On May 25th 2013 Malaysian Fighting Championship held its sixth event and its first for 2013 at the Southgate Commercial Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event saw 13 bouts with fighters from all over the world coming to pit their skills against one another. Big regional names such as Will ‘The Kill’ Chope and Alexsandro ‘Leke’ Machado took breaks from their respective organizations to come and entertain the crowds. MMA-in-ASIA’s Correspondent John Merva was on hand to record the action.

The event started with a fighter introduction at 8:00pm, about an hour later than scheduled, and the first fight got underway about twenty minutes after that with a heavyweight clash between Muhammed ‘Big Mo’ Salih and Eugenio Dauz Tan. The heat took a toll on both fighters, who were not in the best shape. Eventually, a decision went to ‘Big Mo’ for being aggressive in the opening minutes of each round before fatigue took control and the big men resorted to pushing each other up against the cage. It wasn’t the most entertaining of fights and set a worrying tone for the event, especially as a mixup with the judges led to the wrong fighter being announced as the winner.

However, that was to be the last decision on the card and the very next fight set the record straight as Umar Gadoev and Malik ‘The Savage’Kreishan put on an explosive fight. In the first round Malik started strong, rocking Umar who began to look like the walking dead as he staggered around the cage. Umar never gave up and came back strong at the end of the round, putting Malik on wobbly legs. During the break it was clear that Malik was out of steam and the finish seemed inevitable as Umar rode the momentum of his first round comeback to score the TKO with some vicious ground and pound in round two.

There was a very vocal Tajik contingent in the balcony right above the judges’ table and they erupted when their man Firuz Karomatov scored a first round knockout against local fighter Muhammed Hakim. Firuz came out very aggressively, winging hard kicks and punches at Muhammed, landing a straight right on the button that turned out the Malaysian’s lights before he even hit the floor. The referee should have been in a better position to stop the contest as Muhammed took three unnecessary followup punches while he was asleep with his head against the cage. Muhammed was making his MMA debut and was clearly unprepared for the power and aggression brought by his foe.

The finishes continued in the next fight with Armin ‘Awesome’ Fekri engaging in a back-and-forth ground battle against The Venomous Fahim. Whilst neither man was really able to get the better of the other in the first round, the tide did seem to change after a low-blow stopped Armin in his tracks. He was given a very long time to recover though, and came out ready to fight in the second where he was able to reverse the position following a takedown from Fahim and score a ground and pound TKO from the back.

The final undercard fight was a quick affair as Mohd Alsebaie, representing Saudi Arabia clearly on his shorts, made short work of Akhan Tuleshev with a rear-naked choke after taking him down and transitioning swiftly to the back from side control.

As the main card began, the event was already seeming a bit leaky, with some very long breaks between rounds to mop the cage after the standard one minute was up.  There was some questionable refereeing, but in terms of delivering violence there couldn’t have been many complaints. In the first main card fight Khujardi Zafar, again strongly supported by his Tajik compatriots, controlled the action on the ground, gaining mount and landing some punches but he couldn’t keep the onslaught going and, despite having had very little success on the floor in the first round, ‘The Underdog’ Mohd Fouzein took Khujardi down in the second to end the contest with a triangle choke. This was his first fight after his ONE FC 7 TKO loss to Thanh Vu and that experience obviously helped push him through the fight.

The seventh fight saw the ladies come out and at first this seemed like a striker versus grappler affair with Helen Harper wanting the fight on the floor and Zhen ‘The Iron Rose’ Wei’ wanting to show her dominance in the standup. About halfway through the first round Helen got her way, dragging the fight to the ground and keeping tight control with some light ground and pound, but she was unable to land anything decisive before they were back on the feet for the round end. In the second Helen showed that she was just slow to start and was now looking for a brawl, throwing knees and wild punches before clinching and bringing the fight down. Wei never gave up and looked for submissions from her back before being caught in a guillotine which she toughed out for longer than most other fighters would have.  She managed to be saved by the bell but she was clearly getting desperate and shot in at the beginning of the third.  Helen was able to snatch her neck and force the tap early on.

When the boys returned to the cage we returned to quick fights, with only two of the final six matches making it out of the first round. First came Subhon Mirzoev and Lachlan Lewis Hay, who made it an early night when Lachlan was able to take Subhon’s back after a scramble and apply the rear-naked choke.

