Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ONE Championship Dawn of Heroes recap, Pancrase 305 bouts added and Battlefield FC Update - Asian MMA Podcast

Over the weekend we had ONE Championship back in action in Manila.

But before we get into that we have an update on the Battlefield FC event I talked about last week. Several outlets are reporting that all fighters have been paid.

That’s a move in the right direction, but it’s still going to be difficult for anyone to trust them going forward, two events and two PR nightmares.

Good sirs, might I suggest you move onto a different venture at this time?

There are two interesting matchups added to Pancrase 308 in September. Edna Oliveira will be stepping in to replace Nori Date against Emi Fujino in the strawweight Grand Prix semifinal.

We will also see UFC vet Issei Tamura try to get back in the win column against Katshshi Sugiyama who is on a two-fight win streak.

Both interesting fights I am excited to see. I am an old, old school Pancrase fan so I always get excited for their events

Moving on to ONE Championships Dawn of Heros that went down in Manila over the weekend.

This was a good event, the card was stacked and it was headlined by two title fights.

The very first fight on the card was one I was excited for because we had Muhammad Aiman taking on Sunoto. I’ve been following Aiman since his amateur days in MIMMA.

Aiman looked fantastic against Sunoto, I had him winning every round easily and he just looked fantastically dominate.

Aiman is just 24 years old, he’s got 9 pro fights under his belt and he keeps looking better and better. I am excited to see how he develops over the next few years.

My only criticism against Aiman at this point is that since he turned pro he hasn’t been finishing a lot of his opponents like he did as an amateur. I would like to see him get back to the high finish rate he had in MIMMA where all but one of his wins was a finish.

On this card we also saw Yushin Okami in his second outing with ONE Championship, unfortunately for him, it was another unsuccessful attempt as he dropped a decision to a very game, very tough James Nakashima.

This was pretty much a one-sided fight, Nakashima controlled it from start to finish.

Here’s one of those little quirks you see in ONE Championship. In the first round, Nakashima had Okami in a choke, that definitely wasn’t the best position, but he didn’t look like he was close to taping, but a lot of times in ONE when fighters are in bad positions similar to this, This particular ref will stand over the fighter and yell at him to give up.

It’s strange to me because I can’t remember any other ref doing that and to me, it seems like the most inappropriate way to give instructions to a fighter during a fight. Especially when they're in a bad position.

Moving up to the main card we had Demetrious Johnson take home a decision win over Tatsumitsu Wada. To me, this fight was a lot closer than it probably should have been.

Hats off to Wada for putting up a great fight, and arguably winning the first round and putting DJ in some precarious situations.

DJ was able to fight through it and come back for the win. He will be moving on to the finals of the Grand Prix to face Danny Kingad who punched his ticket earlier on the card with a split decision win over Reece McLaren.

I think this matchup in the finals is going to be a difficult one for DJ. Danny is the type of fighter that might be able to give him trouble. He’s Durable and has won every time he’s gone the distance.

We also saw Eddie Alverez get back into the win column with a submission win over Edward Folayang.

I’ve got to give it to Eddie, he got dropped with a leg kick early in the round and then Folayang jumped on top, but Eddie was able to get a sweep to land in top position.

After applying a bit of ground and pound of his own Folayang gave up his back before tapping to a rear-naked choke.

In the main event, Martin Nguyen took the second-round stoppage to defend his title against Koyomi Matsushima.

Matsushima looked really good in the first round, hitting takedowns and controlling Martin for a bit each time, but it was Martin that was doing more damage, even from the bottom and getting the better of the exchanges on the feet.

One interesting thing of note,  and I think I’ll do a longer episode on just this topic, maybe next week was that this fight was in a ring, and twice in the first round Matsushima was going for a takedown and Martin went partially out of the ring, one time between the ropes and another over them.

Each time the ref warned Martin that he had to stay in the ring, despite it being Matsushima who was driving him out. It wasn’t like Martin was trying to get out of the ring to avoid Matsushima.

I have no clue what the ref was looking at or thinking other than it made no sense. And honestly, I am perplexed by the fact that ONE has started holding MMA fights in a ring. But, I’ll get to this later on, Ring vs Cage really deserves its own episode.

Anyway, when they came out for the second it was all Martin. He just turned it up to 11, he was able to shut down every single takedown Matsushima attempted in the second round and just picked him apart until he was able to force the ref to step in and stop it.

Great win for Martin, and a really good showing for Matsushima.

Overall not a bad show for ONE, a fairly good card, I will be interested to see the conclusion of the two Grand Prix tournaments in Japan later this year.

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Host: dana blouin
Producer: Emily Barner
Executive Producer: dana blouin