ONE FC 21: Peter Davis, Ev Ting, Ann Osman roared for Malaysia

Peter Davis Ev Ting Ann Osman win for Malaysia in ONE FC 21 Roar of Tigers

ONE FC: ROAR OF TIGERS – Debutant Marat Gafurov submits veteran Rob Lisita in 68 seconds

Malaysia had 3 wins and 3 losses on the night

It was the perfect ONE Fighting Championship debut for former M1 Global champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov (10-0) as he took only a bit over a minute in this main event to finish off one of ONE FC’s most aggressive strikers, Rob “Ruthless Lisita. The bout started off with Lisita going in for a jab and two hard swings of overhead punches, which he failed to land cleanly. Gafurov then surprised and dropped the Australian with a loud and effective roundhouse kick to the head. Lisita was immediately recovering but not fast enough to prevent the Russian from climbing onto his back and pulling him back to the ground. Gafurov got the body triangle locked tight and patiently worked his arm deep into Lisita’s neck for the rear naked choke which Lisita would reluctantly tap out to.

Marat Gafurov head kick Rob Lisita in ONE FC 21 Roar of Tigers

As soon as Lisita tapped, he walked right out of the cage due to frustration but his corner and the officials were able to calm him down and get him back to the cage for the official decision. It must have been absolutely devastating for him, losing two fights in a row to rear naked chokes, one which he dominated almost entirely before getting submitted and then this one in just 68 seconds of the opening round. He’s a very exciting fighter to watch so hopefully he’d bounce back from these disappointments and try to improve his grappling. Gafurov, on the other hand, has added one more win to his perfect record and beating Lisita would mean that he might be very close to be next in line to challenge for the featherweight title.

The co-main event featured Malaysia’s favourite hometown hero and face of MMA, Peter Davis (9-3) against Philippine’s Vaughn Donayre (7-3), obviously a fight which the locals were eagerly waiting for the whole night. It was strange at the beginning of the bout as Peter’s movement was a bit different, he was throwing kicks lower than he usually does and he looked a bit off-balance when he threw those kicks as well. Then it was revealed that Peter actually went into his fight with a knee injury, but that didn’t stop him from extending his winning streak with an impressively smart performance.

Peter Davis kicks Vaughn Donayre in ONE FC 21 Roar of Tigers

Donayre definitely had a better control on stand-up, rocking Peter with a few punches. This forced Peter to opt to take the fight to the ground and how right the decision proved to be. He managed to scramble into a full mount position but the Filipino BJJ practitioner escaped through the backdoor with ease. From that transition, Peter then tried to choke him out with a guillotine but Donayre managed to escape again and attempted to go for a Kimura arm lock from side control but strangely, he let it go and allowed Peter to get to full guard. Donayre tried to work from on top but it was Peter who was landing more strikes from the bottom with some straight punches, annoying heel knocks and up kicks. Then the key moment happened – when Donayre stood up to break away from Peter’s triangle lock attempt, Peter grabbed and pulled Donayre’s heels while pushing his thighs forward, which caused Donayre to lose his balance and rolled into another full mount position for Peter. This time he unleashed a more effective ground and pound, elbowing Donayre until referee Oliver Coste had seen enough.

Some of the Filipino fans felt that it might have been a premature stoppage as Donayre seemed to be on the verge of escaping or at least defending himself by turning turtle, and also there was only 10 seconds left on the clock. I don’t think there’s any controversy there, Donayre didn’t try to make a case to the referee at all and he stayed on his knees until the medical assistance came to have a look at his facial injuries, probably a broken nose as well. However, he did leave this comment on ONE FC’s Facebook update on the fight.

Vaughn Donayre vs. Peter Davis FB comment ONE FC 21

Malaysian-born New Zealander Ev Ting (8-2) grabbed Malaysia’s second win of the night by knocking Edward Kelly (5-2) out cold with a head kick that came out of no where. It was no secret that Ting was trying to avoid to stand toe-to-toe and strike as Kelly seemed to have the same dangerous flat-footed countering style as his older brother, ONE FC featherweight title contender Eric Kelly. Ting kept trying to take Kelly down in almost the whole of the 2 rounds while Kelly remained offenseless. Just when the crowd was beginning to feel fed up with the lack of action, Ting abandoned his original game plan and started exchanging strikes with Kelly. After a couple of thrilling back-and-forth’s, Ting launched a nice 3-4 hook punch combo and connected with a hard kick right to the back of Kelly’s ear and neck (see photo below) which dropped him face down to the ground. Ting followed up with a light punch before referee Yuji Shimada came in to save Kelly from anymore unnecessary damage.

