By Thinesh John
Phil Baroni will be thrilled to know that he’ll be fighting for the Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship for the 2nd time, following his unexpected expulsion from the promotion’s previous event, titled ‘Destiny of Warriors’.
The former UFC and PRIDE veteran returns to the ONE FC cage against Evolve MMA’s Rodrigo ‘Ximbica’ Ribeiro at ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation, which is set to go down August 31st at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum situated in Manilla, Philippines.
‘The New York Badass’ has been brushing up his wrestling skills by training in San Jose along with the likes of Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier, Riki Fukuda, Gray Maynard and Tyson Griffin.
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Prior to his promotional debut loss at ONE FC’s first inaugural event titled ‘Champion vs. Champion’ against Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Baroni was 2-3 in his past 5 fights. Now, however, he’ll be looking to put a dent on his 2-fight losing streak with his latest loss coming at the hands of Chris Holland at Ring of Fire 43.
In the meantime, Rodrigo ‘Ximbica’ Ribeiro will be looking to get back in the win column as well, following a disappointing decision loss against Rustam Khabilov at ONE FC 2: Battle of Heroes. Ribeiro is a 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who is 2-3 in his past 5 fights, and will be training alongside the likes of grappling maestro Shinya Aoki in preparation for his fight against Baroni.
Elsewhere, former DREAM Bantamweight and Featherweight title holder Bibiano Fernandes, will be putting his 3-fight winning streak in jeopardy when he faces reigning CFC 135lbs-champion Gustavo Falciroli, in a tilt that may send fight fans to the edge of their seats.
Falciroli will be facing the biggest test of his career in this intriguing encounter, after marking his promotional ONE FC debut with a submission win over Soo Chul Kim. Falciroli has never been finished in all of his 17 professional MMA bouts thus far, and he’ll certainly be ensuring that it stays that way when gets into the cage on August 31st.
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Prior to the announcement of recent signees Andrei Arlovski and Jens Pulver, Asian fans were already drooling at the prospect of seeing Bibiano Fernandes compete in ONE Fighting Championship.
A holder of various accolades throughout his career, ‘The Flash’ rejected the world’s top MMA promotion – the Ultimate Fighting Championship, for a lucrative contract offered by the Singapore-based promotion. A veteran of the defunct DREAM promotion in Japan, Fernandes is an elite athlete who has faced the likes of Urijah Faber, Joachim Hansen, Masakazu Imanari and Antonio Banuelos.
Do look out for further fight announcements in the near future, here on MMASucka.com.
As it stands, here’s the updated fight card for ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation:
- Bibiano Fernandes vs. Gustavo Falciroli
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Soa Palelei
- Jens Pulver vs. Eric Kelly
- Phil Baroni vs. Rodrigo Ribeiro