Saturday, April 13, 2019


Combat sports action is back in Sabah. KARAMUNSING CHAMPIONSHIP will be held this weekend 13-14 April in Karamunsing Complex event hall. This event is under the banner of FIGHT FEST.

Karamunsing Championship will see 60 bouts being contested over the two days, with Kickboxing dominating the bouts on day 1 and exhibition boxing bouts on day 2.

This Championship will see a few Sabah based gym participating , namely Kinabalu Fighters, Team Karabaw, D-Sha, Ewako MMA & others. Neighbouring state Sarawak will send a few gyms such as PS Muaythai, D-30, TopDog & Sting Muaythai. Brunei is also represented, by Jeonsa & Chain Block. Meanwhile Labuan's Deaf Martial Arts Fitness will send 6 fighters.

The hi-light will be the Female Semi-Pro Title bout between Cyvilnie Angian ( Rhino Muaythai ) vs Liyen 'Blackhawk' ( Tim's Muaythai ) .This will be the first ever female Kickboxing title fight in Sabah. This fight is estimate to held at 7pm on 13 April.

Hisyam Samsudin , the former One Championship pro MMA fighter & 2016 World Boxing Federation (WBF) Asia-Pacific Light Heavyweight Champion will make an appearance after a long lay-off from active competition. Hisyam now runs his own gym - Ewako MMA & he will fight an exhibition boxing bouts vs Semuel Jhonson Michael of Underdogs Streetboxing.

Hisyam Samsudin

MMA fighter Kent Tham the 2015 Jesselton Fight League heavyweight Champion & MIMMA Semi-Finalist will also be stpping in the ring, this time in a Kickboxing match vs Lu Yi of D-30.

All Kickboxing bouts are sanction by ISKA.


Organising chairman Johan Julian Lee Abdullah is said he is very glad to work with a few parties for this Championship.

Johan Julian

Venue sponsor Karamunsing Complex has been giving him full support.  Their new event hall is very spacious & fully a/c & comfortable for visitors and also equipped with good lightings & LED screen for backdro.

Daily Express is also very supporting in media coverage. Their sister company E-Cube is also supporting in media coverage through it's LED advertising screen in town. Daily Express has already launch it's Daily Express Online which brings local Sabah news to the digital world.
With these type of wide coverage, it very much elevate the awareness of the event.

Johan is also glad to work with Ararat Sports as a sponsor and Gorilla Printing that always supports combat sports event. MILO is also a sponsor and will sponsor limited edition MILO beg to all the champions.

The unique thing about Karamunsing Championship is that it is not just a combat sports event but a E-sports event at the same time. It's Malaysia E-sports selection, organised by Persatuan E-Sports Sabah . Gaming competition will be held for games such as Tekken, DOTA2 & Mobile Legends. Winners will be selected to represent Malaysia.

For further information please call Johan ( 016-831 1440 )


story by Tan Wallace

Friday, March 8, 2019


Brunei's premier combat sports promotion, STRIKE will be back this weekend, 9-10 March 2019 at Jerudong Park Amphitheatre.

STRIKE came into the combat sports scene in 10 Nov last year, with it's 1st ever event named BATTLE OF PRIDE. It was well run and the first time in Brunei where Semi-Pro Kickboxing title fights sanctioned by world kickboxing body ISKA, was organised. It gathered the region's best talent and also featured Brunei's top talent in the main card.

The first day went smoothly until the later part of the day when a rowdy man cause a ruckus. The commotion was shot on video and spread like wild fire in a short instance and the authority had to step in to investigate, thus having the event halted and eventually day two where the main fight was schedule to go down was canceled

The trouble maker has been charge in court. All because of a trouble maker that spoilt the whole event the hard work of the fighters & the organiser was frustratingly wasted. But even though that commotion cause the event to be called off, two positive thing came out of it.
1. When the trouble maker started the commotion, the people around him manage to stay calm and patience, to contain the incident. Many of them are fighters and could have easily taken him out if they want to. The spirit of martial arts was well manifested that day.
2. The martial arts community came together in unity to support the organiser. Which shows that martial arts teaches great values and foster brotherhood and sportsmanship.

The story of STRIKE:BATTLE OF PRIDE was continued in Labuan, as it was featured in BMAEX ( Borneo Martial Art Expo ) in Dec 2018. A kickboxing tournament was held and one title fight between Brunei's Saufi Jaman vs Sabahan Dean Hamsah finally see the light of day, with Dean emerging the champion.

