ONE Championship’s exponential growth reflected in increasing social media reach

In the 21st century, social media has become the game-changing marvel within communication. Today, people and organizations remain connected and updated through various forms of social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs to mention only a few.

Aside from accessible communication, social media has also made an integral impact on many industries like entertainment, business and sports. It has turned into a catalyst for success by empowering people and fueling ideas.

Social media is transforming sports and sports businesses. Although businesses traditionally seek to benefit from hospitality, sponsorship and networking, social media offers greater reach and direct engagement.

By engaging fans via social media, sports rights holders can open new communication channels with their audience that can be measured and valued as a new commercial opportunity with sponsors.

The aforementioned platform has been likewise used by the constantly-growing world of mixed martial arts (MMA). Given how little exposure the sport received in its early stages, its rise in popularity over the last 25 years is nothing short of a phenomenon.

A large part of MMA’s success worldwide comes down to its aggressive social media strategy, with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter aiding its mainstream development.

Since its inception in 2011, ONE Championship has been utilizing the flexibility of social media to promote its unique brand and to tap a wider audience.

Along with the rise of MMA as a whole, ONE Championship has taken the sport in Asia to new heights. The biggest local and global brands in the world have been attracted to ONE and a number of key partnerships have formed over the years.

The list includes Disney, Marvel, LG, Kawasaki, Panasonic, Haier, Universal Music Group and Tune Talk, to name a few. The company’s ability to form deals that are mutually beneficial to all parties has been essential in its growth.

With innovative content and marketing initiatives, ONE Championship has been able to bring world-class MMA action much closer to diehard and loyal fans.
Asia’s largest sports media property has further extended its influence on Facebook, which has 1.79 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2016.

In 2014, ONE Championship’s total reach on Facebook was 75 million. It grew to 926 million in 2016, having an exponential growth rate of 1,134%.

On the other hand, its total impressions raised the bar up high in 2016 with a 268% progress. From 352 million impressions in 2014, 2016 had an astonishing figures of 1.3 billion.

ONE Championship also released an array of informative and in-depth videos in 2016, which gained 130 million views in total. It grew significantly from 312,000 in 2014.

Meanwhile, ONE Championship had 454,000 shares on Facebook in 2016, flourishing from modest numbers of 16,000 in 2014.

At the time of publication of this article, ONE Championship’s official Facebook page has 3,078,730. It is expected to broaden its leverage on Facebook with its blockbuster 2017 schedule.

Being the biggest MMA promotion in Asia, ONE Championship’s ability in producing relevant and top-of-the-line content is undeniable. From short profile infographics, interesting interviews, to thrilling teaser videos, ONE Championship fans have followed the brand and conveniently made the organization’s social media one of the leaders of online sports content.

ONE Championship followers found touchpoints that enabled them to connect with their favorite MMA stars and even interact with their heroes behind the scenes through their posted stories.

Its relevance and talkability among the target market – fans and athletes alike – have furthered ONE Championship’s growth and led its way to becoming the greatest sports media property in Asia.

ONE Championship’s strategy of creating unique content has also helped them build successful partnerships with both mainstream and modern media platforms, which in return resulted to the expansion of its social media audience through captured audiences from one partner to another.

For years now, ONE Championship has been developing fruitful collaborations with leading media companies around the globe, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN and OSN.

2017 promises to be even better in terms of viewership and popularity as ONE Championship lays out plans for new markets.

For its second event in 2017, ONE Championship returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 10 Februaryto hold ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS at the 12,000-capacity Stadium Negara.

The monumental event will feature the absolute best in local and international MMA talent, accentuating a tremendous headlining bout between hometown hero Ev “E.T.” Ting and lightweight veteran Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorus.

Burn "The Hitman" Soriano Is Going To Hit The Cage Again In A Hard Hitting Bout On February 10

ONE Championship has some great fights added officially to its ONE CHAMPIONSHIP 52: THRONE OF TIGERS lineup, including the return of Pinoy pride bantamweight prospect Burn “The Hitman” Soriano.

The Filipino warrior from Ilocos Sur will look to keep his confidence high and win his second in a row at 135 when he faces ‘The Vampire” Saiful Merican to improve his 3-2 record. The two are set to clash at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur on February 10.

It was all eyes on “Burn/Hitman” when he used the now his famous spinning back fist on Mario Satya Wirawan who holds the fastest KO record (6 seconds) to finish at the :15 mark of Round 1 and earned his first win in ONE Championship. The big knock out victory took place in Jakarta, Indonesia at ONE Championship 46: Titles and Titans on August 27, 2016. It was also the Second Top-rated insane Knockout of 2016 in the promotion.

“The fight with Mario Wirawan was just a warm up fight for me since I lost to his countryman Sonoto who failed to make weight at the time of our fight. I told myself that I needed a solid redemption, and that became my motivation which led to my spectacular finish.”

