Malaysian cage fighting fans were treated to a top night of homegrown amateur action on Saturday as well as some explosive international bouts.
The second season of Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) concluded at Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Negara with all seven weight division titles on the line.
The card kicked off with a professional female flyweight showdown between Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt Zhen Wei of Malaysia and England’s Rachael Short. It was a one-sided fight with ‘The Iron Rose’ Wei taking the win via submission in the first round.
Stephen Onn, who blazed through his preliminary fights, took on defending MIMMA middleweight champion Jim Chong Jing Yi. Experience proved to be the deciding factor as Yi dictated the whole fight, which lasted only 36 seconds, to come away with the TKO victory.
Fighting to retain his MIMMA bantamweight title, Prabu ‘Superman’ Somanaidu appeared cautious early on but in the second round he took things up a notch to land a few good strikes and force a referee stoppage.
The local crowd went crazy as policeman Muhammad Hasrul entered the cage to battle it out with Richie Celestial for the lightweight belt. Silat practitioner Hasrul knew that he needed to stay off the ground and avoid the BJJ superiority of Celestial. His heavy hands produced the second knockout of the night.
Canadian Krav Maga specialist Lenny Wheeler and Italian import Massimo Capusella then battled it out in the cage in their professional lightweight bout. Wheeler definitely lived up to his ‘Show Stealer’ nickname, with aggressive attacks resulting in a referee stoppage.
Kenny Yap, who chalked up three professional wins since winning the flyweight title at last year’s MIMMA finals, returned to the cage to face Seah Zhang Yu, a late replacement for Muhammad Aiman, who failed to make weight. Evidently, 24 hours was more than enough time for Seah to prepare as he defeated Yap with a knockout in the first round to grab the belt.
Fighting over the heavyweight title vacated by last year’s champion Adrian Tham were BJJ specialist Darren Low and Mohammad Zulhanizam, also known as 50 Caliber. Right from the start, both parties pumped up the crowd as they traded strikes. However, Low emerged victorious after completing a takedown and Kimura arm submission in the first round.
In the welterweight title contest, Agilan Thani locked horns with Ooi Aik Tong, who was back to defend his belt for the second successive year. Agilan kept coming at Ooi, managing to floor him in the second round and go on to win through grounding and pounding.
Filipino-American sensation Mark ‘Mugen’ Striegl was in dominant mood against veteran Kaiwhare ‘Kai’ Kara-France of New Zealand in the co-main event of the evening, a professional bantamweight encounter.
Striegl executed a fine rear naked choke in the first round, leaving Kara-France no choice but to tap out.
Headlining Saturday’s card was the much-talked about professional open weight match between Will ‘The Kill’ Chope and MMA debutant Matt Pellino, also known as Liquid Monkey.
Pellino gave a good display of his grappling skills in the first round but couldn’t stop the highly experienced Chope succeeding in the second stanza with a triangle choke.