Friday was a big day for the MMA fans who tuned in to One FC: Firstly, it was a thrill for the people of the Philippines, who got to see first hand that the country has some candidates to become MMA stars, like Erik Kelly, who took out Jens Pulver in their featherweight tilt.
Secondly, there was Bibiano Fernandes, who kept up his string of positive results in outpointing fellow Brazilian Gustavo Falciroli in the three-round main event. And it was also a major occasion for three Gracie brothers, who brought their family pride by stepping into the cage in Asia and coming up with two wins and a loss.
Rolles Gracie and Gregor Gracie tapped their opponents out, while Igor lost by technical knockout in the third round to South Korea’s Jung Hwan Cha.
GRACIEMAG.com had a chat with Rolles about the lessons learnt by the three Jiu-Jitsu professors who were born in Rio but have made New Jersey their home.
GRACIEMAG: You played a mature game against Tony Bonello right up until finishing with a rear-naked choke in the third round. What did you learn at this installment of One FC?
Rolles: I went in really calm. My younger brothers inspired me a lot for this fight not just where preparing and training was concerned, but also in the dressing room. I saw how calm they were when they fought and I went in to fight really calm too. I don’t know if I learned that this fight, but I certainly recalled that Jiu-Jitsu is a style of fighting requiring calm and patience, and that’s what I used to get the tapout.
How did the tapout come about?
I’d already softened up my opponent the whole fight. I think at that moment he was already overwhelmed, didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. I made it to his back after getting a takedown, punched him in the head some, stuck in my hooks and squeezed on his neck at the same time. Tony’s a tough guy who knows Jiu-Jitsu—he got 15 of his 16 wins by submission; he’s a black belt who’s won some tourneys in the United States. So tapping him out was not easy. Besides all that, he was slippery; the Vaseline on our faces had spread, and that made it harder for me.
What are your thoughts about Gregor and Igor’s fights?
Gregor went to town. He went in to fight, not to brawl like the last time. He was calm, patient and capitalized on the opportunity to finish when it came. He showed he’s evolved a great deal since his last fight. Now Igor’s fight was a shame. I feel that if any of us three deserved to win, it was Igor, since he was better prepared than Gregor and me put together. And we trained a lot; I don’t remember the last time I was in the shape I’m in today. I feel, with all due respect, that Igor’s a better fighter than his opponent. It just happened that my brother used a lot of force in holding the guy down, and that tired him out.
Is the land of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, the Philippines, also passionate about MMA?
Yes. This is a really cool country. The people here remind me a lot of Brazilians. Despite all the hardships in life, they’re always smiling and make everything into a reason to have fun. I want to come back to fight again; I really feel at home here.
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES
AUGUST 31, 2012
Bibiano Fernandes defeated Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision.
Eduard Folayang defeated Felipe Enomoto via unanimous decision.
Andrei Arlovski vs Tim Sylvia ends in No Contest (illegal blow).
Eric Kelly defeated Jens Pulver via TKO at 1:43 min of R2.
Rolles Gracie subbed Tony Bonello via rear-naked choke at 1:33 min of R3.
Jung Hwan Cha defeated Igor Gracie via TKO at 1:03 min of R3.
Soo Chul Kim defeated Kevin Belingon via unanimous decision.
Gregor Gracie subbed Nicholas Mann via armbar at 3:28 min of R1.
Phil Baroni defeated Rodrigo Ribeiro with soccer kicks at 1min of R1.
Shannon Wiratchai defeated Mitch Chilson with soccer kicks at 2:30 min of R2.
Honorio Banario defeated Andrew Benibe via TKO at 3:47 min of R3.