Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Asian MMA Weekend Recap

There was SOOOOO Much fight action in SE Asia over the weekend, and some crazy 3 on 3 action to talk about.

Before I get started though, If I don’t cover your event, but you had one this past weekend or you’re gonna have one sometime soon, reach out and let us know that you are putting on events because I want to cover them and bring eyes to your event and the fighters putting it all on the line. Hit me up at at the shows email address so I know what's going on.

Also, there won’t be a video version of the podcast this week because I am traveling. But that should be back next week.

Let’s get it started

This first one wasn’t on the weekend, but just before and that was ONE Warrior Series in Singapore on Thursday the 25th. I’ve said before that I am a really big fan of OWS, I think they are doing a lot of good things

In the main event Phuket, Thailand based Brazilian Carlos Prates stopped previously unbeaten EFC Welterweight champ Gunther Kaluda in the second round with a body shot. It was a wild two rounds leading up to the stoppage, but Prates was just too much for Kaluda.

This whole card was stacked with great fighters from the regional scene. I know it’s a development league for ONE Championship, but DAMN they put on good cards.

ONE Hero Series 5, Singapore, April 25th
Carlos Prates def. Gunther Kaluda by TKO in round two
Ahmed Faez Anuar def. Pardeep Kumar by Submission (Armbar) in round two
Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg def. Chan Samart by Decision
Jerry Olsim def. Hiroyasu Sakurai by Decision
Min Jong Song def. Alan Philpott by Submission (Neck Crank) in round two
Punnya Sai def. Shafkat Khodzhkulov by Decision
Kieran Joblin def. JD Hardwick by TKO in round three
Kristy Obst def. Claudia Diaz by TKO in round two
Ricky Alchin def. Koji Shikuwa by Decision
Mohamad Norhidayat def. Sanya Kongkatonk by Submission
Ismael Bandiwan def. Arif Izzudin by TKO at the end of round two
Neha Kashyap def. Roshnee Khaira by Knockout in round one
Yuko Suzuki def. Ji Yeon Seo by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in round one
Philip Kim def. Taeho Bak by submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 3

With that, I jump to Saturday, April 27th
And there was a LOT happening around Asia, which is great as the growing number of local, grassroots events are only serving to support the growth and development of fighters.

One of the things I love about the local scene is that it’s becoming the norm to put up live streams, so no matter where you are in the world, you can tune into the fights live or videos after the event including the ones we are about to cover. You can check out what is likely the most exciting developing region of upcoming fighters around the world! (heehee biased note since we are Asian MMA)

And of course I am gonna have links to everything in the show notes, unless you’re watching this on Facebook since they bury everything with links so make sure you subscribe to the podcast, not only does it have full show notes but you get the content earlier. We will also get everything up on AsianMMAPodcast.com so you can find it there.

Moving on

One country where a lot of MMA talent is percolating to the top in Malaysia and that's no surprise considering the depth of their amateur scene over the past 5 plus years. They put on at least 3 events this past Saturday, as well as some BJJ tournaments scattered around the country.

I want to start things off in my home away from home, Kuala Lumpur, I’ll actually be flying there as soon as I finish recording this episode. Great city with great food and great fights!

First on the docket is MFC or Malaysia Fighting Championship, This was a massive event with 24 matches consisting of Amature Boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA than the last 3 fights were all Pro MMA.

MFC Always delivers great action, I’ll have a link to the full stream in the show notes.

Great show, I definitely recommend you check it out.

Next up we hop over to Johor Baru, Malaysia where they also put on an absolute insane card with a total of 37 fights, all amateur and that is Ultimate Beatdown! I love the vibe of the UB fight cards, they hold them on the roof of a mall in Johor Baru.

UB has been a proving ground for a lot of great Malaysian fighters over the years, including a lot of MIMMA champions and top contenders who have gone onto other large organizations. UB is very much a staple of the Southeast Asia fight scene.

I’ve got a link to their YouTube feed in the show notes.