Ev Ting KO head kick Edward Kelly in ONE FC 21 Roar of Tigers

Malaysia’s first female professional MMA fighter Ann “Anthena” Osman (2-1) gave a very impressive performance, perhaps her best to date. Her opponent Aya Saeid Saber (2-5) was around 10 cm taller with significant reach advantage but Osman managed to get close for a beautiful judo throw right into side control. Although Saber tried to prevent the full mount by having her knees up but Osman still managed to get full mount by disguising her advances with her strong short downward elbows to the face. Osman finished the fight off with ground and pound, and the home crowd went crazy as this was the first Malaysian win of the night. Despite the trash talking and heated face-off during the weigh-ins, Saber applauded when Osman’s hand was raised and they both hugged it out. Quite a moving display of good sportsmanship.

Ann Osman full mount on Aya Saied Saber in ONE FC 21 Roar of Tigers

Before Osman grabbed the win, there was a concern that it might not be a good night for Malaysian supporters as the first 3 locals who fought lost in quick succession. Terengganu’s Saiful “The Vampire” Merican (3-2) faced a tough battle against Evolve gym’s 3-time Lumpinee Muay Thai champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (3-0). There was no way to out-strike the more experienced Muay Thai fighter and so Merican tried to bring the fight to the ground, which he did a few time but couldn’t do much. Ironically, Merican got mounted in a scramble and was punished by more punches before Amnuaysirichoke transitioned to an armbar which Merican tapped out to after failing to find ways to escape.

Penangite Raymond Tan (2-3) was doing very well and looked comfortable on his feet due to his massive reach advantage against Singapore’s Stephen Langdown (2-1), until he suddenly decided to attempt a takedown, which was stuffed by Langdown and yet he refused to give the double leg up. It proved to be a costly move as that opened the window of opportunity for Langdown to attack with elbows and knees to Tan’s wide-opened head that eventually downed him before getting knocked out cold by 2 brutal soccer kicks to the head again. Sabahan Marc Marcellinus (0-2) was also a victim of a similar finish when he went down in just 26 seconds from the opening bell after getting hurt by a front kick to the stomach by ONE FC debutant Anatpong Bunrad (4-1) followed by a merciless soccer kick.

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It was a decent night in overall at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Almost all bouts ended in the opening rounds and none went beyond round 2. If anyone was expecting a lot of high-level fights, they might have found this card difficult to appreciate as the only bout with high profile fighters was the main event, with no title on the line. I think ONE FC probably felt that majority of the fans here are still new to the sport and would enjoy seeing more Malaysian fighters in action rather than world class veterans, hence the card. Despite the wet weather, I could see that almost 3/4 of the seats in the stadium were filled and the crowd was loud, supportive and hilarious at the same time as usual. The videos, walkout visuals and sound system at the event were awesome as always. The new ring girl, Mel Tan – woah, superbly hot. And I was pleased that commentator Jason Chambers was replaced by former UFC fighter Brandon Vera, even if it was just for this night.

Next up, it should be ONE FC: Dynasty of Champions in Beijing, China on the 31st this month but there has been no further updates about it, the event is not listed on the Events page of their website, and they have updated their Facebook Page cover photo to ONE FC: Battle of Lions instead, which is happening in Singapore on 7 November. Strange. Could it be postponed or cancelled? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

ONE FC 21: Roar of Tigers – Full Results

ONE Warrior Bonus: (not awarded)

Main Card

Featherweight: Marat Gafurov def. Rob Lisita | submission (RNC) | R1 1:08
Lightweight: Peter Davis def. Vaughn Donayre | TKO (strikes) | R1 4:50
Featherweight: Ev Ting def. Edward Kelly | knockout | R2 4:28
Women’s Flyweight: Ann Osman def. Aya Saeid Saber | TKO (strikes) | R1 3:15
Featherweight: Bashir Ahmad def. Tanaphong Khunhankaew | submission (RNC) | R1 4:38
Flyweight: Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Saiful Merican | submission (armbar) | R2 2:12
Bantamweight: Stephen Langdown def. Raymond Tan | Knockout (strikes) | R1 2:28

Preliminary Card

Bantamweight: Anatpong Bunrad def. Marc Marcellinus | knockout | R1 0:26
Welterweight: Hisham Hiba def. Barbod | TKO (strikes) | R2 1:01

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