A fighting chance at the ONE Fighting Championship

A fighting chance at the ONE Fighting Championship
Competitive MMA fight with one Singaporean and other international contestants

Smashing knockouts, voluptuous ring girls and flamboyant walkouts kept a sold-out crowd on the edge of their seats last Friday night.

The ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) mixed martial arts (MMA) Honour & Glory event was held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

It featured nine bouts between fighters from 14 countries, including Mongolia, Brazil, the United States and Singapore.

Among them was one of the top fighters in the welterweight division, Ben "Funky" Askren from the US.

His fight against sinewy Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan was billed the "super fight" of the night.

The American, in his ONE FC debut, finished his opponent in the first round with an arm triangle.

There are multiple ways of winning, such as via a knockout, submission (or admitting defeat) or by judges' decision if the fighters cannot be separated after three five-minute rounds.

The bouts took place in a round cage measuring about 10m across.

Home-grown fighter Radeem Rahman, who was making his comeback after nearly three years, made his entrance to rousing home support in the first of the seven main fights.

He had been put out of action by a past injury.

Radeem dazzled the crowd by jogging in to Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane.

During the fight, he knocked out Malaysian Raymond Tan with a flurry of punches in the second round.

'FOR SINGAPORE'

"When (the crowd) cheered my name over and over again, I thought, 'let's do it for Singapore'," the 26-year-old said.

Between fights, the ONE FC ring girls turned up the heat for the 12,000-strong audience, strutting around the cage.

Aside from inflicting punches and take downs, fighters also dished out trash talk and feints as they assessed their opponent's moves.

Fighters also had "stage names", brandishing monikers like 'The Rock', 'Vanilla Gorilla', and 'Chopper'.

Crowd favourite Eddie "The Magician" Ng of Hong Kong was looking for his sixth consecutive win, but he lost to Dutchman Vincent Latoel.

The crowd clearly disagreed with the referee's decision to end the fight just three minutes into the first round and they broke into a chorus of boos.

The referee declared a knockout after Latoel landed a string of hard blows.

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