Next up I need to jump over to the Island of Borneo to my favorite vacation spot in Asia, Kota Kinabalu. It also happens to be home to Asian MMA legend AJ Pyro!

That small sleepy town of KK put on Rampage FC which was 8 amateur MMA fights including a juniors category that had modified rules for safety reasons.

When you are talking about a place like Borneo, East Malaysia but completely separated from the peninsula they need these smaller events held in gyms to get experience for the fighters, so they can move on to larger organizations and be successful.

I didn’t recognize any of the fighters on the card, but I enjoyed the fights, that's for damn sure.
For as small as KK is they have a fantastic culture and scene around MMA some great fighters have come out of there, off the top of my head AJ Pyro as I mentioned earlier and Undefeated former MIMMA HW Champ Darren Low.

Finally, We jump to Manila in the Philippines for URCC. This event was crazy, and what I really love is that URCC had a fantastic stream on Sports 5 which is an ESPN affiliate.

Manila is known for its great fighters, there are more than a fair share of them fighting in promotions around the region, so whenever you see a Philipino card you know you are in for something special.

Before I get to this absolutely insane 3vs3 MMA fight I want to talk about the main event which ended in a bit of a shmooze.

We had the 145-pound strap on the line with champ Mark Striegle vs UFC, Pancrase and Rings vet Shunichi Shimizu.

This fight got off to a great start with fast-paced exchanges and Mark punishing the legs of Shimizu.

Then in the second Shimizu takes an absolutely brutal shot to the cup and goes down. They give him 5 minutes recovery time, but he can’t get back up and the fight is called a no contest which sees Mark retain his championship in a way he absolutely didn’t want to.

It’s a very anticlimactic end to the fight, that, of course, no one wants and I’m sure neither fighter wanted it to end that way. But it happens, hopefully, they get to run it back.

Now, of course, I have to talk about this wild 3 vs 3 MMA fight. This was team Philippines vs Team China.

One odd thing to mention is that ONE Championship Judge and Referee Joey Lepiton reffed this, and several other fights on the card. He did a great job, no real questionable stoppages or anything.

I only bring this up because I have been told me a number of other ONE officials that their contracts require them to work exclusively with ONE, now maybe that’s not Joeys case, that's entirely possible.

Another reason that this was interesting is that, there have been rumors, and they are just that, rumors that there was some bad blood between URCC and ONE. I don’t know for sure that’s the case, but it’s something I heard.

Anyway, on to this fight. The first thing I notice is that Team Philippines looks considerably larger than team China, like maybe as much as 2 or 3 weight classes larger. It was just crazy.

The fight starts and they just all smash into each other like an organized game of Red Rover and before you know it, one of the officials is calling a stop to all the action, they never really make it clear and before you know it Team Philippines is announced as the winner.

Personally, I think these multiple people vs multiple people are a gimmick, and honestly, they are extremely dangerous. I really wish promoters would stop this, it’s not worth the risk to the fighters or the promoters.


Next weekend we have ONE Championship in Jakarta the main event is their flyweight Muay Thai Championship with Sam A vs Jonathan Haggerty and Making his ONE debut we have Yushin Okami vs Kiamrian Abbasov, that should make for an interesting fight.

Seeing Yushin back in action should be exciting.

In other news, we got word that Ariel Sexton has had to pull out of the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix against Dagi due to a broken arm. In his place, Amir Khan will get the chance to jump back into the Grand Prix after being eliminated by Sexton in the previous round.

The other bit of news that dropped over the weekend was that ONE has launched their own movie studio where they will be giving their fighters a chance to star in movies. There really hasn’t been much news on this outside of the release, but I can see how this could be exciting for the fighters because it gives them another stream of revenue. However, with ONE controlling everything about their life as well as how and where they make money, it will be interesting to see the outcome.

It all feels more than a bit WWE esk to me, but let’s wait and see what happens. Hopefully, some of them can act better than John Cena.

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