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Babalu vs. Manhoef to Headline One FC’s Third Event in March

Robbie Lawler Melvin Manhoef Strikeforce MMA photos
(No matter how many times his trainers warned him against it, Melvin was convinced that he would become the first person to pull off the Statue of Liberty play in mixed martial arts competition.)

Exciting news today comes compliments of upstart Asian promotion One Fighting Championship. In addition to signing a ten year television partnership with ESPN Star Sports, One FC announced at a press conference this morning that their third event will be headlined by Strikeforce veterans Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Melvin Manhoef squaring off in a light heavyweight contest.

After a successful debut event back in September of 2011, One FC signed a huge partnership deal with over 15 smaller promotions and 23 gyms and announced plans to put on 3 different shows in 3 different countries in 2012. The second show, titled “Battle of Heroes,” will transpire on February 11th from Jakarta, Indonesia, and features a heavyweight tilt between Bob Sapp and Rolles Gracie as well as a headlining lightweight bout pairing Pancrase one-timer Felipe Enomoto against 5-2 K-1 veteran Ole Larson.

One FC 3, which is set to go down on March 31st from the Singapore Indoor Stadium, will also feature Japanese leglock master Masakazu Imanari facing off against undefeated prospect Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang, Zorobabel Moreira, and Eddie Ng taking on unnamed opponents, and Singapore’s own Nicole Chua making her MMA debut. It’s nice to see a small promotion gaining some momentum, no?

We last saw Babalu suffer a first round KO loss to Dan Henderson back in their December 2010 rematch; apparently the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has spent the past year recovering from a brutal snowboarding accident that happened shortly thereafter. Who would’ve guessed? Fun fact: Babalu was the focus of a 2009 music video from Massachusetts based heavy metal kings Shadows Fall.

Manhoef has not fought a MMA match since falling to a first round submission (go figure) at the hands of Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson in March of 2011, and has dropped 5 of his last 7 mixed martial arts contests. His luck in the kickboxing world has not been much better; Manhoef last competed just three days ago at It’s Showtime 2012 in Leeuwarden, where he dropped a unanimous decision to 7th ranked heavyweight contender Tyrone Spong. You can find that video after the jump, courtesy of IronForgesIron.


In other fight booking news, TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yves Edwards at the TUF 14 Finale, is set to take on 67 fight veteran Dennis Hallman at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5th. Hallman, who, after missing weight for his UFC 140 fight with John Makdessi and forcing the bout to be held at a catchweight, was able to score a first round submission over the Canadian to keep his Zuffa future safe for the time being. We would go into the incident that originally put Hallman on thin ice, but no one really wants to relive that.

What say you, Potato Nation, who takes these?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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XENOPHON- February 1, 2012 at 8:08 am
El Guapo - I wish could make it to Vegas...never seen a live UFC event, and that sounds like the best city to see one. You make a good point on its central location, and the tail.
I missed the Fan Expo details, isn't in July in Vegas? I have the month of July off, and the plans are either Hawaii or Costa Rica for a couple weeks...
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- February 1, 2012 at 6:23 am
I don't know why, but Babalu is one of my all time favorite fighters....I love watching that crazy son of a bitch fight....good to see him still at it, even though this could potentially be a 'I really should have retired a few years ago' kind of fight
the glza- January 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm
thanks danga! i get it now, if i squint a little and imagine him wearing that spiky crown thing... i see it.
El Guapo- January 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm
Shirt? Ohhhhh, right, shirt. One, I don't work for CP. Two, even if I did those shirts don't get sent out.
As for Vegas, I'm staying at Planet Hollywood this weekend. I like staying there 'cause there's always muchas senoritas and it's near the halfway point of the Strip. If I hit blackjack a few times Friday night I just might see Diaz throw them thangs in person(not trying to pay 5 hundo to squint my eyes unless it's house money)..
XENOPHON- January 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm
@El Guapo - it might not shoot that far, or often anyone. But at least I know that it still sticks.
And fuck that shirt, send me down a Dos Equis when we cross paths at the Expo in Vegas! GRIN
Matter of fact, where do all the Cage Potato's stay at when in Vegas. The strip, or old town?
XENOPHON- January 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm
@Ferguson vs Hallman.
Ferguson is going to get a spankie at the hands of Dennis Hallman! If Hallman had better cardio, he would be ranked a bit higher...then again he is an old man now.
J. Jones- January 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm
Manhoef's posture is somewhat reminiscent of Lady Liberty, I just added the link as a reference for those not familiar with the play. Not my best joke, I'll admit.
the glza- January 31, 2012 at 11:55 am
Can someone explain that caption to me? I watched the video and saw nothing resembling the pic...
El Guapo- January 31, 2012 at 10:46 am
And the winner for the inaugural CP "Throw Some Shit Up Against the Wall and See What Sticks" award goes to....(drumroll)... Well, tickle my grits! You guys aren't going to believe this, you guys. He was the only nominee, but he did it in style, folks. Xeno!!
El Guapo- January 31, 2012 at 10:41 am
Babalu was in action last fall, Mista Jones. "Unisex Fights 4: Biiiiatches Can't Drive".
Fletch the V Stretch- January 31, 2012 at 10:02 am
@XENO - I am with you. Fuck PPV. Maybe one card a year or something where they stack it to the ceiling or something but other than that they are ridiculous. They have more and more cards and price is absurd. If they lowered the PPV to $20, I don't think people would bitch half as much and it would actually bring in more PPV buys.
XENOPHON- January 31, 2012 at 9:54 am
I told you fuckers that ESPN was making some big decisions following the aftermath of the ZUFFA interview. My guess is that they reassured themselves Dana was the wrong guy to reach out to, and that Bellator was already locked down with Viacom.
Good news, yes indeed. With 3 free coverages of MMA, (ESPN, FOX, and Bellator this is the beginning of the end of the PPV dominance at ZUFFA.
The sooner the better.
J. Jones- January 31, 2012 at 9:18 am
@ Pen
Well, I AM Danga...SO THE JOKE'S ON YOU!!!
For reals, thanks for the spot. I had to type this whole thing from an Iphone this morning, as my computer has been on the fritz.
Pen Fifteen- January 31, 2012 at 9:05 am
It's Tyrone Spong. His name is even spelled correctly in the graphic in the actual video if you had bothered to watch it. J. Jones: the new Danga.
Dog Dicks Magoo- January 31, 2012 at 9:03 am
I signed an online petition a long time ago to get the Hoef to get a ground game. I somehow feel that document never reached Mr. Hoef.