High Fives: A Grappling Masterclass, Three Submissions and a Competitive Title Fight

By: Guy Portman
Jul 15, 2019
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA did not have a monopoly on the mixed martial arts market during the weekend of July 12-14. One Championship “Masters of Destiny” featured some entertaining clashes on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Meanwhile, the Legacy Fighting Alliance staged a strong fight card in Atlanta with LFA 71.

Five highlights from the events:

GRAPPLING GENIUS … The One Championship “Masters of Destiny” main event was a strawweight pairing between Hawaiian-born Angela Lee and Brazilian Michelle Nicolini. The bout was a rematch of their 2016 grappling contest, which was won by Nicolini. Many expected a striker-versus-grappler battle, but that is not how it unfolded, as Lee’s impressive striking game was stifled by the takedowns and top control of her Brazilian adversary. At the conclusion of the 15-minute affair, the judges all sided with Nicolini. The win saw the 37-year-old up her record to 6-2 and stake a claim for a shot at the promotion’s strawweight belt. Meanwhile, with her second consecutive setback, Lee dipped to 9-2.

REAR-NAKED GLORY … New Zealand’s Ev Ting clashed with Japan’s Daichi Abe in a lightweight showcase at “Masters of Destiny.” Abe, who has previously competed at welterweight, used his size advantage to good effect in the first frame, where he got the better of the exchanges with some powerful striking on the feet. The finish came in the second, as Ting, having dropped his rival with an overhand right, followed him to the mat, quickly took the Japanese pugilist’s back and cinched a rear-naked choke, eliciting the tap at the 4:44 mark of Round 2. Ting snapped a two-fight skid with the win and in doing so improved to 17-6. Abe slid to 6-4.

TRIANGLE TRIUMPH … Malaysia’s Hayatun Jihin Radzuan was pitted against Filipino standout Jomary Torres in a One Championship women’s atomweight feature. It did not take long for the hometown favorite and former Wushu world champion Radzuan to gain the upper hand. An inside trip from Radzuan marked the beginning of the end. Soon after, she sought an armbar from the bottom, but Torres showed tremendous strength by picking her up and dumping her to the mat twice. However, the Malaysian held on and transitioned to a triangle choke, squeezing until Torres was forced to concede at the 3:07 mark of Round 1. In emerging victorious, Radzuan moved to 5-1. Torres fell to.500 at 4-4 with her fourth loss in a row.

THINNEST OF MARGINS …. In the LFA 71 main event, Jamaica’s Jason Jackson squared off against a late replacement in Brazilian Hemerson de Souza, as the organization’s vacant welterweight belt was on the line. Jackson came close to finishing the fight with a second-round left hook to the head that sent de Souza plummeting to the mat. Jackson immediately jumped on him and proceeded to dish out ground-and-pound, but the Brazilian wisely tied him up in guard from the bottom and managed to recover. After five rounds of action, Jackson was awarded a split decision. With the triumph, Jackson rose to 10-3. De Souza skidded to 7-5.

SUBMISSION SUCCESS … LFA 71 featured a bantamweight scrap between Brazil’s Ary Farias and American Devante Sewell. The first stanza was nearing its conclusion when Farias found himself in top position on the mat, with Sewell clutching onto his right leg with both arms as he tried to clamber up to his feet. The Brazilian quickly transitioned to his rival’s back, set the rear-naked choke, fell to his side and kept squeezing until Sewell succumbed a mere two seconds before the bell sounded to end Round 1. The submission saw Farias improve to 8-2. Sewell dipped to 6-3.

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