The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), returned to the glamorous entertainment capital of Asia with another evening of authentic world-class martial arts action. The Cotai Arena at The Venetian Macao played host to ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS, featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Bibiano Fernandes remained the most dominant world champion in ONE Championship history by toppling American Andrew Leone. In the co-main event, Adriano Moraes overcame a spirited performance from Kairat Akhmetov to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.

Defending ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes made quick work of Andrew Leone, submitting the American challenger with a rear-naked choke in the first frame of the much-awaited championship clash. It was the beginning of the end for Leone when Fernandes hammered a knee to the midsection that slumped his opponent to the mat. The 37-year-old Brazilian authored the final sequence by latching on the match-ending submission, keeping the prestigious gold-plated strap securely fastened around his waist. With the impressive victory over Leone, Fernandes has set an unprecedented ONE Championship record of seven successful title defenses, remaining unbeaten in the promotion.

Bibiano Fernandes, ONE Bantamweight World Champion, stated: “I feel great. I feel great, thank you Macao for having me. Thank you for my family in Canada and my family in Brazil who are watching me right now. I am here to stay. I welcome all challenges. I want to say thank you to Chatri [Sityodtong] and Matt Hume. I’m happy with ONE Championship. I want to continue fighting. Whoever I have to fight, I will accept. I am always ready!”

In the co-main event, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil defeated Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan via five-round unanimous decision to become the sole owner of the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Moraes, who previously held the interim title, controlled the majority of the action with his grappling while defending champion Akhmetov tried his best to fend off the Brazilian’s advances with his wrestling. On the feet, Moraes got the better of the exchanges and landed the harder blows. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Moraes, who unifies the flyweight titles to become the undisputed king of the division.

Adriano Moraes, ONE Flyweight World Champion, stated: “I’m not surprised [with the victory]. Thank you very much, one more time, for the opportunity, ONE Championship. I want to thank my coach, my family and my friends. I’m very grateful.”

Hard-hitting Russian featherweight Timofey Nastyukhin and former world title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando of Japan figured in an incredibly tactical three-round matchup, with Nastyukhin coming away with a well-earned unanimous decision victory. After Ando nullified most of the action using his feints and pacing, Nastyukhin turned up the pressure in the second half of the contest, consistently landing the more telling blows. Both competitors unloaded their best offense in the final minute of the third round. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Nastyukhin.

Top lightweight contender Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai made quick work of India’s Rajinder Singh Meena, winning by knockout just moments into a scheduled three-round bout. The Bangkok Fight Lab mainstay authored one of his quickest finishes yet, landing a right knee flush to Meena’s head from the clinch. Referee Olivier Coste wasted no time in calling a halt to the contest once he realized Meena was completely out of it. The end came officially at 29 seconds of round number one, and is the fastest finish of Wiratchai’s career.

Undefeated Japanese veteran Hayato Suzuki made a successful ONE Championship promotional debut, thwarting former title challenger Joshua Pacio of the Philippines to win by first round submission. After Pacio missed slightly on a spinning back kick attempt, Suzuki capitalized by taking his back and dragging the Filipino to the ground. Although Pacio valiantly fought off Suzuki’s submission attempts, it was only a matter of time before the bout-ending sequence played out. In the end, Suzuki notched his first victory in the ONE Championship cage via rear naked choke, forcing the younger Pacio to tap out.

In a heated featherweight showdown between two top contenders, Kotetsu “No Face” Boku of Japan posted a thrilling technical knockout victory over Eric “The Natural” Kelly of Baguio City, Philippines, utilizing his exceptional boxing skill. Although Kelly was able to score on a couple of knockdowns by way of a monstrous right hand, Boku was never fazed and kept putting the pressure on the Filipino stalwart. In the third round, Boku took Kelly’s back and pounded on his opponent to earn the finish.

Highly-touted Chinese prospect “Rock Man” Chen Lei notched his sixth-straight triumph in his young professional martial arts career by submitting Malaysian standout Saiful “The Vampire” Merican in the third round. Leaning on his superb grappling pedigree, Chen overwhelmed with his takedowns and sustained sturdy top control on the canvas. Chen got the job done by compelling Merican to wave the white flag with a wrenching armbar in the last round of their three-round bantamweight collision.

Jomary Torres of the Philippines overcame insurmountable odds to mark the first blemish in the professional record of Thai martial arts superstar Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige. Torres had to endure the initial onslaught from Ishige, who wasted no time in taking her Filipina opponent to the ground, nearly scoring a submission finish via armbar. In the second round, Torres pulled off a gutsy rally, wobbling Ishige with lashing right hands. After dropping Ishige with another quick right cross, Torres followed Ishige to the mat and fastened a rear-naked choke to force the tap.

