One Championship successfully made its first appearance in 2019 in the Philippines with One Championship: Hero's Ascent, which went down at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Moraes Wins Rubber Match With Eustaquio, Takes Flyweight Title
The main event showcased the first trilogy in promotional history, between Adriano Moraes and Geje Eustaquio. In their first encounter, Moraes submitted Eustaquio, then lost via split decision to the Brazilian in their rematch. Once again, the One flyweight championship was on the line.
The bout started with both fighters feeling each other out for the majority of the first stanza, Moraes controlling the center of the cage and Eustaquio taking the initiative and landing punches. The exchanges between the contenders became wild in the second round, as Moraes took the action to the ground and from there attempted to submit his opponent. A crazy scramble followed as both fighters traded takedowns and submission attempts to end the round. The pace slowed down a bit in the third stanza, with Eustaquio finally finding his range and timing and displaying first some striking finesse, then some takedown defense acumen.
The plot was the same going into the championship rounds, until the Brazilian took down his opponent late in the round and caught him in a deep kneebar from back mount, also known as a “Suloev stretch.” The Filipino managed to survive, showing inhuman flexibility. In the final canto, Eustaquio was once again taken down, but landed punches and elbows from his back. Moraes controlled Eustaquio, but struggled to pass his guard, only succeeding in the last 30 seconds of the final round. In the end, American Top Team representative Moraes took a unanimous decision and the flyweight belt.
Undefeated Lowen Tynanes Mauls Honorio Banario To Advance in Lightweight Grand Prix
In the co-feature, Honorio Banario (14-8) fell to Lowen Tynanes (10-0) in the first bout of the One Lightweight World Grand Prix quarter-finals. Tynanes completely dominated his opponent on the ground, before securing a crucifix position. From there, the 28-year-old fighter mauled the Filipino with elbows.
The official clock indicated 4:46 of the opening stanza when referee stopped the contest. The Hawaii Elite MMA export will face the winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Timofey Nastyukhin, who will fight at One Championship’s event in Japan in March.
Danny Kingad Edges Tatsumitsu Wada
Elsewhere, Danny Kingad (9-1) faced Tatsumitsu Wada (21-10-2, 1 NC). The Japanese took his opponent to the ground immediately, where he had secured the victory in his previous bout in One Championship. The Filipino, though, showed that he could hold his own grappling and dominated Wada on the mat in Round 1. Kingad threatened with several submissions, which Wada defended well.
In the second round, Wada seemed more comfortable and managed to stem Kingad’s grit by landing some knees. Shortly afterwards, Wada took his opponent’s back and tried to lock a rear-naked choke, but the Filipino spun and ended the round on top. In the final stanza, Kingad was taken down again, but escaped and landed heavy strikes once he was back on his feet. After three rounds, the judges awarded Kingad the victory via unanimous decision. The Team Lakay representative is now on a four-bout winning streak, all by decision.
Newcomer Reinier de Ridder Chokes Rong Fan Unconscious
In the opening bout, undefeated Reinier de Ridder’s (10-0) first foray in One Championship went smoothly as he submitted China’s Rong Fan (7-2) via D’Arce choke at 1:51 of the first stanza. The fight took an ugly turn for the Chinese fighter after de Ridder secured a takedown. Once on the ground, the Dutch fighter imposed his superior grappling ability and closed a slick D’Arce choke that left his opponent out cold.