Fights, facts and fun from the past weekend’s MMA events in Asia.
September will turn out to be a blockbuster month on the final day of reckoning in Japan on the 29th, when Pancrase holds its 20th anniversary show, and Shooto, DEEP, and Grachan will take the remaining athletes in Japan and stack them on their own cards in tandem. Baffling for any media or fan to comprehend or cover. However last weekend featured a couple of notable blockbuster fights in the rest of Asia.
ONE FC 10 took place in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday the 13th (cue spooky music). The headliner turned from BJ Kojima (interview) versus Yasuhiro Urushitani in a rubber match to BJ versus Andrew Leone, and then a disappointing injury to Leone snapped the chances of it happening at all. BJ still went forward and made the weight, showing off his scale figure on Facebook. Urushitani subsequently revealed he’s supporting his Tribe Tokyo team by appearing on the card for Ryo Chonan‘s DEEP co-produced retirement soiree. While much of the remainder of the ONE FC card was aimed at developing talent and fanbase in the region, several of the fights stood out.
UFC vet (baffling verbiage given his performance) Caros Fodor signed with ONE FC to face prospect Tommy Yang, and it was a trying match for the Korean. While he held his own in the first, Fodor’s onslaught through the remaining rounds battered and withered the tough-as-nails Tommy, who powered out of several limb sub attempts leaving him exhausted at the finish line. BJJ black belt Almiro Barros made his MMA debut against a very experienced Kian Pham and it was a thrilling three rounds of wonderful technical groundwork in which Barros showed himself to be a threat to every flyweight in Asia. Default main event Kotetsu Boku versus Vuyisile Colossa (interview) was everything that a main event could hope to be. Technical and gauging in the the first, the two strikers transitioned into their strengths and styles in the second. In the third, Boku came out with an expression of shock at the South African’s speed and power, and the final minute of action saw Colossa throwing avery strike in the book at the bald man’s pate. Apparently that head is made of rock and Boku stayed standing miraculously until the bell. Full results and play-by-play here.
On Saturday the 14th, Typhoon PXC hit Manila with its 39th event, and smartly returned to the Ynares Sports Arena to pack it to the rafters. The card didn’t change much from the original announcement, with the only delayed disappointment being exciting Japanese signing Takumi Nakayama versus Shane Nelson, potentially moved to a future Guam event.
In a furious flyweight match, two hot Filipino prospects Ernesto Montilla Jr. (interview) and Roldan Sangcha-an met – fireworks ensued. The first round saw both exchanging monkey on the back positions then duking it out. The second was the finish by Sangcha-an in a don’t blink-who’s-got-this-one RNC. A very quick exchange of more grappling prowess saw undefeated Loius Smolka make quick fork of Jesse Rafols. The Featherweight Title match between Kim JangYong (interview) and Mark Striegl (interview) was an emotional, exciting, and impacting three rounds. Striegl had the weight of UFC rumors on his back coming into the match and his broad handsome shoulders seems to carry it well. But Kim came into the fight like a man possessed and he clawed tooth and nail to get the belt. The first round opened with a back and forth ground game that turned into Kim’s world both standing and on the canvas as he brought every trick in the book he had to finish Striegl.
EVENTS TO COME
Some other promotions let loose a little news: the new Rebels FC out of Singapore launched a Facebook page, and Rob Lisita jumped the gun by revealing he’s meeting Lion Takeshi on the first card set for December 21. HEAT Champ Cristiano Kaminishi also posted that he’s on the card as well. DEEP announced some match ups for its JEWELS takeover Lightweight Grand Prix and as expected the top female fighters in Japan will meet.
In amateur MMA, Shooto said the show must go on even as Typhoon Man-Yi made landfall. Krazy Bee did double duty with Boku in Jakarta and the trials held at home, the Yamamoto Sports Academy. Korean Top Team also hosted their first amateur trials as part of the new TOP FC under league series Gate Way. ONE FC announced the establishment of their long-awaited amateur series which will be Asia’s first international competition and include participation through its network partners, notably TOUGH in Taiwan, ROAD FC in Korea, MIMMA in Malaysia, PAKMMA in Pakistan, AFC in Philippines, India, and everywhere else it can reach.
The biggest news for Asian fighters would have to be the rumors coming true regarding Japanese heavy prospect Kyoji Horiguchi being signed by the UFC. The bantamweight bruiser has no more rome to move within Shooto, so the next step puts him on the international stage against Dustin Pague on October 20th in Houston at UFC 166. Kyoji’s Krazy Bee coach Kid Yamamoto was earlier pulled off his next fight at UFC 165 amidst rumors of a training injury. Also out of Japan, Minowaman is announced to have his historical 100th fight and it will take place at ROAD FC 13 on October 12th. In Korea, Lee DoolHee opened his own gym called BROS Gym in Gwangju. And Sexiyama played a little baseball. Sexiyama is always news.