Well, ONE FC fans, tonight is the night.  War of Nations kicks off from Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Negara and is guaranteed not to disappoint.  Not only will fans see hard-hitting Kevin Belingon take on the undefeated Dae Hwan Kim, but tonight will be the night ONE fills its currently vacant welterweight championship spot.  The fights start at 7pm (GMT +8) and Fight of the Night will be covering all of the action live.  Make sure to check back with us every fifteen minutes for the latest results.


Nobutatsu Suzuki def Brock Larson (unanimous decision)

ONE FC’s inaugural welterweight championship was a typical mismatched fight between a submission artist and a striker.  On the one side stood Brock Larson, a grappler with twenty-five submission victories under his belt.  On the other side stood Nobutatsu Suzuki, a karate-practitioner who, despite having fewer than half of Larson’s wins, won all of his matches via knock-out.

However, the fight not only turned out to be mismatched, but one-sided.  While Larson was able to land some strikes and takedowns in the first round, the remaining four rounds were a cat-and-mouse game with Brock playing the part of the mouse, and Suzuki playing the part of the cat.  Brock stayed close to the perimeter of the ring, running and side-stepping away from his opponent, but Suzuki gave chase and continued to harass his opponent with sporadic, well-timed strikes.

Nobutatsu’s strategy paid off.  By the second round, Suzuki threw far fewer strikes than Larson, but landed more.  Later in the same round, he dropped Brock with a kick to the mid-section, and it was probably this kick (along with fatigue) that sealed Larson’s fate.

By the third round, the visibly winded Brock Larson was plodding around the perimeter of the ring and seemingly more concerned with surviving than winning.  Time and time again he went for a takedown, missed his mark, then pulled guard in some futile hope of bringing the fight to the ground.  Suzuki however, just stepped back and let the referee stand Brock up.

And by the fourth round, Brock could barely even do that. Going from being a mouse to being a tortoise on its shell, Brock struggled to get himself off his back and onto his two feet.  Suzuki, however, stayed relaxed as he chased Brock around the ring and assaulted him with punches.  By the time the final bell sounded, there was no question who would go down in history as the first welterweight champion of ONE FC.


Dae Hwan Kim def Kevin Belingon (submission – rear naked choke)

The Moraes /Urushitani fight put fans into an uncomfortable slumber, but the Kim/Belingon fight slapped them right out of it.  Like the Moraes fight, this one started out with a chase: Kim circled around the outside of the ring and Belingon circled after him.  Unlike the Moraes fight, the two fighters in this match quickly shifted into high gear and went after each other with a barrage of strikes.  But like the Moreas fight, it ended in a rear naked choke after Kim escaped Belingon’s bulldog choke and took his back.


Adriano Moraes def Yasuhiro Urushitani (submission – rear naked choke)

If War of Nations got off to a slow start, then Adriano Moraes and Yasuhiro Urushitani almost brought it to a grinding halt.  The first round could best be described as the two fighters reenacting a Road Runner cartoon – minus the laughs and Acme booby traps, that is.  Urushitani ran around the perimeter of the ring, Moraes ran after him, and only a few sporadically placed strikes broke up the monotony of the chase.

By the time round two rolled around, the referee gave both fighters a firm warning about their inactivity.  At first they continued where they left off from round one, but when the referee warned them again, Moraes (perhaps realizing the threat of losing ten percent of his purse) flew at his opponent with a hard, flurry of punches.

The action was short-lived, though, and the crowd booed the fighters.  But luckily for them (the crowd, that is) Moreas hit Urushitani with a double leg takedown, pulled him away from the cage, and before even sinking his hooks in, secured a rear naked choke.

Kamal Shalorus def Ariel Sexton (unanimous decision)

This fight brought something that most people probably would not expect from a match between a jiu-jitsu practitioner and a wrestler: strikes, and lots of them.  Right from the get-go both fighters came in swinging.  Kamal sought to hammer his opponent with overhand rights and lefts while Sexton favored an unusual, but surprisingly effective style of leaning forward and keeping his hands low.

The first round clearly favored the ageless (meaning his age is unknown) Iranian who was able to smash his opponent with hard overhands and dominate him with his wrestling.  While on the ground Sexton repeatedly tried to keep Kamal at bay with butterfly guards, but Shalorus was always able to swing his leg over and advance either into half guard or side mount.

By the second and third round, the tide appeared to be turning. Shalorus showed signs of fatigue and Sexton surpassed him in the number of strikes landed.  Ariel, however, was never able to take the fight to the ground, and Kamal’s superior wrestling no doubt helped him secure the victory.

