The second installment of the Martial Combat series featured five fights of explosive knock out action.
The highlight was a dramatic late win for veteran Korean fighter Jong Man Kim in his featherweight title superfight with American Aaron Steele. The judges were all set to render their decisions after a five round stalemate when the Korean sent his opponent crashing to the canvass with barely a minute to go in the fight.
Perhaps fearing he was behind on the scorecards Jong moved in for the kill and unleashed a barrage of blows on the stunned American. With a Martial Combat Superfight belt on the line the referee gave Steele every chance to recover but he with less than 30 seconds remaining he had seen enough and stepped in to stop the fight and save Steele from further punishment.
Jong used all his experience to reserve some energy for a final flourish with his opponent visibly tiring. At the conclusion of this grueling encounter he was both elated and exhausted,
‘I was extremely tired. I didn’t expect it to go to five rounds and thought I could win the bout in the first. Going into the fifth round, I knew I was behind on points and when I saw an opening I knew I had to take advantage. I am very happy and it was an honour to fight for Martial Combat and ESPN Star Sports and I am pleased to be taking the belt back to Korea,’ he said.
All four of the other fights were won emphatically with first round stoppages to the delight of the crowd at Resorts World Sentosa. The most eye catching performance of the night was by up and coming American MMA fighter Joe Ray.
Ray faced the stiffest test of his career against Singapore based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Zorobabel Moreira. Ray has already been tipped by many experts to reach the very top of the sport but he has never faced a fighter of the caliber of Moreira in his fledgling MMA career.
Any lingering doubts as to Ray’s legitimacy or longevity were swiftly and brutally dispelled when the American fighter threw a vicious overhand right which knocked Moreira out cold after only 14 seconds of the fight.
The crowd were stunned, as was Moreira, who took a few minutes to regain consciousness but was eventually able to leave the ring unaided. With three stoppage wins in his first three fights Ray has the mixed martial arts world at his feet. He can look forward to seeing this highlight reel knock out all over the internet in the coming weeks,
‘I was surprised by how quickly the fight ended because I was expecting him to be a dangerous opponent. I had planned to use my jab for the first round but I felt he was there for the taking so I went for it. This is definitely the best performance of my career and I am looking forward to watching the fight on ESPN Star Sports,’ he said.
The opening fight of the night saw two fighters with extensive amateur experience make their professional debuts. It was Jasor Ablasi, from the Phillipines, who got his professional career off to the best possible start by taking the fight to the ground and sinking in a rear naked choke.
Ian Bone and Matt Delanoit both came into the cage with impressive reputations. Bone is one of the best fighters from Australia but Delanoit is an experienced veteran who has faced some top class opposition. After a tentative early exchange of punches Delanoit went for a takedown attempt which Bone eventually succumbed to.
Once he has secured a dominant position Delanoit went to work on the Australian who tried a couple of up kicks but was eventually forced to give up his back in an attempt to escape the onslaught of punches. The American is far too experienced a competitor not to capitalize on such an opening and sunk in a rear naked choke which forced Bone to tap.
Zhang Jian Jun looked impressive in his first fight for Martial Combat last month and was looking to make it two wins out of out of two against Robert Sothmann. Both men are based in China but Chinese native Jian Jun has a more impressive MMA record than the Canadian.
Sothmann elected to go for the takedown and was almost made to pay as Jian Jun sank in a guillotine choke. Sothmann was able to hang in there and eventually popped his head out and went for a submission of his own. Jian Jun was able to defend the Kimura attempt but Sothmann switched strategies and unleashed a barrage of ground and pound to finish the fight.
Martial Combat continues to go from strength to strength and the standard of fights and fighters is noticeably improving. This card featured a combination of aspiring youngsters and experienced veterans which made for some explosive action inside the cage culminating in Jong Man Kim's dramatic late stoppage win.
Mixed martial arts fans like emphatic finishes and Martial Combat had five of them. With ESPN Star Sports throwing their entire weight behind it this show is only going to get bigger and better.
For more information about Martial Combat visit: www.rwmartialcombat.com