Zhang Lipeng won his ONE Championship debut at “Battleground 2,” defeating former promotional champ Eduard Folayang via unanimous decision after three rounds. The victory headlined a five-fight pre-taped card from the Singapore-based promotion that aired for the first time on Friday.
A mix of skills on the feet and on the ground earned Zhang the win.
Zhang dominated the first round, being able to get Folayang down and controlling him in grappling and wrestling positions.
Folayang had a better second round, as he was more active in a long stand-up striking exchange. Zhang was also able to land good shots on the feet to keep the fight as a close battle.
The third round was mostly on the feet again, although Zhang was able to finish off the round with a takedown.
Zhang, a UFC alum and veteran of Kunlun Fights, was making his ONE Championship debut with the fight. The appearance on this event was his first since 2019.
The promotional newcomer called out MMA veteran Shinya Aoki after the bout. Aoki was the previous opponent to defeat Folayang, submitting him earlier this year.
Folayang is now on a three-fight losing streak. On top of that, he has lost five of his past six.
It was mentioned frequently on the broadcast that Folayang was fighting for the future of his career, implying that another loss would cause the end of his ONE run.
Folayang mentioned after his loss that he plans to return to action.
Silva Gets Decision Nod Via Grappling
Alex Silva cruised to a unanimous decision win in the co-main event, defeating Miao Li Tao after a grappling-heavy three-round fight.
Silva was frequently in the dominant position on the ground, forcing Miao to constantly defend and resist submissions.
Silva also held his own on the feet, landing the best shot of the fight with an uppercut in the final frame.
Silva earned his first victory since 2019 with the fight, snapping a two-fight skid with the performance.
Miao was returning to the cage after defeating Ryuto Sawada earlier this year. He has now lost three of his past five bouts.
Groin Strike Ends Heavyweight Clash
A disastrous heavyweight fight between Alain Ngalani and promotional newcomer Thomas Narmo came to a no contest end in the second round. The no contest finish came after an accidental groin strike from Ngalani forced Narmo out of the bout.
Ngalani’s groin strike was a kick which connected to a grounded Narmo while on his back. Ngalani was aiming for the legs of Narmo, but instead hit his groin and caused the bout to end.
The fight was looking like a win for Ngalani before the sudden finish.
Narmo had the size advantage in the fight, although he hardly utilized it as his best moments were in a clinch position. Ngalani was the significantly more successful striker throughout the fight, showing more activity and connecting frequently on the feet.
Narmo was handed a deduction in the second round due to three accidental groin strikes.
Narmo was joining ONE after attaining four pro wins on the regional scene. The matchup was his first appearance against a pro with a win on their record. His next bout is also set, as he is expected to face Marcus Almeida in September, per a report from Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.
Ngalani was aiming to break a losing streak in ONE.
Saputra Scores 10-Second Win
It took Eko Roni Saputra only 10 seconds to continue his win streak, finishing Liu Peng Shuai in the first minute with an overhand right. The fight-ending strike caused a walk-off win for Saputra and was one of the only strikes in the bout that connected.
The broadcast proclaimed that Saputra’s win was the quickest for his weight division in the promotion.
Saptura is now on a five-fight win streak. All four of his previous wins also came within a round each. His most recent win is his first that has come via strikes, as most previous wins finished with submissions.
Liu now has a negative pro record of six wins and seven losses. His previous fight was his ONE debut, which was a win over Elipitua Siregar.
Raju Breaks Losing Streak With Rear Naked Choke
Rahul Raju showed his grappling skills in the opening bout of the card, landing a takedown and securing a rear naked choke in the second round for the submission against Otgonbaatar Nergui.
Raju was quick to score a takedown in the second round. Once he slid in the choke from the back it was completely under the chin of Nergui, warranting a tap shortly after.
The fight was close leading up to the stoppage, as both fighters were able to score takedowns and land strikes on the feet.
Raju, a now eight-fight ONE vet, is now back in the win column after being on a two-fight skid from the past year.
Nergui was fighting for the first time since 2019. His previous appearance was on ONE’s “Warrior Series” in 2019, where he defeated Takuya Nagata.
Bout 5: Zhang Lipeng def. Eduard Folayang via Decision, Unanimous (MMA Bout)
Bout 4: Alex Silva def. Miao Li Tao via Decision, Unanimous (MMA Bout)
Bout 3: Alain Ngalani vs. Thomas Narmo via No Contest, Accidental Foul (RD 2) (MMA Bout)
Bout 2: Eko Roni Saputra def. Liu Peng Shuhai via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:10) (MMA Bout)
Bout 1: Rahul Raju def. Otgonbaatar Nergui via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 3:54) (MMA Bout)