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Tag: ONE FC

And Now He’s Hired: Brandon Vera Signs With ONE FC, Debut Date TBA


(Let me guess…makeup shotgun? / Photo via
MMAJunkie)

A month after his UFC firing went public, Brandon Vera has found a new home. MMAFighting passed along word yesterday that the 36-year-old striker has been signed by ONE FC, and will make his promotional debut later this year against an opponent to be named later.

Known to most MMA fans as “that weird promotion in Singapore or whatever?”, ONE FC has made news in recent months by changing its rules to allow soccer-kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent during fights, and hiring Rich Franklin as Vice President of Crowd Participation. The promotion has also continued to stack its roster with internationally-known stars; ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions (August 29th, Dubai) will feature Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren, and Roger Huerta.

So, will Vera follow in Phil Baroni’s footsteps and soccer kick his way to victory, or will the unfamiliar rule-set cause problems for “The Truth”? Honestly, it kind of depends on who they throw at him first. Then again, kicking a dude in the head isn’t rocket science, I guess. We’ll keep you posted.

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Brutal KO of the Day: Major Overall Destroys Bruno Pucci via Soccer Kick at OneFC 16 [GIF]


(Props: @ZombieProphet)

This little bit of savagery just went down at OneFC 16: Honor and Glory in Singapore, where a featherweight prospect named Major “Majee” Overall knocked out Bruno Pucci ice-cold with a soccer-kick to the face. PRIDE-style soccer kicks have been legal in OneFC since September 2012, following the controversial outcome of Andrei Arlovski vs. Tim Sylvia 4.

Note: Ben Askren will be making his promotional debut in the main event of today’s OneFC card, which is still going on at the time of this writing. Askren is fighting a guy named Bakhtiyar Abbasov. We’ll update this post if anything GIF-worthy happens. UPDATE: Askren subbed that dude with an arm-triangle choke in the first round.

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Rich Franklin Named One FC Vice President, Still Planning for “Sensible” UFC Retirement Fight


(Now that I think about it, Rich always was something of a forward thinker when it came to MMA.)

If Rich Franklin is “a loser” by his own admission, I’d sure like to know who he considers a winner (besides Anderson Silva, obviously). The former middleweight champion has been killing it outside of the octagon lately, opening his own successful, high-end juice business and now, accepting a role as the Vice President of burgeoning Asian MMA promotion, One FC. Not bad for a guy who once *insert hackneyed Ace Ventura reference here*

While rumors of Franklin’s potential gig started floating around more than a month ago, it wasn’t until this morning that Cheryl Tay of Yahoo Sports broke the official news. ONE FC chief executive officer Victor Cui was more than elated when discussing the role of his promotion’s latest acquirement:

Rich Franklin is another perfect example – he is an icon in this industry. Everybody loves him, he is well-respected, and he will a fantastic addition to the team in terms of experience and helping the sport grow in Asia from ground up awareness.

We will continue to define his role but to me now what’s most important is finding the best people. I am aggressively hiring in all positions and looking to add another 200 staff in the near future as we grow. At the moment, we are a young company still and Rich will do a lot of different things for us, from talent management to fighter recruitment and giving seminars.

Franklin was similarly excited by the prospect of working for Asia’s fastest-developing MMA promotion, telling Yahoo that “MMA in Asia right now is at the tip of the iceberg.”

“If you were to rewind the clock,” said Franklin, “it’s like MMA in the States back in 2003. I think MMA is going to take off like wildfire here in Asia and I will be part of it.”

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Random News Alert: Rich Franklin In Talks to Become ONE FC Vice President


(We probably could’ve used a better picture. / Photo via Getty)

Here’s the latest in headlines you’d never expect: Former UFC champ Rich Franklin is apparently in talks with ONE FC to become its vice president. Rich Franklin reported the news this morning on his Facebook page, saying the following:

I have been in talks with ONE FC about taking a job with them. They offered me a position as VP. I will be heading to ONE FC headquarters in the next few weeks to work out the details. I met with Dana and Lorenzo at the end of last year and they gave me their blessing. I will keep you posted.

As MMA Junkie reported, Franklin still has a fight on his UFC contract and stated that he wanted to fulfill his obligations. Taking a desk job with another MMA promotion almost definitely means that his fighting days are done.

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Hot Potato: 11 Photos of One FC’s Newest *Newest* Ring Girl, Mila G.

I think I’ve started to notice a pattern amongst ONE FC ring girls — mainly, that most of them are smokin’ hot brunettes who refuse to reveal their last names. First came Maya T., and now, ONE FC has snatched up Japanese-born model Mila G. to carry cards for the organization. Word was passed along earlier today that Mila G. will be making her ring girl debut in March, so let’s cross our fingers and hope that she has a better go of things than Kristina Sprague.

According to her website, Mila is a “cheerful challenger” (?) who has landed gigs on such mainstream shows as ”Green Arrow”, “True Justice”, “Bates Motel”, and “Continuum.”  Additionally, Mila enjoys sharing her knowledge and daily updates with fans through her blog and “loves reading inspiring quotes everyday.” I’m learning so much right now, you guys. Check out 11 of Mila’s best photos in the gallery above, then make sure to send her some love on Twitter or through her website.

-J. Jones

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Could Ben Askren vs. Phil Baroni(‘s Imploded Ankle) Actually Be Close to Happening?

