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Vera retains HW belt, Bibiano Fernandes continues longest One reign

Brandon Vera raises his arms in triumph.
By JP Abcede

PASAY--Two One Championship titleholders successfully defended their grasp of the top prize in their respective divisions at One: Age of Domination on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena with the ageless Brandon Vera stopping Hideki Sekine and Bibiano Fernandes earning a split decision win against Reece “Lightning” McLaren.

Vera made sure him being kicked out of the condominium he was previously staying was worth it as he only needed three and some minutes of the first round to end his bout against Sekine. The Japanese challenger was caught off balanced by a Vera kick to the head as the latter took advantage, landing several blows to the head of a felled Sekine before referee Yuji Shimada interfered to end the contest.

“It is out of respect because he is good in the ground,” Vera mentioned with a hint of irony after the bout as he picked his spots against the jiu-jitsu practitioner before he delivered the killer blows.

Vera improved his record to 15 wins, seven losses, and one no contest. His hands are full as of late, as he was given a chance to promote the Erik Matti-directed movie, “Buy Bust”, starring him and Anne Curtis, who was also in attendance to support her co-cast member.

“Walang pahinga”, Vera summarized his recent schedule, juggling his commitments in MMA and his movie.

This is Sekine’s first MMA defeat after starting his career with seven victories.
Bibiano Fernandes holds down Reece McLaren to keep his everlasting hold of the One bantamweight championship.
Meanwhile, Fernandes had to go the full route against the showy McLaren before eking out a slim decision from two of the three judges. The Brazilian, the longest reigning One champion of all time, bucked a broken nose and a ground game that was stalled from the third round onwards by the upset-looking Aussie with Filipino lineage.

“Broken nose, broken leg, it does not matter,” the bantamweight titlist said, this being his fifth defense of the belt he won back in Singapore more than two years ago.

Fernandes now sports a 19-3 card, while the 25-year old McLaren falls to 9-4.

Meanwhile, other Filipinos who came out on top in the action-filled card include Mark Streigl, who upended Sotir Kichukov of Bulgaria via unanimous decision in a catchweight fight; Honorio Banario, who beat India’s Rajinder Singh Meena via arm bar submission on the first round; Edward Kelly, who handed Sunoto knuckle sandwiches after mounting him midway of the third round; and Danny Kingad, who forced fellow Pinoy Eugene Toquero to submit via armbar late on the first round.

Two other local fighters lost their respective matches as April Osenio succumbed to a gogoplata choke on the second round against the still undefeated Jenny Huang, and Toni Tauru locked in a rear naked choke on Geje Eustaquio on the first round.

Finally, Leandro Ataides landed a flying knee to the Mohamed Ali of Egypt to instantaneously end the fight in the second round, and Xie Bin defeated Satya Wirawan via unanimous decision in the curtain raiser.