Related article: Edward Kelly and Burn Soriano’s Big Knockout Victory at One Championship 46: Titles and Titans

His ONE Championship debut against another Indonesian fighter Sunoto Peringkat last April 2016 didn’t go as planned. That however didn’t stop Soriano from trying and working hard when he stepped back in the cage to win his next battle.

His coaches and team mates are pushing him
everyday and shaping him into a better fighter.

Bernard has been hitting the gym hard as he prepares for fight number 3 at ONE. The guy was posting photos and videos on Instagram: burn_hitman and Facebook: /bernard.soriano.980 showing some of the hard work he have been putting in.  He is such a driven athlete. We have seen more from Soriano in terms of ground game. But the man also proved that not only he has one trick. It’s deadly if he keeps using his range while striking. All 3 of Soriano’s pro MMA wins have been stoppages whether it submission or knockout.

Soriano is looking forward to represent Hitman MMA and fly the Philippine flag high again. He is ready for the challenge!

Before punches being thrown in the cage next month, he answered my questions thrown at him first.

What do you think your edge/s over more experienced fighter (@ONE) Saiful Merican?

“I’ve been in this sport for a long time. I’ve had five kickboxing fights, winning all of them by KO. I believe that I have a better mma team. We have a lot good strikers and grapplers, including a BJJ black belt, and we even have a partially blind fighter who became a local champion and is now on the way to becoming a One FC fighter. This is the team I’ve been training with.”

Your spectacular KO win against Mario Wirawan for sure gave you a lot of confidence, have you ever thought of one day you will also contend for the belt?

“Getting the belt has always been the goal of every fighter. I don’t think much about it right now as I’m working my way up, but let’s see if I can continue my dominance in this competition someday.” 

What can you say about Eduard Folayang’s taking home the lightweight belt? and potentially facing off with Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon in the future?

“I’m proud of Edward not just because he’s our kababayan, but because he really worked hard for it. As we all know, these fighters from Baguio are very hard-working and very dedicated to their craft. Facing Kevin Belingon is one of my dream fights as well, so if we ever meet along the way, that would give me the opportunity to become a step closer to my the One Championship gold.”

Who among fighter/s both local and international you look up to and why?

“Brandon Vera, he’s been there a long time, a champion and a true legend. BJ Penn who’s my idol and one of the reasons I started MMA myself. My good friend Gab Dy, a PXC fighter, he’s an inspiration to me. He’s very hard-working and talented.”

Who was the toughest opponent for you?

“Honorio Banario. He’s bigger than me, and my cardio was not as good as it is today which led to my defeat.”

If you weren’t a fighter, what would you be today?

“I’m actually fighting purely for passion and fun, but I’m a full-time businessman.”

Who among local fighter/s do you see has a potential to belong at ONE Championship?

“I’m not being biased, but in our MMA team, Hitman MMA, there’s a lot of deserving fighters. Take Jiar Castillo, for example, who is the current AFC Champion.”

Aside from MMA, what other sports you’re into?


Your message to your fans, to MMA fans in the Philippines

“Continue to dream because that’s where it all starts, as Les Brown said, “You don’t have to be great to start something, but you have to start something to be great.”

Malaysian superstar Ev “E.T.” Ting takes on lightweight veteran Kamal Shalorus at the top of the card. Also in action are Roy Doliguez who is also a pride of the Philippines, Alex Silva, Agilan Thani, Jeff Huang, Ann Osman, Vy Srey Khouch, Herbert Burns, Movlid Khaibulaev, Keanu Subba, Ahmed Mujtaba, Tiffany Teo, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol, Muhammad Aiman and Eduardo Novaes.

The official ONE: Throne of Tigers card

Brandon Vera and Bibiano Fernandes Remain Champions at ONE: Age of Domination

Two title fights on one night! ONE Championship returned to the fighting capital of Manila with the world’s most exciting MMA action at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Brandon Vera made Hideki Sekine’s pro record unbeaten no more as he successfully defended his heavyweight title in just one round. The Japanese never stood a chance. As soon as the round started, Vera was punishing his face that broke his nose and a headkick was threw at the Japanese fighter as well.

Brandon Vera at the post fight presscon:

Di ko po ma explain yung feeling. I won three straight dahil po sa babaeng yan oh (pointing to the love of his life, Nenja).

I want to keep fighting before I retire at 40. I’m already 39. But that doesn’t mean na kapag 40 na ako, mag retire na ako. Titignan ko siyempre kung kaya pa ng katawan ko.

If he quits MMA, he can concentrate on showbiz and politics like Manny Pacquiao. He can also be a farmer “The Truth” said.

Bibiano Fernandes defeated the half Pinoy Reece McLaren and retained his bantamweight belt via split decision in a hell of a fight! Both gave the us the most entertaining and brutal five rounds of fight! “The Flash” landed blows and took his opponent down several times in the early rounds. McLaren’s footwork and head movement brought the counter. “Lightning” escaped bleeding Fernandes’ submission attempts at the same time.

