High Fives: Spirited Barnburner

By Guy Portman Jul 2, 2018
Bellator 201 was not the only significant mixed martial arts event to take place over the weekend of June 29-July 1. One Championship “Spirit of a Warrior” on Friday in Yangon, Myanmar, hosted several pivotal bouts, and there were other intriguing matches on the regional circuit. Here are five of the highlights:

INSTANT CLASSIC … A middleweight title clash between Myanmarese champion Aung La N Sang and Japanese challenger Ken Hasegawa headlined One Championship “Spirit of A Warrior.” It proved to be a highly entertaining, back-and-forth affair that was contested mostly on the feet. The end came in fifth round, where the champion followed a flurry of body punches with a left hook to the head and a fight-finishing uppercut to the chin. “The Burmese Python” improved to 23-10 with his successful title defense. Hasegawa slipped to 16-3.

QUICK FINISH … In other One Championship action, Brazilian Leandro Issa squared off against Saipan’s Roman Alvarez at bantamweight. Early in the first round, Alvarez floored Issa with two left hooks to the head. Moments later, Issa forced the fight to the canvas. Having secured an arm-triangle choke from mount, he slid to side control, kept squeezing and forced his overwhelmed opponent to tap 1:23 into the first frame. With the win, “Brodinho” rose to 16-6, while Alvarez fell to 6-2.

TAKE A ’BOW … One Championship also hosted a lightweight clash between Japan’s Tetsuya Yamada and Brazil’s Rafael Nunes. Yamada came close to finishing the contest with a tight kimura in the first round. In the second, a Yamada elbow from guard left “Indio” dazed. Having seen enough, the referee waved off the fight 4:05 into Round 2. Yamada moved to 26-6, with Nunes dropping to 11-2.

FINE MARGINS … The Legacy Fighting Alliance 44 main event on Friday in Phoenix saw Australia’s Matthew Frincu pitted against Christian Aguilera at welterweight. Aguilera had his moments, but Frincu utilized his height advantage to good effect; his left cross was his most potent weapon. In seeing his hand raised by unanimous decision, “The Thunder From Down Under” improved to 13-3. Aguilera dipped to 11-5.


GUILLOTINE FALLS … In the Titan Fighting Championship 50 co-headliner on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Slovenia’s Uros Jurisic faced off with Jose Caceres for the Titan welterweight title. After a tentative start on the feet, Jurisic rocked his opponent with a left-right hook combo to the head that sent Caceres falling backwards. The Slovenian immediately grabbed a guillotine choke, rolled to his back and kept tightening his grip. Caceres tapped out 1:34 into the first round. Jurisic remains unbeaten at 8-0. Caceres dropped to 14-8.

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