This week, ONE FC added four new fights to its eighteenth card, War of Dragons:
Paul Cheng vs Mahmoud Hassan
Koji Ando vs Rafael Nunes
Mohamed Ali vs Jake Butler
Koetsu Okazaki vs Yusup Saadulaev
The Cheng fight should come as no surprise. Not only did Cheng win his last fight over Alain Ngalani in a devastating fashion, but Taipei’s MMA fans will no doubt be flocking to the National Taiwan University Sports Center to cheer their hometown hero as he tries to rack up another win against Hassan, who will be struggling to end a three-fight losing streak.
Koji Ando and Rafeal Nunes will both be making their ONE FC debuts in Taipei. Nunes, a twenty-six-year-old Sao Paulo native, will be looking to keep his undefeated streak alive against the Japanese Ando, who has never been knocked out or submitted.
Mohamed Ali, who easily has the most famous name on the card, will also be making his ONE FC debut. The thirty-one-year-old Egyptian is a teammate of Mahmoud Hassan at Egyptian Top Team, and has won six of his last ten fight via submission. His opponent will be Jake Butler, the Princeton-educated economics major who made headlines around the world when he quit his job at Wall Street to fight in Asia. Though Butler only has four fights and three wins under his belt, those three wins have all happened in the first round. Ali will have his work cut out for him.
Rounding out the card so far will be the bantamweight match between Japan’s Koetsu Okazaki and America’s Yusup Saadulaev. Okazaki is a seasoned Shooto fighter with a 9 – 3 record, but he had better keep his grappling sharp if he hopes to walk out of War of Dragons with a “W” next to his name. Saadulaev has not only never been submitted, but he has won eight of his last thirteen victories by forcing his opponent to tap. If his match with Okazaki turns into a grappling match, Saadulaev can be sure that his debut in ONE FC will be a good one.
War of Dragons takes place on July 11. However, those who can’t wait for ONE FC action can tune in to livesport.tv this Saturday night to see the promotion’s seventeenth event, Era of Champions. Fight of the Night will be covering all of the action live for both events.