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ONE Valor of Champions: Striegl makes impressive debut; Askren-Santos ends via eye poke



ONE Championship had their first Manila show for the year last Friday, April 24, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

In a night where it was almost a complete sweep for the Filipino fighters featured in the eight-deep card, it was the debut of Mark “Mugen” Striegl (14-1) whose star shined the brightest in making short work of previously unbeaten Casey Suire (5-1). Submission Sport Philippines’ Eugene Toquero (7-1) also brought the “action” in blasting Brianata Rosadhi (1-2). However, to cap the event, the World Welterweight Championship bout between Ben “Funky” Askren (14-0-1) and Luis “Sapo” Santos (61-9-1-1) ended with much drama as the match ended with an eye poke, the only downside to a great night of fights.

Here is the recap of ONE 26: Valor of Champions:

Askren-Santos ends in controversy

Making his Manila debut, Ben “Funky” Askren wanted to send the home fans with a classic to end the night. It was not meant to be for the unbeaten wrestler.

Askren immediately went for a shoot to open the match, but Luis Santos was able to sprawl out of it. “Sapo” became the aggressor soon after as he nailed Askren with head kicks and followed it up with two harai goshi (hip throws), the latter giving Santos the full mount. At the 3:17 mark of the opening round, the two had to be stood up due to inactivity. Seconds later, as Askren was measuring Santos, Askren accidentally pokes the right eye of the challenger with his thumb. Luis Santos was given five minutes to recover from it. When the five minutes were up, Santos refused to get out of his corner. Referee Olivier Coste had no choice but to call the match-off sending the Filipino fans into a frenzy of boos.

Post-fight, the ONE World Welterweight Champion told the members of the press that he did not feel that the poke directly hit the eye of Santos. “My plan was to go forward. When I hit him with the finger, I thought it was on the outside. I didn’t feel it was that bad, it was on the side of the eye. I mean he did not even let the doctor open his eye.”

Moreover, Askren stressed that he came into the event looking for a fight. Finally, when asked if Santos deserved a rematch, “Funky” told us: “I think that the promotion (ONE) is going to take a good look at it. If the doctor says he’s faking it, I don’t know what they’re going to do at that point. Right now the doctor said it was nothing that bad. If the doctor’s say that there is nothing wrong with him, everyone is going to be upset.”

In an update by Jason Chambers, Luis Santos suffered a corneal abrasion.

“Mugen” makes impressive ONE debut

With the entire Mall of Asia Arena crowd behind him, reigning Philippine National Games Wrestling Champion and ONE Bantamweight Mark Striegl needed just one round to dispose of the previously unbeaten Casey Suire.

After an inadvertent low blow by Striegl to his opponent, Striegl blasted Suire with a high kick and a flying knee. Suire tried to go for a takedown but was quickly countered into a harai goshi by “Mugen” that gave him side control. The Fil-Am wrestler immediately captured the back of his American opponent. After a barrage of elbows and punches, Striegl was able to sink in a rear naked choke with 1:22 remaining in the bout. After 10 seconds of trying to fight off the choke, Suire had no choice but to tap out.

“I love you Manila!” Striegl exclaimed after the fight. “It’s been two years since I’ve been gone in fighting in Manila. In front of my home crowd it [the win] feels amazing.” A humble Striegl told us that he was pressured going into the fight and that the pressure is always there but he uses the pressure as motivation to go into training. Finally, when asked what’s next for Mark, “I’m going to celebrate tonight then relax with my teammates and my family then go back into training and keep busy.”

Filipino stars Toquero and Kelly make short work of opponents

Team Lakay’s Edward Kelly (6-2) and Eugene Toquero (7-1) both came out of the curtains with one thing in mind: to give the Filipino fight fans a night to remember. And the two did just that.

Edward “the Ferocious” Kelly went against Seldef Team’s Jimmy Yabo (4-1) in a Baguio vs. Cebu match. Kelly stymied the kicks of Yabo with kicks of his own. As the two struggled to get the take down midway through the match, “Ferocious” was able get the takedown. Kelly managed to get the back of Yabo and sink a deep rear naked choke to win with just 55 seconds remaining in the bout.

Eugene Toquero, on the other hand, did not let up in his whipping of Indonesian Brianata Rosadhi (1-2). Toquero coasted through his opponent right from the opening minute of the match. After gaining the full mount 16 seconds in, Toquero poured in elbows and punches on his opponent. The Filipino flyweight attempted a rear naked choke at the 3:30 mark but Rosadhi was able to fight it off. After more punishment from Toquero, Eugene made another rear naked choke attempt. The second attempt was perfect and the Indonesian had no choice but to tap with 1:19 remaining.

“Gravity” falls after a close split decision

Geje Eustaquio (6-4) lost a close, some might say controversial, split decision to Thai Anatpong Bunrad (5-1).