The clash at catchweight between Mark Striegl and Sotir Kuchikov was great. What impressed yours truly was Kuchikov’s chin and submission defense. “Mugen” was the aggressor mixing up strikes and kicks and he relentlessly pursued his opponent until the bell rang in the third and last round.” A win is a win. I’ll take it,” Striegl said.

Coming off a huge first round submission win against a very tough opponent Eugene Toquero, Danny Kingad maintained his perfect wins record. Team Lakay had five fights went 3-2 last night:

I didn’t expect na makakalaban ko po siya. Dati napapanood ko lang siya. Striker siya kaya sa baba ko siya kinuha.

Edward Kelly looks to keep his winning ways and train more when asked if he’s ready for a title fight after impressively submitting Sunoto:

Marami po magagaling sa Featherweight. Mag train pa po muna ako ng mag train.

Coach Mark Sanguiao and the lightweight champion Eduard Folayang also graced the post fight presscon. The Champ was hoping to defend his title in Manila. Coach Mark sees the Malaysian-Kiwi sensation as potential challenger for “Landslide”:

Gusto ko susunod makalaban niya si Ev Ting kasi diba tatlong Filipino na natatalo niya.

Meanwhile, Eduard Folayang enjoys his victory and being a Champion. He also brings inspirations to his teammates and future MMA fighters.
Below is the ONE: Age of Domination full card results:

Champion Brandon Vera def. Hideki Sekine via TKO (strikes), Round 1
Champion Bibiano Fernandes def. Reece McLaren via unanimous decision
Mark Striegl def. Sotir Kichukov via unanimous decision
Toni Tauru def. Geje Eustaquio via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:55
Honorio Banario def. Rajinder Singh Meena via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:04
Leandro Ataides def. Mohamed Ali via knockout (flying knee) – Round 2, 4:54
Edward Kelly def. Sunoto Peringkat via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:14
Danny Kingad def. Eugene Toquero via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:26
Jenny Huang def. April Osenio via submission (gogoplata) – Round 2, 4:28
Sim Bunsrun def. Liu Peng Shuai via unanimous decision
Xie Bin def. Mario Satya via unanimous decision

8 Filipino Fighting Talents to Dominate ONE: Age of Domination

Eight Filipinos who significantly made waves in the international MMA scene will be fighting on December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. ONE Championship is returning to the fighting capital of Manila with the world’s most exciting MMA action at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION. Set to once again electrify a packed SM Mall of Asia Arena, the blockbuster event will see the return of Filipino MMA superstar and ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera after claiming his title last December 11, 2015 following a knockout verdict in just 26 seconds over Paul Cheng. He will defend the crown against the unbeaten Japanese challenger Hideki Sekine in a clash between two of Asia’s top heavyweights.

“My opponent is an undefeated Japanese martial arts veteran who is really strong and has a very capable ground game. I think is a good test for me to see where I am at in my career. Japanese fighters are very, very tough. I will need to come into the fight in my best condition. I don’t want to take any opponent lightly,”

– Brandon Vera about Hideki Sekine.

Filipino-American Brandon “The Truth” Vera is a 39-year-old mixed martial arts veteran with a 14-7-0, 1 NC professional record. He joined ONE Championship in 2014 after competing for over a decade as one of the world’s best fighters. A devastating striker with well-rounded submission grappling skills.

Japanese heavyweight contender Hideki Sekine is set to make his ONE Championship debut after making a name for himself in Japanese MMA promotion DEEP. Known for his brute strength and technical grappling ability, Sekine owns three victories by submission and another three by knockout. He now figures in the toughest battle of his career against ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera.

That’s not the only world championship on the line in Manila. The ONE Bantamweight World Championship pits the reigning titleholder Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes against rising challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren at the co-main event.

To deliver more action-packed, exciting fights that Filipino ONE FC fans have come to expect, the biggest stars in Asian MMA will be pitted against the Philippines’ best fighting talents, with the list who will showcase their wares on the international MMA stage including former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario and top contenders Mark Striegl, Geje Eustaquio, Edward Kelly, Danny Kingad, Eugene Toquero and April Osenio.

28-year-old Filipino mixed martial arts sensation Mark “Mugen” Striegl is one of the top fighters at bantamweight and featherweight. He began his professional career on a 12-fight win streak and made a successful ONE Championship debut in 2014 against American Casey Suire. Striegl then joined the prestigious Evolve Fight Team in 2015 and now trains with Asia’s best world champions in Singapore. He is set to make his highly-anticipated return to the ONE cage against Rafael Nunes.

