On Saturday, March 24th, Garry Tonon will make his much anticipated professional mixed martial arts debut at ONE: Iron Will in Bangkok, Thailand. While the BJJ world has followed Tonon’s rise from IBJJF Brown Belt NoGi Champion to multiple-time EBI Champion and ADCC participant, his opponent Richard Corminal has been fighting in anonymity on the local circuits around Asia. While Corminal was likely picked to give Tonon an easy introduction to MMA, he is very capable of playing the role of spoiler much like Zach Freeman stunned the world by beating Aaron Pico, one of the most hyped MMA prospects in the sport’s short history. In a sport like MMA, there are so many ways to win and so many ways to lose, with a very thin margin for error against a hungry and desperate opponent.
Corminal, a Filipino fighter who works as a Muay Thai trainer at MuayFit in Malaysia, sports a 4-3 professional record with four TKO victories. The 36-year old fighter is 0-2 in ONE and has lost 3 of his last four fights. He lost two of his fights by KO/TKO and one fight by submission. All of his seven fights have ended in finish and he has never fought past the second round in a professional fight. The opponents he has beaten own an overall record of 12-15 and the opponents who have defeated him own a combined record of 24-11.
After reviewing four of Corminal’s fights, his common key strengths are his heart, toughness, and willingness to push forward and bang. Corminal has seven pro fights under his belt and has fought two fights for ONE in large arenas. He therefore knows the routine, while Tonon might experience some cage jitters in his debut. However, there are major deficiencies in his fight game as well. His aggressiveness and eagerness to push forward and throw leaves him vulnerable to counter attacks. He often exposes his lead leg and stands upright which leaves him open to takedowns and leg kicks, especially when he charges forward to throw a combination. His biggest vulnerability is his lack of grappling skills. After watching three of his fights, his grappling skills are at best, four stripe white belt.
Tonon’s best opportunity to exploit Corminal’s weaknesses are to shoot for a takedown when Corminal pushes forward and exposes his lead leg while standing upright. From there, Tonon can use his significant grappling advantage to control Corminal on the ground to set up a submission or ground and pound his opponent for a TKO victory. Tonon can’t be too overconfident though since Corminal has shown he is willing to throw caution to the wind and wing powerful shots from various angles. He dropped ONE lightweight contender Shannon Wratchai with a straight right hand.
Corminal is a heavy underdog heading into the fight, but all it takes is one shot to clip Tonon to end the fight. His best shot at beating Tonon is to turn the fight into a brawl right when the bell rings and hope to catch Tonon. If he doesn’t succeed in dropping Tonon early, expect Corminal to get taken down and finished in the first round.
Here are videos of Corminal’s last four fights.
Richard Corminal vs. Zhang Jing Xing
Corminal charged in and threw a leg kick, jab, cross hook combo. While finishing his hook, he dropped his right hand and was knocked out with a counter hook that ended the fight in just 10 seconds.
Richard Corminal vs. Thai Rithy
The fight started with a wild brawl. At 3:15 of the first round, Corminal was taken down and stuck in side control. He was held down until Rithy backed off to attempt a soccer kick to the head. Corminal showed very limited grappling ability while in the standing clinch. When he was in Rathy’s guard, Corminal didn’t show any ability to pass the guard, preferring to use ground and pound from the closed and open guard to wear down his opponent. At the start of the second round, both fighters were fatigued and resorted to wild big haymakers. Rathy fell over from exhaustion with Corminal landing on top side control and finishing with ground and pound.
Richard Corminal vs. Shannon Wratchai
Corminal was matched against Wratchai as a favorable matchup for Wratchai in his hometown on Bangkok. At 4:10 in the first round, Corminal showed his punching power as he dropped Wratchai with a straight right. At 2:48 into the round, Corminal took control of Wratchai’s back in a standing position, but he had no clue what to do with the advantageous position as he hugged Wratchai’s right leg before transitioning to control the waist. He either didn’t know how to take Wratchai down or he preferred to keep the fight standing. Wratchai was eventually able to spin away from Corminal. At the 1:30 mark, Corminal charged forward and was dropped by an overhand right. He quickly got back to his feet, but he was dazed as he ate severals shots against the cage before the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
Richard Corminal vs. Arnaud Lepont
Arnaud Lepont is a black belt in BJJ and quickly took Corminal down at 4:42 in the first round off of a body lock. Corminal was stuck in side control with no clue how to get out. Eventually, Corminal got mounted and submitted to an arm triangle choke at the 1:40 mark of the first round.
It has been reported that viewers can watch Tonon’s fight live for free on ONE’s Twitter page on Saturday, March 24th.