Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson book tournament finals with wins at ONE: Dawn of Heroes

August 2, 2019

Martin Nguyen stopped Koyomi Matsushima to successfully defend his featherweight title at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila on Friday. The Australian picked up the pace in the second round and found the finish with a barrage of punches that sent the Japanese fighter crashing to the canvass.

The fight started slowly, but it was clear that Matsushima wanted to get Nguyen down. The champion was able to fight off the majority of the attempts and when he did end up on his back he didn’t stay there for long.

There were a couple of interruptions as the referee needed to prevent the fighters from falling over the ropes, but Nguyen succeeded in timing a takedown and landing a knee right on the bell and he carried this momentum into the second stanza.

Matsushima looked out of ideas as Nguyen stuffed his takedowns, at one stage the Japanese fighter simply lay on his back and waited for the Australian to attack. That’s exactly what he did and the onslaught continued from a standing position.

Nguyen trapped Matsushima in the corner and landed a right hand which put the challenger on wobbly legs. A follow up flying knee narrowly missed, but right hooks to the body and head both found their mark with a hard body kick thrown in for good measure.

A right hand dropped Matsushima and the Japanese fighter could do nothing but cover up as Nguyen rained down punches until the referee had no choice but to call off the contest. The champion improves to 13-3 while the challenger drops to 11-4.

Earlier in the evening Eddie Alvarez came from behind to submit Eduard Folayang. The Filipino dropped the former UFC champion with a low kick and then attacked relentlessly with hammer fists from top position.

Folayang, who tagged Alvarez with a left hook at the start of the fight, looked to be seconds away from securing the finish. Alvarez was somehow able to sweep and then instantly take the former champion’s back, locking in a rear naked choke to stun the Filipino fans.

The 35-year-old now meets Saygid Arslanaliev in the final of the ONE Championship Lightweight Grand Prix. That fight is set for ONE: Century in October and represents a second chance for the American, who was reinstated in the tournament after two semifinalists pulled out with injuries.

The other ex-UFC champion on the card won in slightly less dramatic fashion. Demetrious Johnson found himself in some adverse positions against Tatsumitsu Wada, but was able to finish the fight stronger and claimed a unanimous decision victory.

Johnson didn’t seem particularly happy with his performance, but he booked a spot in the final of the ONE Championship Flyweight Grand Prix, also at ONE: Century, where he will meet Danny Kingad, who claimed a split-decision victory over Reece McLaren in Manila.

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ONE: Dawn of Heroes Results

  • ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Koyomi Matsushima by TKO (Strikes) at 4:40 minutes of round 2
  • ONE Super Series Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship bout: Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Jonathan Haggerty by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds
  • ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Eddie Alvarez defeats Eduard Folayang by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:16 minutes of round 1
  • ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Demetrious Johnson defeats Tatsumitsu Wada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
  • ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Danny Kingad defeats Reece McLaren by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds
  • ONE Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight bout: Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym defeats Andrew Miller by Knockout (KO) at 0:49 minutes of round 3
  • Mixed Martial Arts Flyweight bout: Yuya Wakamatsu defeats Geje Eustaquio by Knockout (KO) at 1:59 minutes of round 1
  • Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight bout: Dae Sung Park defeats Honorio Banario by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
  • Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Daichi Takenaka defeats Leandro Issa by TKO (Strikes) at 1:39 minutes of round 3
  • Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight bout: James Nakashima defeats Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
  • Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight bout: Xie Bin defeats Edward Kelly by Technical Decision (TD)
  • Mixed Martial Arts Catchweight bout (57.0kg): Miao Li Tao defeats Pongsiri Mitsatit by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
  • Mixed Martial Arts Women’s Strawweight bout: Ayaka Miura defeats Samara Santos by Submission (Americana) at 0:39  minutes of round 2
  • Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Muhammad Aiman defeats Sunoto by Unanimous Decision at after 3 rounds