Go elsewhere for professionalism. I’m starting a new trend; sober Gonzo journalism. My middle initial is “S” too.
We were halfway through the show before the frappucino started to take hold.
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Backstage, all the familiar faces lurked. Between Top Team, FSA, Tiger Muay Thai defectors and assorted friends, not to mention Malaysian affiliates from MuayFit, Phuket was rolling deep at One FC in Kuala Lumpur. From the Clarke’s to the Leone’s to the Monkey Man’s to the Elbe’s to the Ambrose’s… first up was our boy Rodrigo. He practised the big overhand right in the warm-up room and looked sharp. SHARP. He landed the same punch in the fight, dropped Marcos Escobar, but unfortunately after a barrage of Ground’n'Pound transitioned for a choke from full mount, and was unable to finish. Cardio told, and Escobar managed to punish him into fatigue and finally finish with a D’Arce choke.
He’ll be back.
Kim Hock had an unfortunate end to his own night – having been tagged with a stiff right he seemed to freeze up a tad, backed off, and opponent Pete Davis smelt blood. Thai-clinching his young opponent, he landed several blocked knees, and the official saw fit to end the contest (somewhat prematurely, it could be said).
Arnaud Lepont entered with MuayFit in its entirety as his entourage, to the refreshing sound of screeching electronics instead of the usual machismo-filled angst-oozing rage or pump-up music. Sadly his entrance was cockblocked; ended prematurely by the discovery of a knee wrap and “illegal tape”. He was yellow-carded, which does not result in a points deduction in the fight, merely a reduction in his fight purse. Still, I’m sure he’d disagree with the “merely”…
A truly entertaining fight, it must be said. Arnaud came out swinging, Brian responded, we were treated to a nice little slugfest. Arnaud’s quirky personality even treated us to a Cro Cop/Pat Barry moment with a tender, touching hug mid-cage. As myself and One FC fighter Andrew Leone say, this is correct. Why be neanderthals? Why not settle things with a hug, discussion and a gentlemanly handshake?
Arnaud wins by rear-naked-choke, and rocking his game opponent and taking his back. A lengthy post-fight speech follows… support for MuayFit evident. Malaysia a receptive local demographic.
Adam Kayoom comes out with full local support – the Malaysian WPMF World Muay Thai champ and former Rajadamnern Stadium top 10 ranked fighter and BJJ black belt facing fellow black belt and savage Gregor Gracie.
Caught in a bad spot the end of the first round. Survives to land a lowblow early in the second. Needs to work his stand-up game more.
Andrew Leone leaves my side cageside (behind Jason and Renzo in commentary) and goes to sit back in stadium – his voice, mine and Ray Elbe’s are all that can be heard.
Tell Andrew to sort his life out and return to the front. He’s told to sit down and shut up. We decide not to acquiesce with that request. Hey, it’s fightsport; different when it’s your boys in there.
Second round a mixed bag – Adam pulls guard and plays a jiu jitsu game, then after a stand-up lights Gregor up on the feet – obviously his fight in the standing realm, just needs to throw down more and let loose. Too tentative, all the skill to put Gregor away.
Andrew thinks he should ditch the jiu jitsu game (he’s playing rubber guard and not trying to posture up and get out) and try to escape, dot Gregor up on the feet.
Too much – the second half of the second and the entirety of the third – lighting Gregor up, methodically picked him apart, too much, it mounted up. Almost put Gregor away at the end.
Adam thanks Gregor and the entire Gracie family after the fight. Top Team are now 1-1 – 2-1 counting Arnaud Lepont!
THAT fight is why the 10 point must system is absolutely garbage for Mixed Martial Arts, be it three or five round fights, and why the PRIDE/Sengoku/One FC system is effective and leads to just results.
Imanari vs. Leandro Issa now – Imanari pulls guard, plays a defensive game, sees out round 1. In the second it’s a tentative stand-up battle until Issa drops the Japanese leglock master with a low kick.
Nam Sak Noi, take a bow. Evolve training showing, and in a much better way than Aoki/Alvarez!
Imanari continues with stand-up attempts for another minute. Looks less confident on the feet. Issa is decent standing, no chance of a Bibi/Imanari here, Issa will take the ascendancy if the Ashikan Judan cannot take this down and impose his own game.
Not quite reminiscent of Bibi/Imanari but you see where I’m going with this…
Tough fight for him – just couldn’t impose his own game on Issa, couldn’t take it to his realm, and couldn’t hurt or trouble him standing…
Andrew returns, little koala (blacked and puffy eyes, big cauliflower ears due to Korea Bantamweight tournament).
Co-main coming now – time for Hoger (“g” pronounced as “zsch”) Werta. Brazilians, man. What can I say?
He takes on Zorobabel Moreira – massive light/welterweight from Evolve. The guy is about 6’3″, absolutely ginormous guy. Hoger comes out to INXS, that famous instrumental song.
Roger looks sharp round 1 – landing kicks, not letting loose with his hands enough. Round goes to him on aggression.
Round 2 starts off with Zoro wanting to trade with him.
Still landing shots – sucked into a brawl, Huerta looks tired from the weight difference, Zoro piling on pressure.
Exhausted – barely still standing, tries to throw Zoro and loses his own balance, Zoro flattens him out then abandons possible guillotine position, takes advantage of One FC ruleset and throws soccer kick, knocks him clean out.
Time for the main-event – the apple-cart upsetter of 2011 Tatsuya Mizuno versus former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Babalu/Mizuno is not a long main-event – Mizuno starts off as sharply as he threw blows in the warm-up room, but unfortunately comes acropper with his eagerness – after gaining top position and landing some ground’n'pound blows very early into the first round, he became overconfident and vulnerable, and Babalu brought his leg up and secured a lovely transition to an armbar finish – one that looked like it hurt the big Japanese fighter even before it was fully secured. Visibly wincing as they hit the floor together. Shame; Mizuno’s career could have been catapulted with this one, and now he must go back to the drawing board and rebuild.
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