MIMMA 2 Grand Finals: Seah, Agilan, Hasrul, Low new champions

Darren Low kimura Mohd Zulhanizam MIMMA 2 grand finals

MIMMA Season 2 (MIMMA2) ends with 4 new champions while Subba, Prabu and Chong retain respective titles

Pellino outwrestles Chope before tapping out to triangle choke

Presented by Tune Talk, MIMMA (Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts Fighting Championship) is Malaysia’s biggest amateur MMA tournament and have produced fighters like Allen Chong, who won the Lightweight final in the previous season and gone on to compete professionally in UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter China. Last night was the grand finale of the second season where the contenders of MIMMA2 went against last season’s winners to challenge for the titles of respective weight classes. Held at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, it was rainy night filled with great amateur MMA action along with 4 professional bouts. All finishes, no judges’ scorecard was necessary.

Let’s first recap the pro bouts which featured fighters from around the world. In the main event open weight bout, veteran fighter Will “The Kill” Chope (21-7) defeated MIMMA’s actual cage announcer-cum-commentator Matt Pellino (MMA debut) with a triangle choke submission. When Pellino, nicknamed “Liquid Monkey”, walked out to the oldskool soft rock song while shadow-boxing, I thought this was a live parody but I was laughing no more after seeing the “voice of MIMMA” take Chope down with ease and managed to survive through the first round. Pellino utilised his 10 kg advantage to stay on top and although he didn’t really do much, I believe he was winning by scores, and that was perhaps his game plan.

Will Chope vs Matt Pellino  MIMMA 2 grand finals

The more experienced Chope got taken down again in round 2 but this time he attacked from the bottom with elbows to the head and applied the triangle choke which forced Pellino to tap out almost immediately. Both fighters hugged it out and Chope praised Pellino for stepping into the cage and gave him a run for this money. And that’s the end of the supposed grudge match.

In the co-main event, it was Mark Striegl‘s (13-1) return to the cage after a year of hiatus and it was a quick one as he submitted Kaiwhare Kara-France (7-5) with a rear naked choke in less than 2 minutes. Krav Maga practitioner Lenny Wheeler (7-3) defeated Massimo Capusella (2-4) via referee stoppage in the very first round. Capusella was furious as he was still standing when the fight ended, but it was a right call by the referee (unless you’re in the main event of an UFC title bout) as he wasn’t doing anything besides covering his face while getting punched and kicked for like a minute long with he back on the fence. Malaysia’s very own female fighter Zhen Wei (1-1) the “Iron Rose” got her first career win after defeating UK’s Rachel Short (MMA debut) with a mounted arm triangle choke submission.

Mark Striegl vs Kaiwhare Kara-France  MIMMA 2 grand finals

With MIMMA’s usual cage announcer himself was on the card, the organisers had DARE FC’s Jon Nutt to take over for the night. Nutt did a fantastic job keeping the event lively by being highly energetic while reminding how amazing the spectators look in between every bout and repeating the word “sportsmanship” and that there are “no losers”. He was also commentating along with one of the best Asian MMA journalist, James Goyder. ONE FC fighter Arnaud Lepont came down from Vietnam to help out as cage entry official. The organisers seemed to have problems with the audio system but the crowd, although not a very big one, was encouragingly loud and supportive.

Although the amateur championship bouts were only 3 minutes per round, most fights ended in the first round. After last night, Selangor currently has the most champions (3) while KL, Penang, Johor and Sabah each has one. 4 new champs and 3 title retainers. It wasn’t without a couple of unexpected fairy tale-like closures. Since I didn’t cover about MIMMA as much as last season, I shall compensate by going through the MIMMA championship bouts one by one;

Middleweight: Stephen Onn (Sarawak) vs Jim Chong Jing Yi (Johor)

Jim Chong KO Stephen Onn  MIMMA 2 grand finals

Chong retained his belt after knocking Onn out in just 36 seconds. The Johorean used his massive range advantage to out-box Onn and he dropped him twice in quick succession. Although it’s officially a TKO, I think he knocked him out with his follow-up punches.

Lightweight: Mohd Rizal Ismail Celestial (Sabah) vs Mohd Hasrul (Selangor)

The champion, Allen Chong, had to vacate the belt due to his pro status hence leaving these two contenders to fight for it. Hasrul “Secsyen” was a quarterfinalist in season 1 and has improved himself significantly to go all the way and won it this time. What made it even more impressive was that he’s a full-time policeman with only Silat background going against a BJJ practitioner. The bout ended in the first round as well but not before some thrilling exchanges, to the ground and back up. While the both of them were wobbly after having rocked each other with some strong hard swings of punches, Hasrus launched a clean hook punch that knocked “Ritchie” Celestrial out cold.

Featherweight: Joshua Khiew (Penang) vs Keanu Subba (KL)

With an older brother in the ONE FC as one of his trainers and a natural knockout power, there wasn’t much of a doubt that Subba would retain his title, but it wasn’t as easy as last season’s final. The taller, Bruce Lee-inspired Khiew used his lengthiness to give Subba a bit of problem finding offence. Subba clinched Khiew to the fence and kneed his thighs before taking the fight to the ground. Subba was awarded first round TKO win after Khiew failed to respond to the heavy ground and pound.

