The bling bling of MMA event will be in Penang tonight at K-One MMA Academy.
Golden Warriors Fighting Championship (GWFC) will hold it’s 2nd event on Saturday 9 Sept 2017. Dubbed as The Golden Fight, the event will see 8 bouts being competed, half amateur MMA & half Pro. Click here to read about my previous post on GWFC. On Friday afternoon, Weigh-ins and stare down was held at Penang Time Square.

Check out the full fight cards.

come on be honest guys, you are not just here for the fights, I know you look forward to see the ring girls too right

Interesting fights happening in the amateur card, fight fans will get to see the return of MIMMA hero, Flyweight Champion Seah Zhang Yu returning to the MMA cage. Zhang Yu will enjoy tremendous home ground support as this will be his first time fighting in Penang.

It has been almost a year since he last fought. Zhang Yu cemented his name in Malaysia MMA history as the first person to consecutively win the Flyweight title 3 times. Click here to read about my previous post on Zhang Yu.

After his historic victory in the MIMMA cage last October against a very game opponent in Eddey Kalai, Zhang Yu follow up a month later with another victory in Kunming China. He was invited to fight in Reign in Power and did Malaysia proud by a dominating win over his Thai opponent.

winning the Reign in Power trophy

After that fight he switched his  focus on studies to complete his Diploma and has since graduated. Physically he was never far away from combat sports scene, by appearing in MIMMA 5 tryout in Penang this year and participating in runs and keeping himself in tip top shape in 3S MMA Gym.

At the same time Zhang Yu is venturing into the business of entertainment. Following his dream of becoming an artist and actor, he joined GWFC Managing Director Hendrik Huang as an assistant director for Golden Warrior Film & Entertainment (GWFE).

In GWFE, Zhang Yu is heavily involve in the organizing of talent show and contest, the film industry and organizing K-Pop stars meet & greet and concerts.

His opponent for Saturday night is Navdeep Aggarwal. A member of Team Relentless, India’s top MMA team trained under India’s MMA pioneer Jitendre Khare. Navdeep is a newcomer but already show great potential. In a 4 man tournament early this year, he won India’s Yoddha Fighting Championship Flyweight belt against a heavy hitter in the grand finale.

Navdeep (left) with his team mate Rudransh of Team Relentless, both of them will fight tonight in the amateur cards

In another interesting match up in the ammy cards will see a Battle of Borneo bouts between Aaron Lo (Gymbox Kuching) vs Danial Hakeem ( KarabawClownBoxx Kota Kinabalu ).

Aaron is trained in finance and works as an external auditor. Come night time, off goes the office attire and on goes the MMA board shorts and the 4 oz gloves. Biting hard on his mouth guard, he will go hard on training with his bunch of hardcore team mates. Among them Jace Law (MIMMA 3 Lightweight Champion), Stephen Onn Jenggieng (Pro Boxer and MIMMA 2 heavyweight finalist), Aaron Tan ( MIMMA 4 Welterweight Finalist). All of them were formerly trained by Matt Pellino (whom is currently handling GWFC’s).

Matt has since left Kuching GymBox to pursue his coaching career in Hong Kong. As GWFC match maker, Matt recognizes Aaron’s talent and his anything goes attitude, Matt knew that fight that involve Aaron has a potential to be fight of the night.

Since Matt left, GymBox does not run a MMA program anymore; Aaron and his team mates basically trained on their own. But they push each other hard in every training. Recognize as the place where the real deal is in Kuching, most others would drop in for sparring and training session with them.

Even though left without a head coach, Aaron keep himself motivated by watching tons of UFC’s fights. The team mates also motivates each other. In Fight Fest last year October, the his fight vs Naziman was a barn burner. Aaron displayed great boxing and won by TKO. He followed up that win with two victories in the Ultimate Beatdown cage in Johor, winning against a Singaporean and a Bruneian.

Ask on what his family and colleagues think about his cage fighting activities…
” They think I’m a thug. It doesn’t really matter much to me, but at times , I do ask myself why am I doing this…hehe.” 

On what he thinks of his opponent Danial’s fast hands,
” I can’t wait for him to punch me,…I wanna see how hard he can hit….hehehe. As I’ve said, my team mates like Jace and Stephen don’t go easy, we literally knock each other out during training, that’s how hard we train; and we do it with 4 oz gloves, so 8 oz gloves on Saturday night will feel like cushion to me.”
————-



Standing across the cage to Aaron will be Danial Hakeem, representing Team Karabaw – Clownboxx. He is only 18 and currently is pursuing his diploma studies on security management.

