Yuri Simoes is a two-time ADCC World Champion and a two-time IBJJF World Champion, so it seems like he didn’t want to waste any time fighting his way up the ranks when making his MMA debut. The approach he took of jumping in the deep end didn’t pay off however, as he lost a Unanimous Decision to Fan Rong at ONE FC: Inside The Matrix 3. It was always going to be a tough challenge for Simoes as he took on a vastly more experienced MMA fighter in Rong, someone who already held a 13-2 record and had only lost one of his last fourteen fights.
Not just that, but Rong’s only loss in that time came against the man who just recently fought for and won the ONE FC Middleweight World Championship, Reinier de Ridder. Throughout the fight, Simoes showed that he held a significant advantage on the ground, as most would expect, but he struggled to get the fight there to begin with. Not just that, but Rong showed superior striking skills and managed to keep the fight standing enough to win the fight based on those exchanges.
This shows that Simoes would most likely have been better served by taking the slow-and-steady approach to building his MMA career instead of jumping in the deep end on his first fight. If he’d taken a leaf out of Garry Tonon’s book and started out against opponent’s with a similar level of MMA experience, his significant grappling advantage should’ve been enough to see him to victory in his first few fights. This would then allow him to work on his striking and takedown skills in time for him to reach the top-ranked contenders at ONE FC.
The full event replay, including the MMA debut of Yuri Simoes can be seen live on the ONE FC YouTube Channel, click here to watch.
Or alternatively, the full fight between Yuri Simoes and Fan Rong can be seen below: