ONE FC Moment of Truth – Banario Falls; Belingon, Folayang Step Up
More and more people are starting to recognize the wonderful sport that is mixed martial arts When in Manila. This is why organizers of the largest MMA promotion in Asia have brought to the country their latest night of fights, ONE FC Moment of Truth. The said event was held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City on December 6, 2013.
The best mixed martial artists from Asia and the rest of the world came together in one arena and absolutely knocked the roof off the place. All the matches were scorching with action. Punches in bunches, different varieties of kicks (like front or roundhouse kicks) were thrown, bodies were slammed—ONE FC: Moment of Truth was a night that everyone in the arena had surely enjoyed.
There were very few boring moments in the fight card. Every match had the crowd on the edge of their seats and cheering for more. Here’s a recap of all that had transpired in the main card of the night:
1) Paul Cheng def. Alain Ngalani. These two heavyweights are huge individuals, and seeing them battle inside the cage was like looking at two planets collide. This match was one of the most anticipated ones of the night. Too bad it lasted for such a short time only. Ngalani, experienced in kickboxing, showed his impressive kicks early on, which Cheng hung on to and capitalized on. Paul Cheng then pounced on Ngalani on the ground until he had to verbally tapout. This happened in the 4:54 mark of the five-minute 1st round; shame Ngalani couldn’t bear the pain for 6 more seconds.
2) Dae Hwan Kim def. Thanh Vu. This was one that ignited into a firefight as soon as the opening bell rung. Punches here and there, it was a thrill to watch! The Korean threw heavy body kicks that allowed him to take Vu down and make some shots rain on his opponent. The frantic ground-and-pound action ended with a deep rear-naked choke that grabbed a win for the Korean.
3) Toquero def. Eustaquio. This match was an all-Filipino match which made it difficult for the crowd to pick sides. Even without their nationalities, it would be hard to pick a favorite because they were both so equal to each other. Eustaquio exited the ring with a shiny, new ‘W’ on his professional record.
4) Colossa def. Fodor. The late and great Nelson Mandela had just passed away the morning before the ONE FC Moment of Truth event, and naturally, Colossa, a South African fighter, paid a little tribute to his beloved hero by wearing a shirt that simply said ‘Mandela’ in the back and ‘Rest in Peace’ in front. Standing in his way was Carlos Fodor, a fighter who has appeared in Strikeforce, and was allegedly more skilled than Colossa. This is one fact he just had to prove wrong. And he did. His hand was raised after a grueling three rounds.
5) Folayang def. Latoel. This match was well-received by the fans, being the first of the three big fights of the night with a Filipino involved. Folayang showed a lot of promise and potential by dominating the first two rounds, which was enough to win him the decision against the Dutch striker.
6) Belingon def. Aranda. To be honest with you, I thought Kevin Belingon would not survive the 9-0 undefeated Spanish fighter. Thank goodness I was proven wrong, right at the very first round, Belingon began to attack and attack until he finally got the best knockout of the night: a left hand to the jaw of Aranda. The Spanish fighter took quite some time before gaining full consciousness.
7) Oishi def. Banario. Things don’t always go your way. This is one lesson that broke the hearts of all viewers in the Arena. In an ideal world, Banario would have dominated the Japanese fighter and won back his title. Instead, Oishi landed power-punch after power-punch and then one megaton bomb that sent Honorio Banario dropping like timber onto the cage floor. The statement is clear: Winning the championship last May (on his first meeting with Banario) was no fluke, and that Oishi is here to stay.
Other photos from One FC Moment of Truth:
The night was, I strongly believe, a huge success especially with the series of explosive, back-and-forth fights that had transpired. As a Filipino MMA fan, I say thank you to the organizers of ONE FC for bringing Asia’s largest MMA event to Manila yet again. Here’s to wishing there’s more to come, because When In Manila, I wanna see guys throw punches at each other. (Legally.)