Taiwan’s first female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, Jenny Huang, clinched her third victory in as many pro fights with a second-round submission of Egypt’s Amira Badr at ONE Championship: Clash of Heroes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday night.
The main event saw Malaysian-New Zealander Ev Ting fight the fight of his career as he dominated Philippine standout Eric “the Natural” Kelly on his way to a third-round submission win to put himself in title contention.
In Badr, Huang was facing a three-time Egyptian national wrestling champion who was making her pro MMA debut, in a bout fought at a catchweight of 49kg.
Photo: Courtesy of ONE Championship
ONE weight classes have been shaken up as a result of a new weigh-in policy that aims to protect fighters by preventing severe weight-cutting, after a ONE fighter died last month while trying to cut weight.
Huang quickly established her jab, which Badr answered with a straight right, before the wrestler attempted her first takedown, which Huang stuffed. Badr again attempted a takedown and Huang sprawled and took a guillotine, taking the Egyptian to the ground before she made her feet and escaped the choke. Huang stuffed Badr’s next takedown attempt and answered the Egyptian’s leg kicks with jabs and the occasional straight right.
With 1 minute, 27 seconds remaining, Huang connected with a booming straight right-left hook combo that sent Badr to the canvas. Smelling blood, Huang went in for the kill, landing right uppercuts from the clinch and big right hands that had Badr on the run until she clinched and answered with some right hooks of her own and bulled the Taiwanese against the cage. That blunted Huang’s momentum and allowed Badr to recover somewhat, but the Taiwanese continued to land stinging straight rights and left hooks before punctuating the round with a thudding right hand.
Badr began the second round by attempting to trade with Huang, but Huang outlanded her and quickly had her backing off. Huang walked an increasingly tentative Badr down, peppering her with punches. Badr clinched and Huang began landing vicious uppercuts before taking a guillotine. Badr escaped, but her face was badly marked and she appeared hurt.
Badr rallied herself and scored a single-leg takedown, but Huang pulled guard and took a triangle choke, threatening an arm bar before forcing the tap-out with the choke at 3:09.
“I trained really hard leading to this fight,” Huang told the Taipei Times after the match. “My coach, Sam [Sung Ming-yen], gave me a lot of motivation and pushed me really hard. I was very committed to win.”
“I am improving and learning a lot more every day. Each fight helps me learn and improve and I am looking forward to fighting more ... and making a name for myself in the female division,” she said.
The main event had former featherweights Kelly and Ting fighting at the new lightweight limit of 77.1kg.
The two began by trading big right hands soon after the opening bell. Ting landed a head kick, which Kelly answered with a takedown, taking Ting’s back and working for the rear naked choke, to which he owed six of his 12 wins.
However, Ting escaped to end in top position and landed punishing knees. Ting followed with a barrage of punches, kicks and knees before Ting slipped while throwing a kick. Kelly pounced, following him to the ground and slipping a guillotine, but Ting was able to make his feet and escape.
Kelly landed knees in the clinch, before Ting scooped and threw the Filipino, throwing an axe-kick to his head that elicited a warning from referee Olivier Coste for stomping. Ting let go his ground-and-pound before allowing Kelly back to his feet, where he continued to land heavy punches on him to end the round.
Firmly in control, Ting continued to pressure Kelly in the second. However, Kelly managed a single-leg takedown and took Ting’s back and began working for the rear naked choke. Ting managed to escape and take top position, landing punches to finish the round.
In the third frame, Ting backed Kelly into the cage. Kelly worked for a takedown in the clinch and Ting continued to land punches before taking a standing guillotine choke, pulling guard and tapping the Filipino out at 1:58.
The win improved Ting’s record to 11-3-0, while Kelly fell to 12-2-0.
“He took me down a couple of times, and hit me a couple times, but my eyes are on the prize and I don’t get distracted from punches. He has to put me out,” Ting said cageside in the post-fight interview.
He had no hesitation when asked what was next for him.
“Marat Gafurov, I’m coming for you. Where’s that belt at?” he said.
Kanako Murata seemed destined to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler, but that all changed when she saw MMA icon Ronda Rousey fight. “It was then that I knew what I wanted to do and I have never regretted it for a moment since,” said Murata, now a rising star with the Las Vegas-based UFC. First inspired by Japan’s Olympic wrestling queen Saori Yoshida, Murata had by her early 20s emerged as a junior world freestyle wrestling champion. Then came the night in 2015 that Murata saw the explosive American former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey in action, and
LACKING HEIGHT: With Indonesia hosting a qualifying tournament for the third-placed teams before the Asia Cup begins, Taiwan have one more opportunity to get a berth The Taiwan men’s national basketball team on Sunday lost to China 91-73, making it more difficult for the squad to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup. The defeat at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Pampanga Province, Philippines, followed Taiwan’s losses to China (115-66) on Thursday and Japan (98-61) on Friday. This third and final window of the qualifiers was held in a “competition bubble” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the loss, Taiwan (1-4) finished third in Group B, which included China, Japan and Malaysia. Third place does not automatically give them a berth in the Asia Cup, which is scheduled
Soccer fans today can tune in to cheer on several stars from the Taiwan men’s national team as Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) represent Taiwan at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong. Competing with their Tainan TSG teammates are five national squad members — including midfielder Wu Chun-ching, goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh and defender Chen Wei-chuan — who arrived in Hong Kong last week after concluding Taiwan’s run in Asia’s group stage of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where they had a narrow 2-1 defeat to hosts Kuwait. Wu — last season’s Most Valuable Player in the Taiwan Football
‘A LITTLE EUPHORIA’: Germany managed to turn things around before halftime, to stave off a defeat that would have left them at the brink of elimination in Group F Germany on Saturday breathed life into their Euro 2020 campaign with a stunning 4-2 win over holders Portugal in Munich, despite Cristiano Ronaldo moving closer to the all-time international goals record, after world champions France were forced to settle for a draw with Hungary. Saturday also saw Spain stumble to a 1-1 draw with Poland in Seville, as the second round of group games at the tournament drew to a close. Germany knew a defeat against Portugal at the Allianz Arena would leave them on the brink of being eliminated from Group F, following their failure to make it beyond the group