Jens Pulver's run through the ONE FC bantamweight tournament ended prematurely, as the former UFC lightweight champion tapped out to a second-round d'arce choke courtesy of Masakatsu Ueda on the main card of ONE FC 8: Kings and Champions.
Both fighters came out looking to counter early, trading single punches outside the pocket. Pulver lunged onto a Ueda slip, however the former Shooto champion used the opportunity to take Pulver's back, power him to the mat and quickly advance into full mount. Nonetheless, Pulver managed to ride out the round avoiding significant danger, apart from a late kimura attempt.
Pulver briefly reclaimed momentum early in the second frame, catching a body kick and taking Ueda's back. The 38-year-old hunted for a series of straight armbars but nothing gave and Ueda soon twisted back into Pulver's guard. From there Ueda rotated between unloading strikes -- cutting Pulver below his left eye -- and patiently advancing position, eventually locking up the fight ending submission.
The finish came at 3:52 of round 2.
"I'm very, very happy," Ueda said afterward through a translator. "I just tried to finish."
With the win, Ueda pushes his record to 16-2-2 and advances to the tournament final, where he'll face Kevin Belingon. The 25-year-old Filipino prospect punched his ticket to the finals by finishing Thanh Vu via second-round TKO.
Pulver, loser of four of his last seven, falls to 27-17-1 with the setback.