Flyweight: Seah Zhang Yu (Penang) vs Kenny Yap (Terengganu)

This has got to be the most memorable fight of the night due to its background story. The actual contender Muhammad Aiman, who was a season 1 finalist, failed to make weight and hence replaced by Seah, who apparently lost to Aiman in the contenders finals via a referee stoppage that he disagreed with. Seah took the fight in less than 24 hours notice, had to cut down 6 kg and physically recover in less than 12 hours (the weigh-in for him was in the morning of the event day itself). Yap, known as a BJJ practitioner, took Seah down at the beginning of the fight after some range-testing exchanges on standup, and got side control but was not able to finish with his arm bar/lock submission attempt. I think what he wanted to do was a belly down arm bar but somehow landed on his back. Seah pulled his arm out and both started exchanging strikes again on their feet. Close to the end of the first round, Seah knocked the champ out with a beautiful left hook to the chin, making him the new MIMMA Flyweight Champion! What an amazing tale this is for Seah to tell.

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Heavyweight: Mohd Zulhanizam (Selangor) vs Darren Solomon Low (Sabah)

This is the other belt that was retired by a winner from season 1. No idea why Adrian Tham vacated the belt, no info was shared. It was all smile for Zulhanizam when he walked out to Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier with his family, but it was the emotionless Low who came out on top in the end. Low went straight to taking Zulhanizam down and delivered some hard hammerfists. Zulhanizam got back to his feet but was being hunted down by the bigger Low for another takedown and this time, Low applied the kimura arm lock which forced an apparent verbal tapout.

Welterweight: Agilan a/l Thangalapani (Selangor) vs Ooi Aik Tong (Penang)

There were only 2 championship bouts that went beyond round 1 and this was one of them. Agilan dethroned the champion in the second round after dominating the fight with his superior wrestling and ground game. Ooi tried to go for an armbar from the bottom after being taken down but Agilan managed to stand up and pull him his hand out. He worked his way to full mount and went for his own arm bar after doing some ground and pound but had not enough time to stretch it. Agilan got the TKO win in round 2 where he took Ooi down again, got the full mount and poured down strikes. Ooi was unable to stay compose to find ways to escape and covering up his face with crossed arms was not enough for the referee to allow the fight to go on.

Bantamweight: Jenarten Radhakrishnan (Selangor) vs Prabu Somanaidu (Selangor)

Prabu kimura Jenarten MIMMA 2 grand finals

Not only the 19-year-old contender looked comfortable and confident in the cage, Jenerten was impressively dominating the scores with his punches and leg kicks, which the flat-footed Pradu did not have any answer to in the first round. Contrary to how the champ Prabu won most of his fights in the last season, he didn’t even try jabbing but instead, he shot for takedown and when he failed, he engaged a kimura arm lock when he was backed onto the fence. In the second round, Prabu finally tried to jab but he couldn’t find the range. Like in the first round, he shot for the takedown, failed, got pinned up to the fence and lock in the kimura, except that this time he managed to trip Jenerten down along with his kimura locked in tight. Jenerten didn’t panic and tried to move over to escape but Prabu didn’t let go and continued twisting until the apparent verbal tapout.

Well, that’s it for this season. Good stuff. It will definitely be even better in the future as the sport continues to develop in Malaysia and garner interest from more young talents around the nation. MIMMA co-creator, Jason Lo, revealed that they’ll be throwing in a women’s amateur championship next season. Not sure which weight class yet though (it’d be interesting if there’s a local women’s heavyweight bout). Guess we’ll have just have to wait to find out. You can watch this season’s final and all the prior episodes via online stream on mimmalive.tunetalk.com.

Full Results

Professional Bouts

Open Weight: Will Chope def. Matt Pellino | Submission (triangle choke) | R2
Bantamweight: Mark Striegl def. Kaiwhare Kara-France | Submission (rear naked choke) | R1
Lightweight: Lenny Wheeler def. Massimo Capusella | Referee stoppage (strikes) | R1
Women’s Flyweight: Foo Zhen Wei def. Rachael Short | Submission (arm triangle choke) | R1

Championship Bouts

Flyweight: Seah Zhang Yu def. Kenny Yap | KO (punches) | R1
Bantamweight: Prabu Somanaidu def. Jenarten Radhakrishnan | Referee stoppage (kimura) | R2
Featherweight: Keanu Subba def. Joshua Khiew | TKO (ground & pound) | R1
Lightweight: Muhammad Hasrul def. Richie Celestial | KO (strikes) | R1
Welterweight: Agilan Thani def. Ooi Aik Tong | Referee stoppage (ground & pound) | R2
Middleweight: Jim Chong Jing Yi def. Stephen Onn | TKO (strikes) | R1
Heavyweight: Darren Low def. Mohammad Zulhanizam | Submission (kimura) | R1

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