part of a main card that streams LIVE online via pay-per-view and airs LIVE on Star Sports in Asia.

Check out this preview video for Shinichi Kojima vs. Andrew Leone below:

***

*Click here to check out the full fight card for ONE FC 14: War of Nations.

To listen to an exclusive breakdown and preview of the event, check out our radio show here.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Thinesh John is a Singapore-based MMA writer. You can check out some of his work over on MMASucka.com. Follow him (@ThineshJohnMMA), and be sure keep up with the latest Asian MMA news from FightSportAsia.com on Twitter (@FightSportAsia) and Facebook

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Asian MMA, Featured, Malaysia, MMA, ONE FC

Author:Thinesh John

20, Asian MMA nerd in Singapore.

Subscribe

Connect with us on any of our social profiles below.

%d bloggers like this: