Asia’s most promising MMA promotion, ONE Fighting Championships, returns Saturday with title fights and top names on its sixth card, which should attract some serious attention.

With names like Shinya Aoki and Jens Pulver gracing the card, ONE FC has definitely made a power play to make the big time in MMA. Add to that the fact there is a bantamweight tournament grand prix with the opening round on this card, and this is a must-see event for the weekend.

Here is a preview of all the fights on the card, which takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. Fans can watch the event via live online stream at the ONE FC website (http://www.onefc.com/livestream) and U.S. fans can catch all the action at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 6 on pay-per-view.

LW: Shinya Aoki (30-6) vs. Arnaud Lepont (9-1)

Lepont (ONE FC)

Frenchman Arnaud Lepont wanted a fight with Shinya Aoki, and a fight with Shinya Aoki he will get. The Frenchman will have his hands full when he meets one of the most dynamic, creative submission artists in MMA today.

Aoki is 30-6 with one no-contest in his career, which spans back to 2003. Aoki is the owner of 19 career submission wins, while never being submitted himself. He has recently submitted veterans such as Rob McCullough, Rich Clementi, Lyle Beerbohm, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Joachim Hansen. That type of resume is tough to duplicate.

Lepont is far less experienced in both number of fights and the talent he has faced. The 9-1 Frenchman does own seven career submissions, but has been submitted in his only loss. Lepont made a victorious ONE FC debut in his latest fight when he beat Brian Choi with a rear-naked choke.

One has to believe that Aoki, though he has worked on his striking, will look to drag Lepont to the ground. Expect him to do this and fish for one his many flashy submissions. I will go out on a limb here and say Aoki wins with an armlock, possibly an armbar or keylock.

LW Championship: Kotetsu Boku (19-7-2) vs. Zorobabel Moreira (7-1)

Moreira (ONE FC)

The inaugural lightweight championship will be on the line when Japan’s Kotetsu Boku meets Brazilian prospect Zorobabel Moreira.

Boku is a veteran of the Shooto, Dream and K-1 Heroes promotions, showing he is no stranger to the higher levels of the sport. He has finished seven opponents in his career, including six by knockout. A list of his victims includes UFC veterans Eiji Mitsuoka and Hermes Franca, as well as David Gardner and Alexandre Franca Nogueira.

Meanwhile, Moreira jumped into the MMA spotlight with his soccer-kick knockout of Roger Huerta in his last fight. It was a knockout that catapulted him into the spotlight and earned him a ton of respect from the fight community.

Moreira is pretty well-rounded and has beat some tough opponents in his young career. He has defeated notables Ferrid Kheder, Andy Wang and Felipe Enomoto, in addition to Huerta.

Boku’s experience and stand-up may be a factor in this fight, but Moreira has looked extremely impressive as of late. This fight could go either way, but I will say that Moreira taps Boku out with a rear-naked choke to claim the title.

BW Championship: Leandro Issa (10-2) vs. Soo Chul Kim (6-4)

Issa (ONE FC)

A rematch from the first ONE FC card is afoot, as Leandro Issa and Soo Chul Kim will meet again for the first-ever championship in the ONE FC bantamweight division. Their first fight saw Issa win by unanimous decision, but let’s examine each fighter to come to a final verdict on this fight.

Issa is a gifted submission artist, as seven of his ten wins come by tapout. In addition to defeating Kim in their first encounter, Issa defeated respected Japanese submission artist Masakazu Imanari by unanimous decision in June to earn this championship opportunity.

Kim is 6-4, but don’t be fooled by the record. He is very skilled and has submission skills of his own. Since losing to Issa, Kim has gone 2-2, defeating ONE FC veteran Kevin Belingon in his latest outing by unanimous decision.

Kim is a good grappler, but there is no way he will out-grapple Issa. Therefore, like in the last fight, I think Issa will dominate the ground war and earn the title with a unanimous decision nod.

The Undercard

MW: Melvin Manhoef (25-9-1) vs. Ryo Kawamura (15-6-4)

Knockout artists Melvin Manhoef and Ryo Kawamura are set to meet in a fight that is a striker’s delight. Manhoef is a finisher, as he owns 23 of his 25 wins by knockout. All eight of Kawamura’s wins are by knockout, which means one of these men will likely not walk out of the cage. Manhoef is a K-1 level kickboxer and is considered one of the most dangerous strikers in MMA. I see him knocking the current middleweight King of Pancrase, Kawamura, out and adding to his brutal legacy.

BW Grand Prix Quarterfinal: Jens Pulver (26-17-1) vs. Yanfei Zhao (1-2)

The end of Jens Pulver’s career has been a trainwreck of a once legendary track record. However, the opening round of the bantamweight tournament seems to be a gimme to a guy who still draws some eyes. Pulver is 2-3 in his last five fights, including a knockout loss to Eric Kelly in his latest bout. Yanfei Zhao is incredibly inexperienced, especially compared to Pulver, and is likely a sacrificial lamb. Expect a “classic” Pulver performance that sees him knock out the unknown Chinese fighter.

BW Grand Prix Quarterfinal: Masakatsu Ueda (15-2-2) vs. Min Jung Song (3-4)

The second of three bantamweight tournament bouts sees Japanese star Masakatsu Ueda meet Korean fighter Min Jung Song. Ueda is an outstanding grappler that likes to grind out his wins. He has beaten notables Royler Gracie and Eduardo Dantas, showing his high level of competitiveness. Song is vastly inexperienced compared to Ueda, but will be tough competition. Expect for Ueda to pull of a submission or win a clear-cut decision on the scorecards.

BW Grand Prix Quarterfinal: Kevin Belingon (9-2) vs. Yusup Saadulaev (9-1-1)

In the closest of the bantamweight tournament bouts, Kevin Belingon and Yusup Saadulaev will meet in what should be a great fight. Belingon is on a two-fight skid, but has shown well-rounded skills in the past. His submission offense has looked pretty good. Saadulaev is coming off a slam knockout victory over Hideo Tokoro in his latest fight and will have the superior wrestling. I expect Saadulaev to hand Belingon his third straight loss, finishing him with a chokehold of some sort.

Gianni Subba (0-0) vs. Bruce Loh (2-1)

In a fight of the very unknown, Bruce Loh steps in for Radeem Rahman on short notice to combat Gianni Subba. Subba is making his pro debut in this flyweight bout and is just 19 years old. Loh, though fighting on extremely short notice, is 2-1, with his only loss coming by injury. I expect Loh to welcome Subba to pro MMA with a loss, though it will be a good learning experience for the Malaysian teenager.

Ngabdi Mulyadi (5-4) vs. Mitch Chilson (3-1)

Middle-of-the-road featherweights Ngabdi Mulyadi and Mitch Chilson are set to lead off the card on Saturday. Mulyadi is riding a four-fight losing streak into this fight, despite one of his victories coming over a fighter named Dr. No (not making this up). Chilson is a three-time ONE FC veteran, holding a 1-1 (1 NC) record with the company. Expect Chilson to hand Mulyadi his fifth straight loss with a rear-naked choke submission.

Top Photo: Shinya Aoki (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.