It was Mark “Tyson” Abelardo, 27, of Auckland, New Zealand who was able to secure the coveted ONE Championship contract in the conclusion of the third installment of “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series,” which took place in Singapore on October 11, 2018. The contract was worth $100,000.
“I could not have predicted the level of talent we have been able to recruit,” ONE Warrior Series CEO Rich Franklin stated. “We awarded 6 Warrior bonuses, and win or lose, these athletes left everything in the ring. It is exciting to see the talent from OWS competing in ONE Championship.”
“After another match that tested Mark Abelardo’s grit, he was well deserving of the ONE contract,” Franklin said. “We look forward to his debut.”
ONE Warrior Series director Jonathan Fong was also impressed by the performance of the athletes at “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 3.” He said, “In the end, it was Mark Abelardo who proved most deserving of the ONE Championship contract.”
“Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series” is a travel series talent search program that aims to discover new martial arts talent across Asia, providing promising young athletes with the platform to unleash their martial arts greatness. With Fong as his co-host, Franklin travels across the Asian continent to search for talent, experiencing local cultures and testing their boundaries.
“I’m excited to see most of the competitors back in February,” the ONE Warrior Series director stated. “It’s been an incredible journey so far and I am excited to keep pushing and discovering some fresh talent. I’ve got some ideas for matchups I’d like to see for our next run.”
At “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 3,” Abelardo competed in the bantamweight division with Kemp Cheng as the referee. The Auckland native, who is of Filipino descent, defeated Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg, 22, of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia via technical knockout due to doctor stoppage at 5:00 of Round 1.
Beating Zoltsetseg improved Abelardo’s professional mixed martial arts record to 17 wins and 5 losses. Here is a clip featuring the Filipino-Kiwi fighter here: