Fight Sport Asia’s 2013 Asian MMA Awards: Best Fight (Vote NOW)

It was another stellar year for fans, gyms, fighters and promotions alike with multiple Mixed Martial Arts events taking place across Asia in countries like Singapore, India, China, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia and many others.

So we, at Fight Sport Asia, have decided to bring you our own inaugural installment of the Asian MMA awards!

The catch? The final results will be based on fans’ votes. That’s right ladies and gentlemen – We are going to ask for your opinion on some of the wildest finishes and fights that took place under all Asian MMA promotions’ banners in 2013. And then.. we’re giving YOU the opportunity to vote for the winners.

While MMA accolades in North America will presumably be dominated by a wide range of UFC fighters and personalities, rest assured it’s going to be much different here in the Asian MMA landscape. Or in our Awards pieces, at least.

Fight Sport Asia has looked through numerous videos of fights over the course of the calendar year and we’ve decided on four different categories that you’ll be asked to vote in: Top 10 Finishes of 2013Best Fight of 2013, Best Fighter of 2013 and Best Promotion of 2013.

There’ll be ten options in this category and you vote for the option that you think impressed you the most. Of course, if you think we left something important off our list, post it in the comments section and if deemed worthy, we’ll add your suggestion to the list. Voting ends on the stroke of midnight, January 4th. Results will be posted on January 5th.

With that, let’s get onto our third poll – Best Fight of 2013

Oh my, there were so many great action-packed fights this year that we had a lot of difficulties coming up with options. Slugfests? Grappling clinics? Well, they’re all included below.

In no particular order:

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The folks at Thailand’s premier MMA organization, DARE Fight Sports, have always delivered highly-valued and entertaining bouts. One of which was the absolute war between fighters Joe Ray and Ole Laursen at a “Rebels of MMA” event held on October 12th. Although the contest was a technical affair on the canvas, the stand-up exchanges provided some huge sparks as both fighters continuously displayed their Muay Thai exploits. Joe Ray secured a Guillotine Choke submission in the third round for a tap-out.

The legendary Brazilian slugger, Wanderlei Silva, is known for his slugfests, and his 205-lbs bout with Brian Stann in Saitama, Japan was no different. Both guys were dropped multiple times in the first frame, and fans were on the edge of their seats whenever they started trading with heavy punches. Sure enough, it was everything fans hoped it would be. Silva eventually outpointed Stann with a combination and garnered a TKO victory in the second round.

  • Leandro Issa vs. Yusup Saadulaev (ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions)

Both Leandro Issa and Yusup Saadulaev showcased a three round grappling classic at ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions. There were takedowns, suplexes, transitions and submission attempts that wowed the audiences online, and at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The judges’ score cards were scored in favor of Issa, who got his hands raised with a Unanimous Decision victory. But both guys showed up to fight and were hence, deservedly treated to a standing ovation in their successful efforts to impress.

  • Geje Eustaquio vs. Eugene Toquero (ONE FC 13: Moment of Truth)

An excellent pace set in the first round carried on in the latter stanzas as well. The match-up between Flyweights Geje Eustaquio and Eugene Toquero was nothing short of spectacular, as both fighters went back-and-forth in a thrilling contest. Eustaquio impressed with his takedown offense and ability to transition into full mount seamlessly, while Toquero’s unorthodox striking fitnesse drew plenty of applause as well. Although Eustaquio took home a Unanimous Decision win, both fighters were undoubtedly winners on the night.

Middleweights Ryo Kawamura and Dool Hee Lee stood toe-to-toe with one another for three rounds in their scheduled match-up at ROAD FC 012 on June 22nd. They unleashed their fisticuffs for fifteen minutes, setting a relentless pace that saw back-and-forth action. Even in the clinch, both fighters were looking to get the upper hand through uppercuts, etc. Suffice to say, they were indeed fighting to the death. As the rounds progressed, both guys were literally swinging punches and fans were left wondering why this fight was just a three-round affair.

Shoji Maruyama showed lots of desire and heart in his bid to pull off an upset against Doo Ho Choi. The Japanese fighter came close in the first round for a finish, after staggering his South Korean counterpart repeatedly. Choi tried slugging it out with Maruyama but ended getting clipped a couple of times. It was an excellent start to the fight. In the second round, Choi, however, weathered the early onslaught by returning a perfectly timed right hook, where after a few punches for good measure the referee was forced to make an intervention.

  • Irfan Khan vs. Sachin Panwar (SFL 16)

The always exciting Irfan Khan took on Sachin Panwar at SFL 16 in a match-up that many favored the former to win rather easily. But the task wasn’t made any simpler with Panwar displaying his guts, determination and resilience. The match-up itself was a feisty affair with both fighters tussling on the canvas for an edge in the grappling department. The numerous transitions, sweeps and submission attempts made this bout a spectacle altogether. It was Khan who walked away the victor after three fantastic rounds of action.

After a tentative start to the contest, Won started to unload heavily on former DREAM champ Joachim Hansen, forcing the Norwegian to back up and give up a takedown. The South Korean ended the round with a Guillotine Choke attempt which almost made Hansen tap, if not for the bell. Although the opening stages of the second round saw Hansen move forward with a lot more urgency, he succumbed to another takedown. The Japanese MMA vet, however, slowly transitioned into half guard, and then full mount, before locking in an Arm-Triangle Choke. Yes, folks – It was an Arm-Triangle Choke from full mount that garnered the tap from Won. A brilliant comeback from Hansen who was pretty much on the back foot for the majority of the tilt.

  • Jang Yong Kim vs. Mark Striegl (PXC 39)

Everybody, myself included, thought Mark Striegl had this bout in the bag. All eyes were on the highly regarded Filipino-American, who for months had been believed to be the next in line for a big time shot at the UFC. But those talks were momentarily put on hold when Jang Yong Kim entered the picture at PXC 39. The Korean Top Team native spoiled proceedings with an upset victory, in a 155-lbs title match-up. In what turned out to be an exciting affair, for three rounds Kim pressured Striegl continuously, and made it difficult for the Team Buffet stand-out to mount a clear offense. In the end, an unorthodox Leg Scissor Choke from Kim ended the contest.

  • Yang Seung Ho vs. Caros Fodor (ONE FC 10: Champions & Warriors)

It was a fight anticipated by many for a reason. On one side, you had Yang Seung Ho – a hot prospect from Phuket Top Team with a bright future set in front of him. And on the other end was Caros Fodor, a former Strikeforce and UFC vet. Yang Seung Ho came out bursting with a flurry of punches, hoping to catch Fodor off-guard. But Fodor’s experience enabled him to step up his game in rounds two and three, keeping his opponent up against the cage whilst landing accurate combinations of knees, elbows, uppercuts and punches. Although one sided, both fighters kept going till the final bell in a brilliant showcase of heart, tenacity and power.

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*Picture credit: BRACE

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

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Categories: Asian MMA, Featured, MMA, Other

Author:Thinesh John

20, Asian MMA nerd in Singapore.

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9 Comments on “Fight Sport Asia’s 2013 Asian MMA Awards: Best Fight (Vote NOW)”

  1. Adil bashir
    December 31, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    super fight league

  2. Vinayak Dhamne
    December 31, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Superb fight between irfan vs sachin

  3. January 1, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    Irfan is the best fighter of world

  4. Danish
    January 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Irfan khan iz d best fighter in asia

  5. Kishorekotla
    January 2, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Irfan khan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fight Sport Asia’s 2013 Asian MMA Awards: Best Promotion (Vote NOW) | FSA - FightSport Asia - December 30, 2013

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