Rafael Nunes is a professional mixed martial artist with a 10-1 record and is one of the top lightweights to emerge from Brazil. He has steamrolled through the competition in his home country with a knack for winning by exciting finish. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Nunes is equally comfortable finishing his opponents by submission or strikes. He looks to showcase his multi-faceted skillset in his next bout, and will face a tough challenge when he takes on Mark Striegl.

Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is one of the most proficient wushu practitioners in the Philippines. His solid striking and grappling skills have led him to big wins over the course of his career in ONE Championship. Training in the high altitudes of Baguio City, Eustaquio hones his craft with his world-class teammates at the famed Team Lakay. Known for his ability to keep his composure while facing adversity, Eustaquio is set to do battle against Toni Tauru.

31-year-old Toni “Dynamite” Tauru of Utti, Finland, is a professional mixed martial artist competing in ONE Championship’s flyweight division. He owns a record of 10-4-1, with seven of his wins coming impressively by submission. A feared grappling specialist, Tauru is looking for his first victory inside the ONE Championship cage, but he will have to contend against Geje Eustaquio in order to get it.

Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario has long been one of the Philippines’ most respected mixed martial arts veterans. His vast cage experience has brought him all over Asia, with many memorable battles against top divisional talent. Among his many skills, Banario possesses high-level striking and steadily improved grappling. The former ONE Featherweight World Champion, Banario is an expert in wushu, and is ready to showcase his lightning-quick strikes against Rajinder Singh Meena.

Rajinder Singh “Knockout” Meena of India is a professional mixed martial artist competing in the ONE Championship lightweight division. He owns a record of eight wins and two losses, with all eight of his victories coming by finish. Possessing a robust grappling skill set, Meena owns five impressive wins by submission. In his next bout however, he will have to find a way to deal with world-class striker Honorio Banario.

Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly is a 32-year-old Filipino MMA talent and one of the brightest featherweight prospects to emerge from the Philippines. A mixed martial artist with a complete striking and grappling skill set, Kelly brings Team Lakay’s world-renowned wushu to centerstage as he looks to showcase his expertise inside the ONE Championship cage. In his last bout, Kelly scored a one-punch knockout of veteran fighter Vincent Latoel. He seeks to replicate the feat this time against Sunoto.

31-year-old Sunoto “The Terminator” of Jakarta, Indonesia, is a professional mixed martial artist competing in the ONE Championship featherweight division. He owns an MMA record of five wins and two losses, including three highly-impressive submission victories. In his last two bouts, Sunoto finished two high-caliber opponents in Burn Soriano and countryman Yohan Mulia Legowo. In his next bout, Sunoto takes on Filipino rising star Edward Kelly.

Atomweight standout April Osenio of the Philippines is known as Team Lakay’s fierce female warrior. The 22-year-old prospect trains out of the high-altitudes of Baguio City along with her more experienced Lakay brothers. In her last bout, Osenio upset Malaysian fighting belle Ann “Athena” Osman impressively by guillotine choke submission, highlighting her growing skills beyond the striking art of wushu. She now aims to advance her standing in ONE by taking on a new challenge in Jenny Huang.

25-year-old Jenny Huang is female mixed martial artist who hails from Taiwan. Unbeaten with a professional MMA record of four wins and no losses, Huang also owns two impressive submission victories. In her most recent bout, Huang needed less than one round to finish off Indian fighter Jeet Toshi, winning by arm-triangle choke. Now, Huang steps up in competition to face the Philippines’ April Osenio.

An unbeaten flyweight contender from Team Lakay, Danny Kingad is a professional mixed martial artist with a perfect three win, no loss record. One of the top prospects to come out of the high altitudes of Baguio City, Philippines, Kingad is a tremendous striker, operating out of his world-class wushu base. In his most recent bout, Kingad needed just one round to impressively stop Malaysia’s Muhammad Haidar. He will take on Eugene Toquero next.

Flyweight standout Eugene Toquero is a former celebrity mixed martial arts and fitness coach in his native Manila, Philippines. The Filipino stalwart has a knack for highlight-reel striking techniques and operates at a pace which opponents find hard to keep up with. In his last bout, Toquero nearly defeated former ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes, losing by submission in a tough contest. Now he faces fellow Filipino Danny Kingad next.

Kicking off ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION are flyweight fighters Liu Peng Shuai and Sim Bunsrun, who are set to do battle in a three-round bout. Liu is the Hefei Flyweight Tournament Champion, while the Cambodian Bunsrun is a winner of his last two fights including an impressive first-round submission in his promotional debut.

In the first bout of the evening, 18-year-old Chinese fighter Xie Bin takes on Indonesia’s Mario Satya Wirawan. Xie last appeared in a tremendous contest against Casey Suire, while Wirawan went to battle with another future of Philippine MMA Burn Soriano, the 15-sec spinning backfist KO man. Both fighters are looking to get back on track with a victory.

