Result: Jake Butler def. Antoni Romulo by TKO, R1
Opening the ONE FC 7 card were two preliminary bouts that featured Jake Butler vs. Antonio Romulo and Gianni Subba vs. Saiful Merican. The event happened on Kuala Lumpur, and these first two bouts were the two bouts shown free on YouTube.
Jake Butler came into the fight for his highly anticipated MMA debut, as he is an NCAA Division 1 wrestler, who has also been working with the Muay Thai and BJJ Champs at Evolve MMA to round out his overall MMA game. He took on Antonio Romulo in a light heavyweight bout, and it didn't last very long.
Butler got a takedown really early, and dominated from the top position. His opponent technically was a Malaysian Wrestling champ, but as Butler displayed, that wasn't really on par with NCAA level. Butler took mount, transitioned to the back, and landed some devastating ground and pound for the very easy win. Romulo looked clueless on the ground, and Butler made it look like he didn't even belong in the cage with him.
Here's the gif, courtesy of Bloody Elbow's Zombie Prophet:
Result: Gianni Subba def. Saiful Merican by Submission (Armbar), R2
On the second preliminary bout of the evening, Gianni Subba, who is coming off an impressive soccer kick win during his ONE FC debut, took on what was heralded as Malaysia's best Muay Thai fighter in Saiful Merican. Subba wanted to follow up that impressive performance...
Subba won with his striking on his first bout, but seeing as he was taking on a Muay Thai fighter with more than 100 bouts, Subba took him down very early, and started raining down bombs. Subba easily transitioned to mount and he continued raining more bombs. Subba made some mistakes, getting swept twice but even on top position though, Merican didn't look that great either.
Subba won the first round, and as the second round started, Merican wildly threw big kicks to try and finish early. He eventually got taken down again though, and it's more of the same after. Subba spent a few minutes on top position, but the ref stood them up and Merican tried to go back to those big kicks. A few moments though, and it's Subba with another takedown, and another mount, and a quick armbar finish.
Merican may have better stand up, but Subba proved he was by far a better MMA fighter. Impressive win for Subba, and he becomes 2-0 in ONE FC.
Here are gifs from the bout: