Legend FC is taking the 8th show on the road for the first time since it’s humble beginnings in a Hong Kong exhibition hall three years ago. It will venture into the Convention Center of Indonesia’s thriving Jakarta, home of traffic jams and MMA fans. The co-main events are a Lightweight title defense by Jadamba Narantungalag against Nam Yui Chul, and a celebrated return to the ring by Indonesian stand out Fransino Tirta as he takes on Yusuke Kawanago for the inaugural Featherweight Championship.
After adding Shooto Rookie 2011 Tournament winner Yusuke Kasuya and announcing six of a potential eleven fights on the card, Legend FC announced (at 5am in the morning) three more signings and two more matches.
The Legend FC lightweight division is stacked twelve deep with a fair share of close decisions and more than a few comeback kids. It has the possibility to produce a number of wars just like the last contest for the title, Adrian Pang versus Jadamba Narantungalag, which was one of the most incredible fights of 2012 in Asia, arguably worldwide. And if Pang’s previous battles with the new contender for the belt, Nam Yui Chul, can be taken as an example for how the lightweights of Legend FC throw down, Jadamba versus Nam will epitomize the the saying “leave it all in the ring”.
In its latest round of recruitments, Legend FC added to the lightweight roster by signing on another Chinese fighter, Wu Haotian, teammate of LFC fighter, Ji Xian. Wu got his start in the Art Of War back in 2007 as a 20 year old. His gregarious Bruce Lee antics and a couple of quick submission finishes landed him a main event position in the promotion’s first highly-touted event under the patronage of UAE Sheik Mohammed and with John McCarthy as his ref. Wu KOed his Japanese opponent in stunning fashion in under two minutes. Two months later he returned to the ring, also under the eye of Big John, but was stunningly returned the favor of a KO in 21 seconds by Vale Tudo fighter Shukhrat Minovarov. The young fighter bounced back from the loss and went on to submit and finish his way through eight consecutive wins in various Chinese MMA promotions.
Wu will now step foot in the international Legend FC ring against what could be his toughest opponent to date, fellow LFC newcomer Daniel Hooker. Daniel came up through amateur ranks into the professional organizations of New Zealand and Australia and has held two Championship belts – Supremacy and ETK. He trains with four other Legend FC fighters out of Strike Force who will definitely show him the ropes, so to speak. And at only 22 years old, he’s following in Wu’s career footsteps by amassing a hefty record in a very short time. He’s already fought one Legend FC alum – Rob Hill – so the possibility of a revenge rematch does exist.
If the lightweight division of Legend FC looks like a conveyor belt of terminators, the bantamweight division looks like a bucket of angry schizophrenic leprechauns. There have been three-round tip-toeing chess matches and two minute submissions. In the last title defense, Yao HongGang came out of a supposedly superior UFC-sponsored fight camp only to give up his belt to Bieke Tuerxun, from a China government-sponsored athletic program. This division is chaotic. With fourteen fighters from eight different countries, it is the MMA version of the UN, only with decision-making coming by way of Taiwanese parliament judo contests.
Sneaking into the bantamweight division is Jasor Ablasi from the stellar Filipino MMATeam Lakay (Shape Right), following teammate Kevin Belingon into the Legend FC ring. Jasor will be taking on Mongolian Danaa Batgerel who got his Legend FC debut jitters out of the way by bludgeoning his opponent into a first round finish last October. That wasn’t much time to determine what his full capabilities are in the ring, but as a national champ in stand up combat sports and a protege of Legend FC Lightweight Champion Jadamba, there must be much more to him. Jasor won’t be intimidated by the taller Danaa’s reach: he fought a much taller opponent his second time out at PXC, and knew that the way to beat him was to let him walk into an overhand right. He’s also got that groundwork thing under control; Jasor showed that in Martial Combat when he waited out a minute of rear attacks from a US wrestling champion to reverse and RNC him in the first minute of round one.
Whether it’s lucky rights or lucky charms, when picking odds in the LFC bantamweight division, a lucky guess is definitely the proven strategy.