Asian MMA

Road to UFC Day 1 Results

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Asian MMA is moving back into the locus of UFC fans, and a collection of the continent’s very best prospects kick off a massive weekend of MMA in Singapore. Four eight-man tournaments featuring fighters from China, South Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand begin today and tomorrow in the Lion City. Stay tuned right here for full live coverage of the fights and Road to UFC results.

Road to UFC – Redemption and Revelation

One of the biggest losers in the MMA world from the Covid-19 pandemic was fighters residing in Asian countries. Live MMA events, especially those with a crowd, have been slow to return. The UFC’s ambitious plans for countries like Singapore and China were cancelled, and the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai closed often from lockdown policies. The UFC also scrapped a planned Contender Series Asia program, scheduled for the summer of 2020.

The consolation for the cancelled Asian season 0f Contender Series is Road to UFC– four eight-man tournaments featuring Asian fighters from weight classes flyweight to lightweight. To pay Singapore fans back for its absence, the UFC is hosting all nineteen fights for free in the Singapore Indoor Stadium throughout the two days before the gigantic UFC 275 pay-per-view in the same arena.

The tournament field is deep and truly does gather much of Asia’s best talent, and many could be signed to the UFC immediately. Viewers of Dana White’s Contender Series will recognize Chinese names like Qiulun (fighting today) and Xie Bin (fighting on June 10th). Fans of Korean promotions such as ROAD FC and Double G FC will be excited for former champions Kim Min Woo and Hong Jun Yeong to compete.

While many assume that the more recognizable names from China, South Korea, and Japan, expect a few more unknown names from India and Indonesia to become dark horses. Pawan Maan of India possesses lights out KO power and faces late replacement Jeka Saragih of Indonesia. One Pride MMA (a key Indonesian promotion) flyweight champion Rama Supandhi has finished seven of his eight wins by submission.

Road to UFC Rules

This week’s fights constitute the first of three rounds of the four tournaments set to take place this year. The second and semi-final round will take place in the fall at a location to be announced, with the finals happening on the preliminary card of a UFC event at the year’s end. A few more rules:

  • The fights are scheduled for three five-minute rounds, with a fourth sudden-death round should the fight be scored a draw after three rounds.
  • All fights count toward the fighters’ professional records
  • In the case that one fighter falls out and a replacement opponent cannot be found, the remaining fighter will advance to the next round.
  • In the above situation, the remaining fighter must make their contracted weight to advance and receive their show and win money.
  • The winner of the final bout of each tournament will receive a multi-bout contract with the UFC. However, other losing fighters from the tournament could potentially be signed to the promotion at the tournament’s conclusion.

Road to UFC Day 1 Results

Episode 1 (UFC Fight Pass, 3:30am EST / 12:30am PST)

Yi Zha def. Keisuke Sasu via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:14 of round 1

Ki Won Bin def. Jinnosuke Kashiwara via TKO (Elbows) at 4:45 of round 1

Kazama Toshiomi def. Keremuaili Maimaitituoheti via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Choi Seung Guk def. Rama Supandhi via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Non-Tournament Bout: Zhang Mingyang def. George Tokkos via KO (Overhand Right and Punches) at 3:57 of round 1

Episode 2 (UFC Fight Pass, 5am EST / 2am PST)

Koyomi Matsushima def. Hong Jun Yeong via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)

Qiulun def. Wallen de Rosario via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Jeka Saragih def. Pawan Maan Singh via KO (Spinning Back Fist) at 2:24 of round 3

Non-Tournament Bout: Takeru Uchida def. Shaun Etchell via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:26 of round 1

*Bantamweight Kim Min Woo’s opponent dropped out and the UFC was not able to secure a suitable replacement. Kim will advance to the semi-final round.

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Chris Presnell is a staff writer for MMASucka. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @mmaecosystem.

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