Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Filipino fighters shut out of ONE FC: WAR OF NATIONS

Brazilian Herbert Burns kicks at Filipino Harris Sarmiento. Burns won via unanimous decision.
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Filipino fighters shut out of ONE FC: WAR OF NATIONS
by rick olivares

14 March 2014 – Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur: The co-main event of ONE FC: WAR OF NATIONS featured a clash of highly touted Bantamweights. South Korean Dae Hwan Kim continued his meteoric rise up the ranks by forcing Kevin Belingon to submit in the first round.  Belingon appeared to have the upper hand in early exchanges, but Kim capitalized on the Filipino’s ill-advised submission attempt. The slippery Kim, who in a classic fight against Vietnamese fighter Thanh Vu in ONE FC: Moment of Truth showcased his ability to extricate himself from precarious positions, escaped Belingon’s choke and applied a choke of his own, forcing the Filipino to tap out, boosting his undefeated record to 10-0-1.

It was Belingon’s fourth loss in his last seven matches to drop to 12-4. Prior to his ONE FC stint, he was undefeated going 9-0. Obviously, the competition in the ONE FC is much stiffer. But we’ve seen Filipino fighters mostly take it on the chin since their participation in Asia’s top MMA organization. They have gone a collective, 14-18 (there have been two fights where it was Filipino versus Filipino).

Making his ONE FC debut was Harris Sarmiento. Who was up against the dangerous Herbert Burns in a preliminary bout.

Burns controlled the lion’s share of the action in the first round, coming close to finishing the fight with several submission attempts.  The second and third rounds were closer, with the pair exchanging several lively striking exchanges to kick off the second stanza. Sarmiento took Burns down on two attempts, but was unable to get much offense from a dominant position. The bout was again closely contested in the third round with both fighters landing significant strikes. All three judges scoring the bout saw it the same way, awarding the unanimous decision victory to Herbert Burns.

I am hard-pressed to say that I am impressed with Sarmiento who took Burns to the distance. I feel he utilized his experience to stay in the fight against a younger foe who has very good skills. The Brazilian’s two previous wins all came in the first round with each fight going an average of 34 seconds! Unbelievable.

I just have to wonder how much Sarmiento has in the tank as he’s got so much mileage (36 wins and 26 losses).

The last time Filipinos have been shut out in a multi-fight cards was in ONE FC: Rise to Power where all five bets – Honorio Banario, Belingon, Rey Docyogen, Eduard Folayang, and Geje Eustaquio – lost. It was deflating evening that night.

After the disaster that was Rise to Power, I pointed out how the lack of a wrestling base hurts many of our fighters’ chances. Not everyone fights standing up. Wrestling is something that should be taught and learned at a young age so it becomes second nature. For lack of a better term, it’s tough to teach old dogs new tricks.

Sarmiento tried to get Burns to submit from a superior position but failed. Even Geje Eustaquio in his match against Andrew Leone saw several moves reversed. Eduard Folayang has been dealt two severe beatings at the hands of wrestlers (Lowen Tynanes and Kamal Shalorus).

Hopefully, when the ONE FC returns to Manila for Rise of Heroes on May 2, we’ll see some of the hometown lads defend their turf in what is becoming an increasingly competitive MMA fight circuit.

Official results for ONE FC: WAR OF NATIONS:             

Welterweight bout: Nobutatsu Suzuki defeats Brock Larson by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3

Bantamweight bout: Dae Hwan Kim defeats Kevin Belingon by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:39 minutes of round 1

Flyweight bout: Adriano Moraes defeats Yasuhiro Urushitani by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:48 minutes of round 2

Lightweight bout: Kamal Shalorus defeats Ariel Sexton by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3

Catchweight bout: Andrew Leone defeats Shinichi Kojima by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 minutes of round3

Lightweight bout: Kotetsu Boku defeats Arnaud Lepont by TKO (Strikes) at 4:06 minutes of round 1

Lightweight bout: Peter Davis defeats Waqar Umar by Submission (Verbal Tapout) at 3:07 minutes of round 2

Featherweight bout: Herbert Burns defeats Harris Sarmiento by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3

Flyweight bout: Saiful Merican defeats Khim Dima by Split Decision at 5:00 minutes of round 3

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