Weekend Review: ONE FC 18, GRANDSLAM and Brandon Vera






ONE FC 18: War of Dragons

You can catch the replay here

One of the better fight cards of the year transpired on friday night as ONE FC brought the cage to Taipei, Taiwan for ONE FC 18: War of Dragons.  The 10 fight card featured top featherweights Rob Lisita and Eric Kelly putting on a great back and forth fight.  Lisita answered the opening bell by going straight after Eric, who was coming off of a 7-month long contractual layoff.  Lisita came out swinging for the finish.


Rob “Ruthless” Lisita vs Eric Kelly

Lisita landed a hard knee to the head when Kelly was down, but Kelly worked hard for the takedown.  That takedown led right into a Lisita guillotine attempt.  Kelly escaped and attempted a throw, but Rob defended and landed a kick to the head of the downed Kelly.  Lisita kept the aggressive pace from the top.  Lisita attempted a north/south choke and finished the failed attempt with a knee to Eric Kelly’s face.  The fighters get up and start swinging heavy hands with Ruthless landing two hard straight right hands.  An accidental knee to the groin by Kelly and the fight restarts with Rob looking for a heel hook and Kelly landed some punches before trying to reverse and take the back only to be reversed by Lisita.  Kelly comes back and gets on top of Rob looking for the back control and choke.  Round 2 started off with both men looking to swing again.  Ruthless wrestled Kelly down, took his back and attempted a rear naked choke.  Kelly slide out of the back control and jumped on Lisita’s back looking for the choke immediately.  Yuji Shimada stopped the fight for the doctor to check the cut as Kelly was bleeding heavily.  With Eric Kelly ready to go, Shimada demonstrated Lisita’s position before restarting the fight.  As the fight starts, Lisita lands a hard right head kick and puts Kelly on the cage.  Kelly attempts a trip and Ruthless reverses and rolls only to have Kelly come back on top.  Lisita got the reversal and eventually into side control where he landed some heavy left knees to Eric’s head.  Kelly turtles up and Rob takes the back, but gets too high again and Kelly reverses Lisita and lands some hard elbows on top.  Lisita tries to get on top and work a takedown, but Kelly stays on top and gets the choke locked in with no hooks in.  After a few seconds, Ruthless was forced to tap.

Koji Ando vs Rafael Nunes

In the co-main event, former Legend FC Lightweight Champion Koji Ando submitted highly touted Brazilian lightweight prospect Rafael Nunes.  Both men started off tentative on the feet.  Koji making Nunes circle to his left until Nunes attempted a takedown that produced a quick exchange of knees and punches in tight.  Nunes attempted an outside single that Koji Ando reversed and took over/under control with Nunes right arm trapped.  Instead of Ando putting his left leg in for the hook, he crossed his legs with Nunes’ right arm and leg trapped and slipped his right arm under the chin for the rear naked choke finish at just 1:43 into the first round.

Koetsu Okazaki vs Yusup Saadulaev

In one of the most exciting grappling exhibitions in MMA this year, Koetsu Okazaki finished Yusup Saadulaev after he hurt him with a hard right hand and follow up punches from the top.  In a fight contested almost entirely on the mat, there were numerous turning points including sweeps, reversals and submission attempts.  Saadulaev started off the fight aggressively looking to get in the clinch and drop Okazaki to the mat.  The larger Saadulaev tossed Okazaki to the mat and the great back and forth game on the mat begun.  The first round featured some heavy ground and pound and control exhibited by Saadulaev.  Okazaki was working from the bottom for most of the fight, working his half guard, looking to sweep and chain submissions together.  The second round starts where the first left off.  Some great back and forth grappling exchanges led to a reverse triangle attempt by Saadulaev only to be countered by an attempted reverse triangle by Okazaki.  Okazaki then attempted a keylock that led to Saadulaev rolling and Okazaki being able to take the back and start landing punches.  Okazaki flattened out Saadulaev and started raining down punches.  One of the barrages, started off by a hard right hand, forced the referee to stop the fight with 39 seconds left in the 2nd round.

