My message of the day is this; Stay Young & Invincible.
And come what may, you’re unstoppable.
And you know just what you are… so come on!
Pro FC are ready to rock Taiwan and Asia fightsport with their seventh event, one that features of plethora of talent from Thai shores. Isamu Himura, never too far from a tasty pre-fight verbal exchange, has been enjoying a tête-à-tête with Silas Maynard, but the fight appears to have been nixed which Isamu claims is due to Silas being “95kg of pure muscle”, and unable to reach the rumoured weight of 79kg. The now 3-6 Himura is set to take on Seok Mo Kim (4-5 win/loss).
Phuket Top Team will be represented by two of its most handsome, muscular members, as JJ “Superman” Ambrose of Bellator Fighting Championships appears alongside Australian Muay Thai fighter Brad Terrey. Ambrose, the 17-4-1 monster lightweight (stand next to him) with the Superman gimmick and Clark Kent hairdo and appearance, will fight replacement lightweight Dong Sun Choi. While the latter is an arguably less dangerous opponent than that originally scheduled for JJ, Choi has fought in Road FC, Spirit MC and Heat, and should put up a fight against the big Phuket-based American, though I believe he will be outgunned and blasted out in the first or second.
Despite the late replacement, the Ambrose/Choi fight has been bumped up to main-event, as JJ’s fellow Top Team member replaces the scheduled main-event opponent for accomplished ground specialist Nick Leconte. Terrey is set to pit his Muay Thai background against a very talented ground-grappler, which offers the card one of those classic old-school style-versus-style matchups. However, Terrey is a blue belt training in the best program of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Thailand, and most of Asia for that matter, under 3rd degree black belt Olavo Abreu and black belt & One FC fighter Rodrigo Praxedes, so he is no helpless slouch himself in the grappling realm.
Should be interesting.
Top Team will be co-represented by a third member, as the MuayFit/PTT standout of URCC and F-3 fame Will Chope is set to compete again for the seventh or eighth time this year. The boy is simply addicted to fighting; personally, I’m glad that he’s testing his jaw in the Asia-MMA ring as opposed to that at Bangla Stadium in Phuket, earning 6,000 baht to fight guys 8kg heavier than him in Muay Thai rules. Will is an interesting addition to Asia-MMA, and one that no one wants to see get burnt out Bovy style at such a young age (21). Chok dee Chope.
The full fight card is as follows:
Here is a podcast from mmanewsasia, in which Pro FC owner and founder Royal Chiou talks about the event and his promotion, and the current state of Taiwanese MMA (in which he welcomes competition, as he believes that will help the sport and his own brand to flourish there).
The following excerpt is from Pro FC’s review of the event, posted on facebook:
Taiwanese fighters are well represented, a move which will no doubt give local MMA a real boost. Taiwan Muay Thai Academy standout Jeff Huang is on the card, making his MMA debut opposite a Malaysian muay thai specialist turned MMA, (MMA 2-1) Sunil Rajandran. Huang being a well-rounded Muay Thai and karate fighter, possesses an enormous amount of power in his hands and feet. By adding new diet & training regime, Huang finds himself 2 weight classes lighter than before for his PRO Fighting debut. Expect Huang to be lighter on his feet, using his long reach to his advantage. His counterpart in the cage, Rajandran is coming off of a ground and pound TKO victory, in a match that defined the Malaysian as a patient fighter with a veteran’s composure. Look for a standup battle as these two will most likely test each others respective muay thai backgrounds.
A featured all-Taiwanese clash sees Zhang Zheng Jie, best known as Frogman, squaring off against Stone Shih. Zhang’s MMA career hasn’t had the most successful start, with the past couple of years seeing him fall to Justin Lee and Eliot Corley. However, neither of his fights were walkovers, and Shih will certainly have his work cut out for him. Shih’s previous PRO outing saw him fall to Toby Holland in an incredibly close split decision after three rounds of hard fighting and he will be looking to translate his undeniable talent into victory.
Will Chope will be making his third appearance in the PRO cage, facing Dae Myung Kim. The two fighters have vastly differing approaches to taking fights – hardly a weekend seems to go by without Chope touching gloves in competition, while his opponent hasn’t fought since April last year. Florian Garel, a former training partner of Chope at Taiwan Top Team, is back to take on newcomer Rocky Lio, and jiu-jitsu specialist Daniel Gray fights at Luxy for the first time against fellow debutant and Road FC veteran Jung Won Lee. And, Isamu Himura looks to take to the cage against Seok Mo Kim in a welterweight match-up that could potentially see 3 rounds of back and forth action, standing and on the ground.
Two more fights are on the card, but these are fights with plot points, storied characters, and developing narratives and as such deserve dedicated articles to do them justice. There’s the rematch between Hagan Cooper and Zheng Ming Quay which has been four years in the making and the retirement match between Wu Dong Xing and Hanz Olsen, which sees one of these two going home to hang up the gloves for good.
And lastly, to end on a positive note, allow me to quote the voices of a generation, Sirs Liam & Noel Gallagher.