The "ONE FC 6: Rise of Kings" super fight wasn't so super.
Famed lightweight Shinya Aoki (31-6) made quick work of Arnaud Lepont (9-2) and put his French opponent to sleep with a quick and easy triangle-choke submission. The Japanese vet scored a quick takedown and forced the subsequent stoppage in just 85 seconds.
The bout headlined the online pay-per-view event, which took place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
Aoki immediately scored a double-leg takedown, moved to mount, and then worked for an armbar while pressed against the cage. He also simultaneously secured a mount triangle choke, which he torqued after then rolling to his back.
Lepont went to sleep seconds later, though Aoki had to signal to the referee that his opponent was out. That forced the stoppage.
After the fight, Aoki said he wanted a shot at the belt, which was awarded in the previous bout. He also continually plugged Evolve MMA, his gym in Singapore that's become home to many top Asian and Brazilian fighters.
"I want the title shot," Aoki said. "I'm going to bring home the title to Evolve."
Aoki, one of the top-ranked fighters not currently signed to Zuffa, successfully rebounds from his Bellator loss to Eddie Alvarez in April. That defeat snapped Aoki's seven-fight win streak.
Boku, Kim win inaugural titles
Kotetsu Boku (20-7-2) had one bad leg but a very good right hand.
In ONE FC 6's co-headliner and the event's second title fight, the Japanese veteran overcame a badly damaged lead leg and ultimately knocked out Brazil's Zorobabel Moreira (7-2) with his trusty overhand right.
Boku nearly stopped the fight in the first round with the same blow, but Moreira survived and continually targeted Boku's left leg with stinging kicks. By the second round, Boku was clearly hobbled and largely in survival mode as he ate punches and knees while trying to protect the leg.
However, in the third round, Boku connected with a right that wobbled his opponent. He quickly unloaded additional blows as Moreira struggled to stay upright against the cage. Ultimately, the ref halted the bout at the 1:05 mark of the round, though Moreira protested the stoppage.
Boku, who was making his promotional debut, has now won six of his past seven fights.
In the event's first title fight, South Korean fighter Soo Chul Kim (7-4) picked up his first ONE FC win when it meant the most, and he stopped Brazilian Leandro Issa (10-3) with a second-round knockout to claim the organization's first-ever bantamweight title.
After working hard to avoid Issa's ground game in the first round, Kim quickly ended it in the second. Just 15 seconds into the round, Issa threw a straight left, but Kim countered and connected with a vicious overhand right. Issa immediately hit the mat, and Kim unloaded a quick barrage of hammerfists to force the stoppage.
Kim now has won three straight fights since a tough 1-4 run that included a loss to Issa in their first meeting at a ONE FC event a year ago.
Manhoef blasts Kawamura
Melvin Manhoef found a way to work through his anger.
With fellow middleweight Ryo Kawamura employing an odd, ultra-loose and sometimes baffling stance throughout the fight, Manhoef was clearly annoyed, and he made no secret of it as the Japanese fighter continually retreated.
But Manhoef (26-9-1) got the last laugh. When Kawamura (15-7-4) gave up after shooting for a double-leg takedown, Manhoef blasted him with a right hook right as he got back to his feet. Kawamura was out cold, and Manhoef landed a quick follow-up shot for good measure. The stoppage came at the 4:40 mark of the opening round.
Pulver, Ueda, Belingon advance in grand prix
In the first of three opening-round matchups in ONE FC's eight-man bantamweight grand prix, former UFC champ Jens Pulver (27-17-1) got the win, but it came at a price. After Pulver controlled most of the fight, Chinese fighter Yanfei Zhao (3-3) popped him with a flush kick to the groin midway through the third round. Pulver writhed in pain during the full five-minute recovery period and ultimately left the cage on a stretcher. Unable to continue, the fight went to the judges' scorecards, and Pulver earned the technical unanimous decision.
Japanese veteran Masakatsu Ueda (16-2-2) also advanced with his unanimous-decision victory over the less experienced and largely overmatched Min Jung Song (3-5). Ueda controlled the action, especially with a dominant ground game and stinging body kicks, during a largely one-sided affair.
In the event's first grand-prix bout, Kevin Belingon (10-2) used an ill-advised takedown attempt from opponent Yusup Saadulaev (9-2) to take top position. After initially trying to isolate an arm, he instead rained down a quick flurry of punches and elbows to force a TKO stoppage at the 4:18 mark of the opening round.
The full ONE FC 6 results includes:
- Shinya Aoki def. Arnaud Lepont via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:25
- Kotetsu Boku def. Zorobabel Moreira via TKO (punches) - Round 3, 1:02 - to win inaugural lightweight title
- Soo Chul Kim def. Leandro Issa via knockout (punch) - Round 2, 0:15 - to win inaugural bantamweight title
- Melvin Manhoef def. Ryo Kawamura via knockout (punch) - Round 1, 4:40
- Jens Pulver def. Yanfei Zhao via technical unanimous decision - bantamweight-grand-prix opening round
- Masakatsu Ueda def. Min Jung Song via unanimous decision - bantamweight-grand-prix opening round
- Kevin Belingon def. Yusup Saadulaev via knockout (strikes) - Round 1, 4:18 - bantamweight-grand-prix opening round
- Gianni Subba def. Bruce Loh via knockout (soccer kick) - Round 1, 0:33
- Mitch Chilson def. Ngabdi Mulyadi via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:03