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MMA: Gracie, McSweeney clash added to One FC card in Manila

Warrior’s Way is headlined by Bibiano Fernandes defending his bantamweight title against Kim Dae-hwan and Brandon Vera making his One FC debut against Igor Subora. Poster: One FC.

Warrior’s Way is headlined by Bibiano Fernandes defending his bantamweight title against Kim Dae-hwan, and Brandon Vera making his One FC debut against Igor Subora. Poster: One FC.

November 3, 2014: Roger Gracie – of the famed Gracie family – will make his One FC debut at Warrior’s Way in Manila on December 5, when the Brazilian light heavyweight will take on James ‘The Hammer’ McSweeney in one of four bouts added to the card.

 

In another light heavyweight clash, American Jake Butler will seek to avenge his only career loss in a rematch with Sylvain Potard of France.

 

Filipino stars Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario will compete in front of their home fans at the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA). Belingon will face veteran Japanese bantamweight Koetsu Okazaki, while Banario, a former One FC featherweight champion, faces Brazilian Herbert Burns.

 

Brazilian star Bibiano Fernandes will defend his One FC bantamweight title against undefeated Korean Kim Dae-hwan in the previously announced headline bout, while Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera will make his One FC debut against Igor Subora of Ukraine.

 

Victor Cui, CEO of One FC, said: “One Fighting Championship is set to end the year with a blast by making Warrior’s Way the biggest and most exciting MMA event of 2014. We have added some truly massive fights on the already astounding fight card.

 

“Team Lakay warriors Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario seek redemption inside the One FC cage, while Filipino-American Brandon Vera makes his debut. Fans can definitely expect an unforgettable night of world-class and adrenaline-pumping mixed martial arts action.”

 

Gracie (6-2) will make his One FC debut in Manila against light heavyweight contender McSweeney. The 33-year-old is part of the world-famous Gracie fighting family, the originators of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and is looking to showcase his technical acumen when he competes in Asia for the first time.

 

McSweeney (14-11) is coming off two first-round wins in One FC this year and ‘The Hammer’ will be looking to confirm his reputation as the organisation’s top light heavyweight.

 

Butler, a former collegiate wrestling standout, has amassed four victories with only one defeat since transitioning into MMA. The American has been waiting for a rematch against Sylvain Potard to avenge the only loss on his otherwise unblemished record.

 

Potard (7-4) enjoyed a memorable one-punch knockout of Butler at One FC: Total Domination in October last year and will be facing a highly motivated opponent in their rematch.

 

Belingon, 27, is one of the best bantamweights to hail from the Philippines, renowned for his striking ability while possessing great speed and power. To top it off, Belingon has some of the most dangerous kicks in the entire division, rounding things out with explosive takedowns and ground-and-pound.

 

Okazaki, 35, worked his way up the ranks of Shooto by dominating all opposition and earned the Shooto World Championship belt as a featherweight. The Japanese has never been knocked out or stopped with strikes due to his excellent chin and ability to take a punch. Okazaki is looking to continue his win streak by defeating Belingon to move up the ranks and work his way to another shot at the bantamweight title.

 

Banario, 25, has a record of 8-4 and is hungry for a win, with the ultimate goal of landing another shot at a One FC title. Known for his aggressive yet calculated approach to striking, Banario will need to overcome Burns before he can consider himself back in the running for the featherweight title.

 

Burns (4-0) is one of One FC’s top featherweight prospects, with a penchant for locking in fight-ending submissions. With his strong background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the 26-year-old Brazilian is widely considered the top contender in his division and is on the fast track to getting a shot at the One FC featherweight title.

 

Fans around Asia can watch the action live on Fox Sports 3 or via live streaming at www.onefc.livesport.tv (US$9.99). For tickets, visit: www.smtickets.com

 

Source: One FC (www.onefc.com); Editing by SportAsia

 

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