Be at the SM Mall of Asia Arena to support Brandon Vera and the seven more Filipinos excelling in MMA as they take on their opponents in front of their predominantly home crowd.

“The Philippines is just as much my home as the United States is, and I am truly blessed to be able to compete here in front of all the Filipino fans. It’s an amazing country and we discover something new everyday. It’s an honor to be able to headline massive ONE Championship fight cards.”

– Brandon Vera to defend on home turf.

Here’s the image of the full fight card:

Get your tickets now, because this is one sports entertainment experience not to be missed!


And for more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow ONE Championship on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like ONE Championship on Facebook at

Eduard Folayang Brings the Belt Back to the Land and Put Team Lakay’s ONE Title Drought in an End

12 November 2016. The day the Philippines and Filipino fight fans were treated to a night of unforgettable fight as EDUARD LANDSLIDE FOLAYANG defeated MMA legend Shinya Aoki via TKO in a 5-round battle to claim the ONE Championship LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD TITLE in Singapore with ONE: DEFENDING HONOR at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Eduard Folayang put Baguio City’s Team Lakay three years title drought in an end and brought the belt back to the land. The Landslide gave Philippines the third world champion in ONE Championship honor and prestige. Folayang have once again made us Filipinos proud.

The Filipino and Japanese warriors went back and forth in the ground and stand up duel. The finish came in the third round as Aoki’s face planted on the canvas taking unanswered relentless punches from the face of Philippine MMA. The referee had to stopped the fight.

In the co-main event of the night, ONE featherweight champion Marat Gafurov outlasted Narantungalag Jadambaa via submission for the second time. Gafurov won the interim title from Jadambaa in their first match up at 2015 ONE: Dynasty of Champions. Last night, Gafurov unified the featherweight title and stay undefeated by choking Jadambaa out in the fourth round.

Amir Khan defeated Vaugh Donaire from Philippines via submission. The kimura was a crazy and scary moment in their fight. Amir survived and then escaped it. Khan pulled off a rear naked choke in the clinch and pulled guard to finish the fight. Donaire is a former URCC champion, who holds a purple belt in BJJ and is a veteran of 13 fights. ONE: DEFENDING HONOR Results:

Eduard Folayang def. Shinya Aoki by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 0:41 – for lightweight title
Marat Gafurov def. Narantungalag Jadambaa by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:50 – for featherweight title
Amir Khan def. Vaugh Donaire by submission (rear-naked-choke). Round 3, 2:22
Michelle Nicolini def. Mona Samir by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:16
Roger Huerta def. Adrian Pang by split decision
Kotetsu Boku def. Timofey Nastyukhin by TKO (injury). Round 1, 5:00
Tiffany Teo def. Walaa Abbas by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:15
Ahmed Mujtaba def. Benedict Ang by unanimous decision
Nico Soe def. Muhamad Haidar by submission (armbar). Round 1, 1:17

Joshua Pacio and April Osenio in ONE Championship’s Top Five Submissions of the Past Quarter

The humble knockout is one surefire way to end a fight without having to leave the decision at the hands of the judges — but it is not the only way.
The science of submissions is equally as beautiful. How a fighter transitions from one position to another, how they set up with subtle movements before pouncing to finish is truly breathtaking in the literal and figurative sense.
In celebration of this beautiful art, let’s take a look at five of the best ONE Championship submissions in the three months.

#1 Martin Nguyen (Guillotine Choke) at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD, Macau, 13 August

Was there any submission this quarter more exciting and more shocking than the way Martin Nguyen put Christian Lee to sleep with a guillotine choke? “The Situ-Asian” posed the toughest test for the previously-unbeaten Lee, and for good reason. Nguyen was an experienced, older opponent for the youngster.
If Lee had gotten past Nguyen, it would surely have sent a message to the division that Lee was ready for a run at the top of the class. But Nguyen had other plans, and managed to delay the inevitable. Yes, Christian Lee may be destined for great things, but Martin Nguyen tells us it is not just yet.
Nguyen came into the bout with a chip on his shoulder. Everyone was so high on Lee that they wrote the Australian off pretty quickly. But with a bounce in his step from the opening bell, you could tell Nguyen wanted to lay that doubt to rest.
As the younger Lee pressed Nguyen against the cage, Nguyen uncorked a counter left hook that dropped the Singaporean prospect to the mat. After a brief scramble, an obviously still shaken Lee got caught in a guillotine that spelled the beginning of the end of the bout.
From that point on, Nguyen just would not let go — and Lee would not tap. The result was Lee taking a short nap on the canvas, before waking up to the first loss of his career.

