Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - Page 20 News List

‘Zoro’ stops Taiwan’s Andy Wang in the second round

By Adrian Hardie  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan’s Andy Wang, right, attacks Zorobabel Moreira of Brazil in their mixed martial arts ONE Fighting Championship bout in Singapore on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Andy Wang suffered a technical knockout at the hands of Brazil’s Zorobabel “Zoro” Moreira 1 minute, 59 seconds into the second round of their ONE Fighting Championship mixed martial arts bout in Singapore on Saturday night.

The Ultimate Fighter veteran Wang, 34, displayed heart and a solid chin throughout, but was never really in the fight, which was something of a David and Goliath affair with the 1.91m Moreira, 28, towering over the 1.68m Wang and making full use of his enormous height and reach advantage. This was Moreira’s first fight in the lightweight division, having previously fought as a middleweight.

“The size presented more of a problem than I thought it would and I went into my old habits, trying to swing for the fences,” Wang said after the fight.

Despite both fighters being Brazilian jiujitsu blackbelts, they elected to fight almost the entire match standing up, with Moreira showcasing his improved Muay Thai skills.

The bout appeared on the way to a no contest only 35 seconds into the first round, when Moreira unintentionally poked Wang in his right eye while trying to hold him off, but after a four-minute timeout, Wang gamely gave the thumbs up to continue the fight, despite appearing not to have fully recovered.

Moreira threw hard leg kicks and occasional front kicks to the head, while Wang tried to jab his way inside the taller man’s reach, with Moreira getting the better of the exchanges. Moreira again poked Wang in the eye 2:18 into the round, but it was waved off by referee Yuji Shimada.

If it was Wang’s plan to remain standing and fight on the inside, this was where Moreira did the most damage. Moreira used his Thai clinch to devastating effect, his height allowing him to land punishing knees not only to the body, but also to Wang’s chin. He began unleashing vicious elbows, even showing some flair with a rarely seen spinning elbow strike.

In the second round, Wang managed to catch a kick and score the bout’s first and only takedown, but he was unable to pass the Brazilian’s guard or land any meaningful blows, electing to stand up after Moreira threatened an arm bar.

Moreira went on to land elbow after unanswered elbow from the clinch, sending Wang to the canvas, where he turtled up in a defensive posture. Moreira teed off with brutal knees to Wang’s ribs and looping punches to the head until Shimada stopped the fight 1:59 into the second round.

The bout improved Moreira’s record to 5-1-0, while Wang’s fell to 7-8-1.

Wang said the improvement in Moreira’s stand-up game surprised him.

“He was good man, he looked a lot better in this fight than what I saw on film, his striking was a lot better. I thought I would try and get inside, but he kept me outside well, and I probably stayed on the outside and waited too much,” he said. “The eye poke was definitely accidental. The second one I got a bit mad about, but I’m sure he didn’t mean it. I did let it get to me, but it didn’t change the outcome of the fight.”

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