With January 2018 in the bag, we look to the months ahead and the Asian MMA scene has wasted no time shifting things up a notch. The next few months are slammed, with ROAD FC, TOP FC and ONE Championship titles up for grabs, along with the return of Full Metal Dojo. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. This weekend serves up a nice mix of grappling, amateur MMA and kickboxing from all corners of the region. Grab a frosty and settle in.
SIAM Sub Series 2
Just two months ago Siam Sub Series launched its inaugural event in the famous Soi-Taied in Phuket, Thailand. Now, with a brand new group of competitors, they are getting ready for a second installment this Saturday, 3 February. Event organizer Alex Schild told The Fight Nation the second installment would keep a similar format and location as before, with a few small adjustments based on the last event’s feedback. They’ve opened six weight divisions for the men, and five for women competitors. MMA veteran Tetsuya Yamada is already registered and according to Schild he’s got a few other high profile fighters set to compete. Because of its location on Soi-Taied which sees a constant influx of professional fighters, the tournament is already attracting high level competition despite its small size. The event is free to watch; so, if you’re in the area, stop by Ali’s BBQ 3 February at 10am.
Reign in Power
Taiwan will see a new MMA promotion take flight this weekend when Reign in Power holds its first event on Saturday 3 February at Taipei Arena in Taiwan. There’s a few interesting matchups on the card, including a light heavyweight bout between Finnish fighter Glenn Sparv (16-4), who takes on Korea’s Gyu-Jung Seol (4-1). Sparv has been a regular on the regional circuit, having fought on the likes of Rebel FC and Full Metal Dojo. While Seol has less experience than his opponent, he is riding a four-fight win streak. Another one to watch is the featherweight co-main event between Rocky Lee and Yutaka Imamura. An amateur MMA event will kick things off for RFC from around 10am on Saturday, while the second card should start around 6pm.
Kunlun fight 69
The first big event for Kunlun in 2018 will be headlined by one of the biggest name in Muay Thai, two time K1 world champion Buakaw Banchamek, who had a perfect record in 2017 and will be looking to continue his winning streak in 2018. The Thai fighter will take on Nayanesh Ayman in a welterweight bout that has all the makings of a barn burner. Ayman has been asking to challenge Buakaw since his controversial loss to Superbon Banchamek at Kunlun Fight 65. Kunlun Fight 65 will take place on Sunday 4 February in Guiyang, China, as part of the final of the Clash of Titans tournament. The whole event will air on FITE TV and The Fight Nation will be showing it from the website.
This Sunday Pancrase kicks off its 25th anniversary year with a 13-fight card, headlined flyweight king Senzo Ikeda (11-6), who takes on knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu for his first title defense. Ikeda snatched the belt from Mamoru Yamaguchi in the main event of Pancrase 289 last August, but will have a tough assignment against top-ranked contender Wakamatsu (9-1). The challenger has a lot of buzz about him in his native Japan and hasn’t lost since his pro debut four years ago. Much is expected of Wakamatsu. He challenges for one of MMA’s most traditional titles with a lot of momentum behind him. The young striker is trained by Ryo Chonan – who defeated Anderson Silva and Carlos Newton in his own MMA career – and has finished half of his opponents in the first round. Pancreas 293 will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.