#2 Aung La N Sang (Arm Triangle Choke) at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS (HEFEI), China, 2 July

Middleweight contender “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang left his home country of Myanmar when he was 18 years old. While in America, he picked up mixed martial arts and went on to enjoy a respectable career for various MMA promotions.
Known for his constricting style of fighting, the “Burmese Python” has 19 total victories with only one opponent reaching the final bell, and 11 of his wins have come by submission. That’s an incredible statistic, and belies Aung La N Sang’s level of grappling skill.
Last July, Aung La N Sang traveled to Hefei, China, and faced then-undefeated Russian contender Aleksei Butorin to a chorus of cheers from the crowd. And in a truly back-and-forth grappling battle, Aung La N Sang dug deep to find enough resolve to win.
After jockeying for position most of the fight, threatening each other with various submissions including a simultaneous heel hook from both athletes, Aung La N Sang finally got the drop on Butorin in round two, catching the Russian in an arm triangle choke.

#3 Joshua Pacio (Rear Naked Choke) at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD, Macau, 13 August

ONE Championship strawweight standout Joshua Pacio is a wushu expert, much like his seniors at the famed Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines. But aside from his world-class striking skills and his ability to finish opponents with his fists, the 20-year-old owns more submission victories on his resume than he does knockouts.
Out of eight wins, Pacio has finished five by impressive submission. Now that is certainly a special feat considering his expertise in the stand-up. Last August, Pacio took on Thai wrestling champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai, and it was no different.
After a back-and-forth exchange of dominant positions, Pacio found himself in the clinch against Kongsrichai with just a little over a minute left to go in the first round. The Filipino then held on to a single leg, drove his opponent to the mat, and went to work.
From there, Pacio passed guard and secured mount, unleashing a barrage of strikes from top position to force Kongsrichai to give up his back. Pacio immediately went for the rear naked choke, and the tap came shortly after.
It was a masterful execution of a routine choke that sent a message to the rest of the division, and earned Pacio a shot at Yoshitaka Naito’s ONE Strawweight World Championship.

#4 April Osenio (Guillotine Choke) at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS, Kuala Lumpur, 2 September

Fans have to be excited whenever two fearsome ladies take to the ONE Championship cage. At times, not only do women athletes know exactly how to throw down, they also go at it harder than the men do. Such was the case when the Philippines’ April Osenio went up against Malaysia’s fighting belle Ann “Athena” Osman.
Osenio may have lost her first professional bout, but she won her second bout via armbar. Just like Pacio, for a wushu striking expert from the famed Team Lakay of Baguio City, winning by submission is completely out of left field. They are known as extremely high-level stand up fighters, and not submission specialists by any means, although they have made improvements recently.
That makes Osenio’s victory over Osman all the more special. Osenio, with her back against the fence, caught Osman in a standing guillotine and pulled guard, catching the Malaysian by surprise.
That was a sure sign that Osenio was actively pursuing a submission. Osenio squeezed as tight as she could, and with the hooks in deep, Osman was not left with much of a choice but to tap.

#5 Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev (Guillotine Choke) at ONE: TITLES & TITANS, Jakarta, 27 August

From the little that we have seen of Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, fans have already come to know the Russian as a bonafide knockout artist.
Before entering the cage against Haolan Jietebusibai last August, he had already scored three spectacular TKO finishes in his first three bouts as a professional martial artist — all of which ended in the first round.
Collectively, Saygid had spent just a little over three minutes inside the cage, and that is mightily impressive. Against Jietebusibai, Arslanaliev was looking for another highlight-reel KO, but as soon as the guillotine choke presented itself he just had to go for it.
Arslanaliev grabbed a hold of Jietebusibai’s neck and squeezed as tight as he could. He didn’t even bother pulling guard — he just kept it standing and his Chinese opponent had no choice but to tap out.
Suffice to say, we can’t wait for the next time this man is inside the ONE Championship cage. Here is hoping that Arslanaliev gets a call to throw down with a big name opponent soon.

Source: ONE Championship

Eduard Folayang’s in The Five Best Fights of the Past Quarter in ONE Championship