Dean (left) with his coach Rayner Kinsiong after winning STRIKE championship belt in Labuan


After the first event, the organiser lead by co-founders Firdausi Zainidi and Younis Asmad already started to plan for their 2nd event. This will materialised this weekend, dubbed REDEMPTION. They have put in extra security measures to prevent the previous untowards incident repeating itself. They have been working closely with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and sports to ensure a smooth running of STRIKE ; REDEMPTION.

Day 1 ( 9 March 2019 ) will see Kickboxing tournament on the day time, followed by ticketed event at night where the pro fights will take centerstage. It will be a mixture of 6 Kickboxing and 2 MMA fights.

The organiser managed to match-make an awesome fight cards that promise plenty of fiery action.

Bruneian top Muaythai talent Wali 'the Beastmaster' Rahman of Silverback Muaythai will take on young Muaythai specialist from Sabah Kenny Jafili.
Wali is a certified Muaythai coach and has been plying his trade and actively competing in Malaysia for the pass 5 years. He is back in Brunei and will use this fight to showcase and proof that Bruneian can be successful in martial arts career.

Wali Rahman

Bruneian Saufy Jaman of Nak Muay Fight Gym will have a chance to reverse the results in STRIKE : BATTLE OF PRIDE part 2, Labuan where he lost to Dean Hamsah. This rematch will be a 62kg MMA bout. After the lost, Saufy put in extra hours in training to sharpen his techniques. He is eager to showcase this, having learnt much from his first encounter with Dean last Dec. He definately will be motivated to do well with the home crowd support.

Saufy Jaman

Another rematch will see Bruneian from Project Mayhem, Aaron Lim take on Aziz 'The Shantung Zhai' Gwojye. This two met in the 1st BMAEX in Labuan in 2017. It was a very close fight with the BMAEX Championship belt won by Aaron.

At 34 Aaron nows run two Project Mayhem gym. He left a lucrative job in the oil & gas sector to focus on his passion for Muaythai. A proud Bruneian, Aaron plans to repeat his victory over Aziz to ensure the STRIKE belt stays on Brunei soil.

Aaron Lim

In the main fight of the night will see a great international match up between Sunny Sabornido of Borneo Combat Gym- Deaf Combat Gym from Labuan vs Arie Ananda Putra of Volkz Lutador Academy, Indonesia

Sunny is a deaf fighter mentored by Alvin Chong of Borneo Combat Gym Labuan. As a kid he was often bullied due to his disability. He wanted to learn martial arts to defend himself. But to learn it was definately tough not just for him but for the people who teach as communication was a huge obstacle. But Alvin Chong saw the potential in him and he took the trouble to learn sign language and vow to mould Sunny into a skillful athlete.

Till this day Sunny has won various combat sports title, but I believe the biggest achievement does not lie just in the titles he won but being able to lead something on his own...he open a Muaythai gym last year in Labuan named Deaf Combat Gym. With the support of Alvin & BCG, Sunny wants to give back to society and work together with Labuan Deaf Association to promote health and fitness through martial arts.

For the Borneo ISKA 57kg Title belt, Sunny faced a tough Indonesian opponent - Arie. He is the winner of IBC & finalist of  BFC MMA Championship.  Arie stepped up showing his warrior spirit in 2 weeks notice, replacing Hasbullah Sanmin whom got injured.

Sunny (right) with his mentor & coach Alvin 'AC Poseidon when he won the Sabah Fight Muaythai Championship in 2018


Aside from unearthing and developing new talents in Brunei, STRIKE also wants give back to the local community. Various special needs organisations - Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, Persatuan KACA and Persatuan Orang Kurang Pendengaran Kebangsaan (OKP) - have been invited to attend the event, through the sponsorship from Setia Motors and BruPay.

MILO will sponsored free chilled MILO drinks to participants and visitors, and some prizes for winners that particpate in activities planned by organisers.

Go grab your tickets today to be part of Brunei's pioneering combat sports event and experience full impact action on 9 March, click for purchase of tickets at

Come again on Day 2 to see some amateur boxing action. Brunei Darussalam Boxing Association will host the boxing tournament on Sunday.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019


UFC235 will go down in Las Vegas on 2 March in Las Vegas.

While everyone will be super hype & excited for the main card of Jon Jones defending his light-heavyweight belt against Anthony Smith and the co-main event of Tyron Woodley defending his welterweight strap vs Kamaru Usman, there's a fighter fighting in the prelims whom will be the future of UFC's light heavyweight division; Johnny Walker.