Leandro “Brodinho” Issa of Brazil made a triumphant return to ONE Championship by stopping Finnish martial artist Toni “Dynamite” Tauru inside of two rounds. Carrying his dominant momentum from the first round to the second, Issa staggered the former world title challenger with a left hook-right straight combination and drove him to the mat with a high-impact slam. On the ground, Issa zapped Tauru with big blows to force seasoned referee Yuji Shimada to step in and call a halt to the contest.

Magomed Idrisov of Russia kept his unblemished professional record intact at the expense of Herbert “The Blaze” Burns of Brazil, defeating the ONE Championship veteran in his promotional debut. Idrisov made sure to leave a lasting impression in his first outing under the ONE Championship banner, connecting on crisp combinations in the stand-up trade, while denying all of Burns’ takedown attempts. In the end, Idrisov’s masterful performance proved enough to earn him the undivided nod from the three judges at cageside.

Marcin Prachnio of Poland continued his winning roll inside the ONE Championship cage as he thwarted Brazilian submission specialist Gilberto “Giba” Galvao via first-round knockout. Prachnio, who had to brush off a hard overhand left from Galvao in the opening moments of the first frame, was able to sneak in a clean left straight to the chin of his opponent. As Galvao dropped to the canvas, Prachnio capitalized on the opportunity and pummeled his counterpart with ground strikes to secure the victory.

A tactical three-round middleweight bout served as the curtain-raiser contest for ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS as Leandro Ataides of Brazil collided with Polish combatant Michal Pasternak in a battle of former world title contenders. With both men seeking to vie for gold once more, Ataides and Pasternak employed efficient strategies from bell to bell. Ataides utilized his speed and power to connect on a handful of thudding strikes on Pasternak, who responded with solid hooks, defending well against takedown attempts. After going back-and-forth for three rounds, Ataides was declared the victor by way of unanimous decision.

Official results for ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS
ONE Bantamweight World Championship bout: Bibiano Fernandes defeats Andrew Leone by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:47 minutes of round 1
ONE Flyweight World Championship bout: Adriano Moraes defeats Kairat Akhmetov by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds
Lightweight bout: Timofey Nastyukhin defeats Koji Ando by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Catchweight bout: Shannon Wiratchai defeats Rajinder Singh Meena by Knockout at 0:29 minutes of round 1
Strawweight bout: Hayato Suzuki defeats Joshua Pacio by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:17 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Kotetsu Boku defeats Eric Kelly by TKO (Strikes) at 3:27 minutes of round 3
Bantamweight bout: Chen Lei defeats Saiful Merican by Submission (Armbar) at 3:58 minutes of round 3
Atomweight bout: Jomary Torres defeats Rika Ishige by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:58 minutes of round 2
Bantamweight bout: Leandro Issa defeats Toni Tauru by TKO (Strikes) at 1:36 minutes of round 2
Featherweight bout: Magomed Idrisov defeats Herbert Burns by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Middleweight bout: Marcin Prachnio defeats Gilberto Galvao by Knockout at 1:23 minutes of round 1
Middleweight bout: Leandro Ataides defeats Michal Pasternak by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds

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One FC: "The Passion" in Between the Joshua Pacio

“The Passion”. This is a moniker given to this 21-year old native of Baguio City due to his love for what he does and strong desire to succeed.
Joshua Pacio is working towards harnessing his passion for the game. A win on his upcoming bout can put him back in position for another crack at strawweight title, but he prefers to take every step rather than looking for quick results in achieving his life’s goal to rule the 115 pound division.
They say if you think that success is going to come easy then you might as well stay asleep. Pacio just keep putting in the work, loving the grind and having a passion for what he do to get to his goals. He is even mixing study, work and fitness to be the best of both worlds.
“I am willing to wait for the right time. Timing is everything. Every moment has its own purpose. I don’t race to be in line for that belt, but I’m racing to perfection in this sport.”
Joshua Pacio picks up the biggest win of his career when he defeated the former world strawweight champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE Championship: Warrior Kingdom last March in Bangkok, Thailand. In just one year of being Asia’s largest MMA promotion ONE Championship fighter, we have seen this young warrior inside the cage scored quite the impressive wins. You don’t get a mark in the win column by just punches, kicks, elbows and knees. It takes passion, persistence and hardwork.
“There is always a room for improvement. Although I won against Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke last March, there is still an urgency to improve my skills and arsenal further after the fight. This time, we enhanced timing and precision. We added speed as well as proper executions of game plan,” he shared.
Joshua Pacio (9-1) takes down Kings and Conquerors on set. He will fight against another undefeated Japanese Hayato Suzuki (16-0-2). The bantamweight title bout between Bibiano Fernandes and Andrew Leone will headline the fight card. ONE Championship comes back to Cotai Arena, The Venetian Macao August 5 on Saturday where he earned a title shot at strawweight after defeating Kritsada Kongsrichai in 2016 of August. Two months after that year, he nearly took Yoshitaka Naito’s belt to become the youngest Filipino to capture a MMA world title. But the Japanese Champion handed him his first loss by submission in the third round at ONE Championship: State of Warriors.
“Every martial artist should have the sense of growth. This sport is constantly evolving, and every fighter should adapt to changes and improve their overall MMA game. It’s either you adapt or you fail. I learned my lesson, and I chose to adapt for the better.
I don’t fear that my opponent has the ability to take my spot in the rankings. I am consistently improving. The goal is to win and improve. That’s my mindset right now. As I grind at the gym every single day, I know that the belt will be mine soon. Hard work cannot be denied forever,” Joshua added as he looks to end Suzuki’s undefeated streak.
Many of us wouldn’t have continued after a failure. But passion will find a way when you pave the path that you want to lead. These are the reasons why I gave Joshua the moniker “The Passion” he is now using. It rhyme with Pacio and fit for his being a surging strawweight and more importantly, Joshua approves!
“My moniker? It depends on the crowd or the name people will give me. Ayos yung binigay mo na ‘The Passion’ sakin Ma’am (“The Passion” moniker you gave to me Ma’am…would look good on me),” he said when I asked him last year what nickname he would like to put in between the Joshua Pacio.
If you live your passion then success will follow and it is what this Team Lakay standout is about.

