WATCH: Kingad advances to ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Finals
MANILA, Philippines – Danny “The King” Kingad (11-1) kept the Philippines away from a shutout as he took a hard-fought split decision victory over Australia’s Reese “Lightning” Mclaren (12-7) in ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, August 2.
The first two rounds came close, but Kingad’s outstanding ground defense and superior strikes outshone the grappling mastery of the Australian brawler all throughout the game.
The momentum swung over the Filipino’s corner as the offense of the Team Lakay fighter went live midway through the 2nd round and rattled the 27-year-old Australian.
Kingad flexed his offensive prowess in the final round as he served Mclaren his own dose of medicine through his successful takedowns and brutal ground and pound.
With the win, “The King” booked a ticket to the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Finals and will face former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (28-3), who won via unanimous decision against the Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada (21-11) of Japan.
Kingad, though, was the only Filipino and Team Lakay brawler who gained a victory on a night dubbed "the biggest MMA event in Philippine history."
Folayang vs Alvarez
Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang (21-8) suffered his second straight setback over former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez (30-7) via 1st round submission in the semifinals of ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Folayang and Alvarez exchanged blows early in the 1st round, but the former Filipino champion was able to bring his American foe to the ground through a chopping leg kick.
Despite Folayang’s early onslaught, “The Underground King” quickly turned things around, pinned “The Landslide” on the ground and sneaked in a rear-naked choke that silenced the whole arena.
Alvarez will now advance to the Lightweight Grand Prix Finals and will face Turkey’s Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev.
Eustaquio vs Yuya
Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio’s (12-8) Grand Prix campaign ended early as Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu (11-4) shut the lights out of the Filipino with a flashy right straight in the opening round.
The former ONE flyweight champion, who came from a decision victory last May against his South Korean opponent, showcased his quickness early but was unable to evade the right hand of Yuya that sent him to dreamland.
Yuya will now take the reserve spot for the ongoing ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
Banario vs Park
“Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park (10-2) also outclassed Filipino Honario “The Rock” Banario (14-9) in all 3 rounds as he took the well-deserved unanimous victory in front of the Filipino crowd.
Park’s striking superiority was too much for Banario, who found himself on the canvass after taking the South Korean brawler’s relentless assault midway through the opening round.
The former ONE featherweight champion tried to come back and leaned on an impressive Round 1 finish, but Park’s powerful head kicks have done enough damage to secure his fourth straight victory.
Kelly vs Xie
Meanwhile, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly (12-7) bowed out against China’s Xie Bin (8-2) via technical decision as the Team Lakay fighter suffered from a head injury due to the unintentional illegal strikes committed by the Chinese contender, forcing the referee to stop the contest late in the 2nd round.
Kelly’s accurate and explosive strikes put the Filipino crowd on their feet, but Xie, who’s now on a seven-game win streak, was able to exert his grappling advantage and annihilated the 35-year-old Filipino fighter on the ground.
In the co-main event, Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangon (257-41) snatched the ONE Super Series Flyweight Muay Thai world title over Jonathan “The General” Haggerty (15-2) via unanimous decision.
Jiymuangon, who got the support of the Filipino fans, dominated the fighter from United Kingdom in all 5 rounds.
For the main event, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen (13-3) retained his ONE Featherweight World title with a TKO victory over Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima (11-4).
Nguyen chipped in clean blows on Matsushima’s face in the 2nd round and finished the job with a ground and pound.
ONE: Dawn of Heroes Full Card
Martin Nguyen (VIE/AUS) def. Koyomi Matsushima (JPN) via Rd. 2 TKO (ONE Featherweight World Title)
Rodtang Jitmuangnon (THA) def. Jonathan Haggerty (UK) via UD (ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title)
Eddie Alvarez (USA) def. Eduard Folayang (PHI) via Rd. 1 submission (ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal)
Demetrious Johnson (USA) def. Tatsumitsu Wada (JPN) via UD (ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal)
Danny Kingad (PHI) def. Reece McLaren (AUS) via SD (ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal)
Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Andrew Miller via Rd. 3 TKO (Muay Thai)
Yuya Wakamatsu (JPN) def. Geje Eustaquio (PHI) via Rd. 1 TKO (mixed martial arts)
Dae Sung Park (KOR) def. Honorio Banario (PHI) via UD (mixed martial arts)
Daichi Takenaka (JPN) def. Leandro Issa (BRA) via Rd.3 TKO (mixed martial arts)
James Nakashima (USA) def. Yushin Okami (JPN) via UD (mixed martial arts)
Xie Bin (CHN) def. Edward Kelly (PHI) via TD (mixed martial arts)
Miao Li Tao (CHN) def. Pongsiri Mitsatit (THA) via UD (mixed martial arts)
Ayaka Miura (JPN) def. Samara Santos via Rd. 2 Submission (mixed martial arts)
Muhammad Aiman (MYS)def. Sunoto (INO) via UD (mixed martial arts)