Rebel FC 1′s Rob Lisita: “I’ll show no mercy in there. Expect to see a lot of violence.”

Fighters beware, we’ve got a slugger on the lose. And he’s not going to go easy on anyone.

For years, Phuket Top Team’s “Ruthless” Rob Lisita (12-5) has treated fans and neutrals alike to exciting scraps because of his belligerent diction. The former Legend FC vet’s style has garnered fans all over the Asian region, and to date, he remains as one of Australia’s top 145-lbs fighters.

And he isn’t doing it to please fans. Nor to please the promoters either. He does it because, in his words, “that’s his style.” He ensures his opponents are in for a scrap. That’s how it was when he fought in Australia, and that’s how it’s going to be when he fights in Singapore on Saturday.

“I started off fighting in higher weight classes and those guys were much taller than me. I had to close the distance and get inside to land punches on their chin,” he explained to, at a press conference held by Rebel FC in Singapore last month.

“I didn’t really have the reach fighting backwards so I always had to push forward. I’m super competitive in anything I do and I think that translates into my fights. I want to take the win. I don’t want it to be given to me by the judges. That is my style.”

That’s probably why Rebel FC CEO Justin Leong chose Lisita to feature in the main event of his promotion’s inaugural installment. The 30-year-old’s never back down approach and aggressive style is one that promises sure-fire entertainment, and Leong believes it’s an approach that perfectly matches up with that of Lisita’s opponent, “Lion” Takeshi Inoue (21-8).

“Rob Lisita is like a Mike Tyson protégé, a guns-blazing and dash forward sort of fighter who leaves everything in the cage,” says Leong. “He reminds me of small stocky guys like Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson, who have to capitalize on overhand lefts and rights to make up for their reach disadvantages.”

Phuket Top Team's Rob Lisita poses for the camera at a press conference held in Singapore.

Phuket Top Team’s Rob Lisita poses for the camera at a press conference held in Singapore.

Lisita makes the most of what he has. The Australian Featherweight has fought seventeen times, with a 75% finish rate in his twelve victories. That is, needless to say, a remarkable feat.

But when he fights on December 21st at Rebel FC 1: Into the Lion’s Den against Takeshi Inoue, he’s going to have a different challenge on his shoulders this time around.

You see, Takeshi isn’t really ‘your everyday fighter’. His unorthodox style and striking prowess made him a two-time Shooto champ,  and a Japanese icon at that. And, he’s never been finished in pro MMA competition. But, despite his opponent’s credentials, Lisita, though, maintains that everybody has a weakness, and he hopes to prove it when he finally gets his hands on Takeshi.

“He dances literally, throws feints and stuff like that, and it honestly looks like he’s really dancing almost. But it’s good man, I don’t have a problem with it. I wouldn’t really fight like that myself but I respect how he does it. As long as he lets his hands and kicks go, it’s all good,” Lisita said. “You can never know what’s going to happen in a fight. Out of all the high level guys I’ve fought so far, Takeshi’s the one I like the most. But I’m more than ready and it’s my time now.

He’s never been knocked out or submitted, so he’s going to be hard to finish. But I am looking to be the first guy to finish him and I will definitely try and stop him.

Takeshi’s a two time Shooto champion, he’s fought on a big stage against international guys but honestly, I bet he hasn’t fought someone like me.”

To date, Lisita has fought the likes of Yusuke Kawanago, The Ultimate Fighter alumni Ben Wall, UFC vet Bernado Magalhaes and the highly touted, Rodolfo Marquez. The 30-year-old could very well be knocking on the door of more top tier opponents should he add Takeshi to his list of victims. That of course will be easier said than done, but it’s not an impossible task either.

“I’m not necessarily a guy that turns down fights. I like to fight, and I like to be active. The chance to fight in Singapore, in the main event, for a good promotion like Rebel FC that looks after its fighters, was a good opportunity,” admitted the Australian. “And to fight a guy like Takeshi and a chance to take his name… it’s a massive occasion man. Plus Rebel Fighting Championship is a good promotion to fight for and here I am.

Singaporean fans can expect me to live to my nickname. They call me ‘Ruthless’ for a reason, and I’ll show no mercy in there. I’m coming to win. Expect to see a lot of violence.”


Rebel FC 1: Into the Lion’s Den goes down on December 21 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Featuring seven yet-to-be-announced Amateur line-ups on the undercard and five professional main card contests on an expected twelve bout fight card, Rebel Fighting Championship’s inaugural spectacle is set to bring about something new and different to the Asian MMA landscape.

With Takesi-Lisita set as the main event, a Lightweight battle, meanwhile, ensues between Singapore’s own Syafiq Samad (2-0) and Korean Top Team’s Gyo Pyung Hwang (3-3) in the co-main event slot.

“TUF: Brazil” competitor Marcos Vinicius (20-5-1) returns to action for the first time following his three-fight stint in the UFC’s octagon as he collides with fellow promotional newcomer, and Legend FC vet, Taiyo Nakahara (13-7). Elsewhere, Doo Hwan Kim (4-1) takes on Philippines’ Chris Hofmann (0-0) in a 205-lbs encounter.

Keep it locked to for more news and updates on Rebel Fighting Championship.

Do check out this exclusive documentary on Takeshi vs. Lisita below, and get acquainted with the fighters!

*Photos Credit: Sigmund Seah


Thinesh John is a Singapore-based MMA journalist. You can check out some of his work over on Follow him (@ThineshJohnMMA), and be sure keep up with the latest MMA news from on Twitter (@FightSportAsia) and Facebook


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Categories: Asian MMA, Australia, Featured, Interview, MMA, Phuket Top Team, Rebel FC, Singapore

Author:Thinesh John

20, Asian MMA nerd in Singapore.


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