ONE Championship has become known for putting on exciting events filled with highlight-reel finishes over the past five years, and its past three events did not disappoint.
However, looking back at this past quarter, a handful of performances truly stood out. Here are the five best fights in ONE Championship during this period.
#1 Ev Ting vs Rob Lisita at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS, Kuala Lumpur, 2 September
Over the past couple of years, Malaysian-Kiwi sensation Ev “E.T.” Ting has made a home for his noteworthy performances in Kuala Lumpur. He has headlined ONE Championship events in Malaysia’s capital city with tremendous success, and as he climbs to the top of the ranks, Ting promises more memorable bouts to come.
This September, Ting took on the always dangerous “Ruthless” Rob Lisita. Nevermind that upon entering the cage, Lisita had been on a three-fight skid. The Australian brawler will always pose a threat no matter what the circumstances, and the same rang true when he stood across the cage from Ting that night.
Lisita employed a more-calculated approach in the fight, making use of his wrestling skills to drag Ting down to the mat easily for the first couple of rounds. As the bout wore on however, the better striker in Ting started to place his combinations more effectively as Lisita began to tire.
From the middle of the bout, Ting put together an amazing display of grit and heart, tagging Lisita with multiple well-timed strikes while Lisita tried desperately to hang on. As Ting’s gas tank emptied, both fighters pushed each other to the limit in a test of physical and mental strength. Incredibly, the 33-year-old veteran Lisita was able to make it to the final bell.
It was, however, Ev Ting’s victory in Malaysia as he deservedly earned the unanimous decision, but it was one truly action-packed matchup.
#2 Shannon Wiratchai vs Peter Davis at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS, Kuala Lumpur, 2 September
Shannon “One Shin” Wiratchai is one of ONE Championship’s most dynamic attacking talents. He trains in multiple disciplines including Muay Thai and baguazhang, and the way he is able to mesh all the styles together is his most impressive trait.
When Wiratchai challenged Malaysian Peter Davis in front of his home crowd in Kuala Lumpur last September, it was billed by many observers to be a matchup of a creative, talented striker against a dedicated workhorse. What fans got was exactly that.
From the sound of the opening bell, it was clear that Wiratchai’s striking advantage was too much for Davis, who came out behind in every exchange. Wiratchai stormed the gates, attacking Davis with every strike in his arsenal.
Although Davis showed the true heart of a warrior, he would be no match for Wiratchai’s onslaught. It was one of the most dominant first rounds for a fighter in recent memory. But that’s where things got interesting.
Somewhere along the way, Davis saw an opening. Wiratchai, knowing he virtually had the fight in the bag, started to get playful with his tactics. Out of nowhere, Davis dropped Wiratchai with a spinning back fist and nearly finished him as the crowd erupted to a throng of cheers.
Wiratchai, still reeling from the impact of the blow, tried his best to stay on even footing but Davis continued his pursuit. From then on it was a war of attrition as both fighters repeatedly attacked each other with their best shots.
In the end, it was Wiratchai who was able to come away with the technical knockout, although Davis sent a message to everyone watching not to discount the value of hard work.
#3 Ariel Sexton vs Roger Huerta at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS, Hefei, China, 2 July
Roger “El Matador” Huerta had been in some tough battles throughout the course of his career, and although he had been able to use his talent to get himself out of some rough spots, it was not going to be easy against the man they call Tarzan.
Ariel Sexton, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, was always going to be a tricky challenge for any opponent, but no one expected him to beat Huerta the way he did last July in China.
At the sound of the opening bell, Huerta showed flashes of his trademark style, heavily reliant on Muay Thai and sheer aggressiveness. Sexton tried his best to take the action to the mat where he owned the advantage, but Huerta was not going down with a fight.
As Huerta continued his assault, Sexton realized this matchup was not going to be a grappling battle, and he had to beat Huerta at his own game. That’s when Sexton turned up the pressure and showcased his world-class stand-up.
In a furious exchange of strikes, Sexton peppered Huerta with a plethora of uppercuts, hooks, and power shots, slipping “El Matador’s” attacks and countering with great accuracy. By the middle of the third round, Huerta simply had enough as Sexton dropped him with a volley of unanswered punches.
#4 Eduard Folayang vs Adrian Pang at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD, Macau, 13 August
When you have two of the toughest fighters in Asia coming together inside the ONE Championship cage looking to pounce, you just know you have something special. Lightweight standouts Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Adrian Pang went to war last August, with the winner set to face ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Filipino MMA veteran rose to the occasion. Folayang had long been the face of Philippines MMA. He was with ONE Championship from the beginning of the promotion, and now five years later, he hit the prime of his career.
After a terrific performance against Tetsuya Yamada in his last bout, Folayang took on the dangerous Pang and knew he was up against a solid competitor. Pang stalked Folayang with very little movement, slowly plodding forward looking to land a big shot. Folayang, utilizing his famous wushu skills, danced away from peril and unleashed a variety of strikes including side kicks, roundhouses, and spinning back fists. Pang would walk right through most of it bravely, although he dropped to a knee on occasion.
There is much to be said about Pang’s durability. For three whole rounds, he was rarely bothered by Folayang’s lightning-quick strikes. He knew all he had to do was land one big shot and it would set him up for the finish. But Folayang, employed a highly tactical and intelligent game plan, one that carried him to victory.
It was one of the finest performances of Folayang’s career, and earned him a shot at ONE Championship gold against Aoki at ONE: DEFENDING HONOR in November.
#5 Istela Nunes vs Mei Yamaguchi at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD, Macau, 13 August
At the glitzy locale of Asia’s entertainment district in Macau, ONE Championship put together an entire card full of compelling bouts, but one stood out.
Former ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship challenger Mei Yamaguchi took on Muay Thai champion and ONE Championship newcomer Istela Nunes, and as is the case more often than not, the women were ready to fight.
Yamaguchi and Nunes wasted no time in engaging in fireworks, blasting each other with heavy-handed blows to the delight of the crowd. Yamaguchi, bouncing on the balls of her feet from her trademark karate stance, attacked Nunes from the outside with pinpoint accuracy and unmatched ferocity.
Nunes laid back and looked to counter, and smiled as she unleashed her powerful responses. With every round that passed, each fighter upped the intensity and frequency of their strikes. When the fight hit the canvas, it was a constant jockey for dominant position and an opportunity to do damage with ground-and-pound.
In the end, Nunes did just enough to slide in for a split decision victory. Yamaguchi, still ever the fierce lioness, performed exceptionally in a losing effort. Whether or not Nunes has earned herself a shot at Angela Lee is unknown, but one thing is for certain – a rematch against Yamaguchi would definitely be welcome.
Source: ONE Championship