A product of  SM La Salle Kota Kinabalu,  he started Tae Kwon Do in primary 5. Participated in Inter-Club competition but he stopped TKD in form 2, achieving a Blue Belt rank. His interest switched to Muay Thai as he wanted something more challenging.
Having a father that was also a former Muay Thai exponent certainly help. Together with his father Muhd Khairul, his uncle Jie Rozel, Lucky Akbar and Mohd Rafee, they started to train together, usually in public parks and on the streets. Sometimes at the condo gym at Lucky’s place. Initially call Team Street Fitness they changed the name to ClownBoxx. The inspiration comes from the characters of psycho clowns; unpredictable, scary, spontaneous.
Ever since he was a kid, Danial has been interested with combat sports. One of the biggest influence on him was pro wrestling of WWE. He would emulate all the wrestling moves at home as he played roughing it out with his cousins, usually causing a ruckus that shocked his mother. He also watch a lot of UFC video and named Chuck Liddel as his main idol.
In high school Muay Thai gave Danial a good base in striking. He developed very fast hands and excel at the game of striking. Although Team ClownBoxx is basically known as a Muay Thai team, Danial has not competed in Muay Thai tournaments yet.
He fought in STAND K1 Kickboxing twice and in BAC Labuan. He further enhance his grappling and ground game training at Team Karabaw, under the guidance of Sensei Rayner Kinsiong.
In Rampage FC this year, he dominated with his striking. He showed calmness even at this young age. When his opponent brought the game to the ground to avoid his striking he controlled well and won by arm-lock in round 2.
Related:  Agilan Returns. A New Chapter in his MMA career
winning his first MMA bout at Rampage FC
That fight was at Flyweight, this time he will be fighting in Bantamweight. On Friday he weigh in at 59 kg, 2 kg underweight, but he is glad that he doesn’t have to go through the agony of cutting weight.
This young lad is self motivated. When not training, he likes to hang out with his friends and usually a game of DOTA is a must. He knows that to achieve success in the fight game he needs to trust in his own ability. He does not believe in negative thoughts and always believe that the fight game is more about mental strength.
” Once you are prepared mentally, half of the fight is already won.”
 

On the pro cards, two of the most exciting flyweight out of Borneo will be debuting as a pro. Mohd Hasbullah or fondly called Bulat from Keningau Sabah will rematch Dean Hamsah.

Hasbullah met Dean in 2015 Jesselton Fight League (JFL) grand final. It was a memorable win for Hasbullah who en route to the grand final, created a shock in the semis when he defeated the highly acclaimed Ahmadjon Karimov (GymBox), Ahmadjon went on to win MIMMA 3 Foreign Pride belt.
winning the JFL Bantamweight belt
In the JFL’s grand final;  the all out war vs Dean was the high light of the night. Hasbullah was relentless with his striking and cage control. Dean also showed great heart by giving all effort to not let Hasbullah have an easy victory. (Read my previous post on Hasbullah here)
After that win, Hasbullah fought in Fight Fest 2 & 3 and continued his winning ways. He also won the K1 Superfight in Borneo Amatuer Challenge in Labuan.
Hasbullah used to do part time work in farms and auto servicing. Last year he joined Rayner Kinsiong’s  Team Karabaw and set up Team Karabaw Gym in Keningau. Ever since then, Hasbullah has been busy looking after the gym and leading Muay Thai and MMA classes. Last year was also the time he tie the knot. All these occupied his attention and time.
As things settled down, and at still a young age of 24, he again sets his mind on fighting. He wants to achieve the best he can as a fighter while he is still young. His wife who works as dental nurse fully supports his ambitions.
Sensei Rayner arranged this fight for him and Hasbullah is glad for this as it gave him a goal and a target to aim for. Training may not be as intense as before he open his own gym and got married. But he is training smart now. Focusing on techniques and better game plans. Food wise, he used to eat without fear of gaining weigh, but nowadays, he felt he put on weight faster, hence the need to control on eating became a more conscious effort.

His nick name used to be ‘Garagas Man’ (in Dusun language it means a person who just bulldoze through things ), now as a married man, Sensei Rayner has given him a new nick name…King Garagas, to signify a more  mature Garagas, because deep down Hasbullah is still a kampung boy at heart, he would do things his own way and spontaneously. On Friday as he prepared for weigh in, it was the first time for him to step in a sauna.