The Return of Eric "The Natural" Kelly at ONE: Kings and Conquerors

The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is about individuals, but most of its highly-regarded world champions are forged in strong camps that bring in many great fighters.
In a very different atmosphere from boxing, MMA hardly sees any high-profile competitors building training camps around one man or woman as it often centered around a gym where several coaches work in conjunction with each other to train a stable of fighters of varying skills and weight classes.
Ever since he started his professional career in 2009, Filipino submission specialist Eric “The Natural” Kelly has been described as a lone wolf because he has never had an established MMA team and only hops from one gym to another.
“For me, I don’t have a stable gym where I train at full-time. I train more naturally. Whichever gym I find myself in, that’s where I train. Mostly, I just watch YouTube videos and apply it to my training and then I go to some gyms to test it out. I am in the constant search for more knowledge for my career,” Kelly recalled.
Kelly finds himself in familiar situation, wherein he has no specific team to formulate his game plan. He is tasked to take on Japanese veteran Kotetsu “No Face” Boku on the undercard of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in Macao, China on 5 August.
Although he acknowledged that a reliable support team in his bouts is missing, Kelly intends to stick with the training regimen that he is used to.
Kelly has been seen diligently grinding at various local gyms in his hometown of Baguio City, while allotting time to make a trip down to Metro Manila to train in the city’s elite fight camps.
The 35-year-old native of Baguio City, Benguet bared that numerous MMA groups have offered and extended their helping hands as he prepares for his return to the ONE Championship cage, including the Mark Sangiao-mentored Team Lakay.
Team Lakay has become an instantly recognizable name in the Philippine MMA scene because of the big number of successful homegrown talents it has produced since its inception in 2003.
Despite being located at an elevation of 4,300 feet above sea level in the mountains of La Trinidad, Benguet, Team Lakay has been recognized as one of Asia’s elite MMA groups, spawning remarkable Filipino fighters like ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, as well as Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon, Rey Docyogen, Gina Iniong, Joshua Pacio, Danny Kingad and Kelly’s younger brother Edward.
Kelly revealed that he personally received an invite from Sangiao, who is the beloved headmaster of Team Lakay since its founding.
“Yes, he personally invited me to join Team Lakay. But we will talk about it. I see it as a great opportunity,” he said.
Kelly and Sangiao are acquainted with each other as both men worked together in the Philippine national Wushu squad from 2001 to 2004.
According to Kelly, the only thing that hinders him from donning the Team Lakay’s bright red trunks is that he does not want to be isolated in a particular team.
“I just don’t want to be stuck in one team. As much as possible, I want to explore all styles and forms of fighting. But I am open to all possibilities. Never say never in this sport. Mark and I will talk about it,” he shared.
Kelly acknowledged that his striking background can greatly improve with Team Lakay to compliment his superb grappling pedigree.
“I am looking to sharpen my skills in the stand-up department. I already have a good ground game, but I have to back it up with an outstanding striking. I know I can achieve that with Team Lakay,” he asserted.
With a pending offer from Team Lakay, Kelly opts to do it in his own way for now as he seeks to break his two-fight losing skid at the expense of Boku at ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS.
“I have been doing this for the past eight years. I am still confident as to how I conduct my training. It has given me success in the past. I still believe that it will give me the success in my upcoming fight. It all boils down to discipline,” he ended.