The MIMMA Season 3 Grand Finale took place on 10 October 2015, at the Putra Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Theeban Govindasamy (West) vs Adrian Tham (East)
Govindasamy is a karate expert fighting out of Kuala Lumpur. Tham is a BJJ fighter, fighting out of Sabah. He was the MIMMA Season 1 Heavyweight champion and the current Welterweight defending champion.
Tham’s experience and skills on the ground was quite obvious throughout the fight and he gained cage control with them but Govindasamy’s striking skills cannot be dismissed. These skills, leveraging his height advantage, his quick transitions on the ground and his takedown defence were commendable.
Winner: Adrian Tham via split decision
Hui Keng Fai (Malaysia) vs Nazri Sutari (Singapore)
As expected, Hui’s entrance drew loud cheers and applause from the home crowd. Both Sutari and Hui founded their skills on boxing and are just as adept at grappling. Sutari was an explosive fighter with quick hand speed and definitely gained control of the fight from the start. However, the minute he went for the takedown, he underestimated Hui who definitely took control and sent the Malaysian crowd to their feet by delivering a standing guillotine choke against Sutari.
Winner: Hui Keng Fai via standing guillotine choke round 1 at 2.02min
Ryan Matjeraie vs Arnold Loh
This fight was played at 3 rounds of 1 minute each between 2 deejays, aimed to entertain the crowd and lighten the mood in the stadium. The inclusion of this segment was a good idea contrary to expectations because cage announcers, Jon Nutt and Matt Pellino used this segment to educate the crowd about basic MMA moves in a very entertaining way.
Winner: Ryan Matjeraie via split decision
This female bout saw skills pit between Yunus, a former national boxing champion with also a strong background in Taekwando, and Yap, a journalist with strong BJJ skills.
Yap mostly stuck to her gameplan of pinning Yunus against the cage in a grind throughout the bout, making a few initial failed takedown attempts. The stronger striker and grappler seemed to be Yunus who displayed great takedown defence, and was certainly the more interesting fighter to watch because of her more well-rounded skills. Yunus had tried to break the monotony of the grind with several hooks but Yap held on relentlessly until Yunus managed to get the fight to the ground in the first round.
The second round saw more exciting action on the ground as both fighters displayed superb BJJ skills but Yunus maintained dominance then.
The third round was a display of striking skills until Yap again pinned Yunus against the cage in a grind to the audible dismay of the audience. This move was repeated again in the fourth round until Yunus took the fight to the ground, mounted Yap and rained punches at Yap.
In the final round, It was Yap’s turn to take the fight to the ground. However when the fight was brought to its feet, Yunus responded to Yap’s uppercuts with powerful hooks and right straight. Just before the final bell, Yap again repeated her usual gameplan of grinding Yunus against the cage.
The fight ended with Joanna Yap crowned as the first woman champion but the crowd was clearly unhappy. In fact, I still maintain my point of view that Yunus was the better fighter than Yap, with due respect to the judges’ decision.
Winner: Joanna Yap via unanimous decision
Niker Tan vs Darren Low
Current reigning champion Low is an undefeated amateur MMA fighter. And he is still undefeated after delivering a 13-second knockout against Tan in the first round, hence retaining his title.
Winner: Darren Low via TKO in round 1 at 13 seconds.
Seah Zhang Yu vs Dhiaaul Amal
The 19 year old Seah famously took on a fight at last minute, cut 16kg of weight in 6 hours and knocked out his last opponent Kenny Yap who was then the flyweight champion. He has a amateur record of 4-1 and is reigning flyweight champion. Amal is a Silat fighter with 8-3 amateur record contending for the flyweight title, and he did look like a strong contender.
Amal’s striking skills were excellent and had managed to surprise Seah with strong uppercuts and body shots initially. Seah, on the other hand was sloppy with his punches and kicks.
Seah made a comeback to make up for his sloppy punches only in the fourth round when Amal was clearly gassing out and struggling from cuts near his eye. Seah still had enough fight in him then to deliver powerful jabs and right upper cuts against Amal.
This fight was fought mostly standing up. As explosive fighters, their striking skills made for an exciting match to watch and drew a standing ovation from an appreciative audience at the end of the bout.
Winner: Seah Zhang Yu via unanimous decision
Hafizul Hakim vs Muhammad Aiman
Hakim took on a fight at last minute in Bangkok at Full Metal Dojo and was the first Malaysian to do so. He came back to Malaysia triumphant and never looked back on his MMA career. Aiman is a wrestling expert who had moved his weight category up from Bantamweight to Featherweight. He was relentless with his pursuit of his goals and this would be his third time at the MIMMA grand finale.
Both fighters showed strong striking skills until Hakim made the mistake of going for a takedown then presenting his back to Aiman who gained control of the fight by raining punches down at Hakim, until the referee stopped the fight. Hakim’s ground skills were at best disappointingly sloppy.
Winner: Muhammad Aiman via referee stoppage through strikes in round 1 at 1.56min
Muhammad Syafiq vs Muhammad Meeraj
Meeraj has been known to have strong striking skills and has been honing them by representing the country through numerous boxing and wushu competitions. He has a perfect 4-0 amateur record. Syafiq has a perfect 3-0 amateur record and is known to be a good grappler.
True to form, Meeraj put his boxing skills to good use and delivered powerful punches against Syafiq right from the start of the fight. When the fight got taken to the ground, Meeraj dealt a classic ground and pound to win the fight via referee stoppage. As supposedly a stronger grappler, Syafiq still has room to work on his ground game after this fight.
Winner: Muhammad Meeraj via referee stoppage through strikes in round 1 at 2.15min
Jace Law vs Muhammad Hasrul
Hasrul is the defending lightweight champion who is known to combine his superb Silat skills well with his MMA game. He is also MIMMA’s first Malay MMA champion. Law on the other hand is affectionately nicknamed JKO for his impressive one-punch knockouts and he hoped to use it with this fight to challenge the lightweight title holder.
Both fighters were heavy-handed with their punches. However, Law was the more strategic fighter who timed his opponent, found a gap and secured a victory against Hasrul with a KO.
Winner: Jace Law via KO in round 1 at 2.17min.
Akaradech Seesombat vs Ahmadjon Karimov
Seesombat is a Muay Thai expert with more than 100 fights under his belt and promised to impress with his superb striking skills. Karimov founded his skills on boxing and has been undergoing grappling training with Matt Pellino.
This fight ended quickly when Karimov took Seesombat by surprise, by sending him to the ground with powerful punches and followed through with more when Seesombat was too shock to get up from the ground. This was an amazing knock out by the Takijistani and could possibly leave Seesombat with some serious questions about the latter’s skills and supposedly extensive experience as a striker.
Winner: Ahmadjon Karimov via KO in round 1 at 39 seconds.
Gino Tan vs Melvin Kho
Kho is a wrestling specialist while Tan is known to have strong takedown defence. True to form, Kho went for a takedown a few times and Tan defended well, transitioning quite quickly on the ground, even making several submission attempts.
Kho’s gameplan had been focused on landing some good takedowns but Tan had been defending relentlessly, even closely averting submission attempts by Kho. It was fun to watch Tan and Kho scrambling on the ground, throughout this bout, taking turns to gain control of the fight. However Tan eventually submitted Kho via Kimura to secure the Welterweight belt.
The superb grappling skills of these fighters made this a fun match to watch.
Winner: Gino Tan via Kimura in round 4 at 2:08min