You guys, I don’t claim to be a prophet all that often, save for when I accurately predict which chef will be eliminated each round on Chopped, but today is one of those days.

When it was first announced that Ben Askren was (somewhat inexplicably) headed to One FC some two days ago, I suggested that the former Bellator kingpin take on Phil Baroni in his promotional debut. It was the fight I wanted to see, and therefore, the fight fans wanted to see. Perhaps most importantly, Baroni is the only other member of the One FC welterweight roster I could name off the top of my head, so how could this fight not make perfect sense?

In any case, you can understand my excitement when opening up the Twitter earlier today to see the above tweet. Because as boring as Ben Askren truly is in the cage, he is equally entertaining online. And it turns out that the following tweet was only part of what was a beautiful back and forth between Askren and Baroni, a back and forth that is sure to lead to a future showdown pairing old guard against new guard despite the fact that the old guard’s body is literally disintegrating beneath him.

Join us after the jump for what will surely go down in the history books as the catalyst to the greatest MMA feud of all time.

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Ben Askren Joins Evolve MMA, Likely Headed to…One FC (?!!!)


(Askren, seen here attempting to grapple with the current One FC welterweight champion.)

Poor, poor Ben Askren.

Despite being one of the most talented/accomplished wrestlers in the sport (if not the most talented/accomplished), and despite his blatant attempts at trolling his way into the UFC, it seems that “Funky” simply does not meet the standard of the world’s premier MMA organization. If only he had been born in Tuvalu, perhaps this glaring oversight could have been avoided. Dana White recently spoke with USA Today about the former Bellator champion’s future:

He’s a nice guy. You know, we just won’t be signing him. There’s competition for him at World Series of Fighting. This kid will probably sign with them. I don’t know (since) they’ve got to come to an agreement and a deal. But if he does, there’s actual competition for him there.

I think it’s crazy that he’s ranked in the top 10. He hasn’t fought anybody (Ed note: Way to kick Jay Hieron while he’s down) and has no challenges. The best thing that could’ve ever happened to that kid was leaving Bellator. Now he has the opportunity to go to World Series of Fighting and show what he’s got.

You’re right, Dana. There is plenty of some competition to be had at WSOF. Unfortunately, it appears that Askren is well on his way to signing with One FC, who we weren’t even aware had a welterweight division until earlier today. Join us after the jump for the details.

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Hot Potato: 13 Photos of ONE FC’s Hottest New Ring Girl, Maya T

Singapore-based promotion One FC might not have the most stacked rosters or big-name fighters to boast (except for Alain Ngalani, of course) but they are in a league of their own when it comes to spotting ring girl talent, and I’m not just saying that because of my well-documented Asian fetish. We’ve already devoted Hot Potato galleries to One FC ring girls Felixia Yeap and Park Si Hyun, and now, the promotion has recently announced the addition of fitness model Maya T to their roster. Therefore, we must now document Maya’s history of hotness in vivid detail, as is tradition.

According to her interview with FHM, Maya likes men who work out regularly, hates men with smelly feet (Ed note: opposing ideologies much?), and sleeps in a t-shirt and underwear. Excuse me while I pick these pieces of my brain off the floor. Check out the best photos of Maya the internet has to offer after the jump, and for more pictures/updates on One FC’s newest standout, head over to her Twitter page.

-J. Jones

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[VIDEO] Underground MMA in Pakistan


(Video via Vice)

With how far MMA has come in terms of being accepted in North America, South and Central America and Europe, it is easy to forget that there are huge swaths of the globe where the sport has yet to catch on and is still perceived as a brutal spectacle. Vice Magazine’s Fightland  recently visited one such place – Pakistan.

Pakistan is one of the world’s most populated nations with a long history of combat sports but it only got its first MMA gym just a few years ago. Fightland visits with the founder of that gym, American expatriate and MMA fighter Bashir Ahmad, as he balances his own fight career with his gym business and local fight promotion.

It’s the wild east out there in Pakistan when it comes to MMA, it seems, with lots of untapped potential in the mountain regions, according to Ahmad. The ONE-FC featherweight seems completely driven to establish MMA in Pakistan, even his he has to do it on his own. Taking a look at this short documentary makes you both appreciate what we have here in North America and the unique moment some are experiencing in Pakistan where MMA is still a completely fringe thing and where men sweat and bleed as virtual unknowns, simply for love and pride.

- Elias Cepeda

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GIF of the Day: Phil Baroni’s Ankle Imploded at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ This Morning [w/ FULL RESULTS]


(All gifs courtesy of Zombie Prophet.)

SPOILER ALERT: Despite being one of the only fighters to actually make weight yesterday, it’s safe to say that Phil Baroni’s bout with Nobutatsu Suzuki didn’t go quite as planned at ONE FC ‘Rise to Power’ earlier today.

After getting backed into the cage by a series of knees around the four minute mark of the first round, Baroni was dropped by a Suzuki right hand that appeared to put him down for the count. A few follow up punches wrote this notion home and the referee was forced to step in. Unfortunately, said ref didn’t appear to notice that Baroni’s foot was trying to break free from the rest of his leg and provided little comfort for “The New York Bad Ass,” who now falls to 15-17 in his professional MMA career. At this point in his career, Baroni should consider challenging James “Why Me?” Irvin for the right to be called the most cursed man in MMA.

Of course, Baroni wasn’t the only former UFC star to suffer a tough loss this morning…

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