Joanna Ash, special contributor
For Rebel FC’s second event in Singapore, the opening round of a featherweight tournament has been planned. Eight fighters from around Asia have been paired into interesting matches from a lucky draw.
All but one fighter made weight for the tournament.
Torres vs Ashida
At the top of the pack, former WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres faces DEEP stand out Takahiro Ashida of Brave Gym. Miguel cut a lean and mean frame at 64.6kg during the weigh-in this evening, He said that he was more than ready for the fight tomorrow having practically “lived in the gym” in the last few months.
An evening would not be enough time for Miguel to regale you with colorful stories of his past but the one thing he wanted to drive home to his fans was that he had seen himself get to the top and then fall right back to the bottom again but it took him a lot of hard work and courage to come back up on top again to condition him for the fight tomorrow. For MMA fighters who are also making a come-back journey like he did, his advice was this, “Go back to the basics. No distractions. Stay focused on your desire to win.”
Chope vs dos Santos
Next, controversial UFC vet Will Chope takes on WOCS warhorse Mauricio dos Santos Jr. Will was all pumped up for his comeback fight. The drama in the last few months had only made him stronger, and the “character-building experience” only served to hone his resolve and conviction to give 100% to the fight tomorrow. His confidence level was very high tonight, having trained hard to make weight this evening.
Will credited his coach Arvind Lalwani from Juggernaut Fight Club and his team for walking every step with him all the way to the cage tomorrow. His advice for those who had been through the rough patches along the journey of becoming a great fighter, ” Never give up on your dreams. The challenges only serve to build your character and make you stronger. Face it with courage and stay focused on your goals.”
Red vs Uchimura
URCC Featherweight Champ Reydon Romero will meet ZST slugger Yojiro Uchimura.
Tobin vs Promrangka
In the final match up, Roshambo Featherweight Champ Michael Tobin was set to face Australian stand out Pat Promrangka.
“The honey badger has done a runner.” This was possibly in everyone’s minds this evening at the weigh-in, amidst the cacophony of questions, whispers, and chatter amongst those present, after it was announced that Pat Promrangka was not present for the weigh-in and a media statement was to be issues shortly.
This left fellow Australian and Promrangka’s opponent Michael Tobin as disappointed as a bride left without a groom at the altar on her wedding day. Looking for forward to the fight, Tobin had been training hard and was last seen running at the beach as part of his preparation for his fight tomorrow. With the question of responsible sportsmanship in the minds of those left disappointed by Promrangka’s failure to appear at the weigh-in this evening, all were left waiting with abated breath for his explanation.
Promrangka failed to make weight, and apparently didn’t even try, according to his coach Dan Hyatt who left a vitriolic comment of apology on Facebook,
“Apologies on behalf of myself and myself only Rebel Fighting Championship, Chad Sanderson, Michael Tobin and Mark Tobin for a Riot Vale Tudo fighters failure to not only make weight, but to even have the common courtesy or respect to stay until the weigh in and face up to responsibility like a man. [sic]”
As such, Tobin earns a buy into the next round of the tournament.
Among the prelim fighters, many made statements as well.
Calm and composed, Syafiq Bin Abdul Samad is confident about his performance in what will be his 4th fight tomorrow. When asked about his confidence level as he faced his opponent Kenneth Thompson at the weigh-in this evening, he coolly replied, ” No pressure.” Even his coach Arvind Lalwani from Juggernaut Fight Club added, “He’s going to do well and will be standing proudly with the pro ranks. This will be a redemption fight for him.”
Silvio Romero Da Silva looked strong and ready for the fight tomorrow. At the weigh-in this evening, he said ” I can’t wait to fight now. I am ready.” He had been working hard to make weight and when he finally got result in the preliminary weigh-in this morning, he had decided to have a good rest. At the media weigh-in this evening, he said, with a confident smile, ” I am ready to win this tomorrow.”
May Ooi was first to arrive at the weigh-in, bouncing into the room with an air of confidence. She was bursting with excitement, proclaiming, “My confidence is shooting through the roof.” She attributed this confidence to her months of preparation for the fight tomorrow. “Consistency in training is key,” she said.
The former national swimmer understood the basic tenets of training for competitions and had been building her MMA skills through her training in the various disciplines that included Capoeira, Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai. Not forgetting her roots, she had been incorporating burst training in the pool. When asked what advice she would give to aspiring MMA fighters, she said, ” A lot of glamour and glitz surround MMA, but it’s not all that. It’s all about hard work, discipline and consistent training. Once the cage door closes, it’s just between you and your opponent so all that effort, discipline and training had better count for something.” When asked what more could be done for this fastest growing sports in Asia, she said that more funding for athlete development was needed.
Rebel FC 2
August 1, 2014
Will Chope (19-7) 66.2
vs Mauricio dos Santos Jr. (10-8) 65.7
Michael Tobin (8-0) 66
vs Pat Promrangka (6-4) fail
Reydon Romero (7-4) 65.5
vs Yojiro Uchimura (11-7-3) 65.8
Takahiro Ashida (13-2-2) 65.7
vs Miguel Torres (41-7) 64.6
Gyo Pyung Hwang (6-3) 70.8
vs Kris Barras (3-0) 70.8
Doo Hwan Kim (6-2) 93.4
vs (3-3) Sam Kei 93.5
Garie Tang (3-0) vs Jhaymie Gayman (0-0)
Ashraf Bin Shafi (0-0) vs Suman Mokhtarian (0-0)
Silvio Romero Da Silva (0-0) vs Kenny Yeung (1-4)
May Ooi (0-0) vs Sharmah Deviah (0-0)
Syafiq Bin Abdul Samad (2-1) vs Kenny Thompson (0-0)
Media scrum day photos, by SingaporeMaven.com:
Weigh in photos, by SingaporeMaven.com: