Conor MacGregor versus Khabib Nurmagomedov and the whole UFC 229 card is what’s on everyone’s mind, however there are other events happening beforehand, specifically in Southeast Asia.
On 5 October, Jumabieke Tuerxun, former UFC, RUFF and Legend FC contender, heads into the playoffs of PFL 2018 against a new opponent, Alexandre de Almeida. Originally he was to face former Bellator champ Marcos Galvao but shifts in the card were made. Bieke’s got two losses in the round robin tournament so far, so it’ not likely that he’s going to win any of the $1 million prize money. De Almeida is 1-1, so if he can land his usual back choke, he’ll have the chance of moving on. PFL 8 should be airing on Facebook at 18:00 New Orleans time.
Early Saturday in Asia, and Friday in Las Vegas, Quintet.3 takes place live on UFC FightPass. Famous MMA fighters will join in the five-on-five team grappling contest including founder Kazushi Sakuraba, Daisuke Nakamura, Josh Barnett, Marcos Souza, Roberto Satoshi Souza, Urijah Faber, Vitor Ribeiro and Gregor Gracie. Plus, two special matches inlcude Frank Mir versus Satoshi Ishii, and Tokoro versus young upstart grappler Nicky Ryan.
On 6 October, Southeast Asia sees the action with ONE Championship in Bangkok, Thailand and One Pride in Jakarta, Indonesia.
ONE Championship: Kingdom of Heroes starts live and free on the ONE app at 17:30 local time. The card is heavy on the stand up battles, including the main event WBC super flyweight title fight between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Iran Diaz. There will be six MMA matches. Shinya Aoki and Ev Ting are set for a lightweight contenders battle, with the winner getting a shot at whoever takes the vacated belt from the November championship fight between Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan.
After dipping his feet in the UFC pool, Leandro Issa is back on a three-fight win streak in ONE. He’ll be facing Muir Gafurov, who dipped his toes in ONE without success, went home and improved his record with four wins in a row, and now he’s back. GRACHAN flyweight champion Hayato Suzuki makes his fourth walk to the ONE cage against Robin Catalan. The Catalans have been showing some very impressive improved grappling lately, but whether it’s up to Suzuki standards will need to be seen on fight night.
One Pride Fight Night 23 starts at 22:00 Jakarta time and will be live on the TVOne app. As per usual, this edition of the weekly series will have a total of six matches. The main event will be welterweight champ Rudy Gunawan taking on number one-ranked Alwin Kincai. Gunawan is making his fourth title defense. Both fighters are undefeated and only once have either of them heard the bell for the end of round one. Guaranteed Hulk Smash material.
Also on One Pride, Ade Permana and Wahyu Wijayanto will face off in a semifinals match of the atomweight tournament. They are both 2-0 and all of their combined fights have ended by rear naked chokes. So, we know where this one’s going. The One Pride atomweights are creating a lot of “don’t blink” moments.
On 6 October in the US, Mongolian flyweight standout Rentsen Otgontulga will fight on Arizona regional event RUF MMA 29. Otguntulgaa is listed as 3-0 but has many unrecorded fights as well. He’s been training at JacksonWink for quite some time, and perhaps they feel confident enough in his phenom status and have put him in front of 38-8 José Maria Tomé. This event will air at 18:00 Arizona time and have a PPV on RUFMMA.net.
Of course the big one on this weekend is UFC 229: Khabib versus McGregor. Thirteen fights, terrific matches, exciting fighters, and likely tons of action will have fans in Asia awake early on Sunday morning and watching live with the rest of the world.
On Monday 7 October, DEEP Cage Impact returns to Osaka for a fun card with some well known names like “Monkey” Yuya Shibata, Jutaro Nakao and Koji Nakamura. Likely this one will not be streamed.