Joshua Pacio Has Put In The Sweat And Developed Now He’s Ready For The ONE Strawweight’s Biggest Mat

ONE Championship holds an open workout for fans and media at the SM Mall of Asia on September 27 in Manila, Philippines

To make the local fans more amped for the upcoming fights of the Filipino warriors, the promotion set this event in addition to the interviews. One of the featured fighters was Joshua Felix Pacio. He workout, meet fans in Manila and face the media before headlining the ONE: State of Warriors on October 7.

This 20 year-old warrior from Baguio’s Team Lakay have won all eight of his pro bouts and have been undefeated throughout these competitions. And to nobody’s surprise, Joshua Pacio Gets The Title Shot He Rightfully Deserved.

Pacio’s story of his pre fight with Kritsada Kongsrichai at ONE Championship 45: Heroes of the World truly inspired me. It made me more proud being a Filipino.

“Nung nasa Macau ako may mga nakasalubong akong mga Pinoy, sabi ko kinakabahan ako sa laban ko. Pero sabi nila, kaya mo yan! Pinoy ka eh.” (I met these  Filipinos in Macau and told them I’m nervous about my fight. You can you’re Filipino! they answered.)

“Hindi lang sa MMA mag excel ang Pinoy kundi sa lahat ng aspects. Globally competitive ang Pinoy.” (Not only in MMA Filipinos can excel but in all aspects. Filipinos are globally competitive.)

Who would’ve thought that this young man having won so much still feels nervous. Joshua can competitively answers the question thrown at him as well.

We had the honor to one-on-one interview Joshua Pacio. These are the questions I asked him:

What did you ever feel when the title fight was announced?
“When it was announced of course I was shocked and felt a little bit nervous but as days gone by I came to realized that this is a once in a life time opportunity and a blessing for me, not only for me but for the whole team and my country Philippines.”

With a quite impressive defeat less record, this is already the fruit of your hardwork, passion and determination, your thoughts.
“In my 10 years of training martial arts, to fight in a title bout is an unexplainable feeling, and if i bring that belt here in my country that i always pray for is the fruit of my hardwork and the hardwork of the team.”

Toughest opponent outside ONE FC?
“It’s when I fought Jonel Borbon in PXC Laban MMA Baguio 2. Cause even If I was pounding him hard he didn’t give up and I felt his power.”

Toughest opponent in ONE cage?
“I think my toughest fight in ONE is both Rabin Catalan and Kritsada. Robin is also a Pinoy. And as you can see in our previous fight he brings it on and Kritsada is an Olympian wrestler so he is very strong and he takes me down a lot.”

Fighter you look up to?
“I look up to my seniors like Coach Eduard, Honorio, Edward Kelly, Geje, Kevin and of course coach Mark because they are the ones who motivated and trained me to be one of them who is fighting internationally and representing our country in big stage like OneFC.”

Any rituals you do before the fight?
“Everyday I pray to God to and before the fight I pray for my srrength and protection and also the protection of my opponent.”

How were you able to manage your study and career?
“I manage my studies and training by getting a minimum of 12 units. And I make sure that my training doesn’t affect my schedule in school .”

If you didn’t become an MMA fighter, what would you be today?
“I think I’m a one big fat guy eating burger in front of the TV watching and dreaming about becoming a fighter. Haha.”

Message to all the fans who believes in you.
“To all my kababayan and the fans who believe in me and in Team Lakay, I thank you for your never ending support and prayers, para sa atin po lahat ito. Godbless us all”

What nickname would you like to put in between the Joshua Pacio?
My monicker? It depends on the crowd or the name people will give me. Ayos yung binigay mo na ‘The Passion’ sakin ma’am.”

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes sweat, hard work and passion. Joshua Pacio getting where he is now is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from those.

Let us support Joshua Felix Pacio and pray for his journey and victory at ONE: State of Warriors on October 7 as well as Eduard Folayang at ONE: Defending Honor on November 13 and Brandon Vera who will defend his heavyweight title first week of December this year.