As the Asian MMA scene grows with each day with ONE Championship, Road FC, URCC and PXC at the helm, it is important to also pay tribute to the smaller promotions in South East Asia who are helping to build the foundation of Asian MMA. These smaller promotions, whether pro or amateur are predominantly domestic but nonetheless plays a huge part in contributing to the growth of the Asian MMA scene.
Headed by Jon Nutt, Full Metal Dojo is the number 1 MMA promotion in Thailand and have brought to the forefront, standouts like Pongsiri "Piak" Misatit & Kritsada 'Dream Man' Konsrichai. Pongsiri, who trains at Team Quest Thailand compiled a 4-0 record while competing in Full Metal Dojo, is currently fighting for ONE Championship in the Strawweight division and the sky is the limit for the young fighter who might very well be Thailand's next big thing. Kritsada, a wrestler with the Thailand National wrestling team has show his versatility in Full Metal Dojo, compiling a 3-1 record with wins via TKO and submissions culiminating with a FMD Bantamweight Championship win at FMD 6. Full Metal Dojo is a classic example of a promotion giving local talent a stage to fight on before they head on to the bigger shows.
Started by Jason Lo, Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts aka MIMMA which is predominantly an amateur MMA promotion is now into it's 4th season. Backed by Tunetalk, MIMMA has produce countless exciting fights via their tournaments and champions defends their belts against the current season winners. There are several amateur standouts from MIMMA including Seah Zhang Yu, Keanu Subba, Prabu Somanaidu, Darren Low, Allen Chong, and current ONE Championship Middleweight fighter, Agilan Thani who turn pro and had since amassed a 4-0 record with ONE Championship. MIMMA has in recent years, introduce its Foreign Pride and Women's division which allows for non Malaysians and women alike a chance to compete.
Started in 2010 by Malaysia MMA veteran, Melvin Yeoh. Ultimate Beatdown is a collaborative product between Malaysia's pioneer MMA gym, Ultimate MMA and REPS Fitness. Ultimate Beatdown is also the longest running amateur MMA promotion in Malaysia, holding events with amateur Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA fights. Countless fighters got their start at Ultimate Beatdown including ONE Championship fighters, Benedict Ang, Rayner Kinsiong and Brad Robinson.
Based in Penang, Malaysia and started by Dominic Dorall, Warriors Fighting Championship is a relatively young promotion that holds amateur and pro boxing, kickboxing and MMA fights. Warriors Fighting Championship is currently looking for local and international amateur fighters to qualify for their flyweight and featherweight 4-Men MMA Grand Prix that will be held on the next charity event. Things look to be on the up and up for this young promotion.
Based in Singapore and headed by Arvind Lalwani, Singapore Fighting Championship is a combat promotion holding amateur and pro MMA fights, K-1 Kickboxing and Pro Boxing bouts as well. SFC has crowned its amateur MMA Champions, SFC Amateur MMA Middleweight Champion Rafi Majid, SFC Amateur MMA Featherweight Champion Sim Kai Xiong, SFC Amateur MMA Flyweight Champion Henry Yeo, SFC Amateur Bantamweight Champion Aloysius Toh and SFC Amateur Lightweight Champion Ron Ng. Former SFC Amateur Flyweight Champion, Benedict Ang went on to sign with ONE Championship and is currently 3-0.
There are of course many other smaller promotions in South East Asia contributing to the growth of Asia MMA and we cannot possibly name them all but kudos to Jon Nutt, Jason Lo, Melvin Yeoh, Dominic Dorall, Arvind Lalwani and the countless other promoters putting on events for aspiring fighters. The only way the sport of MMA can grow in Asia is by supporting the grassroots and these gentlemen are doing exactly that. Our sport is growing albeit at a slower pace than our counterparts in Korea or Japan but slowly but surely we will see a homegrown South East Asian Champion sooner rather than later.
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