Main Card/Prelims

The rest of the card consisted of entertaining fights and finishes.  Evolve MMA’s Jake Butler impressed as he systematically took Mohamed Ali down, passed to dominate position and landed hard elbows and punches from the top.  Butler poured on the punishment in round three where he finished Ali with shot after shot just over a minute into the round.  Former CFL Player, Paul Cheng and Eygptian Boxer, Mahmoud Hassan left everything in the cage as they went back and forth for ten tough minutes.  Cheng dominated with strikes from the top and Hassan hurt Cheng on the feet.  Hassan couldn’t answer the bell at the start of round 3 and Cheng won his 6 pro MMA fight, remaining undefeated.  Six foot Seven, Chi Lewis-Parry faced early adversity against Cameroon’s Alain Ngalani as he was taken down and controlled before making his mark on the night.  Lewis-Parry landed some hard strikes from half guard before landing a left elbow that hurt Ngalani, followed by a second left elbow that ended Ngalani’s night and gave Chi Lewis-Parry his 6th pro win.  Sung Ming Yen quickly finished Nicholas Lee with a rare mounted guillotine choke at just one minute into round one.  Jeff Huang finished Bala Shetty with strikes.  Eliot Corley brutally stopped Rayner Kinsiong with a standing elbow strike.  Nathan Ng won his pro MMA debut by finishing Florian Garel with a north/south choke.


ONE FC 18: War of Dragons Results

  • Eric Kelly def. Rob Lisita – Sub (Rear Naked Choke) 3:43 of Round 2
  • Koji Ando def. Rafael Nunes – Sub (Rear Naked Choke) 1:43 of Round 1
  • Koetsu Okazaki def Yusup Saadulaev – TKO (Punches) 4:21 of Round 2
  • Jake Butler def. Mohamed Ali – TKO (Punches) 1:21 of Round 3
  • Paul Cheng def. Mahmoud Hassan – TKO (Corner Stoppage) 5:00 of Round 2
  • Chi Lewis-Parry def. Alain Ngalani – KO (Elbows) 4:11 of Round 1
  • Sung Ming Yen def. Nicholas Lee – Sub (Mounted Guillotine) 1:10 of Round 1
  • Jeff Huang def. Bala Shetty – TKO (Punches) 3:20 of Round 1
  • Eliot Corley def. Rayner Kinsiong – KO (Elbow) 1:36 of Round 1
  • Nathan Ng def. Florian Garel – Sub (North/South Choke) 1:23 of Round 1

Eric Kelly win’s ONE FC Warrior Spirit $50,000 US Dollar bonus.




Grandslam 1 Poster

GRANDSLAM – Way of the Cage

The upstart Japanese MMA promotion, GRANDSLAM – Way of the Cage, is focused on developing fighters in the region and has adopted influences from western MMA, including the cage and unified rules, to increase the opportunity for fighters in the region to compete at a global level.  The promotion found former UFC fighters, big names and young prospects to launch their inaugural event on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan.  The card featured 20 MMA fights, both amateur and pro bouts, and was headlined by Hideo Tokoro and Victor Henry.


You can watch the Grandslam preliminary card fights for free below and the internet PPV of the main card can be purchased for only 800 Yen ($7.87 US Dollars).


From slam knockouts to the rare omoplata submission, this card was filled with finishes and hungry fighters looking to build their careers.  The card featured veterans from the top promotions in the region and former UFC fighters Shunichi Shimizu and Nam Phan.  In the main event, Japanese MMA star, Hideo Tokoro took on Josh Barnett prospect, Victor Henry.  Chants of “Tokoro” couldn’t lead the Japanese fighter to victory.  The fight took place almost entirely on the feet with both fighters finding a home for their strikes.  Henry’s right hand found Tokoro’s chin a minute and a half into round two.  Tokoro dropped and Henry jumped on him looking for the finish with relentless punches from the top.  The referee mercifully stopped the bout at 1:52 into Round 2.  In the co-main event, Yosuke “Tobizaru No.2” Sarata took on former UFC veteran, Shunichi Shimizu.  The pace picked up for Sarata in the second round, landing the cleaner, harder punches as Shimizu is inactive.  Shimizu starts pressing in the third round, but fails to land any effective offense.  The gluttony of former MMA fighters as judges scored the bout unanimously for Yosuke Sarata.  Nam Phan was able to stop Kenichi Ito with strikes, 4:27 in the first round.  Both men exchanged hard shots to the body to start the fight.  Nam started to land with more frequency than Ito and that eventually led to Nam stalking Ito and dropping him with a straight right hand.  Nam continued to land left hands until the referee had to jump in and stop the fight.  The rest of the fight card was filled with brutal knockouts, crazy finishes and you guessed it, stripper poles.



