ONE FEATHERWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION MARAT GAFUROV DEFENDS TITLE AGAINST MARTIN NGUYEN
10 July 2017 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced another blockbuster evening of authentic martial arts action. ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS is set to return to the iconic Stadium Negara on 18 August for another spectacular showcase of Asia’s top martial arts talent. In the main event, undefeated ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov of Russia puts his world title on the line against top contender Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “It is always an exciting time in Kuala Lumpur whenever our world-class athletes climb atop Asia’s biggest and grandest martial arts stage. Our warriors are eager to put on a show for fans in Kuala Lumpur, and it is our honor to have them perform in this marvelous city. Marat Gafurov and Martin Nguyen are two of the promotion’s finest featherweights. They have met before, with Gafurov taking victory via submission in their first encounter. This time, however, a better-prepared and refocused Nguyen vows to finally bring the title back to Sydney.”
Marat “Cobra” Gafurov of Dagestan, Russia, is the reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion. An undefeated martial artist with 15 wins and no losses, Gafurov is a high-level grappler with 11 of his wins coming by impressive submission over top-caliber opponents. Rarely challenged and always dominant, Gafurov captured the featherweight title in 2015 with a gutsy victory over former champion Narantungalag Jadambaa in an epic battle. In his last bout, Gafurov defeated Jadambaa once again in a rematch a year later to cement his claim as the undisputed ONE Featherweight World Champion. He will defend his title next against Australia’s Martin Nguyen.
28-year-old Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Sydney, Australia, is a former featherweight title challenger with a 8-1 professional record. His only loss came at the hands of reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov, when he stepped up to accept their first showdown on just a few days’ notice. None of Nguyen’s victories have gone to a decision, giving him five solid knockout wins as well as three victories by submission. In his last bout, Nguyen defeated Japanese veteran warrior Kazunori Yokota via first-round knockout. Nguyen’s all-around skill set allows him to compete at the highest level as a professional. In a highly-anticipated rematch, Nguyen once again receives a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Championship when he takes on Marat Gafurov for the second time.
Ev “E.T.” Ting is a professional martial artist with deep roots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Living and training out of Auckland, New Zealand, Ting owns a stellar 13-4 professional record, including four wins by submission and four exciting knockouts. A winner of four of his last five bouts over top-caliber opponents, Ting is one of the most talented competitors to come out of Malaysia. In his most recent bout, Ting challenged ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, falling by unanimous decision in a gruelling five-round matchup. Ting now returns to Kuala Lumpur to face another challenge in Nobutatsu Suzuki.
A 39-year-old Japanese veteran from Tokyo, Nobutatsu Suzuki is the former ONE Welterweight World Champion. With a professional record of 11-2-2, Suzuki is adept in both striking and grappling, also possessing well-rounded wrestling ability. He first captured the inaugural title with a victory over veteran competitor Brock Larson, only to succumb to now-reigning champion Ben Askren in the bout following. After a break from competition, Suzuki now returns as a lightweight to face Ev Ting.
Agilan “Alligator” Thani of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be making his return to the ONE Championship cage following his first shot at a world title opposite reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren. Although Thani fell short of victory against the American, he gained a great amount of experience as a result and has emerged as a more seasoned combatant. The 21-year old is 7-1 as a professional, with five of his seven victories ending in the first round. All of Thani’s victories have come by exciting finish. The young Malaysian has shown steady improvement in each outing. He is now set to take on Sherif Mohamed.
Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed is a professional martial artist from Cairo, Egypt, with a 8-3 record. The Evolution Light Heavyweight Champion, Sherif is a well-versed kickboxer and wrestler with all eight of his wins coming by finish. Of his total victories, Sherif owns four submissions and four knockouts, proving his versatility and well-rounded game. In his last bout, the Egyptian Top Team standout made his ONE Championship debut opposite Igor Subora. This time, Sherif takes on top welterweight Agilan Thani.
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the famed Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, is one of the country’s most talented martial artists. With a professional record of 15-5, Belingon is known as a fierce competitor with the ability to finish opponents in a variety of methods. The 29-year-old wushu stalwart owns six big knockouts on his resume, and is one of the most feared strikers in the bantamweight division. In his last bout, Belingon stopped Finnish grappling sensation Toni “Dynamite” Tauru with a volley of devastating strikes. He now takes on another tough task ahead in Reece McLaren.
25-year-old Reece “Lightning” McLaren is a Filipino-Australian professional martial artist from Toowoomba, Australia. He made his ONE Championship debut in 2015 with a spectacular submission victory over top bantamweight contender Mark Striegl, and then followed up that win with a unanimous decision over highly-regarded prospect Muin Gafurov. In his last bout, McLaren challenged Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship, falling just short of victory by way of split decision. Next up, he takes on Filipino striker Kevin Belingon.
Malaysia’s Gianni Subba is a 24-year-old flyweight prospect from Kuala Lumpur. He spends time carefully honing his craft with talented teammates, including brother Keanu, at Bali MMA in Indonesia. A winner of five of his last six bouts, Subba is a seasoned athlete with a stellar 8-2 clip in his young career. Five of his seven wins have come either by submission or by crowd-pleasing technical knockout. In his next assignment, the crafty Riku Shibuya poses a stern challenge.
