Legend Fighting Championship breaks an 8-month hiatus with a return to action outside of its Hong Kong base for the first time ever.
Legend FC 11 takes place April 27, 2013 at the Chin Woo Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A whopping three title matches are scheduled as part of the Main Event, and the start of the card sees a total of ten bantamweights facing one another for some fast-paced action. The twelve-match card reads like a World Cup pool with athletes from across Pan-Asia paired up with rival nations.
Leading the card is the Lightweight Title defence by Mongolia’s favorite son Jadamba Narantungalag against Wayjutsu “Commander” Koji Ando. Jadamba became known to the world when he decisioned Akihro Gono in Sengoku, and following the promotion’s fade, Legend FC picked him up and a title shot saw him snap the strap in an absolute war with Adrian Pang – what will be one of the most riveting battles MMA-in-ASIA has ever had the pleasure of watching live. He then went on to successfully defend the gorgeous belt against Nam YuiChul, who has recently become the ROAD FC Lightweight Champion.
The 9-year younger Ando also saw his share of action in Sengoku where he dropped a very close decision to Shooto Rookie champ Ikuo Isada. His entry into Legend – on the same card as Jadamba’s inaugural match – pitted him in a war with Wang Guan, now RUFF‘s Lightweight Champion. Ando showed incredible ground control but Wang’s striking made the judges’ split a decision against him. He came back with a vengeance in Legend 7, welcoming Damien Brown to the ring by choking him out less than halfway through the first. Declaring he wanted a title shot, Ando proved he was up to it by putting away fan favorite Rob Hill in smothering fashion over three rounds.
Legend FC posterboy Welterweight Champion Bae MyoungHo enters mandatory military service in South Korea, so there will be a contest for his belt between top contenders Li JingLiang and Luke Jumeau. Li’s last performance was against Bae in a title shot, and he gave the champion the fight of his life, improving his game so much that he was able to take the Korean down several times. He went on to dominate 19-year old Australian phenom Dan Pauling. Jumeau’s entry into Legend was a three round stand up non-stop brawl with stalwart Alex Niu, and he came away with a deserved win and a bevy of new fans. Li is a purple belt and won gold in his division at the last China World Pro trials. Jumeau’s got submission wins going back to his amateur days. It will be exciting to see whether they stand and trade or if Li’s improved wrestling takes it down to a ground battle.
The final strap on the line is the Bantamweight Championship, which will now be contested between sub specialist Ji Xian and KO artist Agustin Delarmino. Ji seems to be a one-trick-pony with every one of his 10 wins coming by submissions, but he’s put himself in some tough spots to get them. Delarmino has had two KO of the Night awards at Legend, and he’s got revenge on his mind for his brother Leonard and teammate Ruel Catalan who have both faced – and been on the chopping board – of Ji’s before.
Elsewhere on the card, expect an exciting stand up battle when “Hungry” Yang HaeJun comes back to light heavyweight to face Sam “Striker” Brown. Yusuke Kasuya, 2011 Shooto Rookie Champion and Fighting Spirit award winner for his amazing comeback – a skill he’s shown through several matches – will face a dangerous Damien Brown. Brown could make use of his striking to end it, but Kasuya could weather, and if it goes to the ground, this is anyone’s call. Hideto Tatsumi versus Gareth Ealy pits a judoka against a great heart, and promises something spectacular as the two styles clash. A gameplan will definitely be in order for both.
The first six matches consist of a featherweight rumble and a parade of the bantamweights. Choi YeongGwang makes his fifth appearance at Legend and is definitely one of the promotion staples, putting on spectacular displays of tactics against each opponent, win or lose. He faces a scrappy Ev Ting who has the ability to handle three rounds or any sub you put on him. The bantamweights start off the night with killer Rocky Lee versus workhorse Hanif Zainal – don’t blink. Next are two newcomers to Legend, LiGe Teng versus Baasankhuu Damnlanpurev of Jadamba’s tutelage. Legend favorite Jo NamJin will face Ruel Catalan in a definite grappler versus striker classic, although Jo can and will stand and bang. Kai Kara-France is another fun fighter and he’ll meet the equally youthful and aggressive Danaa Batgerel. To round out the pack, Malaysian home town hero Sam Chan will face Indonesia’s Gugun Gusman in a well-familiar country versus country rivalry.
Overseas fans can watch the fights on replay beginning May 4th, via AXN or ESPN, see the Legend FC website for broadcast details.
Legend FC 11
April 27, 2013
Chin Woo Stadium
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
#12 – Lightweight Championship
Jadamba Narantungalag (8-2) vs Koji Ando (7-3-2)
#11 – Welterweight Championship
Jingliang Li (7-2) vs Luke Jumeau (4-1)
#10 – Bantamweight Championship
Xian Ji (10-2) vs Agustin Delarmino (6-2)
#9 – Light Heavyweight
Haejun Yang (8-4) vs Sam Brown (12-5-1)
#8 – Lightweight
Yusuke Kasuya (7-1-1) vs Damien Brown (9-3)
#7 – Middleweight
Hideto Tatsumi (4-2) vs Gareth Ealey (7-3)
#6 – Featherweight
Yeong Gwang Choi (6-6) vs Ev Ting (5-1)
#5 – Bantamweight
Sam Chan (4-2) vs Gugun Gusman (0-0)
#4 – Bantamweight
Kaiwhare Kara-France (2-2) vs Danaa Batgerel (2-0)
#3 – Bantamweight
Nam Jin Jo (6-6) vs Ruel Catalan (1-3)
#2 – Bantamweight
LiGe Teng (1-0) vs Baasankhuu Damnlanpurev (0-0)
#1 – Bantamweight
Rocky Lee (1-0) vs Muhammad Hanif bin Zainal (6-2-1)