Nope he is not sponsored by the liquor company, that's his actual name. Well actually his father gave him the name Walker Johnny, but he switched it to Johnny Walker.

This Brazilian at  6'5" is I believe the tallest in the Light heavyweight division and the only one that have longer reach than Jon Jones.

Dana White signed him after witnessing his convincing win in the Contender Series last August.

In UFC235, Walker will be fighting against Misha Cirkunov and go in this fight with a 16-3-0 record, 8 fight win streak and recorded the fastest KO (15seconds) in the light-heavyweight division vs Justin Ledet in his previous outing.

He will be the future of UF's light-heavyweight due to a few reasons:

1. Killer techniques. He has a deadly clinch, once he got opponent in his griph, it's either a knee to the head or a swift elbow to the temple to put them to sleep. He can do flashy move. His record 15 second win over Ledet was via hook kick follow by a spinning back fist and finishing with thunderous punch. ( watch hsi fight hi-lights below )

2. He is a performer! Watch out for his crazy walk-out, will he do the male stripper act again or will there be a new one? and the 'worm' dance he did at the end of the fight vs Ledet, impressive for a guy of his size.

3. He is a finisher. He holds 13 first round finish.

4. He is a smart guy. He studied chemical engineering in university.

5. He has a champion DNA. He holds the Light Heavyweight Championship belt for European Beatdown 3 & UCMMA 54.


6. He has great sense of fashion. He makes the mohawk looks cool and check out his style in UFC 235 media day face-off.

7. He has great personality. He has a great personality and is always smiling and engaging with the media and fans.

Watch out for this guy, he may be on his way to challenge for the light-heavyweight belt soon. Follow him on his journey to the top.
Facebook: Johnny Walker UFC
Instagram : JohnnyWalkerMMA

Saturday, February 23, 2019


22 Feb 2019. One Championship held it's fifth event for 2019 in Singapore, dubbed 'Call to Greatness' It's the 2nd event that feature fights in the Lightweight World Grand Prix. Tonight saw two quarter-finals bouts go down in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Malaysian put their hopes on Ev Ting to carry their flags in this tournament. But their hopes came crushing when his opponent Dagestani BJJ Champion Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev connect with a left hook, then continue with several strikes on the downed Ev, ref stops the fight 25 seconds into round 1.

This is Ev's second consecutive lost in the first round. In last Oct, it was against veteran grappler Shinya Aoki whom took him out with a arm triangle choke in 56 seconds. Coincidently that fight was also in a ring. It's going to be back in the drawing board for the Malaysian-Kiwi.

Saygid, coached by former One Championship Lightweight champion Marat Gafurov improved to 7-1-0 and advance to the semi-finals as he sat with the crowds to watch the next quarter-finals match between home town favourite Amir Khan vs Costa Rican Ariel Sexton, to see who is he going to face next.


Singaporean hopes was high in the 2nd Lightweight tournament quarter-finals. Amir Khan came into the fight to redeem his last fight lost to Eduard Folayang in Nov last year for the vacant Lightweight title, and he is now given another shot at the title. 

The fight with Ariel Sexton was fireworks and didn't disappoint. 

Amir was successful with his hands and connect clean shots, but Ariel being the wily experience fighter with a 12-4-0 going into this fight stayed composed; going for take down to nuliy Amir's striking. 

It was back & fourth. In 2nd round, Amir connect with a good right hand , dropped Ariel and went in for the kill but Ariel survived, and put on his own attack. Ariel end the round with a beautiful take down that lauched Amir's both feet in the air and was ready to pound all the way home until the bell end the round. 

The tired Amir could not keep Ariel at bay in the 3rd round. Ariel put on his best grappling and took Amir's back for a rear naked choke finish, which silence the cheers from the local Singaporean crowds.

In the victory speech, Ariel gave props to the young warrior Amir whom he said was a tough opponent. Commentator Mitch Chilson brought in Saygid to face off Ariel.

" I'm gonna grow a beard better than him" 
said Ariel and promise to bring the best to face Saygid in the semi-finals as he mentioned that they ( the fighters ) do their best to in the rings all for the entertainment of the crowds.

The next quarter-finals ( for the Lightweight tournament ) will be the highly anticipated debut of former Bellator & UFC Lightweight Champion, Eddie Alvarez , whom will face Timofey Nastyukhin in ONE Championship : A New Era in Tokyo on 31 March

One Championship : Call to Greatness ended with Stamp Fairtex winning the Atomweight Muaythai World Championship beating American Janet Todd.

