It felt like a walk in the park for Brandon Vera.
Vera retained the One Championship heavyweight title, as he put away the previously unbeaten Hideki Sekine with a first-round body kick and follow-up punches in the “Age of Domination” main event on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines. “The Truth” brought the woefully one-sided fight to a close 3:11 into round one.
Sekine (7-1) never stood a chance. Faced with massive height and reach disadvantages, the muscle-bound Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was little more than target practice for Vera (15-7). The Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran blasted Sekine with kicks to the body and head, appeared to break his nose with a knee strike from the clinch and shrugged off a feeble attempt at a single-leg takedown. Late in the first round, Vera doubled over his 43-year-old counterpart with a body kick and pounced with punches to force the finish.
In the co-headliner, Bibiano Fernandes kept his stranglehold on the One Championship bantamweight crown with a hard-fought five-round split decision over Australian prospect Reece McLaren. Two of the three cageside judges sided with Fernandes (20-3), who has rattled off 12 consecutive victories since his New Year’s Eve loss to Hiroyuki Takaya in 2010.
McLaren (9-4) more than held his own. Fernandes controlled the early stages with takedowns and positional control. A strong third round for McLaren saw him stagger the champion with a clean blow that appeared to break his nose, turning the tide in the process. Fernandes stayed calm under duress and largely outstruck the challenger over the final two rounds, putting his overhand right and leg kicks to good use.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese prospect Jenny Huang sprang one of the rarest submissions, as she tapped April Osenio with a gogoplata in the second round of their women’s atomweight showcase. Osenio (2-2) conceded defeat 4:28 into Round 2, her modest two-fight winning streak at an end.
The 25-year-old Huang (5-0) has won all four of her fights under the One Championship banner, the last three by submission.
In other action, Evolve MMA rep Mark Striegl (15-2) took a unanimous decision from Sotir Kichukov (13-5) in a three-round lightweight affair; Toni Tauru (11-4) submitted Geje Eustaquio (8-5) with a rear-naked choke 3:55 into the first round of their clash at 125 pounds; Nova Uniao’s Leandro Ataides (9-3) knocked out Mohamed Ali (10-11) with a flying knee 4:54 into the second round of their middleweight encounter; Honorio Banario (11-6) tapped Rajinder Singh Meena (8-3) with an armbar 4:04 into the first round of their pairing at 155 pounds; Edward Kelly (9-3) disposed of Su Noto (5-3) with punches 2:14 into the third round of their featherweight tilt; Danny Kingad (4-0) submitted Eugene Toquero (8-4) with an armbar 4:36 into the first round of their matchup at 125 pounds; Sim Bunsrun (3-3) captured unanimous verdict over Liu Peng Shuai (3-1) in their 15-minute flyweight battle; and Xie Bin (2-2) was awarded a unanimous decision against Mario Satya Wirawan (5-5) in a three-round duel at 135 pounds.