ONE Championship: Heroes of Honour Recap

It was a tough night at the office for the Australian and New Zealand contingent on ONE Championship: Heroes of Honour in Manila last night, with Brad Riddell, Elliot Compton and Adrian Pang all losing their bouts.

The sell-out event, held at the Mall of Asia Arena, served as the introduction for the new ONE Super Series which sees both muay thai and kickboxing bouts added to ONE’s current MMA schedule. In what was another first for the Asian promotion, a five-roped ring was used to help integrate the MMA, kickboxing and muay thai bouts on the night.

Perhaps the most controversial result of the night came as Adrian Pang took on the local Honorio Banario, a bout in which Pang was looking to arrest a three-fight losing streak in ONE Championship, having not won since 2015. From the outset of the fight, it was Pang who was the clear aggressor, consistently controlling the centre of the ring and stalking down an evasive Banario who was looking to employ a strike and move strategy throughout the fight.

Constant movement around the ring from Banario led to a frustrated Pang who found it tough to string together multiple attacks against an opponent who would not engage. Despite this, Pang did manage to land several clean punch combinations throughout the first round and stuffed any takedown attempts that Banario attempted to execute. As the round came to an end it was Banario who finally was on the attack, landing a sidekick on the incoming Pang. Despite the kick landing cleanly, the ever-tough Pang brushed it off and continued to walk forward.

With the centre of the ring clearly under Pang’s control, Banario was continually on the outer, throwing the occasional kick, but largely unable to achieve much with Pang pushing forward. It wasn’t until the third round that Pang started to throw more leg kicks in the hope of slowing Banario down and keeping him in one spot. Surprising many midway through the round, it was Pang who timed Banario’s lateral movement perfectly, landing a textbook spinning heel kick.

Even with the constant forward aggression from Pang and the very rare offensive attacks from Banario, it was the judges who took centre stage as the fight ended, somewhat surprisingly awarding the bout to the local fighter via a split points decision.

Fight News Australia understands that Pang was given his win bonus by the promotion despite the result and that he will be lodging a formal appeal into the decision.

Honorio "The Rock" Banario stuck to his game plan and sealed a close split decision win against grizzled veteran Adrian "The Hunter" Pang.

Honorio 'The Rock' Banario stuck to his game plan and sealed a close split decision win against grizzled veteran Adrian "The Hunter" Pang. TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 20 April 2018

(Video source: ONE Championship)

In the night’s first muay thai bout, Queenslander Elliot Compton came up short against Brazillian muay thai star Cosmo Alexandre, losing the bout via a second-round stoppage after Alexandre landed a perfectly timed knee to the liver.

It was Compton however who started the better of the two fighters in the first round, employing the higher work-rate and not allowing Alexandre the range to throw some of his preferred knees. Landing very little, Alexandre was struggling to find the type of rhythm that has seen him dominate opponents in the past.

With Alexandre outworked and outpointed in the first round, a change was needed if he was to stop the Australian racking up the points as the rounds went on. The change didn’t come until late in the second round when Cosmo really began to find his optimal range and landed a knee to the liver of Compton, dropping him straight to the canvas and unable to answer the referee’s count.

Cosmo "Good Boy" Alexandre put on a dazzling striking display, scoring a stunning TKO at 2:41 of the second round!

Cosmo "Good Boy" Alexandre put on a dazzling striking display, scoring a stunning TKO at 2:41 of the second round!TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 20 April 2018

(Video source: ONE Championship)

In what would be the historic first-ever ONE Super Series bout, top New Zealand welterweight Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell took on the renowned Dutch fighter Regian Eersel across three rounds under kickboxing rules. Coming off a win against Fernando Groenhart just over a month ago at Powerplay 36, Riddell came into the bout with renewed confidence and looking to take advantage of the incredible opportunity to fight on a promotion of ONE’s size.

From the opening bell, Riddell was looking to push the pace and not allow Eersel the space to use his significant height and reach advantage. This tactic worked throughout the round and Eersel went to his corner having produced very little in the way of offensive output during the round. The second round was the turning point for Eersel who began to use his step-up knees with devastating effect, landing several times and dropping Riddell for an 8-count with a precision knee to the liver.

Down on the scorecards due to the knockdown, Riddell opened up in the third round with a high work rate and accurate punch combinations. Eersel employed the same tactics as the second round, with knees that did not allow Riddell to position himself to unload and use his left body-rip and left hook combinations. While a close round, Riddell was perhaps the busier of the two and will feel somewhat aggrieved that he didn’t walk away with a draw. The three judges in attendance saw it differently, awarding the fight to Eersel via a unanimous points decision.

Regian "The Immortal" Eersel striked up a unanimous decision victory over Brad "Quake" Riddell in the inaugural ONE Super Series contest!

Regian "The Immortal" Eersel striked up a unanimous decision victory over Brad "Quake" Riddell in the inaugural ONE Super Series contest!TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 20 April 2018

(Video source: ONE Championship)

In the night’s final Super Series bout, two of the world’s best strikers in Giorgio Petrosyan and Jo Nattawut squared off against each other and put on an absolute clinic for those in attendance. Nattawut, a current Lion Fight two-division champion, who would be a favourite in almost all of his matchups, found it tough going against a relentless Petrosyan. From the outset the Italian superstar was looking to make a statement and continually push forward, not allowing Nattawut any chance to slow the rhythm and dictate the pace on his terms. Ultimately it was an easy choice for the judges, awarding the unanimous decision to Petrosyan.

The main event of the night saw an exciting contest between America’s Andrew Leone and the local star Kevin Belingon. In what was his 5th successive win in the ONE Championship, Belingon put on a vicious display of his skills both on the feet and the ground. A slicing elbow after a knee to the head on the ground opened a cut above Leone’s eye, which put a temporary stop to the action while the ringside doctor assessed the injury. Knowing he had the upper hand, Belingon continued his relentless attacks and caught Leone again before the referee stopped the bout in the second round with a TKO victory via strikes.

RESULTS:

  • Kevin Belingon def. Andrew Leone via TKO (Rd 2)
  • Giorgio Petrosyan def. Jo Nattawut via Decision (Unanimous) (Kickboxing)
  • Honorio Banario def. Adrian Pang via Decision (Split)
  • Nong-O Gaiyanghadao def. Fabio Pinca via Decision (Unanimous) (Muay Thai)
  • Marat Gafurov def. Emilio Urrutia via Submission (Rd 1)
  • Dae Hwan Kim def. Masakuza Imanari via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Cosmo Alexandre def. Elliott Compton via TKO (Rd 1)  (Muay Thai)
  • Akihiro Fujisawa def. Kaji Ebin via Submission (Rd 1)
  • Regian Eersel def. Brad Riddell via Decision (Unanimous) Kickboxing
  • Gina Iniong def. Jenny Huang via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Adrian Mattheis def. Lan Ming Qiang via Decision (Unanimous)

As a former pro/am Muaythai fighter, current trainer and fresh BJJ White Belt my life revolves around all things concerning the ‘hurt business’. If it involves punches, kicks, knees and elbows than I’m interested! On the side I’m a self-confessed Melbourne Victory tragic and marketing professional by day.