The 11 bouts on the night ended with 8 finishes , with the 4 four pre-lim bouts all end with finishes, giving One Championship head honcho Chatri Sidyodtong a happy smile as he wasn't very happy with their last event which didn't have enough finishes.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2019


5 Feb 2019 marks the start of new year in the Chinese Lunar Calender. It is usually are celebrated merrily on the first two days in the Chinese diaspora, but the whole celebration usually last for 15 days.  The year 2019 is the year of the Boar in the Chinese Zodiac; it is also the end of the 12 year cycle which will began again in the next 12 year cycle with the year of the rat in 2020.


Warriors.Asia  caught up with 3 fighters in the region to see how they celebrate their Chinese New Year (CNY)

First stop, we visit Singaporean Chinese  Nicholas JJ Lee . Born in the year of the Boar in 1995, Nicholas is the youngest Singaporean to compete in MMA, he started fighting pro at 18.

He was a fighter from a very young age, surviving life in fast past city life of Singapore when his parents split and he faced much adversity when he was a teenager fending for himself without a father figure and about to start his MMA career.

But with pure determination & plenty of self sacrifice, he fought on. Nicholas possesed a 3-3-0 pro MMA record and has also fought Muaythai in Bangkok before. Bangkok is now his home where he has set up Yorky MMA a thriving training centre for beginners looking to try out MMA either for competition or fitness. It is also a center where many young prospect called home. Among them is ONE Championship fighter Rockie Bactol.

2019 is the fourth year Nicholas spends CNY in Bangkok. Compare to Singapore, Nicholas says that the ambience in Bangkok is less rowdy. However in Chinatown (Yaowarat) the celebrations are pretty hectic with temples getting crowded, food stalls everywhere and street festivities in full force.

As for him this is how he celebrate CNY in Bangkok, 
"My routine is pretty simple, my mom flies over every year bringing Chinese New Year snacks such as "Bak Gwa" (meat jerky) for me and we have our reunion dinner over here at our favorite Chinatown hotpot restaurant with my wife and son."

At only 24 this year, for Nicholas his competition days are done and now he is focus on developing Champion. At Yorky MMA, he make sure he create a healthy enviroment for learning. His style of teaching focus a lot on techniques and he broke it down orderly for his students to pick up easily.

As of April he will began his new role as the head coach of the national Cambodia MMA team.  
"I’ve been asked to help coach the national Cambodia MMA team as of April officially :) I said yes due to my personal meeting with the Cambodian fighters and saw the determination they have but lack of resources and money to afford international coaches with more knowledge so I offered myself." 

As this year of the Boar is his year, Nicholas is confident that 2019 will be a good year as he prepares Rockie Bactol back into contention after recovering from a knee injury and Combodian prospect Ren Saroth for ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in Myanmar on Friday, 8 March 2019.
CNY day training at Yorky
Putting in the works for Rockie . Pic by The Clinch Report
Helping develop Cambodia MMA to top level. Pic by The Clinch Report


Next stop....Fuzou China. This is where Filipino combat athlete Alcer Lozada spends his week long break celebrating CNY.

The last time I met him was when he compete in Muaythai D1FC in Kota Kinabalu 4 years ago. After that fight Alcer has been busy focusing on training and teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Malaysia and the Philippines. He competed in Turkmenistan in the Asian Kickboxing Championship. Following that he returned to Philipines and devoted his efforts into building Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Northern Mindanao.

He visited many different gyms in the area to grow BJJ and because of it he was able to unite the different teams that allowed him to stage the first ever ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Champsionhip) BJJ competition with about 150 participants with the help of his mentor and head Coach Stephen Kamphuis, the President of the Philippine Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.

On top of that, they mounted several regional BJJ competitions such as the 1st Caraga BJJ Invitational and Malaybalay BJJ Invitational. They also helped launch the competitions in Tarlac and Cotabato.

Alcer started out practicing the striking art of Karate when he was 7 and had his first taste of competition at the back of a truck. He then was formally enrolled in Taekwondo to get him off street fights. By 17, he already earn his Black Belt and became a Taekwondo head instructor.
" By that time, I had accomplished quite a lot winning in so many competitions in the local, regional and national levels which allowed me to obtain scholarships in various schools that helped me to finish my studies."

By 18, he switched to Shotokan, where I had my first taste in ground fighting which eventually led him to my first ever MMA fight and won it. To be a complete martial artist Alcer also cross trained in Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo and Arnis.

