ONE FC 20: Moraes wins Flyweight title, head stomps spark controversy

Inaugural ONE FC Flyweight Champion Adriano Moraes & Victor Cui ONE FC 20 Rise of Kingdoms Cambodia

ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom – Adriano Moraes crowned inaugural ONE FC World Flyweight Champion, head stomp incidents force unfamiliar refereeing decisions

History has been made again for the ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC). Held at the Koh Pich Theater in Phnom Penh, this marked the first ONE FC event in Cambodia which featured the first ever ONE FC World Flyweight Championship bout. From what I read, it’s been a night of mostly first rounders besides the the main event and co-main event, both of which finished in the second round. No idea why it wasn’t broadcast live outside of that country but fortunately, some of the fights were uploaded to YouTube.

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Adriano Moraes (12-1) has been a very dangerous finisher on the ground and he’s done it again and it was for the Flyweight belt in the main event. The highly experienced Brazilian defeated Filipino Geje Eustaquio (6-3) by tapout in the second round after executing a nice deep guillotine choke. It was a striking contest in the first round where Eustaquio was controlling the centre of the cage and countered whenever Moraes came closer, but neither landed anything significant. Moraes shot for a single leg takedown but Eustaquio shown fantastic resistance and managed pushed Moraes up against the cage.

The second round kicked off the way it started, both on their feet doing some fist exchanges, which Eustaquio landed some strong punches before Moraes began pushing forward more aggressively while connecting with some strikes himself. Moraes got the double leg takedown and when Eustaquio was too eager to struggle back up to his feet, he left his neck wide opened for the Brazilian to sneak in his arm. Moraes locked the choke and pulled guard down to the ground. Eustaquio tried his best to escape but the grip’s too tight.

One FC 20 head stomps arnaud lepont chan rottana

Soccer kicks are legal in the ONE FC but not head stomps. Arnaud “The Game” Lepont (11-4) is finally back on the winners bracket after defeating Cambodia’s Suasday Chau (4-4), but yet again, it wasn’t without controversy. The Frenchman deliberately stomped Chau right in the face when the Cambodian’s back was on the ground attempting to hold onto his standing opponent’s left hand. Arnaud knew it was a major dick move as soon as he did it and was immediately regretful of his own action. It took a while but Chau eventually recovered and opted to continue to fight while Arnaud received only a yellow card as the punishment for illegal move and offered an apology to Chau who accepted it without hesitation.

As the action resumed, Chau seemed a bit shakier and slipped during an exchange off the clinch. Arnaud jumped right in to throw the ground and pound. Although many of those strikes appeared to have landed at the back of Chau’s head, which is also illegal, but the referee didn’t do anything about it. Almost the same thing happened when Arnaud fought Boku. The fight was stopped as Chau failed to respond to the attack and Arnaud was announced the winner by TKO. The home crowd and fans seemed to disagree with the call and believed that Arnaud should be disqualified.

The refereeing appeared to be more inconsistent when another head stomp incident happened in the bout right after that, the ONE FC Cambodian Featherweight Grand Prix Tournament Final, between Chan Rothana and Sam Ang Dun, which the latter was awarded the win after his fellow finalist was disqualified for stepping onto his face. It looked as though Sam lost his balance spinning off from his own soccer kick miss, but I’m not 100% sure if it was accidental. Chan also followed up with a punch which knocked Sam out as he thought it was okay and the referee hesitated as well before calling for a timeout.

The screenshots below were the comments on ONE FC’s Facebook Page, where the organisation actually replied instead of deleting them this time.

one fc 20 cambodia head stomp FB comments

However, I’m with the comments on this one. It’s just difficult to understand how the intentional one received only a yellow card while the seemingly accidental was punished with disqualification. I feel that disqualifications shouldn’t be decided based on the victim’s recovery or willingness to continue after getting hit by an illegal cage move as that could mean that a fighter could easily pretend to be very hurt after getting accidentally kicked in the nuts and get awarded with the win.

If I’m not mistaken, the ONE Warrior Bonus (reward for the most impressive fighter of the night) wasn’t awarded again. I guess even Victor Cui (CEO of the ONE FC) himself, who decides who gets it, wasn’t particularly impressed with any of the fights in the past two events as well.

Official Full Results

ONE Warrior Bonus: (not awarded)

Main Card

Flyweight title: Adriano Moraes def. Geje Eustaquio | Submission (Guillotine Choke) | R2 3:54
Lightweight: Caros Fodor def. Vincent Latoel | Submission (Rear Naked Choke) | R2 4:43
Lightweight: Arnaud Lepont def. Suasday Chau | TKO (Strikes) | R1 2:21
Bantamweight: Sung Ming Yen def. Radeem Rahman | Unanimous Decision | 3 rounds
Featherweight: Amir Khan def. Jian Kai Chee by KO | R1 2:25
Featherweight: Meas Meu def. Chan Heng by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) R1 4:07
Catchweight 50kg: Tharoth Sam def. Vy Srey Chai | Submission (Armbar) | R1 2:36

Cambodian Featherweight Grand Prix

Final: Sam Ang Dun def. Chan Rothana | Disqualification | R1
Prelims: Sam Ang Dun def. Chin Heng | TKO (Strikes) | R1 2:34
Prelims: Chan Rothana def. Prak Chansin by TKO (Strikes) | R1 4:32

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