Review – REBEL FC: Next Generation administers new home for Amateur fighters

If there’s one fact that Amateur MMA fighters in Singapore can agree on, it’s that there is no clear path for talents to make it to the big shows.

Or, a concise route to becoming a confident and qualified professional fighter.

In the past, these competitors found themselves travelling abroad just to get a taste of Amateur MMA action, without first, of course, competing in their own home turf.

Simply put, without proper amateur bouts under their belts, these combatants were given little to no opportunities, on the local front, to emulate the stars that are currently plying their trade in global MMA promotions.

But that issue most recently nullified, courtesy of Singapore’s REBEL Fighting Championship, a promotion that was launched in mid-2013.

After its first pro event in December, this time around, officials decided to place an extra emphasis on a local Amateur MMA circuit, kicking the calendar year off with its inaugural Amateur MMA event.

“One of the problems here is that because there are no events inside the country anymore, what with USC and Fight 360 ceasing operations, there is just no place for amateurs to get experience,” said Chad Sanderson, matchmaker for REBEL FC. “Even before those two places closed, the amateur events were so infrequent that it was very difficult to get a fight inside the country. Most people now were going to UB in JB, or even flying to Borneo in some cases.”

The Amateur MMA spectacle was held last weekend at a local venue which drew about 100 fans.

The event, aptly titled ‘Next Generation’, consisted of six amateur bouts. The fighters in action hailed from local gyms such as Juggernaut Fight Club and Impact MMA among others.

Among the ones who stood out was Amirul Syafiq, a prospect out of the Juggernaut Fight Club ranks. Cornered by PXC veteran Zebaztian Kasdestam and ONE FC fighter Major Overall, Amirul fought Masrizan Masran in a bout he was highly fancied to win. And that he did, in ultra-impressive fashion.

Amirul, as expected, gained full mount multiple times throughout the course of the fight, and had a couple of decent submission attempts. Masrizan was forced to fight through Amirul’s stellar grappling prowess and while he did shrug off some chokes and holds, he never really got going. Some vicious ground-and-pound from Amirul in the final frame was all she wrote for Masrizan who was merely saved by the referee’s intervention.

With the TKO victory, Amirul cemented his place as Singapore’s hottest MMA prospect. Not only does he now hold an unscathed record in Amateur Muay Thai, but the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace extended his unbeaten run under MMA rules as well.

Boxer Sim Kai Xiong was fighting for the second time in two weeks. He entered his bout against Sholihin Rahman after garnering a gold medal in a local amateur Boxing competition, and the crowd in attendance thought they would be in store for some nice striking exchanges.

They weren’t disappointed by a long shot, but Kai Xiong, who had been training for a mere six months or so, surprised the masses by pulling off a couple of takedowns. Sholihin did have his moments on his feet and even managed to latch onto a Guillotine choke at one point, but the Singaporean ultimately fatigued as the fight progressed where he gave up full mount multiple times. He was eventually submitted via an Armbar in the second round.

Kai Xiong, at just a tender age of 16, was rightly given a standing ovation from the audience for his performance.

Andy Neo, one of Impact MMA’s rising stars, fought in the main event against Hidayat Jasni. It was a fairly one-sided affair with the former sporting an Eddie Ng-esque facade, although it was his skills that did the talking in the end. After Hidayat landed a powerbomb maneuver midway through the first round, he looked to be in control for a split second, but Neo capitalized with a reversal and submitted his counterpart with an Armbar.

Now while the event event was a small scale venture overall, an attempt to improve and develop a much wider awareness on MMA was undoubtedly successful.

Suffice to say, the promotion is looking to plant an Amateur MMA trend whilst doing its best to nurture the next crop of local fighting talents.

“No country in the world has ever developed a passionate MMA following without strong local talent, which starts at the amateur level,” Sanderson added. “Very simply, if MMA is going to succeed here, and I mean really succeed, beyond a flash in the pan or fading fancy, there has to be fighters that locals want to see. As amazing as foreigners are, what connects people to sports is a feeling of national pride.”

REBEL FC will be looking to have at least one amateur event before its pro numbered installments. So if you’re an amateur fighter in the country looking to get some fights under your belt, well, look no further.

Check out the full results for REBEL FC: Next Generation below:

  • SIM KAI XIONG def. SHOLIHIN RAHMAN via Submission (Armbar) in Round 2
  • NIKO SOERNARTE def. ANDIKA SALIMI via Unanimous Decision
  • AMIRUL SYAFIQ def. MASRIZAN MASRAN via TKO (Punches) in Round 3
  • GOH YEE TAT LEONARD def. JOSH YUAN via Unanimous Decision 
  • SHARIZAL BIN MOHAMED ISMAIL vs. AZMAN AZMAN – Bout cancelled, after Azman Azman suffered an injury
  • SEAH JIAN RUI GARRICK def. AL KHATIB SHAIKH AHMAD via Submission (Armbar) in Round 1
  • ANDY NEO HONG CHEE def. HIYADAT JASNI via Submission (Armbar) in Round 1

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Categories: Rebel FC, Singapore

Author:Thinesh John

20, Asian MMA nerd in Singapore.

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