This last couple of years he began formal training in BJJ under Coach Stephen Kamphuis in KMA Fabricio. With dedication and focus, it has earned him his 4 stripes Brown Belt. He has the fair shares of wins and losses in MMA, but quite a good gold haul in BJJ in National competitions, Alcer currently is not actively competing but shifted his focus to teaching.

As for CNY , Alcer does celebrate the occasion as he has Chinese heritage from his father whom is half Chinese. This year he got invited by a friend to spend CNY in Fuzhou China.
"It's endless feasting during CNY here in Fuzhou, for CNY they must have round fruits to usher the good luck, good fortune and rice cakes. Basically in the Philippines we have our famous Lechon (roasted pig) as our usual main course. But since I am in China right now, we are having the local delicacies of the Fuzhou region."
CNY dinner at Fuzhou
Delicious healthy food serve by his friend in China
CNY break does not mean he stop workout
Celebrating CNY in Fuzhou at the invitation of his friend Chloe

After the CNY break Alcer will return to Beijing's The Monster MMA Club to continue his work teaching BJJ.
"My aspiration for martial arts is to promote the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. That has been my focus and passion in the last few years. It has brought me to so many places in the Philippines and then Malaysia and now it has brought me to Beijing China."


Last stop... Malaysia.  The home of Malaysian Invasion MMA (MIMMA) Season 5 Heavyweight Champion - Tsan Nieng Khai.

pic by YK Tang

Tsan is a Malaysian Chinese living in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak state. Kuching is a bustling, diverse city of old colonial buildings and modern towers with a huge Chinese population. Hence CNY in Kuching is rather merry.

A large number of the Chinese in Kuching runs their own business and Tsan is one of them. He operates a thriving business of Cyber Cafes since 2009. Running a business didn't give him much time for himself and he pile on the pounds. In 2014, he realised that he got to get in shape as he experienced back pain and tiredness as he juggle between his business and caring for his young kid.

Which led him to pick up Muaythai. he fell in love with Muaythai and train regularly getting fit and growing in terms of striking skills. With a number of friends in Kuching from the early days of Gymbox where they trained, they became the core group of fighters that pioneered MMA in the state of Sarawak.

Pic by Ong Chen Fai

To test his skills, Tsan participated in MIMMA. Touted as the biggest amatuer MMA tournament in Asia. He went all the way to the semis in Season 3. Then progress further in Season 4 to the Grand Finals but lost to Darren Low. In Season 5, he came and fought in the new league format, undefeated in 4 fights and entered the Grand Finals and conquered Azreel Izzat to finally became MIMMA heavyweight Champion!

Along the time Tsan eventually expanded the store room of his Cyber Cafe into his personal training studio, which grew to become a gym - MAD Fight Club. (MAD FC), which is another business for him which he is very passionate about as it MAD FC keeps him fighting fit.

In Kuching the mood of CNY started weeks before the real day itself as people starts shopping for food, new cloths and decorative items.
" Usually traffic in Kuching are a breeze but  as always it starts to jam everyday a week before CNY due to people busy shopping. As this year our state government legalize selling of fire crackers, can hear a lot of people setting off fire crackers along this week.

"As for me, I think I also contribute to the traffic jam like all Kuchingites hahaha, I buy my new clothes last minutes too, haha. I only managed to buy my sneakers after I finished with all the spring cleaning in my Cybercaf√© and my gym. I will also make sure I give my staffs ang paos (red packet) for good luck and fortune! 

"As for activities...this year I invited lion dance to my home during the first day of CNY for the young ones to watch and also to usher good furtune to our home. We do lots of visiting homes of families and friends, and plenty of gambling and not forgetting family dinners, and of course gambling again LOL! I got a lot of uncles and aunties, so we're packed until the 7th day of CNY for dinners LOL."

There's plenty of food during CNY and Tsan is not someone who shys away from a good feast, that's why he is a heavyweight. One of his favourite during the festivities is "Bak Kwa"(pork jerky),
"It's not CNY without 'Bak Kwa'!"

But Tsan will not go overboard as he is looking to maintain his weight around 100kg. He plans to be active in 2019 and have his sights on participating in Muaythai, Boxing and  Kickboxing competitions.

Business in MAD FC is also improving with  membership number growing. Hence he has extended his gym by taking over the lot next to it. He is also equipping his gym with more merchandise like gloves, handwraps, sand bags , shirts and soon more fighter gears such as shin pads, headgears , MMA sparring gloves.

Also in his plans is to organised a fight competition this year in his newly renovated MAD FC.


Warriors.Asia  wishes everyone a prosperous Chinese New Year. May this year brings you all health, joy and plenty of warrior spirit!