Malaysian Invasion MMA 2: Grand Finals takes place on October 25, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The massive national amateur tournament caps off its second season with seven division Championships to be contested, including five Champions from Season 1 putting their belts on the line against the new crop of finalists from Season 2.
MIMMA 2 also sees four professional bouts topping the card, including Mark Striegl’s comeback fight against Kai Kara-France, and UFC vet Will Chope in a personal grudge match against the voice of MIMMA, wrestler Matt Pellino.
MIMMA 1 was an amazing trial by fire for the fledgling promotion and it brought out what Malaysia’s amateur athletes are capable of. With expanding coverage into Season 2, the whole world has been able to watch the trials all the way to the contender matches of Season 2. The event will be streamed live and for free at http://www.mimmalive.tunetalk.com.
ASIA MMA was live at the MIMMA Season 1 Championships, and the review of the event can be found here. Most of the matches from the Season 2 finalists can be watched on MIMMA Live as well, giving a comprehensive view of what’s at stake for the Championship challenges. Here is a detailed look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Season 1 Champs versus their Season 2 challengers.
Kenny Yap (Monarchy MMA)
Muhammad Aiman (Klinch MMA)
Kenny Yap looked wise beyond his years in his Season 1 win. He peppers with punches while waiting for opportunities. While Yap is well-rounded, what is his shining point is that he adapts to whatever situation is presented.
Aiman is well-known to MIMMA as he was a Season 1 finalist at bantamweight. He dropped to flyweight for the second season and made it to the Grand Finals with four submission finishes. Aiman is probably the most complete fighter produced through the MIMMA organization yet. He goes forward, has good striking and can clinch well. His takedowns and takedown defense are superb. Aiman has a very good sense of the cage and can work well from any position. From the top he has intelligent pressure and from the bottom he knows how to throw up submissions.
Aiman is hungry, and it’s blatantly evident. Yap needs to show he’s eveolved just as much as his opponent if he wants to keep the belt around his waist.
Prabu Somanaidu (Klinch MMA)
Jenarten Radhakrishnan (Wuji MMA)
Somanaidu achieved somewhat of a cult status in his first season stint. Actually, that’s not fair: he deserved every inch of recognition he received in the community. He struck and went in for the finish at every opportunity, with heart and aggression.
The best word for Radhakrishnan is “durable”. He starts off showing good footwork and attacks with strikes aggressively. He has demonstrated a clear understanding of takedowns and has a pretty good defense of them as well. What Radhakrishnan has going for him – which really counts at this early stage of his career – is definitely cardio. He might be a little too quick to engage which puts him in dangerous positions, but he works through and lives.
Expect Somanaidu to be much more well-rounded now because he’s trained hard: he feels the weight of a community riding on him, as well as his own hopes. Radhakrishnan may be a survivor, but he’s going to have to turn up his aggression a notch if he wants to claim the championship.
Keanu Subba (Klinch MMA)
Joshua Khiew (Penang Top Team)
Subba has good wrestling and taekwondo. He won his Season 1 Championship fight in 29 seconds by TKO showing that he also has intelligence, speed, and power. At just 19 years old, he’s got a lot of hype behind him as a prospect to watch.
Khiew is a lengthy 6′ tall and has shown he knows how to take advantage of his height in the clinch with knees. He has been very sporadic in his takedown defense, possibly because he’s comfortable off his back and doesn’t care if he gives up the position. Going into the third has seen him winded, and he’s not yet proven he has power in his punches.
Subba will have a challenge with Khiew’s height, but will probably get him down anyway. And that’s where he has to be careful. If it’s early, Khiew will know he has to go for the kill. If Subba waits it out, the finish should become more and more apparent.
Ooi Aik Tong (Budo Academy / K-One Kickboxing)
Agilan Chandran (Monarchy MMA)
Tong is a gold medallist in judo. In his MIMMA Season 1 finals championship match he exhibited his base with long time rival, fellow judoka Chew Che Chan. It was a very impressive mix of striking and throw attempts. Once the fight hit the canvas there were reversals after reversals. Tong is the super-judoka super everyone wants to see in MMA.
Chandran choked his way through four fights to reach the Grand Finals. He is methodical, composed, and he listens to his corner well. Chandran’s strength is amazing, in his striking, takedown defense, and when he has the top position. He’s also shown some decent trips. He may be a little too green yet, in that his reaction time can be lagging, as his strength can help him stave off many types of attacks.
Tong needs to be aware that Chandran’s team will have a plan, and can implement it well. While Chandran’s power might not be an intimidating factor to Tong, he still needs to be cautious. All this being said, it’s doubtfull Chandran has ever been tripped up by the likes of Tong and he should feel it come fight night.
Agilan’s ring name should be Smiley. He has the “Fedor face” during fights, but an infectious grin outside the cage.
Jing Yi Chong (Ultimate MMA Academy)
Stephen Onn (GymBox)
Chong has learned his craft from the man credited with birthing the sport in Malaysia, Melvin Yeoh. He has takedowns and takedown defense. He has ground and pound. This has all been proven because he’s been put in tough positions and come out on top by using smart defense and counters to reverse the tide.
Onn has one choke and two TKOs behind his Grand Finals shot. He has demonstrated very aggressive and accurate striking skills which include some impressive high kicks, however he tends to drop his guard. In the clinch, Onn is an interesting puzzle. He doesn’t seem to have the chops when underhooked, but if he gets a clinch himself, he immediately knows to throw knees. Onn has has given up takedowns and this will be his weakness. His strength is that he always looks for the finish.
Chong is smart and Onn is not just going to be able to punch his way out of this match. Chong will capitalize on any mistake Onn makes because that’s how he fights. Onn will need all his striking skills at the ready for any hope of pulling the title from Chong.