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A tough Nutt to crack – The Man behind Full Metal Dojo

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MMA Latest Asia got hold of Jon Nutt, the man behind Thailand’s MMA promotion Full Metal Dojo(FMD). FMD which started in June 2014 will be the first Asian MMA promotion to kickstart the new year. Their 8th show titled return of the Mack will be held this weekend on the 10th of January at Seduction Discotheque Patong, Phuket, Thailand featuring former UFC fighter, Will Chope in the main event.

Check out the interview below with one of the most energetic guys in Asian MMA.

So how did you get into the MMA business?

“In all honesty. It’s all about the “Love of the Game”.  And doing something I wanted to do. Especially when you say business. I got into MMA because… I’ve been in it since my Mom put me into TKD when I was around 7, and I’m old enough that I watched the first UFC in a basement with a ear to ear smile on my face. I got into the business because it was a hobby, that turned into something I wound up getting paid for, and then decided that with a few calculated risks, I could really shake things up, have fun, and not lose too much money In the long run. That’s the truth.. What got me into the business is that I think MMA is the best entertainment on the planet, I want to be an entertainer. And I think I can play this business… So I wanted to play. But I also haven’t quit my day job.”

You were the face of the now defunct MMA promotion, Dare FC. What happened?

“That’s a question that I obviously get often and publicly don’t want to tell all. But what happened to Dare is that, first of all… They were awesome. But really they just didn’t host frequent enough shows. And I was the face of the organization. And I had fighters, camps, fans and loads of people asking me… And I couldn’t answer. So to make a long story short. I wanted to do some things. The guys at DARE didn’t really want me doing those things. We had a business disagreement and I wound up deciding to do my own thing. These things happen. Shit happens. I still love everything I did with them. Loved those shows. The most rated R awesome MMA shows ever. To be a really successful MMA event, you need to throw regular shows and give fighters a place to battle. Which is what I’m trying to crush out of the park with Full Metal Dojo.”

With plenty of well known MMA gyms in Thailand, surely there are plenty of talent to acquire but how do you handle gyms who refuse to fight each other?

“That’s an amazing question! That I’ll say no comment too. It is too long a story. And any which way I tell it my foot will go… Into my mouth and up my ass at the same time.”

Alright then, future plans for FMD?

“There will be bigger shows in the future, but for now. We’re going to stay this size and continue to focus on holding kick ass shows every other month. And get the dudes who really want to scrap and go on to bigger things. And get them the attention they need to get there. In the future we plan on having shows on other planets we’ll be so big. We’re hoping to be on TV in the first half of next year in Thailand and we really want to help the South East Asian market grow. So we’ll be on the move.”

You are known to be in good terms with One Championship. Is FMD partnered with One Championship and thoughts on the new weight cut policy. 

“We’re not partnered with ONE but I know the guys and really get along with them. I dig what they’re doing. I obviously think they’re doing something awesome. Just at the moment many smaller shows don’t have the logistical powers to get it done. So although something could happen in the future and we change it up it’s possible. But at the moment. We will keep it weight classed out if you will. I’d also like to chat more about changing the scoring system. That’s actually on my mind a bit more these days.”

Shoot on the scoring system.

“That fight over the weekend. Lawler Condit. Crazy fights gotta come to a clear winner. Just on my mind. And we have talked about it before on our side. And it always comes up. There are a few people that have good options and I’m not sure about the path, but I could see us going down another route in the future if you will. I’m sure Fight Metrics or someone will come up with it since the sport is growing so fast.”

So whats the other route?

“We don’t give away Hot Gold now do we. Just joking. I got nothing. See what I did there?”

You are truly a tough nut to crack. Final word on FMD?

“You should go watch it Live on January 10th at Seduction on Phuket. Watch the fights live from a place that looks like a screen saver. That’s what people should do! And why? Because FMD is probably the Coolest Live MMA event on the Planet. No one gets you Closer, no one brings it Louder. FMD. MMA… And a Party. January 10th! Heyyyoooo!”

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Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship

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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.

Zhang Weili(Left) at Kunlun FC 12

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.

Fightmatrix rankings as per 9/10/2017

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.

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Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship

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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

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Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship

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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.

“EssentiallyI 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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