Mixed martial arts
|Trần Ngọc Lượng (left) beats Trần Minh Nhựt in the main card match of the Lion Championship 7 on July 8 night. Photos of VMMAF|
HÀ NỘI — Trần Ngọc Lượng secured his third win at the national MMA series, the Lion Championship 7 (LC7), which received high praise from international onlookers.
Lượng of Saigon Sports Club defeated Trần Minh Nhựt of Liên Phong Dojo in the men's 60kg class - is the key fight of the LC7's Class A on July 8 night in HCM City.
It was a match of two different styles. While national jujitsu champion Lượng was a master in grappling, Nhựt was superior in striking. Nhựt has been competing in the LC event since the first season.
Lượng took Nhựt to the floor several times but the latter successfully escaped and fought back with powerful jabs, uppercuts, and fierce kicks.
In the end, Lượng impressed the judges more than his rival and was announced the winner of the match.
The win will help Lượng up his current tenth place in his weight category and get closer to the MMA Lion Championship's title match against reigning champion Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất who is set to defend his belt at the end of the year.
"All matches of the LC7 have been good quality and really competitive," said Eduard Ayangwa Folayang, a famous mixed martial artist, Muay Thai, and wushu practitioner.
The Filipino was the two-time ONE Championship's lightweight world champion, Universal Reality Combat Championship welterweight champion, and three-time SEA Games wushu winner.
"MMA in Việt Nam is developing quickly. However, Filipino athletes are still better in quality because we have practised MMA for a longer time.
"Vietnamese athletes still have much work to do to lift MMA up and more effort is needed to confirm the country's place in world competitions," said the 29-year-old who runs a dojo in his hometown.
Coming to see fights at the Rạch Miễu Gymnasium was part of his plan to bring his athletes to compete in Việt Nam in the near future.
"It is great to fight in Việt Nam. We want to improve and we know that there are many talented athletes in Southeast Asia. I will take my athletes to Việt Nam for competitions."
|Lê Thị Thúy Vy is seen competing with Hồ Thị Ngọc Bích (left) during the women's 52kg fight. — Photo of VMMAF|
American fighter Beneil Dariush was also impressed by the fight of the women.
"The fights were very interesting, especially the women's one. Vietnamese fighters are good at striking but still need to improve their grappling technique, said Dariush, the former world jujitsu champion.
Dariush placed fourth in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world lightweight rankings last October with a remarkable record of 22 wins, 5 draws, and 1 loss.
The women's match that he mentioned was between Lê Thị Thúy Vy of Liên Phong Dojo and Hồ Thị Ngọc Bích of Rockbox Club. After three rounds of the women's 52kg, Bích won by points.
The 'fight of the night' was between Đỗ Phúc Hậu of MMA Fight Academy and Nguyễn Huy Sắc from California Fitness & Yoga Centre.
Hậu won by technical knockout (TKO) in the second round of the men's 65kg bout.
For winning the title, each fighter received a VNĐ10 million bonus.
In other matches, Huỳnh Nguyễn Quốc Bảo of Power Strength Club took his win against Đặng Thắng Nguyên of Nha Trang Sport Unite.
Lưu Nhân Nghĩa of Silver Back MMA won a TKO against Đặng Hoàng Minh of Tank Club. Minh suffered a tear in his eyelid and could not compete in the men's 77kg.
Huỳnh Công Quốc Hòa of VTTH Long Xuyên Fight Club secured a TKO against Nguyễn Nguyên Chương of MMA Fight Academy by a ground and pound in the first round of the men's 65kg.
Hà Long Sơn of MMA Black Mamba scored a submission win over Bùi Xuân Nguyên of Liên Phong Dojo in the men's 56kg. VNS