February 11th,2012 marked the second event by ONE FC, “Battle of Heroes”, promotion for the event was on par as usual as the promotion had some big names fighting on the card such as Pride and K-1 veteran Bob “The Beast” Sapp, BJJ Black belt and 2007 Abu Dhabi Silver medalist Rolles Gracie, Ole Laursen, Russian prospect Rustam Khabilov and many more. The event was held at The BritAma Arena, Jakarta, Indonesia and was attended by over 4000 spectators. Although this time the main card was PPV only, the guys over at ONE FC were generous enough to stream a live broadcast of the preliminary fights on their facebook page and on their Ustream channel.
After watching the first event, ONE FC made it clear that they would not compromise on the talent and the quality of the fighters and they did not disappoint, the prelim was stacked with great fights and the event proved it, in fact in my opinion the prelims had slightly better fights than the main card due to the number of finishes and the exciting style of fights that took place.
From the first preliminary to the last, every fight was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat, be it Peter Davis’ come from behind triangle choke, Irshaad Sayed’s body shot that dropped and finished his opponent in less than 2 minutes or the classic striker vs grappler match between Alex Silva and Geje Eustaquio.
On to the main card, which kicked off with the highly anticipated Super Heavyweight bout between Bob Sapp and Rolles Gracie, the fight ended quickly with Gracie taking down Sapp and forcing him to tap to punches being thrown from the mount.
The second fight was between Gustavo Falciroli and Soo Chul Kim which ironically saw Kim trying to take the BJJ Black belt to the ground which only ended up in him giving up his back which was expertly taken by Falciroli and then being submitted by a Rear Naked Choke by the jiujitsu expert early in the first round.
Next was Rodrigo Ribeiro vs. Rustam Khabilov, this fight was very technical, showcasing the grappling skills of both the fighters as Ribeiro mostly worked the guard trying to get a submission whereas Khabilov displayed excellent submission defence and stayed out of trouble, in the end getting the nod from the judges towards a unanimous decision victory.
Next up was a featherweight match between Bae Young Kwon vs. Honorio Banario, the fighters spent the first minute feeling each other out which suddenly changed when Kwon threw a long range jab and followed by a 1-2 combo, slipped, got a body lock, took the back and finished the fight with a rear naked choke, Kwon demonstrated slick movement and excellent grappling skills that gave him the win.
The main event featured two well known fighters who have fought all over the world, Ole Laursen and Felipe Enemoto , the first round was a back and forth battle, which saw Ole swinging for the fences throwing every shot with bad intentions whereas Felipe kept his composure and stayed technical, both fighters were exchanging punches with Laursen throwing the heavier shots once knocking down Felipe mid in the first round, later in the round we got to see the grappling skills of both fighters when Felipe attempted a guillotine which was very deep and I almost felt that he would have gotten the submission, but Ole proved me wrong as he not just escaped but ended up taking Felipe’s back and tried to sink in a rear naked choke but the Swiss demonstrated his own skill set of submission defence and kept Ole busy which then saw the end of the round. In the second round we saw a much more calm and composed Ole who stayed technical and kept the fight standing, even though Felipe was getting the better of the boxing exchange due to his superior reach advantage, Laursen kept attacking the legs which were going unchecked and was doing heavy damage, with 2 minutes left in the fight Felipe threw a combination which ended with a head kick that connected with Ole’s head, dropping and dazing him, Felipe seized the opportunity and swarmed on Laursen not giving him an inch throwing heavy hands which made Ole give up his back and without wasting a second Felipe sinked in a choke which saw the end of the fight and the event.
All in all ONE FC did not fail to deliver quality fights which were very exciting and show cased the level of talent that Asia has in terms of MMA. Next up is ONE FC 3 on the 31st of March, which I am personally very excited about, as it features the return of MMA and UFC veteran, former Strikeforce Light heavyweight Champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral who is my favorite fighter and he goes up against Dutch Muay Thai wrecking machine Melvin Manhoef who has fought in big organizations like Strikeforce, Dream, K-1 and much more.