It's been a big few weeks for Asian MMA, and the news hasn't stopped yet. Big news for North American fans, as India's Super Fight League has picked up multiple fighters who are already established and known in the world of Mixed Martial Arts:
- SFL has significantly beefed up the heavier divisions on their roster as they have announced the signing of Jeff Monson (46-13-1), Satoshi Ishii (4-2-1), Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (12-10), along with welterweight prospect Michael Page (2-0).
- Both Ishii and Monson have lost high profile bouts against Fedor Emelianenko late last year. Monson has fought 4 times after, going 3-0-1 in 2012, while the Olympic gold medalist hasn't fought since.
- SFL's heavyweight division already includes Todd Duffee, Neil Grove, James Thompson, and Bobby Lashley, and with these new additions to their roster, setting up an Open-Weight Grand Prix could turn some heads. It may not happen, but I think a PRIDE style open-weight tourney could be a good way to build interest, and shake things up on an otherwise barren non-Zuffa heavyweight landscape.
- Switching gears, ONE FC 4 just ended, and the promotion has already announced their next show on August 31. Dubbed as "ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation", the show will be hosted in Manila, Philippines, and will be headlined by Shinya Aoki.
- ONE FC has picked up another blue-chip sponsor, as the promotion has announced moments before their 4th event that giant automobile company, Chevrolet has joined their list of sponsors.
- Victor Cui has also stated that he is targeting to host shows on 9 different Asian countries on 2013, and they're planning to visit those locations twice in a span of a year.
- ONE FC 4 happened this past weekend, and everyone is still talking about that brutal soccer kick that finished the fight. During the broadcast, it sounded like Yuji Shimada was saying "No kick! No kick!", but then Zoro looked up to the ref then proceeded with the fight ending kick. Shimada called off the fight normally, which led to a few people being confused if it was indeed a legal blow or not.
- Here's Zorobabel explaining things to MMA Weekly:
"Before I threw it, I looked at referee and he gave me signal and I threw it.... Roger is a very tough fighter so I had to do everything to win this fight and when I had a chance to knock him out I had to take it.... For ONE FC rules, the fighter must wait for the open attack signal that allows soccer kicks. The referee gave the signal and I took the kick. Roger is very dangerous opponent and if you fight against very good fighter like this and you have opportunity to finish the fight you must take it, otherwise maybe you lose."
- That confirms my initial reaction, seeing Zoro look to the ref waiting for approval before throwing the kick. What about hearing "No kick"? Well Renzo Gracie, who was the commentator for that event cleared that on twitter: "I really thought he was saying "no kick" in reality, after I went to ask him, he told me he said "low kick" which it was the ok"
- As for the other aftermath from the event, Kim Hock Quek, who lost by TKO to Peter Davis, broke his jaw and will be out for a while. The injury was likely from that beautiful spinning kick that caught him flush and staggered him, leading to the quick finish.