This week’s Friday Fight Facts is a compendium of punching that spans the globe. From two of Japan’s oldest events on the same weekend, two three Asian fighters on UFC 227, MMA is out in full force.
Friday August 3rd kicks off with Shooto in Tokyo, and bookends there too, with Pancrase 298. In between, there’s MMA in Indonesia, Malaysia, and all the way across the globe.
At tonight’s This is Shooto Volume 2, a seven fight card was capped off with former Road to UFC: Japan contender Tatsuya Ando facing diehard Shootist Hideto Okada. The event’s not broadcast live, so we’ll update with the results once confirmed by the promotion. Shooto will also have an amateur card in Osaka on Sunday.
On Saturday in Malaysia, Ultimate Beatdown 29 has a commendable 13 all-amateur fights in Plaza Sentosa. Not only are Malaysian hopefuls stepping in the cage, there are representatives from the Phillipines, India, Vietnam, Singapore, and even Brunei. With Tune Talk’s MIMMA on hiatus between seasons, UB is filling the gap for amateurs getting more experience.
In Indonesia, One Pride Fight Night 20 has 5 fights live at 10pm local time live on the TVOne app. In the headliner, a welterweight fight between Andicka Mamesah and Fredy Irawan is expected to bring someone closer towards the belt contention.
Also on Saturday, Philippines oldest MMA organization continues its US expansion with URCC: Destiny in Richmond, California. The main event is long time UFC vet Tyson Griffin versus Bellator vet Jordan Bailey. Also, PXC, Strikeforce, DREAM, and UFC vet Darren Uyenoyama is returning to the cage after a 2 year hiatus to face URCC and Pancrase vet Ryan Dela Cruz. The event will be a PPV on Cleeng for $25 starting at 3pm local time.
On Saturday night and Sunday morning for Asia, UFC 227 will be live from Los Angeles with Dillashaw versus Garbrandt 2. Opening up the card will be Wulijiburen’s second Octagon appearance. The Chinese fighter will be trying for his first UFC victory against Marlon Viera. China’s female superstar Zhang Weili, Kunlun fight double division champ, will make her UFC debut against Danielle Taylor. Making the triumverate of Asian fighters is 5-time UFC veteran Kang Kyung-Ho of Korea. The former ROAD FC champ has a very good chance of bringing his win streak up to three against Ricardo Ramos, whom he’s watched defeat an opponent they’ve shared, Michinori Tanaka. All three UFC 227 prelim matches can be watched live on FightPass at 6:30pm local time.
On Sunday, Pancrase 298 wraps up the weekend at Studio Coast in Tokyo, Japan. Long time women’s MMA warhorse Emi Fujino finally gets to fight for a belt as she faces Viviane Araujo for the Queen of Pancrase strawweight belt. Fujino’s riding a win streak of four since double stoppages by rare cuts against China’s Weili and Yan Xiaonan. Also on the card is another women’s bout that will have all eyes on it, Thai boxing standout Loma Lookboonmee’s second pro MMA fight versus Hana Date. Another notable match on the card is a strawweight grapplefest Ryo Hatta versus Marcus Paulo Amaral. Hiroshige Tanaka versus Mike Grundy has been canceled as Grundy injured his neck. Pancrase 298 will be live on FightPass at 4:30pm Japan time.