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Via One FC



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[dropcap letter="K"]evin Belingon comes out with swagger and purpose. His rat’s tail, a signature feature and much discussed possible handicap to his game, swings to and fro when he steps into the cage and raises a fist to acknowledge the hometown crowd. And we in our seats respond with cheers.

“The Silencer” from Baguio’s Team Lakay is up against Spaniard and OTP Bantamweight Champion’s David Aranda and it looks like every one of the Pinoy fighters are determined to shine, as well.

We’ve come to see blood and MMA. The air is electric and, courtesy of the venue’s booming sound system, full of visceral bass. One FC is back at the Mall of Asia Arena, an event held last December 6, and this time it’s all about redemption, especially since all of the Pinoy fighters went home with a loss at the “Rise to Power” tournament last May. The main event is a much-awaited battle for the featherweight world championship, in a fight that last saw Honorio Banario crumple with a destructive KO from Japan’s Koji Oishi, and the country losing possession of the belt.

In a night filled with wtf?! knockouts and cool submissions, we’ve compiled eight of the best moments in what was a true fight spectacle. Cue Lene Hardt’s screaming intros.
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Australia’s Thanh Vu and South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim had one of the most exciting back-and-forth wars that night with a sequence of striking exchanges that were wild and pretty savage. But it was Kim who eventually scored combos that had the other fighter in retreat mode. Kim pushed on and eventually finished Vu with a rear-naked in the second round.

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The uber flexible Ngalani put on a bit of a show at the weigh-ins by bringing in ring girls Maya T and Christine H close to him on either side, then stepping to the middle and doing an epic Van Damme style full split. But the fight itself was another story. Starting like a total heavyweight strike-fest, Cheng quickly wisened up and tried to initiate a few takedown attempts that were reversed or stuffed. Cheng persevered though and finally got superior control after Ngalani tried some showtime moves with a spinning wheel kick (that missed). Getting pounded by the Taiwanese’s huge fists from a back mount proved too much though and, after a few moments of confusion, Ngalani apparently tapped out verbally.

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Today’s lesson in jiu jitsu is brought to you by bantamweight fighter Koetsu Okazaki. Watch and learn, now this is how you sink in a rear-naked choke, boys and girls!

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Because there is much need for distraction in between rounds. Already featured in FHM and Maxim Magazine, ONE FC’s new ring girl has more curves than the Venus De Milo and a smoky, sultry stare that can melt you from right across the arena (not to take anything away from former ring girl Felicia, that is). Holding up ring cards is a righteous skill in her hands. Oh, and she and fellow ring girl Christine Hallauer take great selfies, too.

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Oh, how sweet it is. “The Silencer” from Team Lakay put a crunching refutation of 400 years of colonial rule by handing Spain’s David Aranda a graceful left hook that was as gentle as a jackhammer. Hey, wushu works, man.

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Hey, we can haz takedowns! Looks like Team Lakay’s sessions with a wrestling coach really paid off as “Landslide” dragged his opponent to the ground in some very spectacular ways. Folayang managed to take Vincent Latoel to the ground for all of three rounds. This frustrated and effectively neutralized Latoel, who never actually hit Folayang with anything significant.

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The Muay Thai world champ came out with much emotion and spectacle, walking out to the South African national anthem and wearing a shirt with “Mandela” inscribed on the back. In his fight against former UFC staple Caros Fodor, he dominated in the striking game and, when he was awarded the unanimous decision victory, tears clouded his eyes and he dedicated his win to the former South African president for all he has done for “the brothers and sisters in South Africa.” MMA knows how to pay honor and tribute to heroes.

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Despite Banario’s loss, respect must be paid for the Pancrase fighter from Japan. This title fight, unlike the “Rise to Power” bout started slow and tentative as both of them were obviously pretty cautious of one another—but Banario even more so. Oishi landed quite  few significant strikes in the second round, and then, in the third round, finished the job with a magical right hook that felled Banario like a tree that almost seemed like a déjà vu moment from May this year. Good one, Mr Oishi. Just look at that shot!

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Are you a One FC fan? What are your favorite moments from Moment of Truth? Let's talk about it in the Comments Section.
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Tzaddi Salazar

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