In Wonju South Korea, this September 15th, ROAD FC held BEAT DOWN, their ninth event – with production that rivaled the epic days of PRIDE. The fifth Young Guns undercard started with an uneventful fight befitting the moniker, but progressed nicely with a first round RNC and a couple of lengthy back and forth battles. Gil YoungBok of Team FORCE made a significant appearance with a dominant display of wrestling strength to progress his record to the favorable side of the wins column.
In the ROAD FC Lightweight tournament, Lee YoungJae pushed through two tough rounds with Kim WonGi to get a TKO in the third, advancing to the semi-finals. Also advancing is Vuyisile Colossa, who bided his time to pounce on Kim SeokMo and deliver a stellar performance of brutal GNP to take a first round TKO. Kume Takase wasted no time taking Kim ChangHyun’s back after he floored him with a right, getting a win by tap and advancing. The final Lightweight semifinalist is crowd favorite Nam YuiChul whose brutal GNP from Toryu Masahiro’s back flattened him stiff, promoting his corner to throw in the towel before the ref stopped it.
The main event of Minowaman versus the sympathy-laiden crooner Yuk JinSoo was not much of a fight until Yuk was able to make a trip out of the legend’s throw attempt. Unfortunately that was his only point, and Minowa calmly worked for a kimura, finishing it right at the first round bell. The real stunner of the night was what turned into an unexpected three round war between Melvin Manhoef and Kim JaeYoung. The Korean underdog not only took every knee, punch and kick Manhoef threw at him, but returned each bomb with his own counter-barrage of combinations. Melvin was fortunate to edge a split decision win, his first in over 2 years.
Across the pond and on the other side of the world, Team China made its first appearance vying for title belts in the newly formed WCMMA In Connecticut. Yao HongGang and Wang Sai took on Team USA’s Dave LaChapelle and Brett Oteri. Yao’s first time competing on foreign soil saw him pitted in a five-round title match against an opponent matching his skill set. He went the distance, putting on a tough and active fight, but lost the decision at 49/46, 48/47, 48/47.
Wang Sai changed it up a bit with his extreme striking proficiency, attacking his opponent with viciousness. He landed three standing elbows in a row, cutting and dropping Oteri, who was stunned but got to his feet. As he was rising, Wang Sai came in with a huge knee to the face and it was lights out. Unfortunately his opponent hadn’t quite made it out of the three-point contact position, and Wang Sai lost by disqualification. However, his dominant performance was a stunning form of ambassadorship for Chinese MMA.
Dropping down to Southeast Asia, Ultimate Beatdown held their tenth event in Malaysia, with eight fights on the card featuring local fighters. The main event featured middleweight standout Nik Harris taking on Brad Robinson in his first pro fight. Brad’s background in MMA started only a short time ago as a way to drop from 300 pounds. He certainly did it in spades with determination and grit that got him on the winning side of three round decision. Also notable on the card, local prospect Zee Lim at only 17 rose a weight class and took on Zues Lim, a National Judo team member, and won by arm bar in the first round. Full results at Combat-Asia.
As Asian regional promotions start to pick up on the idea that fans outside their territories really do want to watch their events, more are delivering streams and VODs to make it happen. China’s RUFF recently followed the path and put its 5th event live on PPTV. For certain it did get the attention of the world, and MMA Inside the Cage covered it in a weekly video review. Two of the fights on the card, Jumabieke Tuerxun versus Jiang LongYun and Rodrigo Caporal versus Wu HaoTian – two of the night’s stunning KOS – were put on the list to be offered as clip of the week.
As ONE FC gets closer to its homecoming sixth event on October 6th, title fight match ups are beginning to solidify. Originally announced with Eduard Folayang, Ole Laursen, and Eric Kelly among the contenders, URCC‘s tenth anniversary event has seen two of the three Philippines-based fighters sidestep back to that promotion. One of the original matches announced still stands, a Bantamweight battle between Evolve MMA’s top prospect Leandro Issa versus Kim SooChul of Team Force, ROAD FC CEO Jung HongMoon’s gym. Issa’s jiujitsu is nearly unparalleled, yet Kim’s defense has showed marked improvement. This rematch has a lot at stake for both of them.
The promotion announced today that Evolve’s standout lightweight Zorobabel Moreira will take on ONE FC newcomer Kotetsu Boku, former Shooto Champion, for the strap. This is a ‘classic grappler versus striker’ match up, however Zoro’s vastly improved stand up will make it an interesting game. BloodyElbow has also sources quoted as saying Honorio Banario’s opponent for the Featherweight belt may be Bae Yong Kwon. Beyond the three title matches and the main event, Aoki Shinya versus Arnaud Lepont, a few fighters mentioned or rumored as possibilities for the card are Singaporean Radeem Rahman, Melvin Manhoef, Jens Pulver, and Ole Laursen.