(Esther Lin)ONE Championship 27: Preview and Predictions Dale De Souza May 21, 2015 Events, News, Previews, Spotlight This Friday, ONE Championship 27 marks the return of the Asian MMA juggernaut to Singapore Indoor Stadium in the city of Kallang. The card will come live on an online pay-per-view basis at 7 PM EST, so those looking to enjoy the action would be advised to get a good night’s rest, because they will need to be up early to enjoy all the action. At the head of the card, ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki returns to contest “The Commander” Koji Ando for the 155-pound crown. Aoki, known as one of the world’s paramount submission specialists, has looked solid in the MMA ranks since his loss to Eddie Alvarez in 2012, but Ando is a man that, unlike many of the men Aoki has faced in sanctioned MMA bouts, has never been submitted or knocked out. Also, history will be made as the inugural ONE strawweight title will hang in the balance as Filipino prospect Roy Doliguez fights Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke of Thailand. With gold on the line, as well as the claim of being Asia’s top fighter at 115 pounds, something must give when these two men battle. All this and more comes your way as Victor Cui presents ONE Championship 27: Warrior’s Quest. Shinya Aoki vs. Koji Ando – lightweight championship bout At 32, and with no immediate signs of slowing down, Aoki prepares for yet another ONE lightweight title defense. Quite possibly one of the top 3 top lightweight veterans to have never fought in the UFC (as of this time), Aoki’s grappling wizardry is only complimented by his defensive genius in the same area of combat. Against, Ando, who is traditionally only beatable if he is outworked for three rounds straight, even Aoki’s best choke attempts may be thwarted, but as “Tobikan Judan” has taught us over the years, a man can tap out to more than just choke holds, and few lightweights in the game know how to score submissions better than Aoki. Knowing this, he will take Ando’s back, and just as he was able to do in his last fight, Aoki will deliver another successful defense with another beautiful submission, though he may deliver on a more conventional hold this time out. Aoki def. Ando by submission (kneebar). Round 1. Roy Doliguez vs. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke – inaugural strawweight championship bout The only thing that would shock more fans than just telling them that a men’s strawweight division exists in ONE would be telling them that a men’s strawweight division exists in MMA. Alas, it does, and while it may not get any immediate shine, it will still look to deliver on solid action and let the accolades fall where they will. The 6-1 Submission Sports Philippines product will come off of four consecutive victories, and while he has not lost a bout in a little over two years, Thailand’s Sor Amnuaysirichoke represents an enigma of sorts because he only debuted professionally 11 months ago, yet the man is an undefeated (4-0) product that stands at 36 years of age. In this sport, pushing close to 40 can work in one of two ways, but unless Sor Amnuaysirichoke’s streak of finishes is little more than compensation for a horrid cardio game, he takes Doliuez to the woodshed early and eventually pounds out the title-clinching “W”. Sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Doliguez by TKO (strikes). Round 2. Marat Gafurov vs. Ev Ting If Gafurov’s name rings any bells for anyone, then there is a good possibility that someone either witnessed his rather quick submission of Robert Lisita at ONE Championship 21, or saw him take a split-decision win from Maribek Taisumov back in 2012. Because of how he has looked in his ONE debut and in M-1 Challenge, some could peg him as the favorite to defeat Ting, who comes off of an impressive showing over Cary Bullos. Of course, Ting already held the momentum of back-to-back knockout wins over Edward Kelly and Yohan Mulia Legowo coming into the Bullos fight, so Gafurov can expect a long night from the onset. Still, Gafurov has finished four of his ten career foes by rear-naked choke, and as he outworks Ting in the first minutes of the bout, Gafurov will stay on top of Ting until he puts New Zealand-bred featherweight away in the closing seconds of the opening frame with his go-to hold. Gafurov def. Ting by submission (rear-naked choke) Kuat Khamitov vs. Lowen Tynanes Undefeated 6-0 Tynanes only started his career back in 2011, but in the short time that he’s been competing, he’s already taken Felipe Enemoto and Vuyisile Colossa out under the ONE banner, not too long after he had forced a doctor’s stoppage in his second pro bout, which came against Eduard Folayang. Khamitov brings forth a reputation for finishing fights in 13 of his 18 pro wins. Adding in the fact that no man has been able to knock him out, and it seems natural that this would be an uphill battle for Tynanes. Still, MMA fighters don’t win fights on knockouts alone, and while Tynanes has not needed to go all three rounds in a while, he is a smart enough fighter to know that guys like Khamitov are the types of guys that not even he can put away inside the distance. Hence, constant pressure in all realms of the bout, from the striking to the ground game, will aid Tynanes as he takes home the win after all three rounds. Tynanes def. Khamitov by unanimous decision. Eddie Ng vs. Ariel Sexton Though some sleep on the Renzo Gracie black belt Sexton from time to time, the fact of the matter is that, despite his grappling prowess, he is still a short-notice replacement for Rafael Nunes, Ng’s original opponent. Coming off of the loss to Vincent Latoel, which was his first loss since 2009, Ng will have plenty on his mind, but he won’t plan on letting Sexton run through him. After mixing it up on the feet and rocking Sexton, Ng will pick apart Sexton and force the referee’s intervention to return to the win column. Ng def. Sexton by TKO (strikes). Round 3. Stephen Langdown vs. Alateng Heili Langdown comes in as a 2-1 prospect from the Singaporean circuit, while Heili comes off of a 2-3 run in his last five fights. Needless to say, this is do or die for Inner Mongolia’s own Heili, but the good news is that time will be on his side. The bad news for him, however, is that Langdown packs the kind of knockout power that one needs to put Heili’s lights out, and come Friday night, that power will be on full display as Langdown keeps his momentum rolling along. Langdown def. Heili by knockout (punch). Round 1.