May 29, 2013
My ONE (FC) and ONLY
ONE Fighting Championship.
ONE FC for short. It’s a Singapore-based group that is now THE most PRESTIGIOUS and THE most POPULAR mixed martial arts organization in the East. That’s our part of town. So popular is ONE FC that it can now be spoken in the same breath as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Yes, the UFC. The No. 1 fight organization in the West. And to think that ONE FC is just on an infant stage having been formed three years ago.
Yes, we all love the UFC. They’re the star of the show, really. They’re the MMA yardstick. Name it. Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Jon “Bones” Jones. Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Matt Hughes. Georges “Rush” St.-Pierre. Randy Cutoure. BJ Penn. Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva. And even our very own Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz and Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Unless you hate seeing blood and a wooz, we all love the adrenaline-spiked fight world!
That’s why I love ONE FC too. And for many reasons. And here’s 10 reasons why? David Letterman be proud.
10. Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver
One of my early MMA education included Pulver, the inaugural UFC lightweight champion. How can I forget his victory over BJ Penn about more than a decade ago? That win was one of Penn’s two losses at lightweight. He is 38 years old now and still fighting at ONE FC. I got a rare chance of chatting with him and getting him to agree to have a picture of me. And that’s enough for me.
9. Chrisine Hallauer
Unlike Pulver, I don’t have a photo with Christine. Not because my wife will kill me. It’s just that the line is too long. You see, you have to queue before you can get her to sign an autograph or a have photo op with her. This bomb shell tends to that to hot-blooded males. Did I tell you she’s a Filipino-Swiss born in Australia?
8. Andrei Arlovski
He’s a heavyweight. You also see him in movies. I’m not particularly a big fan of Arlovski but man, he’s a legend. So having seen him in person and fight this next guy on the list when ONE FC first visited Manila last year at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, it was a treat and ONE (FC) hell of an experience.
7. Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia.
To tell you honestly, I hate Sylvia just for this one reason: He once defeated Brandon Vera. That’s all. But when I get to see the guy, I suddenly turned into a fan. You should see this guy. Scary. Mammoth. Huge. He’s probably bigger than Andre The Giant. When you get to talk to him though, he’s not that bad. For those who missed him the last time he came, you’re all lucky. Because he’s BACK doing a reprise.
6. Loren Mack
Loren Mack heads the media and marketing group of ONE FC. But long before ONE FC was born, I already knew Loren. We met in London when myself, as a writer of The Philippine STAR, was assigned to cover the fight between Brandon Vera and Fabricio Werdum of Brazil at the O2 Stadium. I was with The Inquirer’s June Navarro, Tempo sports editor Rey Bancod and ABS-CBN’s Diane Castillejo. Yes, Vera lost that fight but at least I had forged a friendship with this cool guy.
5. Phil Baroni
The New York Badass. If I decided to challenge a mafia into a royal rumble, I will get this guy on my side. He’s got this spectacular punching power that we he catches you open, it will be lights out for you. He showed that when he fought in Manila in ONE FC. If you also missed him, he’s also back for an encore. And it shouldn’t be missed!
4. Team Lakay
Man, I love Team Lakay to the core. They’re one of the best local fight groups in the country today and they are growing. Evolving to be exact because it used to be that Team Lakay is known only for its striking thanks to its deep wushu or kung-fu roots. They are training ground-and-pound now. If they can further up their ante and master jiu-jutsi or wrestling more, they’ll be more dangerous.
3. Filipino fighters
Oh you should see our guys. Honorio Banario. Kevin Belingon. Eduard Folayang. Even Eric Kelly. They’re a delight to see. They’re four of the best, if not the best, strikers in ONE FC right now. They have submission skills and defense too, making them more dangerous. I will not miss their figthts for the world.
2. Shinya Aoki
I’m one of the lucky people who get to watch this fighter display his fighting talents. And I witnessed it twice in ONE FC both in Singapore. And he didn’t disappoint. He showed me he’s no the king of flying submissions for nothing. If I can’t convince you enough, this Japanese demolished two fighters, Arnaud Lepont and Kotetsu “No Face” Boku in just less than two rounds.
1. Victo Cui
This man is the main reason why we’re experiencing ONE FC right now. If not for his vision and leadership, we will have just a few MMA choice to select to aside from the usual daily dish like the UFC. I have probably thanked him a countless times for the ONE FC. But I would like to make it official by thanking him in here in Sportsmaryosep. So thank you Victor Cui! You’re the man.
Remember Anthony Suntay: He’s now the voice of the ONE FC cage. He’s also our man out there in the ONE FC. Stand proud and represent! And oh. Will Hsu will KILL me if I didn’t mention him and the Monsters Prod guys! You guys ROCK too! By the way, these below are my ONE FC buds! Handsome and cool dudes just like Anthony!
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Some of the photos are courtesy of ONE FC and my bud Brossi Gonzales)