3 local URCC champs make One FC debutsBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Wushu specialists Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon and Eric Kelly will bring their act to a bigger and more ferocious arena when the One Fighting Championship visits Manila on Aug. 31.
Champions in their respective divisions in the homegrown URCC, the trio have jumped into the international mixed martial arts stage with Kelly of Baguio City making his debut against American Jens Johnnie Pulver, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion.
Folayang, the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the Philippines, will also have his coming-out party in One FC at the Araneta Coliseum as well as URCC flyweight champion Belingon, but organizers have yet to come up with their high-profile opponents.
Folayang, who holds a fight record of 11-2, is the current URCC welterweight champion and a veteran competitor for the national team, having won the wushu gold medal in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games and silver in the 2006 Asian Games.
Belingon (9-1) is from Ifugao and a top flyweight prospect in the continent while Kelly, who owns an immaculate 7-0 record, is the URCC featherweight champion.
Despite the disparity in experience and accomplishments, Kelly thinks he could pulverize the 37-year-old Pulver, a boxing and muay expert, inside the ring. Pulver owns the distinction as one of only two fighters who defeated BJ Penn in the UFC.
Aside from Pulver, One FC has also brought former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and Shinya Aoki, one of Asia’s most popular MMA fighters and known as the grandmaster of flying submissions.
Arlovski, a kickboxing specialist from Belarus, takes on Australian Soa Palelei, a 6-foot-4 submission virtuoso who weighs 290 lb and owns a 17-3 record.