Most of you might have known that I have been busy with my wedding and honeymoon for the past two weeks but that does not mean that I’ve been oblivious to the interesting events that happened in the South East Asian MMA scene recently. We do take huge pride on being “Latest” but not to the expense of the quality of our content. Providing accurate and unbiased news and opinions are the key ingredients to the success of MMA Latest thus far and as the editor, I will ensure to not only maintain but eventually surpass the standards I have set on the team. Fortunately, my job has been made easy by two talented and dedicated writers on our team, Bramono Lunardi and Adri Andika Kumara who have been excellent once again in covering One Championship Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
First up, One Championship Jakarta. The account of Arnaud Lepont’s nightmare in an Indonesian hospital after the fight with Vincent Latoel have traveled far and wide. Be assured, MMA Latest is still on this case and we plan to bring you the most comprehensive and detailed piece or even a series of articles on this issue with quotes and opinions from all the parties involved.
Next would be MIMMA. Speculation on the finish between Tee Jac Yoe and Effendy Kalai is currently buzzing around social media. I’m not surprised that a MIMMA representative contacted me while I’m on honeymoon, even before I watched any footage. The representative told me that MIMMA will release the official statement on the incident by this week and also cited concern on the general public perception towards MMA. More updates to come, especially on the CPR incident.
Rebel FC was supposed to have a show this month, but Rebel announced that it have been postponed to a later date. It is extremely common for South East Asian-based promotions to announce postponement, cancellation or card changes without stating an official reason. Though we understand that it is to the prerogative of the promotion to not disclose any information to the public, we(MMA Latest) collectively agreed that it would be better for MMA within this region to reduce as much speculation as possible by being transparent. I would like to end this paragraph with a quote from the MIMMA representative which said “our effort is also educating the masses”. I would argue that the pedagogy of the modern MMA era should not contain silence.
We have not reached the end of October, but we are already looking forward to at least two of our pieces breaking into our internal top ten posts of the month rankings. Obviously, one of the two would be a piece replicated by a well-known Singaporean social media site, theonlinecitizen.com. We are also looking forward to the announcement of the full card for One Championship Singapore in November which we are expecting to publish within the coming days.
With one well-known Asian editor from MMAinAsia moving to a Korean promotion and TheFightNation closing its doors recently, we would welcome MMA fans with open arms to choose MMA Latest as your preferred stop for Asian MMA content as we are here to stay for a very very long time. Finally, for any budding writers based in Asia looking to whip up some MMA content can email me directly(link below) or pm me on facebook or twitter and save the need to go through our crazy US/UK teams.
Editor, MMA Latest
Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship
28 Years Old, Zhang Weili(16-1) from China has challenged Strawweight champion Angela Lee for her strap in One Championship according to a source close to the Chinese fighter. Zhang who is the champion and fighting for Chinese based promotion Kunlun FC is currently negotiating on a one fight deal to face Angela. According to the source, they would like to determine who is the best women fighter in Asia in a one-off match and would have no problems to fight under the One Championship banner.
Since her pro debut loss in 2013, Zhang has racked up 16 wins in 3 years with a total of 15 finishes. She is the number #6 ranked women strawweight in the World according to Fightmatrix.com, just behind Rose Namajunas who will be facing UFC champion and number #1 ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title next month. Angela, on the other hand, is 9 rungs below Zhang at number 15.
While ONE was very eager to have a cross-promotion fight between Angela Lee and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to determine who has the better strawweight, they seem less eager to have a Kunlun FC champion on board for a one fight deal. The source states that ONE would need for Zhang to sign a 2-year exclusive contract first before discussing further for a fight with Angela.
If the source is accurate, ONE seems to be covering their bases this time and would not like for their champion to lose the belt to another promotion without securing Zhang on an exclusive contract. Kunlun, on the other hand, would also not want to lose their best fighter to another Asian promotion. Zhang would be a huge asset to ONE for their expansion in China but it would be tough for them to pry off the Chinese fighter as the source states that Zhang is being paid handsomely on Kunlun FC.
While things are looking bleak for a match between Angela Lee and Zhang Weili to happen in the ONE Championship cage, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they could witness a fight between two of the best women Strawweights in Asia.
Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship
After speculations on who Martin Nguyen’s next opponent when he signed a fight contract, ONE Championship have confirmed that Martin Nguyen is set to challenge Eduard Folayang’s lightweight title in Manila on ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD on 10 November.
The fight is the latest in a series of cross-division fights announced after Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren and Aung La NSang vs Alain Ngalani, but this will be the first time the reigning ONE Championship titleholders from two weight divisions will clash.
Nguyen’s coach, Fari Salievski, did tease on the idea of Nguyen fighting for the title in different weight divisions , but he teased on a bantamweight division since Martin was underweight for his featherweight title fight against Marat Gafurov.
Despite being on the lighter side of a featherweight division, the new champion decided to challenge the title against a fighter a weight class above him, and opens the possibility of the first fighter in ONE Championship to challenge the title in 3 weight divisions.
“I’m not out only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner” – Martin Nguyen
ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD will be held in Malls of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November 2017
Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship
Bashir Ahmad is appointed as the Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships, the role made to develop and strengthen the relationships between ONE Championship and various MMA gyms and promotions.
“Essentially, I see myself doing what I did in Pakistan and working to accelerate the growth of MMA in Asia with other players in the MMA scene,” Ahmad explained.
As the pioneer of Pakistani MMA, Bashir Ahmad has worked to promote MMA in Pakistan, most notably the Shaheen Gym project, a non-profit gym which serves to take at-risk youth off the street with the appeal and focus of MMA. With his new position in ONE, Ahmad believes he will be better positioned to develop MMA in Asia, particularly in his hometown Pakistan.
“I think it’s a win-win. I’ve learned about developing MMA in a really difficult market – Pakistan, and I bring that experience with me.”
“On the flip side, I get work with one of the world’s most professional martial arts brands and bring those lessons to my mission in Pakistan.”
4-3 on his professional MMA career, Ahmad has been fighting for ONE Championship since April 2013 and became the first ONE Championship athlete to make the transition from into the management role in the promotion. Despite this additional role, Ahmad is adamant that his new role in ONE Championship does not take him away from active competition.
“100% not retired. I can certainly train. If Martin can beat Gafurov while being a full-time mechanic, I can certainly train when I work in the MMA industry for a living. It’s about time management and training smart.”
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