Western and Eastern-based fighters to make waves in Shanghai

Western and Eastern-based fighters to make waves in Shanghai
Fighter Koji Ando (right).
PHOTO: Cheryl Tay

Roger Huerta got himself back in the winning column last August when he scored a first round knockout at ONE: REIGN OF CHAMPIONS.

Now, Huerta will try to make it two in a row when he takes on Koji Ando on 1 September 2015 at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS (SHANGHAI).

The card takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with ONE Middleweight World Champion Igor Svirid defending his title against Vitaly Bigdash in the main event.

This Huerta vs. Ando battle will be an interesting spectacle, as it presents one fighter representing the Western ways of MMA in Huerta, while Ando brings with him skills and the mindset of an Eastern-based fighter.

32-year-old Huerta made history when he became the first mixed martial artist to appear on the cover of "Sports Illustrated".

He started his career with 20 wins in 23 career fights and has gone up against some of the best in the world in the lightweight division including former Bellator champions Eddie Alvarez and Pat Curran, UFC title contenders Gray Maynard and Kenny Florian, and veterans Clay Guida, Melvin Guillard, Leonard Garcia and Matt Wiman.

In Ando, Huerta will be taking on an elite challenge. In his last fight, the Watjutsu Keishukai Tokyo-trained athlete went the distance with ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki, falling via decision at ONE: WARRIOR'S QUEST.

While the defeat to Aoki snapped a five-fight win streak for the 30-year-old from Tokyo, he proved without a shadow of a doubt that he is one of the elite lightweights in the world.

After going 6-3-2 over his first 11 professional bouts, Ando put together a string of five incredible performances. That included finishes against Damien Brown and in his first two fights with ONE over Rafael Nunes and Zorobabel Moreira - whom Huerta lost to in 2012.

Prior to signing with ONE, Ando scored a TKO victory via injury over Narantungalag Jadambaa, the current ONE Featherweight World Champion while both were with Legend FC.

"The Commander" has scored finishes in eight of his 11 career wins, splitting it evenly between submission triumphs and knockouts. He holds the rare reverse triangle choke victory to his credit from the 2012 win over Brown.

With explosive finishes littered among their career wins, there is no doubt that Huerta and Ando will bring the fireworks with them to Shanghai. Both men possess knockout-power in their hands and have no issues with putting on a show on the ground.

Huerta could also place himself on the short-list of contenders to Aoki's title with a victory, while it would be quite the feather-in-the-cap for Ando if he can stun the veteran.

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