Andrew Leone def Shinichi Kojima (unanimous decision)

If Shinichi Kojima learned one lesson from this fight, it’s that he needs to work on his wrestling when he steps in the cage with a wrestler.  Though the former Shooto bantamweight champion occasionally managed to push his much younger opponent off of him, Leone nailed takedown after takedown and ground himself to a victory with three rounds worth of short jabs, elbows, knees, and submission attempts.  When the referee raised Leone’s hand, Kojima stood there visibly irritated that his opponent (who weighed in heavy) won.

Kotetsu Boku def Arnaud Lepont (referee stoppage due to strikes)

Both the mohawked Lepont and the mustacheoed Boku came out bouncing lightly on their feet.  Lepont occasionally charged in with hard rights and lefts, but Boku countered with some powerful strikes of his own.  At one point Boku dropped Lepont with a knee to the groin, and though the Frenchman was clearly hurt, he shrugged off his pain and continued.

Again, Lepont charged in with strikes and again Boku countered with strikes of his own.  The round looked like it was going to continue at this pace, but Boku secured his win when he landed a body shot that sent Lepont crashing face first into the canvas.  After Boku threw in a couple of extra strikes on his downed opponent, the referee called a stop to the fight at 4:06 of the first round.

Peter Davis def Waqar Umar (referee stoppage due to strikes)

It would have been nothing short of a miracle if Waqar Umar had won tonight’s fight.  Less than two days before his match, he not only had to endure the bureaucratic nightmare that comes with being denied a visa, but had to lose six kilograms (13.2 pounds) in one day to make weight.  And to top it all off, he had to fight one of Malaysia’s best fighters . . . in Malaysia!

Despite these disadvantages, Umar put up a great fight and almost secured himself a victory with a guillotine submission in the first round.  Though Davis was able to pull out and continued pushing the pace with wild kicks, knees, and punches, Umar was able to keep his opponent at bay with solid counters.

The second round looked promising for Umar as Davis appeared winded. However, at 3:40 Davis landed a takedown and was able to keep Umar’s head pressed up against the fence.  Davis continued to grind out punches and elbows before he was able to tie one of Umar’s arms around his neck and jab Umar with a couple of short elbows.  After Davis elbowed Umar in the eye, the referee called a stop to the fight at 3:07.


Herbert Burns  def Harris Sarmiento (unanimous decision)

Short and to the point, this fight was all Burns.  Though Sarmiento was able to escape a first-round guillotine attempt, Burns dictated the action from the first bell to the last.  When the two stood, Burns held the center of the cage and chased Sarmiento around, taunting the Hawaiian with jabs, kicks, and clinches. When the two were on the ground, Burns lay on top and refused to let Sarmeinto so much as breathe.  By the end of the third round, there was no question as to who won.

Saiful Merican def Khim Dima (split decision: Judge 1: Merican, Judge 2: Dima, Judge 3: Merican)

War of Nations got off to a slow start . . . a very slow start . . . a start so slow that the referee had to repeatedly prod the fighters to “get going.”  Both the Malaysian hometown hero, Saiful Merican, and his twenty-one-year old opponent, Khim Dima, spent much of the first round feeling each other out and only throwing occasional hard kicks.

The second round, however, told a slightly different story.  Though Merican failed in his first attempt at a takedown, he made up for it by nailing a double leg at about 3:40.  Though not able to get any significant strikes, Merican controlled the action on the ground.  After the referee stood them up, Merican went right in for a second takedown, and after a scramble, he ended up in full mount.  Dima was helpless and could only hold on for dear life until the round ended.

Round three: Merican failed to get a takedown and took a nasty knee to the forehead from Dima.  The referee had to stop the fight briefly, but when it was clear Merican was able to keep going, the fight continued.   Merican kept pressing for takedowns and eventually got a double leg/leg trip.  Though Dima got an impressive sweep, Merican quickly got Dima back onto his back and kept Dima down for the remainder of the fight.



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Chris Zahar is an American-born journalist. He has been covering Asian MMA since 2013, and his work has been featured in both Fight of the Night and Yahoo Sports. He has also interviewed such top Asian, ONE FC stars as Rob Lisita, Paul Cheng, and Sam "Sung Ming Yen." Chris also has the honor of training at TOUGH MMA, the only Taiwanese fight team to have exclusive partnership with ONE Fighting Championship. In his spare time, Chris not only enjoys mixed martial arts, but studies politics, philosophy, and Chinese. He is also happily married and a proud father to his son. Chris resides in Taiwan.


  1. Thanks, guys. If there’s anything you want to share with me about my live coverage – thoughts, compliments, criticisms – feel free to post them here or email me.