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ONE Warrior Series 9 Throwback

With Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 10 less than a week away, we look back at the last OWS event of 2019 – ONE Warrior Series 9. We’ll review the best fights, the controversies, and the fighters that we should keep an eye on.

ONE Fight to Rule Them All

ONE Warrior Series 9 was special in that it had 14 fights on its card. The fact that only three of them went the distance should remind us how much action was on display that night. But, if you were only able to watch one fight out of this three-hour-long event, there’s no contest on which one it should be.

Ali Motamed vs. Hikaru Yoshino.

The back-and-forth affair was appropriately reflected in its Split Decision result. Yoshino, being a pre-dominant wrestler, was determined to get it to the ground and get there it did. Motamed spent much of the fight trying to get up from under his Japanese opponent, with great success.

The Iranian struck from the bottom, the scramble, from distance and with flurries. By the end of the second round, Yoshino’s left ear looked like it was growing into another head. On it went, takedown after takedown, big hit after big hit. There’s a compelling argument for either fighter to get their hand raised after the final bell.

In the end, Motamed got the nod and was granted the coveted US$ 100,000 ONE contract to boot.

(Left) Ali Motamed def. Hikaru Yoshino via ABS-CBN Sports.

Not everything in the card went as smoothly though.

A Warrior Series of Unfortunate Events

Not Even a Contest

The night ended early for Ovais Shah, after Asraful Islam sent a kick right into the no-go zone at the start of the second round of the second fight of the night. Since the fight didn’t reach the half-way mark, the judges weren’t bothered, and the match was an automatic no contest.

Hoping for a No Contest

We recently saw Nyrene Crowley as a replacement for Bi Nguyen to face Itsuki Hirata at ONE: Warrior’s Code. Before that, her assignment was Michele Ferriera and that didn’t end well for her either.

Both fighters quickly found themselves on the ground in the first round and Ferriera got a hold of Crowley’s arm for an attempted armbar. All of a sudden referee, Adam Kayoom stopped the fight and waved it off, saying that Crowley’s arm was hyper-extended, even though the Australian fighter didn’t tap or express any distress.

Crowley’s camp understand that fighter safety is always the first priority, but maintain that the fight ended prematurely as per their dispute summary. Unfortunately, the fight still stands as a loss on her record.

Defeat, Victory, then Defeat Again

It was a rough night all around for Ashraf Fauzi when he faced Young Jun Kim. Within the first two minutes of the 1st round, Fauzi got picked up and slammed to the ground a total of three times. The last one, however, was ruled as an illegal spike on the head, bringing a quick end to the fight.

Kim was shown a red card and Fauzi was awarded the win via DQ. Unfortunately for Fauzi though, the decision was overturned and was declared a TKO win for Kim.

Ones to Watch

All that drama is part and parcel of MMA and fighters get bruised in more ways than one. But the light at the end of the tunnel at ONE Warrior Series has more clarity because everyone knows the prize they’re all fighting for. The six-figure contract.

We already know that Ali Motamed and Xie Wei got theirs from this card. So let’s look at the fighters who we should expect great things from in future cards.

Kristy Obst

This Atomweight handily finished both of her opponents in the ONE Warrior Series ring via TKO. Her opponent in this card, Uyen Ha, was heavily promoted by ONE, with a Prospect Focus video, as well as a mini-documentary of her martial arts journey. Perhaps a small case of backing the wrong horse on ONE’s part?

Viet Anh Do

This fighter has yet to see the end of the first round in his young pro career. Before the fight, he said since his first win ended in a knockout, he wanted to do more grappling to showcase his overall skills. He didn’t get much time to show it though, as his opponent Govind Singh folded backwards after a left hook to the chin at 2:12 in the first round.

Ganbayar Tumurkhuyag

Honestly, this isn’t among the best fights on the card. Both fighters were visibly gassed for most of the fight, and a lot of the action was sloppy. But I can’t ignore anyone that can do this:

Carlos Prates

This man was a whirling dervish of limbs in his match against Joseph Luciano. He put on a show that pretty much makes him a lock to get a ONE contract if he manages to get another dominant and entertaining win.

Hopefully, ONE Warrior Series 10 can have as many twists and turns as this one, as we look at the future of MMA when they get their break on the big stage.


Follow me on Twitter at @BjornPossel and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content!

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