ONE Championship once again electrified the capacity crowd at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur with another exciting evening of world-class mixed martial arts.
However, the Filipino contingent could not take home wins.
Soriano outlasted by Malaysian foe
Throne of Tigers kicked off in thrilling fashion as Saiful “The Vampire” Merican (5-3), defeated Burn “Hitman” Soriano (3-3) in front of his countrymen at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Though the fight only lasted one full round, it was packed with action that has set the pace for the rest of the night.
After a brief feeling-out period, Soriano threw a massive overhand right. He narrowly missed Merican, but both mixed martial artists exchanged a big grin and knew they were in for a battle.
The Malaysian had a calculated attack, as he brilliantly picked his shots and rocked the Hitman with some perfectly-timed kicks, even backing him up against the cage. But when “The Vampire” clinched against the fence, Soriano took him down with a spectacular body lock.
Soriano unleashed a ground and pound flurry, but Merican withstood the blows. When he tried to get up and escape, however, the Filipino locked in a guillotine choke. The hometown hero was able to slip out, but Soriano showed grit from the bottom position, as he locked in a kimura, used the submission hold to sweep his opponent, and ended back on top in the full mount.
“The Hitman” dropped some beautiful punches and even locked in a rear-naked choke at one point, but the hold was never too tight. Merican was able to escape, and when Soriano attempted to get back up, he opened up with his full arsenal. Merican powerfully kneed his opponent in the chin and threw an array of elbows to end the round.
Certainly, the crowd was hyped and ready for the second round, and so was Merican. But Soriano was not. He did not answer the bell, causing the match to be stopped and the victory being awarded to the hometown hero to roars of approval from the crowd in attendance.
Doliguez drops third straight
Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Alex Silva (5-1) scored his fourth-straight submission victory, sending Roy Doliguez (6-4) to his fourth straight loss. The Brazilian strawweight battled a game Doliguez for two and a half rounds before securing a fight-ending armbar submission.
The end came at 2:36 of the third and final round, prompting Silva to pop up to his feet and gesture that he wants a shot at the championship.
In the first round, Silva stormed in and scored a single-leg-takedown against the fence. Doliguez briefly reversed positions before being returned to his own back.
Doliguez held onto his full guard as Silva stood inside it and rained blows. The Filipino held tough and maintained an active full guard whenever he could break Silva’s posture, and used his own strikes off his back as well. With under 30 seconds left in the round, Silva passed the guard and secured the mount, but was soon reversed and ended the round on his back.
A minute and a half into the second round, Silva scored another takedown after Doliguez missed with a big uppercut punch attempt, and took the side mount. From there, Silva repeatedly worked to the I-Position looking for a choke, but Doliguez defended well and composed his guard.
Doliguez scored with his own strikes while using his guard and attempted his own submission before scrambling up to his feet. Silva doggedly pressed for inside position once more, however, pushing Doliguez to the cage and landing another takedown with just over a minute in the round left. Once on top, Silva peppered Doligez with strikes until the bell.
Doliguez started the third and final round aggressive, landing an overhand punch to the head and successfully defended a takedown attempt. Undeterred, Silva immediately shot in again and scored a takedown once Doliguez had run out of sprawling room against the fence.
Silva patiently changed lanes inside of Doliguez’ half guard, slicing through and taking the full mount with about three minutes left on the clock. Doliguez got to work on an escape attempt, trying to swing his legs from underneath Silva to topple him and come out the back door.
Doliguez left his arms extended as he did, however, and Silva snatched one, went face-down, then rolled to his back and secured the fight-ending armbar.