In a match that was too close to call, Anatpong Bunrad’s two take downs in the first and third rounds proved to be the difference. Those takedowns countered the aggressiveness displayed by the Team Lakay member.

In the post-fight scrum with victors Edward Kelly and Eugene Toquero, they thought that “Gravity” won the fight but it was close. Kelly told us that “tanggap namin ang decision ng mga judges.” Toquero then gave this advice: “kelangan talaga tapusin ang laban para di na umabot sa kamay ng mga judges. Mahirap kasi pag iiwan sa kamay nila ang desisyon.”

Chinese fighters shine in the undercard; Khan dominates

To open the night, Wang Ya Wei (3-1) opened the card with a thrilling third round TKO victory over a debuting Sunoto (0-1). Another Chinese fighter though left a huge impression on the card as Liu Xiao Yang (2-2) blasted Singapore’s Nicholas Lee (1-3) with a huge right hook in just 1:18 in the first round to even up his record. Lee had to be strechered out of the arena after that vicious knockout for precautionary reasons.

Evolve MMA’s Amir Khan (3-1) also dominated in his match against late replacement Pakistan MMA pioneer Bashir Ahmad (3-2). Ahmad gave a good fight but did not seem to be in his fight form all throughout the fight. A sharp elbow by Khan at the 2:41 mark of the second round resulted to a cut near the left eye of Ahmad. The doctors had to stop the fight due to the bleeding reaching his eye at the 3:20 mark.

ONE Championship 26: Valor of Champions results
April 25, 2015 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City

ONE World Welterweight Championship: Ben Askren and Luis Santos ends in a No Contest. Santos cannot continue (Accidental eye poke, Rd 1, 3:10)
Bantamweight Bout: Mark Striegl def. Casey Suire by submission (Rd 1, 3:48)
Catchweight Bout: Anatpong Bunrad def. Geje Eustaquio by split decision
Flyweight Bout: Eugene Toquero def. Brianata Rosadhi by TKO (Ground elbows) (Rd 1, 1:22)
Featherweight Bout: Edward Kelly def. Jimmy Yabo by Submission (Rear naked choke) (Rd 1, 4:05)
Catchweight Bout: Amir Khan def. Bashir Ahmad by TKO (Doctor’s stoppage, cut near the eye) (Rd 3, 3:20)
Flyweight Bout: Liu Xiao Yang def. Nicholas Lee by KO (Right hook) (Rd 1, 3:02)
Featherweight Bout: Wang Ya Wei def. Sunoto by TKO (Ground and pound) (Rd 3, 3:21)


ONE Valor of Champions: All fighters make weight
Striegl wants shot at ONE Championship bantamweight crown
ONE 26: Thai Wiratchai dislocates toe joint, pulls out of match against Khan

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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship pledges to help Global Citizen in fight against poverty



Contributed photo

During the pre-fight showdown between the fighters main evening ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia also forged a partnership, Monday afternoon.

ONE, through chief executive officer and chariman, Chatri Sityodtong vowed to help Global Citizen in its fight to end poverty.

“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE Championship’s partnership with Global Citizen, an NGO with the goal of ending extreme poverty across the world by the year 2030,” said Sityodtong. “Just like Global Citizen, ONE Championship aims to inspire the people of the world to come together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ONE Championship to bring Global Citizen to Asia. ONE Championship reaches millions of young people around the region and together we will engage them on issues that impact the entire world,” expressed Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo. “Since we launched Global Citizen in 2012, over 13 million actions have been taken, and we are excited to drive more actions and increase our impact for the world’s most marginalized people through this partnership.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Also present in the launch were ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

The partnership launching at ONE’s upcoming event in Manila, Philippines on Friday, January 26, will harness the power of ONE’s platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty.

Global Citizen and ONE will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, gender equality and empowerment.

“Our ONE Championship athletes embody the spirit of perseverance and many have risen through poverty through martial arts, inspiring millions of people around the world with their journey,” Sityodtong added. “Through our collaboration across all 24 of our live events scheduled in 2018, ONE Championship and Global Citizen aim to affect positive movement in our society.”

The first action ONE fans can take will be centred on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on February 2, 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education.

Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.

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Unscathed Altas on another plane, hands Chiefs first loss



Eighteen straight sets won

NCAA Men’s Volleyball powerhouse University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas showed no signs of letting up and crushed fellow erstwhile undefeated Arellano University Chiefs in just three sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-17, to notch their sixth consecutive victory, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Skipper Jun Taneo scattered his quiet 13 points throughout the match to lead the Season 91 champions. Rookie Joebert Almodiel finished with 10 spikes.

The Altas edged out the opposition in all scoring skills and dominated them in the non-scoring ones to bag the win. Nonetheless, it was the uncharacteristic 34 errors from the Chiefs that ultimately caused their doom.

With expectations minimized at the start of the season, head coach Sammy Acaylar shared his pride on how his wards have been playing so far.

