In this edition of Friday Fight Facts, September roars into action with title fights from Indonesia through China to Japan.
JUST MMA – Hong Kong 3
Hong Kong, China
Starting Friday off, JUST MMA – Hong Kong 3 takes place in the city that never sleeps. Almost all of the home-grown fighters from Hong Kong are on this card, including the main event fighter Kenny Yeung who featured in Legend FC’s first ever event. He’ll fight CKF standout Cao Zheng. The Hong Kong fighters include Sasha Palatnikov, Nosh Khanzada, Bernard Fung, Redd Baluyos, Andy Tang, Lanner Pariyar, and Enoch Chan. In a fight to watch, Rodrigo Caporal prodigy Roberto Medalla will face Shooto prospect Max Leali, who’s also nominated for the Asia MMA Awards Rookie of the Year. The main card matches can be watched at 21:00 Hong Kong time on the i-Cable app.
ONE: Beyond the Horizon
On Saturday, ONE Championship lands in the city of Shanghai, China for ONE: Beyond the Horizon. The main event is a title fight between reigning women’s strawweight champ Xiong Jingnan and Brazilian newcomer Samara Santos. The winner is likely to face Angela Lee as the next challenger. Former featherweight champ Honorio Banario is looking good at 70kgs and riding a five-fight win streak into his match with Singapore’ phenom Amir Khan.
Also on the ONE card, Edward Kelly and Christian Lee should put on a fearsome match as both are rebounding from losses – Kelly to contender Jadamba, and Lee from a title challenge to Martin Nguyen. Rites of Passage champ and PXC standout Roman Alvarez returns for his second time to ONE against fellow sophomore Daichi Tanaka, Shooto Pacific Rim champ. Chinese grappler Chen Lei will take on former MIMMA champ Muhummad Aiman. The event can be watched live on the ONE app.
Fight Nights Global 89
Saturday in China is also playing host to Fight Nights Global 89 in Bozhou. The main event is a middleweight match between kickboxing champion Vladimir Mineev and Brazilian standout Julio Cesar Araujo Fernandez. In the co-main event, grappling whiz Ma Shuang drops back to his bantamweight frame to face Konstantin Kireev. Many Russia versus China matches are set. Cage grabber Aliyev will face Yue Zhengzheng this time, another smaller bantamweight who rises a weight class to meet him. Grappling savvy Sergei Lyubimov is back in action against Mongolia’s Huser. And a women’s match at 52kg is set between Darya Mikheeva and Zhang Xin Miao.
One Pride FN 22
Late on Saturday night, One Pride FN 22’s next installment will feature the featherweight championship between two of Indonesia’s best new fighters: phenomenal grappler Hafid Nur Maradi and brutal Deni Arif Fadhillah. Asia MMA Awards 2018 Rookie of the Year nominee Theodorus Ginting will face stunning finisher Rysanda Julio Dirgantara in a ranking match that will get someone close to the welterweight belt. Atomweights Ade Permana and Anwar Hidayat should also not be missed. This five-fight segment will air on the TVOne app at 22:00 Jakarta time.
On Sunday, Tokyo is the place to be, with Pancrase 299 at Studio Coast and Grachan 36 at the Ota Ward Gymnasium.
At Pancrase 299, former featherweight King of Pancrase Issei Tamura welcomes Taichi Nakajima back to Japan, after he spent over two years in ACB. Issei has mounted a win streak since his title loss, while Nakajima’s lost two in a row to go 2-3 in the promotion. Women’s strawweight takes the co-main slot with Ayaka Miura facing Brazil’s Cris Macfer. Surging bantamweight Taiyo Hayashi will also face a Brazilian, the undefeated Joao Saldanha. Pancrase 299 will also host the 2018 Neoblood Tournament finals in the flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight divisions. The event can be watched live on FightPass at 17:00 Tokyo time.
Grachan 36: Tenth Anniversary
Grachan 36 will be the promotion’s celebration of their tenth year, a very commendable accomplishment. A whopping four titles will be on the line. At flyweight, tournament winner Takashi Matsuba makes his first defense against Seigo Yamamoto. At bantamweight Tomohiko Hori will make his first defense against former Grachan champ, and Heat and Gladiator challenger Motonobu Tezuka. After beating Kengo Ura and Shigeki Osawa, featherweight champ Yohei Sakamoto takes on Toru Harai, a match that shows the development of talent in Grachan in the last couple of years. At lightweight, hot prospect Takuya Yamamoto takes a big jump up in opponents against Gladiator champ and former DEEP title challenger Yasuaki Kishimoto.
And don’t forget the double title matches on Sunday morning’s UFC 228, Tyron Woodley versus Darren Till, and Nicco Montano versus Valentina Shevchenko. Everyone at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand will be rooting for Shevchenko. Opening the card is former PXC champion Frank “The Crank” Camacho.