Tuesday, January 29, 2019

IMMAF Moves Asian Open - Abu Dhabi Warriors 5 - ONE Heros Ascent and Saku Returns

I’ve got to start out with the big news on the amateur scene. IMMAF The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has been forced to pull their 2019 Asian Open Championships out of China. The good news is that it will be landing here in Bangkok, they will announce the new date soon. I am going to try and set up an interview with Plai the president of the Thai Mixed Martial Arts Federation to get his take on it, but I am sure he is super excited for this.

IMMAF has had bureaucratic issues with MMA in China in the past and I am sure this is no different. Of course, it’s a massive market that everyone wants to tap, but there are barriers to entry there, even ONE Championship and the UFC have struggled with China at various times.

Personally, I think IMMAF under Kerith Brown's leadership has done some fantastic things for the sport, and to the same effect TMMAF here in Bangkok under the leadership of Plai has been fantastic so I think Bangkok is the absolute best options for the Asian Open Championships.

I’ll definitely have more info on this as it develops.

Over the weekend we saw Abu Dhabi Warriors 5 take place in, well Abu Dhabi. The biggest outcome there was UFC vet Oli Thompson get a second-round stoppage against Cage Rage vet Roman Webe via TKO.

Another notable fight on that card was UFC vet Rolando Dy out of the Philippines who also pulled a second-round stoppage via TKO.

This is the 5th outing for Abu Dhabi Warriors, but this was also their first event since 2016. unfortunately, this type of promotional inactivity is a common thread across Asia as the economics of the fight game are clearly difficult to figure out at a smaller scale.

With any luck, we will see some more shows from Abu Dhabi Warriors in the near future.
On to ONE Championships Hero’s Ascent in Manila over the weekend.

The main event saw Adriano Moraes face off against the champ Geje Eustaquio, this was an amazing fight that went back and forth, at the end, I fully expected this to go in the Champs favor, but I was surprised, as I think a lot ware that the decision went to Moraes.

I’ve taken a lot of issues with ONEs judging over the years, I am not a fan of judging a fight as a whole, It’s not a street fight, it’s a sport and they fight in rounds for a reason. I don’t think that the whole 10 point must system is the best judging criteria out there either, but judging by round is a much better fit for the format of the sport. I’ve seen a lot of judging decisions in ONE that were very questionable over the years.

The most recent Angela Lee vs Mei Yamaguchi fight from 2018 comes to mind, after 5 rounds everyone I was sitting in the press section thought for sure Mei had just easily handed Angela her first defeat but when the decision was announced Angela won via Unanimous Decision.

It’s all a conversation for another day if you guys want to see me do a whole episode on Judging Criteria let me know.

Lastly, in super fanboy news, the legend, the Gracie Killer, Sakuraba will hit the mats for Quintet Fight NIght 2 for a submission grappling match on February 3rd.

Who doesn’t want to see Sakuraba come back and do just about anything? I mean if he came back for an ice cream eating contents I would pay for the PPV because he is just that much of a legend.

That is all I have to say about that.

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