“Sabi ko nga, hindi ako satisfied sa team ko kasi maraming nawala. Pero dinaan ko sila sa force, sa discipline, sa training. And I always motivate them na everything will come into place,” the seasoned mentor shared.

Acaylar was pleased that what they trained on showed up in the game. “Nakita ko ‘yung galaw nila, almost perfect,” he ended beaming.

The now 6-0 Perpetual will try to seal another semifinals appearance as they battle fellow day winners Mapua University (3-2) on Tuesday, January 30.

John Cabillan rallied the tribe with 10 markers.

The Chiefs (5-1) and the San Beda College (4-1) will figure in an all-important battle on Friday.

The Scores:

UPHSD 3 – Taneo 13, Almodiel 10, Rosales 8, Ramos 6, Muhali 3, Solamilo 1, Catipay 0, Kalingking L.

AU 0 – Cabillan 10, Dela Paz 8, Segovia 5, Lapuz 4, Liberato J 3, Liberato K 1, Arellano T 0, Soriano 0, Domingo 0, Arellano K 0, Blanco L, Esguerra L.

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Tireless J-Jay Alejandro heads from D-League game to Gilas training



Former NU Bulldogs captain J-Jay Alejandro was at the Pasig Sports Center Monday afternoon, making his debut for the Go for Gold Scratchers. After their 75-68 win over Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers, he immediately packed his bags and headed for the exit.

Why was he in a rush? He did not want to be late for Gilas later on.

PHOTO by PBA Images

“Sayang, malapit na ako eh. Pasig lang. Walang showbiz-showbiz, malapit lang talaga,” shared Alejandro, who had five points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals for Go for Gold. “Wala rin akong gagawin kasi.

“Tsaka minsan lang magpa-tawag ng practice, every Monday lang, so sayang ‘yung chance makapag-practice.”

The 6-foot-2 combo guard was a much-needed body by the pool of Gilas as only eight players suited-up for Monday’s session. Besides helping out the seniors team, the 22-year-old is looking at the sessions as a way to not just improve but also get in touch with his former collegiate foes.

“Well, ganoon talaga eh. Player, mapapagod at mapapagod ka talaga,” said the All-UAAP team member.

“Pero nakakasama ko sila Arvin Tolentino, sila CJ Perez, tsaka ‘yung ibang mga PBA players, siyempre experience ‘yun eh, tsaka learning process din sa akin.”

Moreover, he knows that being under the tutelage of coach Chot Reyes will only do wonders for him, especially with the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft just months away.

“Mas pisikal talaga sa PBA. ‘Yun, kung paano mo gagamitin ang utak mo pati ‘yung katawan mo sa tamang posisyon sa laro, makukuha ko yun rito,” he said.

“Well sa akin kasi, ‘yung mapabilang ka sa Gilas, mapabilang lang ang pangalan mo sa Gilas, sobrang fortunate na ako, sobrang blessed na ako,” Alejandro added.

“And siguro sa akin, may opportunity na nag-open, so iga-grab ko na lang — either PBA or Gilas.”

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Loaded Wangs-Letran wallops AMA in debut



Armed with new recruits, the Wangs Basketball-Letran Knights embarked on its new chapter with a rousing 93-75 rout of the AMA Online Education Titans, Tuesday afternoon at the Pasig Sports Center.

Everyone clicked for the Couriers with Bong Quinto spearheading the blowout with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.

Newcomer Bonbon Batiller added 15 markers, five boards, and three dimes in his debut, while starting point guard JP Calvo chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Christian Fajarito also registered 11 markers and nine boards, while Alex Mandreza had 10 points for Wangs-Letran.

Despite the promising showing, coach Jeff Napa said that he still wants to see more from his Couriers moving forward.

“Masaya kami syempre dahil nanalo. Pero marami pa rin kaming kailangang gawin,” he said as he wanted more from the Knights after outrebounding the Titans, 57-44.

Quinto and Calvo triggered Wangs-Letran’s second quarter pullaway to establish the 38-26, lead which grew to as high as 22 points, 81-59 in the payoff period.

Michael Cañete topscored AMA with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Kris Porter had 13 in the defeat.

Wangs-Letran will have vengeance on their minds on Monday, January 29 when it takes on NCAA tormentors Che’lu- San Sebastian Revellers. AMA, on the other hand, will have a tough assignment when it takes on the Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers on Thursday, January 25.

The Scores:

Wangs-Letran 93 — Quinto 19, Batiller 15, Calvo 12, Fajarito 11, Mandreza 10, Trinidad 8, Publico 6, Vacaro 4, Balagasay 3, Ambohot 3, Muyang 2.

AMA Online Education 75 — Cañete 20, Porter 13, Escalambre 11, Casiño 10, Antonares 6, Manalang 6, Garcia 4, Ng 3, Parcero 2, Bragais 0, Carpio 0, Paras 0, Raflores 0, Salonga 0.

Quarterscores: 16-13, 44-35, 67-52, 93-75.

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