ONE FC bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes outwrestled and outclassed Masakatsu Ueda to successfully defend his belt in the main event of ONE FC 15 on Friday night in Manila, Philippines, although the Brazilian's first finish within the ONE FC cage continued to elude him.
Ueda defeated three opponents in succession to take gold in ONE FC's inaugural bantamweight tournament, but on this night it would be Fernandes who set the tone early. The former DREAM two-division champion dumped Ueda on his back twice in the opening frame and advanced into mount, then ended the round by hunting for a rear-naked choke from Ueda's back.
He went on to repeat the favor several times throughout the five-round contest, scoring eight takedowns in total and hurting Ueda with a third-round flurry, though the Japanese veteran hung in tough.
All three judges scored the contest for Fernandes, who afterward revealed that he believed he suffered a broken leg sometime during the second or third round.
"If it was two rounds, one round, I for sure would give it everything I had. But five rounds, I had to take my time," Fernandes said.
"Anybody here they want me to fight, I'm here."
With his first successful title defense, Fernandes moves to a perfect 4-0 inside the ONE FC cage and extends his record to 15-3 in total. Ueda drops to 18-3-2 with the loss.
In the night's co-main event, Filipino fan favorite Eduard Folayang landed timely takedowns and battered Kotetsu Boku standing throughout all three rounds to claim a unanimous decision victory over the former ONE FC lightweight champion.
"I learned a lot from my past lessons and I really worked hard so I could be able to be a better fighter tonight," Folayang said.
"There are a lot of ONE FC top lightweight fighters, and of course I want to fight the champion."
Folayang pushes his record to 14-4 with the win, which marks his second straight after rebounding from a career-worst two-fight slump, while Boku falls to 21-10-2 in defeat.
Check out complete ONE FC 15 results below.
Bibiano Fernandes def. Masakatsu Ueda via unanimous decision
Eduard Folayang def. Kotetsu Boku via unanimous decision
Rey Docyogen def. Josh Alvarez via unanimous decision
Leandro Ataides def. Tatsuya Mizuno via TKO (punches) at :47 of round one
Rob Lisita def. Yusuke Kawanago via TKO (punches) at :28 of round one
James McSweeney def. Chris Lokteff via KO (flying knee) at 1:56 of round one
Ana Julaton def. Aya Saeid Saber via TKO (punches) at 4:01 of round three