  • Victor Henry def. Hideo Tokoro – TKO (Punches) 1:52 of Round 2
  • Yosuke Sarata def. Shunichi Shimizu – Unanimous Decision (30-27 Chonan, 30-27 Nakai, 29-28 Osawa)
  • Nam Phan def. Kenichi Ito – TKO (Punches) 4:27 of Round 1
  • Fumiya Sasaki def. Koji Mori – Sub (Rear Naked Choke)
  • Bob Armstrong def. Yosuke – 0:31 of Round 1
  • Daisuke Hoshino def. Kota Okazawa – Unanimous Decision (30-27 Chonan, 30-27 Koike, 30-27 Nakai)
  • Taku Kajikawa def. Setsu Iguchi – Unanimous Decision (30-27 Koike, 30-27 Osawa, 30-27 Nakai)
  • Takeshi Kashiwazaki def. Takahiro Furumagi – 2:21 of Round 2
  • Yuichi Miyagi def. Tokuaki Ninomiya – 4:03 of Round 2
  • Morishiman def. Masami Sakurazawa – KO (Knee) 1:57 of Round 1
  • Taiki Kaneko def. Hiroki Mihara – KO (Punch) 4:29 of Round 1
  • Takuya Hirano def. Kohei Maruyama – TKO (Punch) 0:45 of Round 1
  • Satoshi Fujiwara def. Shinya Sugiyama – KO (Knee) 3:53 of Round 1
  • Kenta Nagatsuka def. Keisuke Tamaru – Sub (Omaplata) 4:32 of Round 1
  • Yuji Fukawa def. Masaaki Mizushima – KO (Punches) 2:05 of Round 1
  • Tetsuo Ishitsuna def. Takayuki Komazawa – KO (Slam) 1:35 of Round 1
  • Kotaku Kawazu def. Akira Omura – Sub (Guillotine) 4:08 of Round 1
  • Yushiro Kobuchi def. Shinya Hatano – KO (Punch) 0:14 of Round 1
  • Yusuke Yamauchi drew Yasu Kandai
  • Masatoshi Akiyama drew Takashi Fujita




Asian Fighters Around the Globe


On the Showtime Alvarez vs Lara fight card, 23 year old Japanese boxer, Tomoki Kameda stopped Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-3) with a body shot KO in the 7th round defending his WBO Bantamweight Title and improving his undefeated record to 30-0 with 19 Knockouts.


And thanks to Liver Kick for the results of Rise 100 – Blade 0 as Andy Souwer defeated Yasuhiro Kido by Extra Round Decision.  Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima was disqualified after using an illegal sweep technique and injuring Danilo Zanolini.  The middle of the card consisted of KO finishes as Samo Petje knocked out Hinata in the second round, Murat Aygun knocked out Raomaru in the first round and Uehara Makoto knocked out MMA fighter Zelg Galesic.  Geo Fairtex defeated Komiyama Kousuke by decision.



ONE FC signs former UFC fighter Brandon Vera


Royce Gracie promoting ONE FC in Dubai


“Ruthless” Responds to Eric Kelly Loss


Chi Lewis-Parry Calling for Shot




Next weekend you can look forward to the UFC return of Naoyuki Kotani and plenty of boxing world title fights.





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Categories: Asian MMA, MMA, Other


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