The passing of ‘The Greatest’ charged the air with triumph at Full Metal Dojo 11: Sweep all the Legs, as glasses and bottles were raised in unison. Soon the warriors were marking this day with a fitting tribute, by engaging in unarmed combat under FMD’s Global MMA Rule Set.
By Max Rapkin, Special Contributer
On a night of memorable debut performances, Thailand’s 17-year-old Sunsisa Srisan stole the show, and the hearts of the crowd, surviving an early onslaught to claim a stunning victory. She wept tears of joy as the judge raised her hand, following her 2nd round TKO of Audreylaura Boniface via ground and pound. It was a performance of courage and cold-bloodedness from the Thailand wrestling champion, who simply refused to lose, even as Boniface was in full mount raining punches down upon her head. Boniface will return to Malaysia crestfallen, but her all-star team at Borneo Tribal Squad will help Boniface bounce back.
In the fight of the night, two more MMA debutants, Trevor McKenzie and FX “Shuriken” Leal dela Torre. showed a full range of MMA skills, as the US Navy wrestler McKenzie overwhelmed FX eventually and finished with a slick arm-bar submission. The Frenchman had displayed his heart and high-caliber Muay Thai, but was repeatedly muscled down by the Phuket Top Team machine. McKenzie is a force to be reckoned with in the Dojo, with such a strong wrestling base. He’s clearly developed his jiu-jitsu skills in Phuket and if you add some improved stand-up to his arsenal, soon he will be a well-rounded Dojo destroyer.
One man on the wrong end of a Dojo destruction was Toni Hitman, who was swiftly assassinated by Iran’s Ali Motamed. It was a sweet victory for Tiger Muay Thai in the battle of the Phuket gyms, and their man Motamed was on a mission, which he completed in 54 seconds via Rear Naked Choke. This may have been the performance of the night, but the big Brazilian Marcelo, “The Latino” Tenerio, also staked a claim. He trumped Ali’s 54 seconds with an out-of-the-blue arm-bar which shocked the crowd, 42 seconds into the first round. Askar “The Jaguar” Mozharov had taken him down and was bearing down upon the Brazilian, assessing which way to damage him from above when Marcelo smoothly slipped his arm into place and pulled with all his might, visibly distressing “The Jaguar”, who tapped.
Another man, who will be nursing his arm today, is Amr Elgohary. The Bangkok Fight Lab boy incurred a nasty injury while throwing a punch at Liam “The Panda” Lockyer. The referee was forced to halt proceedings in the first round after Elgohary quickly crumpled to the ground in agony. A strange debut for the Aussie, who was visibly confused, torn between elation and empathy. Once the referee raised his hand, he took the ‘w’ gladly and soaked up his first victory in the Dojo. The Egyptian prospect will be sidelined for a while, whilst “The Panda” will likely return to the Dojo soon.
It was a debut to forget for Thai Judo Team’s “Petchsamut”, who came into the Dojo with a lot of promise. The wrestling medalist ran into a hurricane in the form of Thanongsaklek “Top Noi”, who blitzed him with a vicious flurry and finished him via ground and pound.
All three of the Thai fighters cornered by former UFC superstar Tommy Hayden won. Hero Factory’s Jaktan “The Man” Tangjan won his first fight in MMA, the fourth time of asking, showing that if you keep trying, you will succeed. Bangkok Fight Lab’s Weerayuth “Oak” finished his fight using the same choke and Jirawan Aunjai won a dominant unanimous decision. Tommy Hayden divides his coaching time between Bangkok Fight Lab and Hero Factory and his fighters all displayed superior wrestling skills, which Hayden no doubt played a huge part in.
And you can soon watch Full Metal Dojo on Thailand’s True Visions TV network, which will be showing the full FMD back catalogue of MMA events on True Sport Channel 6, every Thursday at 7pm, and repeated twice daily. The season premiere is this Thursday, June 9th, with 4 seasons scheduled, running all the way into 2017, marking a watershed moment for Thai MMA.