ONE FC 14: War of Nations – What’s next for the main card winners?

The dust has settled on what was an extravagant Mixed Martial Arts event showcased by Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship on Friday night.

It was the promotion’s first event of the calendar year and it certainly lived up to expectations. Despite the last minute card changes and shuffles and what not, the event delivered and was considered a success.

ONE FC 14: War of Nations went down at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Former one-time WEC title challenger Brock Larson contested Zst vet Nobutatsu Suzuki for the inaugural Welterweight title in the main event. Larson got the better of his Japanese counterpart in the first round, landing some effective strikes from range and scoring a takedown. But the American fatigued as the fight progressed, dubiously allowing Suzuki to control the exchanges thereon in. After twenty-five minutes of action, Suzuki rightfully secured a Unanimous Decision victory and was awarded the 170-lbs strap. It was also the first the Japanese fighter had made it past the second frame.

In the co-main event, a Bantamweight tilt of title implications took place between South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim and the Philippines’ Kevin Belingon. The latter entered the bout on a good run of results and was seen by many as the next contender to Bibiano Fernandes’ Bantamweight throne. Kim, however, had other ideas. The South Korean absorbed some blows in the early stages of the first round but after capitalizing on a failed Bulldog choke attempt by Belingon, Kim secured a fight ending Rear-Naked Choke submission for a sublime finish.

Elsewhere on the main card, Phuket Top Team’s very own Andrew Leone grappled his way en route to a lopsided decision victory over Shinichi Kojima.

Adriano Moraes had a night to remember as he stopped former UFC vet Yasuhiro Urushitani via submission in the first round. Kotetsu Boku and Peter Davis won their respective fights via TKO, while former WEC and UFC vet Kamal Shalorus grasped his second victory under the ONE FC banner with a Unanimous Decision triumph over Ariel Sexton.

Fight Sport Asia has decided to sit on the armchair belonging to ONE FC’s matchmaker Matt Hume, and derive possible match-ups that could materialize for the main card winners following Friday’s sterling event.

Give our picks a read below and let us know if you agree.

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peter davis

  • Name: Peter Davis (8-3)
  • Who he should contest next: Kotetsu Boku (21-9-2)

Davis and Boku found themselves on the win column on Friday night, with both fighters picking up TKO victories in their respective outings. After back-to-back defeats against Shinya Aoki and Vuyisile Colossa, Boku, ONE FC’s first Lightweight title-holder, needs a match-up to knock himself straight back into title contention. Davis, meanwhile, hasn’t performed well against the division’s elite, but a win over Boku could propel him back into the 155-lbs title mix as well. Although Boku’s knockout prowess has always been fun to watch, it’ll be interesting to see how that style matches up against Davis’ unorthodox striking and grappling game.

21-Andrew-Leone-US-goads-Filipino-Geje-Eustaquio

  • Name: Andrew Leone (7-2)
  • Who he should contest next: Adriano Moraes (10-1)

Leone, once again, showed he was one of the most formidable grapplers in the region with an outstanding win over former Shooto champ, Shinichi Kojima. Moraes, meanwhile, was unfazed by Yasuhiro Urushitani’s prior UFC experience, as a neat back take in the second secured the Brazilian starlet a stellar Rear-Naked Choke submission win. ONE FC’s yet to crown its first Flyweight champion, and both these fighters made a huge case for #1 contender statuses with their respective victories. But while Leone vs. Moraes for the vacant belt does make sense on paper, Leone first needs to convince the ONE FC brass that he can make weight consistently.

kamal shalorus

  • Name: Kamal Shalorus (9-3-2)
  • Who he should contest next: Eddie Ng (7-1)

Kamal Shalorus was originally set to face Eddie Ng before Ng pulled out with an injury, and was subsequently replaced by Ariel Sexton. I don’t see any reason why this match-up shouldn’t materialize again. With back-to-back wins in ONE FC, Shalorus now finds himself on the cusp of a title shot. The Iranian’s wrestling prowess has skyrocketed him into the upper echelon of the Lightweight division. Ng, meanwhile, is a perfect 4-0, and has been nothing short of spectacular with his well-rounded fighting abilities. With both fighters experienced, on a great run and with momentum in their strides, this would be a perfect match-up that has all the ingredients to be a classic.

dae hwan kim

  • Name: Dae Hwan Kim (10-0-1)
  • Who he should contest next: Soo Chul Kim (8-5)

Dae Hwan Kim has made a good splash since signing with ONE FC. After an impressive promotional debut triumph over Thanh Vu, he dispatched the much fancied Kevin Belingon on Friday night as well, continuing to reign high among the ranks of the unbeaten. While some may argue he’s ready to face the winner of Bibiano Fernandes vs. Masakatsu Ueda for the Bantamweight title next, I humbly beg to differ. He’s definitely in a great position at 135-lbs, but if he can get past former ONE FC champ Soo Chul Kim in his next outing, the South Korean can truly solidify his position as the next contender to the throne.

nobutatsu-suzuki.1

  • Name: Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-1-2)
  • Who he should contest next: Ben Askren (12-0)

It was pre-determined before ONE FC 14: War of Nations that the winner of the inaugural 170-lbs title bout would make his first title defense against Ben Askren. Suzuki dominated a lackluster Brock Larson in the night’s main event to garner the strap, showcasing his takedown defense and accurate striking skills in the process as well. But Ben Askren will undeniably be his toughest challenge to date. As seen in his stint with Bellator, Askren is on a whole new level with his takedowns, and it’d be interesting to see what game plan Suzuki comes up with to top the former Bellator champ come May 30th at ONE FC 16: Honor & Glory.

For full ONE FC 14: War of Nations results, click here

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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

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

Author:Thinesh John

20, Asian MMA nerd in Singapore.

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