China’s top two bantamweights went to war in the main event of “ONE FC: Destiny of Champions.” In the end, it was the seasoned veteran who prevailed over the young contender, as Xian Ji defeated Yadong Song by unanimous decision.
Song survived an early scare at the Beijing Olympic Gymnasium when Ji came close with one of his trademark guillotines, but the 20-year-old prospect powered out and finished the round on a high, as he piled the pressure on the former Legend FC 135-pound champion with constant flurries of hard hooks.
Ji appeared to be preserving his energy and was more effective in the second round as he timed one of Song’s power punches to sweep away his front leg and began to drive the Ruff veteran back with some combinations of his own.
As the third round got underway, it was clear that Song’s earlier aggression had taken its toll and his output dropped dramatically. This allowed Ji to seize the initiative, which he did in spectacular style, rocking the young contender with a combination of punches and a head kicks.
With his face a bloodied mess, Song looked to be on his last legs and he staggered backwards across the cage, but rather than move in for the kill, Ji, who must have been feeling the pace himself by this stage, elected to see out the round and take a clear-cut decision win.
With the victory, Ji, who went the distance for the first time in his entire career, moves up to 12-2, while Song dropped to 4-1-0-1 after tasting defeat for the first time. The fight delivered sufficient action and entertainment for the commentators to already be speculating about the possibility of a rematch.
In the co-main event, Adrian Pang (21-8-2) got his ONE FC career off to a perfect start with a submission victory over Vincent Latoel (15-16-2). The Australian controlled the first two rounds by landing power punches and taking the Dutchman down and peppering him with strikes from top position.
While Latoel was second best for most of the fight, he succeeded in landing some hard leg kicks and also opened up a couple of cuts on Pang’s face, although he was countered with a huge right hand at the end of the second round.
Pang has been out of action for over a year and reportedly struggling to make weight, so the Australian might have been expected to fade in the final round, but he had saved his best for last, catching Latoel in a guillotine choke as the Dutchman attempted an ill-advised takedown.
There was also drama in the catchweight contest between Michal Pasternak (11-0) and Rafael Silva (39-15). The Polish fighter spent the majority of the first two rounds in top position, where he stayed busy with elbows and punches, although the majority of these shots were at least partially blocked.
Pasternak appeared to be firmly in control, but early in the third round his legs gave way and he collapsed to the canvass. It was not clear what had happened, but when Silva tried to capitalize by going to the ground, he ended up on the bottom yet again.
The undefeated fighter continued to soften his Portugese opponent with punches and elbows, but referee Yuji Shimada wasn’t impressed and stood them up with under a minute remaining in the round. At this stage, it became clear there was something badly wrong with Pasternak’s knee, but Silva couldn’t do enough in the final seconds to prevent his crippled opponent from claiming a unanimous decision win.
This was ONE FC’s first foray into mainland China and two exciting young local prospects emerged, as 19-year-old Li Kai Wen (2-0) won the 145-pound tournament by beating two separate opponents in succession and 20-year-old Li Wei Bin (2-0) replicating this achievement in the 125-pound competition.
Both of these youngsters showcased outstanding striking, as Bin won his first fight by by submission and the second by by decision, while Wen registering a TKO victory in the semifinal and went the distance in the final.
In the first fight on the main card, BJJ black belt Ariel Sexton (9-3-1) absolutely dominated last minute replacement Anvar Alizhanov (3-1) on the ground before finishing him with an unconventional reverse triangle keylock.
This may have been ONE FC’s first ever event in mainland China, but the promotion is set to do ten more shows in the country over the course of 2015, with the next show scheduled for the Guangzhou Gymnasium on Feb. 6, so for Friday night’s big winners like Ji, Bin and Wen, it promises to be a busy year.
ONE FC: Dynasty of Champions Results
Ji Xian def. Song Ya Dong by Unanimous Decision
Adrian Pang def. Vincent Latoel by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:15, R3
Li Kai Wen def. Wang Ya Wei by Unanimous Decision
Li Wei Bin def. Wang Wei by Unanimous Decision
Michal Pasternak def. Rafael Silva by Unanimous Decision
Ariel Sexton def. Anvar Alizhanov by Submission (Reverse Triangle Armlock) at 3:18, R1
Wang Ya Wei def. Li Gen by TKO (Strikes) at 2:26, R1
Li Kai Wen def. He Nan Nan by TKO (Strikes) at 2:19, R1
Wang Wei def. Liu Xu by Unanimous Decision
Li Wei Bin def. Hao Yi Jie by Submission (Armbar) at 2:51, R1
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