Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) formerly announced its foray into the local Mixed Martial Arts landscape on Saturday night with its debut event, which went down at the historic GymKraft venue at Guillemard Road.
For years, especially since the launch of promotions like ONE FC and REBEL FC, local gym owners have bemoaned the lack of Amateur MMA events, often citing that fights at a grassroots level were needed in order for their next crop of fighters to gain experience(s) before turning professional.
Singapore Fighting Championship aimed to change all of that and this past weekend, the promotion crowned Singapore’s first national Amateur champions across the Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight and Lightweight divisions through a one night, 4-man tournament format.
All Amateur contests took place in 3 x 3 minute rounds, under the Universal Amateur MMA rule-set where knees to the head, elbows and heel hooks, etc. were prohibited.
Impact MMA’s Henry Yeo took the Flyweight title after six rounds of intense action in the tournament. Yeo fought with a bandaged knee in the finals after suffering a series of heavy leg kicks in his encounter with Andika Salimi in the semis, but Jake Gonzales, who submitted his opponent in the first bracket, didn’t manage to capitalize on Yeo’s injury. While the Filipino-Singaporean fighter did have his moments in the contest, it was Yeo who dug deep to claim the crown.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sensation, Amirul Syafiq, secured a submission win with ease in his Bantamweight tourney opener, but was forced to succumb to Aloysius Toh’s strength and takedown prowess in the finals. Toh, who booked his ticket in the finals following a decision triumph over Muhammad Khairi in the semis, controlled the action in the striking department against Syafiq and ensured he nullified his opponent’s submission skills en route to a lopsided call.
After seeing their opponents withdraw due to injury, Evolve MMA’s Benedict Ang and Juggernaut Fight Club’s Sim Kai Xiong advanced straight to the 145-lbs tournament finals. This was, in fact, the bout everybody were looking forward to since both fighters considerably racked up experience overseas and boasted unblemished records. Kai Xiong, a southpaw, tried establishing his striking skills throughout the nine minutes but Ang’s takedown offense and ground work negated most of his attack. In the end, Ang scooped the judges’ scorecards and secured the Featherweight title in a fairly one-sided encounter.
In the Lightweight tournament billing, hard-hitting striker Nazri Sutari advanced to the finals after a semi-final TKO rout over Muhammad Khalid. Ron Ng, meanwhile, booked a date with Sutari after defeating his semi-final counterpart via Armbar. Sutari, who was primarily known in Singapore for his impressive performances in the Muay Thai circles, showcased a completely different side of his game when he landed some top notch takedowns against Ng. The latter, however, remained poised and stuck to his game plan, and after threatening with his active guard, he finally submitted Sutari at the 2:07 mark of the very first round to become the SFC Lightweight champion.
The title-holders also took home a hefty SGD$300 cash prize for their efforts.
For entertainment value, SFC promoter Arvind Lalwani slated three professional bouts to the night’s running order under the GODS Fighting Championship flag. The trio of fights were scored under the Unified MMA rule-set and took place in standard 3 x 5 minute rounds.
Syafiq Samad (4-1) decimated opponent Silvio Romero Da Silva (0-2) to pick up his fourth career victory. The 21-year-old dominated proceedings from the get-go, almost landing at will against his Brazilian opponent who seemed content in just throwing whinging hooks. Romero ultimately resorted to possum tactics in the second frame each time Samad landed a punch, and as the crowd grew annoyed at Romero’s reluctance to engage, the referee was forced to step in and call a halt to the contest via TKO.
Samad’s team mate, Luke Adams (6-8), had a successful debut on Asian soil as he submitted Filipino fighter Wilson Managuio (0-1) in under a minute and a half. Adams secured a takedown within seconds of the opening bell. After maneuvering to side control, though, it was all rudimentary for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt as an Americana submission move signaled good night Irene for Managuio.
‘Fight of the Night’ honors undoubtedly went to the 115-lbs tussle between Garie Tang (1-1) and Fritz Biagtan (1-0). In a classic striker vs. grappler bout, Biagtan established his stellar Muay Thai skills in all three rounds, particularly with his high kicks finding their mark. Tang, meanwhile, scored a couple of takedowns in his attempts to establish dominance on the canvas and although he found success, Biagtan executed nice reversals and sweeps to escape Tang’s prowess on the ground. After 15 minutes of back-and-forth action that had the crowd at the edge of their seats, the judges awarded a split call, perhaps controversially, in favor of Biagtan.
Check out full results from the event below:
- – Syafiq Samad def. Silvio Romero Da Silva via TKO (Punches) at 3:08 of Round 2
- – Fritz Biagtan def. Garie Tang via Split Decision
- – Luke Adams def. Wilson Managuio via Submission (Americana) at 1:24 of Round 1
AMATEUR MMA BOUTS
- – Henry Yeo def. Jake Gonzales via Unanimous Decision (Finals, For SFC Amateur MMA Flyweight title)
- – Benedict Ang def. Sim Kai Xiong via Unanimous Decision (For SFC Amateur MMA Featherweight title)
- – Aloysius Toh def. Amirul Syafiq via Unanimous Decision (Finals, For SFC Amateur MMA Bantamweight title)
- – Ron Ng def. Nazri Sutari via Submission (Armbar) at 2:07 of Round 1 (Finals, For SFC Amateur MMA Lightweight title)
- – Henry Yeo def. Andika Salimi via Unanimous Decision (SFC Flyweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
- – Jake Gonzales def. Muhamad Haikal via Submission (Bulldog Choke) at 2:32 of Round 2 (SFC Flyweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
- – Aloysius Toh def. Muhammad Khairi via Unanimous Decision (SFC Bantamweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
- – Amirul Syafiq def. Azman Sulaiman via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:30 of Round 3 (SFC Bantamweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
- – Ron Ng def. Iswandi Ismail via Submission (Armbar) at 0:58 of Round 2 (SFC Lightweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
- – Nazri Sutari def. Muhamad Khalid via TKO (Punches) at 2:11 of Round 1 (SFC Lightweight Amateur MMA Tournament semifinals)
*Pictures credit: Zamri Hassan