Then local favorite Will ‘The Kill’ Chope was forced to weather the storm of his Iranian opponent Mostafa Ashouri before getting the takedown and then transitioning for another rear-naked choke after some punches from the back.

Donald ‘Tartaruga’ Tong followed a strange gameplan as he willingly took the bottom position in all three rounds against Georgios Serganis despite having little to no success there. Georgios ground out the first two rounds from the top, doing damage and working for a variety of different chokes from different angles before finally deciding that keeping it simple was the way to go and pounding out Donald in the third round.

By the eleventh fight the pattern of mismatched opponents was becoming wearyingly familiar but this looked to be changing as Liam ‘The Tasmanian Devil’ Nazaripour and Taktak ‘Bushido’ Arai stepped into the cage. Sadly though it was not to be as Liam spent the majority of the first round in Arai’s guard laying down some strong punches but not looking to advance his position. In the second round Liam worked for a throw takedown and Arai was knocked out cold when he landed on the back of his head. When he stood up he was clearly out of it as he reeled back to his corner with assistance.

Yvan ‘The Terrible’ Sorel‘s Malaysian MMA debut was marred by poor refereeing as the experienced kickboxer started the fight with some flashy turning back kicks and a beautiful Andy Hug axekick. When he drove Abdalla ‘The Butcher’ Omer to the ground and stood over him punching the referee dove in far too soon and a clearly upset Abadalla jumped up to protest the stoppage. It was an unfortunate incident which took the shine off this co-main event fight.

In the last fight and co-main event Alexsandro ‘Leke’ Machado surprised no-one by shooting immediately and working his BJJ game against Bulat ‘Boka’ Kiyalov. He may have gotten a surprise himself when Bulat showed he wasn’t intimidated and nearly slapped on an armbar from guard. Leke seemed content to work from the top and punch away rather than taking the flailing arms of Kiyalov and he may be regretting not finishing the fight more quickly as Leke injured his rib during a scramble and was unable to continue, losing the fight due to TKO (injury) in the first round.

With thirteen fights and only one decision, it was an easy night for the judges at MFC 6.  However, because of the many stoppages in the first round and obviously one-sided bouts, matchmaking should be a huge priority for MFC going forward.  More experienced refereeing is also imperative for the safety of the participants, and timekeeping should be better managed – the lengthy mopping of the cage after every round break was incongruous for a professional event.

With the recent influx of MMA promotions coming to the country, Malaysian audiences have become more educated in regards to the technical side of the sport and are no longer content to simply watch people punching wildly. With that said, one definition of combat sports is two people trying to hurt each other in interesting ways.  While MFC 6 lacked in the “arts” part of MMA, it certainly delivered in the “martial”.  The crowd was definitely there, and after the initial late start, the event ran smoothly and had good production value. Going forward, MFC should endeavor to deliver more compelling and even matchups, and it will be able to cement a positive reputation as the pioneer MMA show in Malaysia.

May 25, 2013
Southgate Commercial Centre
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Main card:
Will ‘The Kill’ Chope def. Mostafa Ashouri. RNC. R1
Yvan ‘The Terrible’ Sorel def. Abdalla ‘The Butcher’ Omer. TKO. R1
Bulat ‘Boka’ Kiyalov def. Alexsandro ‘Leke’ Machado. TKO injury. R1
Liam ‘The Tasmanian Devil’ Nazaripour def. Taktak ‘Bushido’ Arai. KO. R2
Georgios Serganis def. Donald ‘Tartaruga’ Tong. TKO. R3
Lachlan Lewis Hay def. Subhon Mirzoev. RNC. R1
Helen Harper def. Zhen ‘the Iron Rose’ Wei. Guillotine choke, R3
‘The Underdog’ Mohd Fouzein def. Khujandi Zafar. Triangle choke. R2

Under Card:
Mohd Alsebaie def. Akhan Tuleshev. RNC. R1
Armin ‘Awesome’ Fekri def. The Venomous Fahim. TKO, R2+
Firuz Karomatov def. Muhammad Hakim. KO, R. 1
Malik ‘The Savage’ Kreishan def. Umar Gadoev TKO, r. 2
Muhammed ‘Big Mo’ Salih def. Eugenio Dauz Tan. UD, 3R