That elusive first win continues to elude Cambodians competing under the banner of Asia’s biggest MMA promotion, as Khim Dima came up short at ONE FC: Moment of Truth in Manila on Friday, getting stopped in the opening round by Ruel Catalan of the Philippines.
After an early feeling out process in which both flyweights struggled to find their range, Catalan shot for a takedown but found himself in a tight arm in guillotine as Dima looked to finish the fight with a fast submission.
The Cambodian looked comfortable off his back and Catalan appeared to be on the verge of tapping as Dima strained every sinew to try and finish the choke, but the Filipino eventually burst free and launched a barrage of unanswered punched and elbows giving the referee no option but to step in and stop the fight.
Dima was down receiving treatment for a long time but fortunately suffered no serious ill effects and received a round of applause when he eventually got to his feet. The Kun Khmer veteran had already fought to a no contest against Catalan’s older brother Rene two months ago and was devastated that he was unable to register his first MMA win.
“I thought I was going to submit him with the guillotine choke, and it seemed that he was about to tap. But I used up a lot of energy and when he escaped I couldn’t defend myself effectively. I am very disappointed because I believe this is a fight which I could have won,” he said.
In the main event, Japan’s Koji Oishi defended his 145lbs (65.7kg) featherweight belt by stopping Honorio Banario of the Philippines for the second time while Filipino bantamweight Kevin Belingon registered an impressive knockout win over the previously undefeated David Santacana of Spain.
Speaking after the event ONE FC CEO Victor Cui stated that his promotion would be putting on an event in Phnom Penh next year, although he didn’t state any timescale with further shows in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia also on the agenda.