Mixed Martial Arts
|Nguyễn Thị Thanh Trúc celebrates her win at AFC 21 on Saturday at the Grand Hồ Tràm Strip Hotel in Bà Rịa Vũng Tàu Province. VNS Photo Nam Trung
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Muay Thai star Nguyễn Thị Thanh Trúc secured a first-round win in her official pro mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in the first Angel's Fighting Championship (AFC) event held in Việt Nam on Saturday.
While mixed martial arts events have previously been held in Việt Nam, primarily the Lion Championship that Trúc and others have featured in, AFC 21 marked the first time a domestic event counted towards fighters' professional records.
Trúc's opponent was South Korean Choi Seong Un, who was also making her official pro debut. The two 50kg strawweight fighters started the round slowly, probing each other for an opening.
After a minute, Choi shot for a double leg takedown off the back of a Trúc low kick, but she couldn't take the 2013 and 2015 world Muay Thai champion to the mat.
With her back to the cage and Choi still working for the takedown, Trúc slipped her left arm under Choi's neck, locking in a guillotine choke.
While Choi managed to complete the takedown, it only worsened her situation as Trúc locked in her choke, forcing Choi to tap.
Choi was devastated by the loss, burying her head in her hands as Trúc did a lap of honour around the cafe.
Trúc once again proved her MMA talent after winning a place in the Lion Championship's final last week, which will be held in Phú Quốc on November 26.
Trúc's win was the only victory for Vietnamese fighters at AFC 21, held for the first time outside South Korea.
In other bouts, Jang Yun Seong submitted Ngô Hồng Giang with a kimura in the men's 84kg class. Võ Thanh Tùng lost a unanimous decision to Joo Dong Jo in the men's 56kg pool.
Lê Văn Tuần suffered a knock-out defeat in the men's 59kg match against Park Chang Bin. Choi Han Kil knocked out Nguyễn Tiến Long in the men's 63kg.
Kim Jin Min knocked out the card's only Brazillian fighter Bruno Martins in the men's 57kg.
In the main event, a 77kg clash, Lê Văn Thế Anh was knocked out by Kim Sang Wook.
"I am happy as the AFC 21 was successfully organised in Việt Nam for its international debut," said Mai Thanh Ba, general secretary of the Việt Nam Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
"It is a turning point for Vietnamese MMA as it was the first event in Việt Nam to count towards fighters' professional records. It will push national MMA to a higher level and strongly integrate it into the world," he said.
AFC representative in Việt Nam Kim Sang Bum said that as an organisation that often participates in charity activities, the AFC would donate part of the takings from the event to help children with difficulties.
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