It didn’t take long before fans of worldwide Mixed Martial Arts began writing, with just a small dose of vitriol, “OneFC > UFC”. While there was a definite degree of knowing defiance in said vitriolic remarks, it must be said that in order for such remarks to be made, a promotion has to deliver an entertaining product that entertains the viewing public. And this, OneFC managed with aplomb.
In preview of this event, I offered our readers a look back through the dense mists of time, into a bygone age when Bob Sapp was dangerous. His “top 5 moments” seemed a fitting way to pay tribute and raise anticipation in his scrap with Rolles Gracie. The piece was not done in jest; I stand by my enjoyment of Mr Sapp’s antics and fights alike. But this time, the all-too familiar recent tale transpired once again, as he was quickly taken to the mat, outgrappled and then relentlessly pounded. His huge ham of a hand tapped the mat repeatedly after one and a half minutes; it was longer than he lasted in recent bouts. Time I and others like me faced reality; Sapp died in 2003, when Mirko CroCop‘s left foot kicked his liver up into the ribcage four milliseconds before Mirko’s left hand broke his orbital bone. ‘Sapp time’ is over, and has been for years.
Rolles adds another notch to his post; every win he can earn surely has to go some way towards erasing the memories of his sole UFC appearance, the ‘embarrassment’ against Joey Beltran. No doubt he will continue to grow as a fighter in One.
Making for much worthier, worthwhile fare for One was the main-event, pitting K-1 kickboxer Olé Laursen in a comeback fight against Felipe Enomoto. Laursen, 5-0 since his baptism of fire in MMA with two losses to Genki Sudo and Caol Uno in K-1 Hero*s events, was returning from injury to try to recommence the form that saw him hailed as one of the sport’s premier prospects of the past three years, scoring five straight wins after defecting from the stand-up fighting game. However, his hopes were hammered along with his face in round.2 by the M-1 Global welterweight champion’s brother, who withstood the wild aggression of the striker to drop him and sink in a rear-naked-choke for the finish, tarnishing his win streak and record alike, and halting the brakes yet further on Laursen’s progression as a professional Mixed Martial Artist.
The opening minute resembled Manhoef versus Cyborg, and Laursen looked simultaneously sharp and wild. In the second round, after an unintentional eye-poke, he stalked Enomoto by the fence landing vicious leg kicks, looking for that one flush shot that would have turned the lights off and put his opponent on a stretcher. As it was, he hit hard enough to knock the air out, but Enomoto avoided the shots, and survived to ultimately win a fight that had more fireworks than Guy Fawkes Night in England.
No real shame in the loss for Laursen; though it must be said, while he happily entices his foes into brawls, he displays not only his willingness to fight wars in the trenches, but also his own – forgive me, Olé – lack of fight IQ, as he disregards any damage suffered as (ostensibly) a fleabite in the face of his pleasure at trading shots. In this fight it cost him. However, rest assured that all at FSA are Laursen fans, and we look forwards to seeing him too. The victorious and insanely ripped Enomoto, much like his brother, is a fan favourite also, with sick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and very solid Muay Thai, and I anticipate him furthering his own career with OneFC with great relish.
A brilliant – if short – undercard fight pitting bantamweight Jessie Rafols against Irshaad Sayed ended after a lively battle on the feet. The two pocket rockets swung for the fences with the usual industrious approach employed by sub-featherweight fighters, with a brief period clinching to no real consequence, until the speed and precision of Sayed told with a devastating punch to the body. The subsequent follow-up punch was merely academic.
Also at bantamweight; youngster Soo Chul Kim once again fell short in another tilt at a bigger, stronger opponent. Much like his previous scrap with American Andrew Leone and on the first OneFC card, the 20yr old highly touted Chul Kim could not quite find the answers to questions posed by strength and experience, and Cage Fighting Championships bantamweight title-holder Gustavo Falciroli took his back and sank in the rear-naked for a submission win at 1:19 rd.1 of a fight that never really got going.
We’re sure Chul Kim will be back.
Rear-naked-chokes were a speciality dish of the day served up mulitple times at One FC II: Battle of Heroes, and Korea’s Bae Young Kwon wanted a piece of the pie. Taking URCC Lightweight champion Honorio Barario‘s back – from the standing position, no less – he sank in the RNC and scored the tap only fifty-six seconds into the first round. A little embarrassing for Barario, but the crowd were none too upset; treated to a fight card filled with finishes, none showed any inclination to hankering after a chessmatch in the cage.
LAURSEN vs. ENOMOTO
SAPP vs. GRACIE
YOUNG KWON vs. BARARIO
FALCIROLI vs. CHUL KIM
RIBIERO vs. KHABILOV
The rest of the card can be viewed on that same account.
So, more fireworks than Bonfire Night, more chokes than an outtake of “Deepthroat”, and more bombs thrown than the Vietnam War, One FC II: Battle of Heroes definitely delivered. As their vitriolic twitter fanbase suggest in their outlandish statements, more events of this explosivity and big things will happen… time will tell.