ONE Conquest of Champions: Vera, Folayang victorious in world title bouts

PASAY — Every Brandon Vera fight in ONE Championship could probably use this disclaimer for fans: Don’t blink.

In just 64 seconds, Brandon Vera retained his ONE heavyweight world championship title via first round knockout against challenger Mauro Cerilli in the co-main event of ONE Conquest of Champions Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After an almost two-year hiatus, “The Truth” returned to the world of mixed martial arts after trying out show business in the Philippines. But in his return to competition in front of his Filipino fans, Vera made sure that the victory would come much quicker.

Vera caught the charging Cerilli with picture-perfect left hook, which deposited the Italian to the canvas instantly. Referee Olivier Coste quickly moved in to halt the bout at the 1:04 mark of round one, giving Vera a knockout victory in his second world title defense.

Vera, who fought out of the Alliance Training Center, hiked his professional record to 16 wins against seven losses. All of Vera’s four victories in ONE Championship are first round knockouts.

With his five-fight winning streak snapped, Cerilli drops to 12-2.

 

The 2018 gold rush continues for Team Lakay

Eduard Folayang crowned himself as ONE lightweight world champion anew, outclassing Singapore’s Amir Khan in the co-main event of ONE Conquest of Champions.

Banking on his mixed martial arts experience, striking artistry and improved wrestling, the Filipino fighter known as “Landslide” put on a dominant display against the 24-year old Khan to regain the title he lost in November 2017.

Folayang uncorked his signature spinning elbows and roundhouse kicks as early as the second round, bloodying Khan’s nose in the process. The pride of Evolve MMA tried to bring the fight to the ground, but Folayang stopped every takedown and submission attempt by the Singaporean.

From rounds three to five, Folayang would control the distance with variety of strikes as Khan found it difficult to mount any offense against the former lightweight world champion. In the end, Folayang would earn a unanimous decision victory to capture the lightweight title vacated by his former tormentor, Martin Nguyen.

In capturing his second world title, Folayang joins stablemates Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio and Kevin Belingon in the list of current ONE world champions.to

Undercard results

Former ONE Featherweight world champion Honorio Banario claimed a unanimous decision victory over India’s Rahul Raju in the main supporting bout. The Team Lakay product showcased improved takedown defense for majority of the fight, foiling numerous attempts of Raju, who replaced Korean fighter Dae Sung Park in the fight card last Wednesday.

In the second round, Banario wrestled his way out of a rear-naked choke attempt by the “Kerala Krusher”. The former world titlist also had a submission attempt of his own, a kimura lock, only to be thwarted by Raju.

With both fighters visibly gassed, it was Banario who seemed to have enough gas left in the tank in the third and final round. “The Rock” continued to frustrate Raju, who chased the Filipino fighter all over the cage. It was Banario, though, who scored a takedown in the final minute of the third round, turning it into a standing rear-naked choke attempt.

In a Muay Thai Super Series bout, Saemapetch Fairtex edged Russian Alaverdi Ramazanov via unanimous decision.

Undefeated welterweight prospect James Nakashima, fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona’s MMA Lab, earned a unanimous decision win over Raimond Magomedaliev of Russia.

Hiroaki “Kaibutsukun” Suzuki of Japan defeated Deividas Danyla of Lithuania via unanimous decision in a Super Series kickboxing bout.

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