Japanese martial arts sensation Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya won the hearts of fans with his exciting, unorthodox style and powerful combinations. With a professional martial arts record of 13-3-2, Shibuya has figured in a series of exciting battles throughout his career. A former ONE Flyweight World Championship title contender, Shibuya is a veteran and easily one of the most enjoyable competitors to watch. In his last bout, the 32-year-old took on Roy Doliguez in January 2016 to win a unanimous decision. After a recuperative break, Shibuya returns to take on Gianni Subba in what should be an intense matchup.
31-year-old Ann “Athena” Osman of Kota Kinabalu is Malaysia’s premier women’s combat sports star. Training out of the coastal locale of Sabah, the female warrior hones her craft at Borneo Tribal Squad, advancing her skills in various disciplines such as wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. A well-rounded martial artist, Osman likes to use her strength to overpower opponents and is extremely aggressive, always looking for the finish. Osman will take on Singapore’s May Ooi in her return to the ONE Championship cage.
Singaporean female strawweight prospect May Ooi is a professional martial artist and a ONE Championship newcomer. With a 2-2 professional record, Ooi is a hard-working competitor possessing well-rounded striking and grappling skills. A former swimmer, Ooi represented Singapore in the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Barcelona. Today, she is one of the country’s most talented martial artists. Ooi is set to make her ONE Championship debut opposite Malaysia’s Ann Osman.
26-year-old Robin Catalan of Iloilo City, Philippines, is a member of the Catalan fighting family and a professional martial artist competing in the ONE Championship strawweight division. He currently owns a record of six wins and two losses, which includes two wins by submission and two by knockout. In his last bout, Catalan went head-to-head with fellow Filipino warrior Jeremy Miado to nab the win via split decision. Now, Catalan is set to face former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke of Thailand.
Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion who has a 7-2 record as a professional martial artist. He is known as a technical striker with quick hands and lightning feet, employing some of the most unique and creative combinations. As a martial artist with over 25 years of competitive experience, Dejdamrong is a seasoned veteran. In his last bout, Dejdamrong took on Indonesia’s Adrian Matheis to bag a first-round knockout victory. Next, the Thai warrior goes up against Robin Catalan.
22-year-old Keanu Subba of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is one of the most promising young talents in ONE Championship’s featherweight ranks. He is 5-2 as a professional after making a name for himself as a MIMMA featherweight champion. In his most recent bout, Subba trumped fellow top prospect Ahmed Mujtaba of Pakistan, winning impressively by first-round submission. Subba’s experience inside the ONE Championship cage as a young fighter has taught him great lessons that he says has helped him improve his overall game. He is set to face Christian Lee in a highly-anticipated clash of young stars.
19-year-old Christian “The Warrior” Lee, younger brother of reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, began his professional martial arts career on an absolute tear, railing off five straight victories by thrilling finish. He has impressed fans with his ability to seek out stoppage wins over top-caliber opponents. In his last bout, Lee toppled Chinese prospect Wan Jianping via first-round technical knockout to improve his record to 6-1. Known as an unpredictable striker with unorthodox grappling technique, Lee is now set to face rival Keanu Subba of Malaysia.
Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly is a 33-year-old Filipino martial arts talent and one of the brightest featherweight prospects to emerge from the Philippines. A professional martial artist with a complete striking and grappling skill set, Kelly brings Team Lakay’s world-renowned wushu to centerstage as he looks to showcase his expertise inside the ONE Championship cage. Kelly has won his last three outings by spectacular finish. In his last bout, Kelly scored a third-round technical knockout of veteran competitor Sunoto of Indonesia. Kelly seeks to continue his amazing run, this time against Emilio Urrutia.
Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia is an American martial artist from Miami, Florida. The 30-year old made his professional debut in 2013, and has since produced a solid 9-4 record. A skilled grappler, four of Urrutia’s nine total victories have come by submission. Training out of the renowned Tiger Muay Thai gym in Thailand and Juggernaut Fight Club in Singapore, Urrutia is set to make his ONE Championship debut as a featherweight. He will take on Filipino sensation Edward Kelly.
38-year-old Rene “The Challenger” Catalan of Manila, Philippines, is a 2006 Asian Games gold medalist in wushu. He made his ONE Championship debut in 2013 against Brazil’s Alex Silva, and has since amassed a 2-2, 1 No Contest professional record. In September of 2016, Catalan notched his first victory in the promotion with a unanimous decision over Zhang You Liang. In his most recent bout, Catalan submitted Adrian Matheis by armbar in the second round. Now Catalan is looking for his third straight victory, this time against Bu Huo You Ga.
24-year-old martial artist Bu Huo You Ga of China is a ONE Championship prospect with a professional record of four wins and two losses. He made his promotional debut in January of 2016 in the ONE Changsha Bantamweight Tournament, winning against Cai Chang Bo in his first bout, but losing to Ma Haobin shortly after. Months later, Bu Huo You Ga returned to competition as a flyweight to win the 2016 ONE Hefei Flyweight Tournament. Early in his professional career, Bu Huo You Ga has shown an incredible fighting spirit with solid striking and grappling offensive skills. Now ready to take his career to the next level, Bu Huo You Ga takes on Filipino wushu specialist Rene Catalan.
About ONE Championship™
ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, OSN and more.