Friday night was the first test for 18 white collar weekend warriors who signed up to participate in a four-month long quest to be a Mixed Martial Arts champion. To a packed house at DEF Boxing Gym, each of them got their first taste of the promotion’s slogan: “Any Time, Any Where, Any Style”. Well, almost any style, this night was only for boxing. The promotion is set up to train the fighters for one month each in boxing, grappling, and Muay Thai. At the end of each month of training, the fighters go head to head in a competition specific to that month’s training. In the fourth and final month, the champions will train all-out MMA for an epic conclusion to this first-of-its-kind athletic contest.
City Fight Club is the brainchild of notable Muay Thai and MMA fighter Vuyisile “The Cheetah” Colossa. Emigrating to Hong Kong from South Africa with hopes of providing a better life for his family, The Cheetah quickly established himself as a fixture on the local scene. Since moving to HK, he has brought attention to himself – and the city out of which he fights – by competing in some of the largest Muay Thai promotions in Asia: The Kings Cup in Thailand, Wulinfeng in China, and the currently airing The Challenger television show.
The Cheetah’s fought and bested some of the biggest names in the sport, but not being content with success in just the stand-up aspect of combat, he catapulted himself into the realm of MMA in 2010. He proved that cheetahs have a well-rounded game right away, with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss – that loss being to Eduard Folayang, an Asian Games sanda medalist and regarded across the Asian MMA scene as the best pound-for-pound fighter out of the Philippines. The Cheetah dominated the final round which took the fight to a decision, though not in his favor. His impressive performances got the attention of the newest and most ambitious promotion in Asia, and he landed a contract for successive fights with One FC.
But wait, enough about The Cheetah, let’s focus on the fights that happened Friday night!
The first bout of the night was between the ladies: Andrea “Roc Fist” Fisher versus Sharon “Sanguine” Law. These women put on one hell of an opener. Roc Fist found her distance straight away, but Sanguine countered with some lethal body shots. Roc Fist’s accuracy got her the first win of the evening.
The second fight was a middleweight match up between Charbel “The Phoenician” Assaf and Jeff “Soulchild” Siegel. The Phoenician came out swinging! Jeff showed an excellent display of footwork and managed to work his way outside. Charbel only pressed harder and landed some nice combinations, also landing him the win.
The third match brought on the heavies. Gerard “Sarge” Finlay versus Nick “Tiger” Robinson. These guys intended to leave it all in the ring, and they came out brawling for an entire minute. Tiger regrouped and was able to throw a few right down the chute to earn him an honest win.
The fourth match was a showcase of cheerleaders from the north.
This ironically clad group of Spanish speaking supporters was here to cheer on their colleague Morgan “The Viking” Cousin versus Richard “Quattro” Clarke. It was Quattro who rose early to the cheers, and stepped out rocking the Viking with some excellent combos. But the Viking was able to weather the onslaught and retaliate with very accurate blows to earn a TKO.
The women got back in the ring for bout 5. This time it was Eva “Scorpion Queen” Rona versus Ludivine “Jagheera” Politano. The much shorter Scorpion knew how to take away Jag’s reach by getting and staying inside. But once she met a jab on the way in, it was Jag who took control and found her distance. As the bout wore on, Eva closed the distance again, and Jag tried to defend by ducking and body shots – but Scorpion proved that was the wrong thing to do against a shorter opponent. Jag backed out and and found some nice straight shots to earn her first win.
A battle of the Jameses: “Mamba” Li versus “Crunch Time” Smith. Mamba came out bringing the technique and footwork. Crunch came out bringing the Crunch. An epic battle of precision versus power, and this time, the heavy-handed won it. Crunch Time!
Next up was a super heavyweight! Ben “Boom Time” Hartwell against previous winner Tiger. Boom Time. So fast of TKO that I don’t have picture to follow!
Now it seems to be a crowd favorite – do they know something I don’t? Apparently! We have a genuine southpaw match up. “Atom” Leung Chi Kwan takes on Patrick “Who’s your Daddy?” Mitchell. Daddy comes out fast and furious. Atom uses his footwork to counter the combos being delivered, but Daddy doesn’t allow him the chance to find his timing. Daddy brings home the bacon.
It’s the middle of fight night, and things are still going strong. The guys at City Fight Club are so pumped up by the event, that two of the staff joined the challenge! The first one is Redd “The Ripper” Bayulos taking on Wallace “Little Crab” Lau (no, I don’t understand why either). Since there is no one else in their category, the two go for a 2×2 match. The Ripper wastes no time and comes out banging with some very nice head/body combos. Crab defends well, and gets in some nice counters. But it’s the Ripper who shows he’s dominant enough to ride the swell.
Bout ten brings out the last of the ladies who has yet to compete. It’s Katie “‘Ave a Go” Lowe taking on first bout winner Roc Fist. This becomes a very technical fight, and ‘Ave a go is showing an excellent jab to keep away the aggressive Roc Fist. Roc’s aggression wins her the round as she’s able to get in and find her timing towards the end of the bout.
That’s it for the semifinals of City Fight Club Round 1! The finals will be posted tomorrow so you’ll be able to get a couple of days’ worth of gloating round the water cooler over the reason behind your shiny new black eye. Congratulations to all of you courageous warriors engaging in combat to benefit charity! You are exemplifying the ultimate in sacrifice. Keep training, Any Time, Any Where, Any Style!