But as he gets more mature as a coach, a husband and business owner, he began to learn more about fight strategy, mental preparations, strength and conditioning. He also gain more knowledge on diet and supplement to keep his body in top condition.

————

Dean Hamsah relish the idea of this rematch with Hasbullah. He felt that in 2015 JFL final, he played into Hasbullah’s game and followed his flow. It’s a lesson he has learnt the hard way and he tells himself this time will be different. Dean suffered a broken thumb after that fight and had to rest for a long period to recover.

Born in Kota Kinabalu to a Malaysian father and an Indonesian mother. He moved to the town at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, Kundasang when he was still a toddler. Dropping out of school at an age of around 9, he had to help out with work around the vegetable farms that dotted the area of Kundasang.
Dean has an on and off relationship with his father. He practically grew up without his presence. This build up his independent character from an early age. He moved to Ranau and stayed with the family of Sahadi Dongoi, helping out in the farms and doing odd jobs here and there. He is forever indebted to them and consider them his family. Without his father’s verification, Dean still does not own a Malaysian ID, and had to followed his mother citizenship as an Indonesian.
Moving to Kota Kinabalu to stay with his mother as he grew older, Dean has took on various jobs. He has worked as a helper in sundry shops, restaurant and as a bus conductor. At times spending a night in the bus to save up on transport cost to go home. A friend introduced him to work in Le Meridien hotel. He took it without hesitation. It was a great exposure for him and also a place where he pick up on English language.
This was also the time when he started to train in Muay Thai. After work at Le Meridien, he would jog 7km to the gym to train. He joined the Borneo Phoenix team in Tanjung Aru and trained under coach Muslee Tuah.
As his skills improved, he joined Muay Thai competition. He fought before in Thailand and a number of times under the banner of D1FC and has numerous epic match with some of Sabah’s top Muay Thai exponent.

Dean ventured into MMA in Borneo’s first MMA promotion – Borneo Fighting Championship in 2014. He then competed in 2015 JFL which he lost to Hasbullah in the grand final. In 2015 for the 1st Fight Fest, MMA Super 4, Dean took up a last minute call up to replace an injured fighter. The first leg vs Azrin Kadri goes down in Borneo MMA history as an epic fight. Both went all out and deliver huge blow on each other and wrestle with all their hearts.

Related:  Hisyam Sam: Wants to be the aggressor
Then Dean participated in MIMMA’s 3 Foreign Pride Category. Losing to Tiger Muay Thai stalwart Ali Motamed in the quarter finals. In 2016, after selected for the MIMMA 4 Foreign Pride, Dean decides to pull out to focus on getting into ONE Pride ( Indonesia’s premier MMA tournament ). He was selected but has not been called for a fight yet.
The last time Dean fought was last year’s Muay Thai Superfight in Tawau which he won.  He used to train with AJ Pyro in Borneo Tribal Squad, which gives him a good foundation for grappling but currently Dean is representing Gym Factory as now he works there as a fitness trainer.
Dean initially has been putting away the idea of fighting. But deep down the itch is still there, it’s just that the right opportunity has not come. When offered to rematch Hasbullah, Dean jumped on this and wants to use this fight to create a good impression for ONE Pride promoters to take notice.
Dean realised that this time he cannot be reckless as before. He plans to fight smart and not let Hasbullah control the pace. He has work on his strength and conditioning and is confident his fitness will be a deciding factor.
Let’s expect sparks to fly all over the place after a early feeling out in the early minutes.
victory speech in GWFC 1
In the lightweight category tonight , MIMMA 4 Foreign Pride Champion Shaqueme ‘Shem’ Rock is back to GWFC cage tonight for the 2nd time. He debut as pro in July vs Penang home boy Joshua Khiew and won by arm bar in round 1.
Shaqueme is born in Liverpool England, but has been in Malaysia for the last 3 years. It’s also the most important 3 years of his life. Shem’s brother brought him to Malaysia and took care of him while Shem trains at Monarchy MMA  ( click here to read about my previous post on Shaqueme which explains how he ends up in Malaysia ).

2016 MIMMA Foreign Pride champion

 

In this last 3 years, Shem has grown tremendously in his martial arts, particularly his BJJ. Shem is now able to take care of himself as he also makes some income teaching BJJ to children in Monarchy MMA.
Winning the foreign pride category of MIMMA’s season 4 was the hi-light of his amateur career. He dreams of becoming a world champion one day, which prompt him to become a pro fighter this year.
Shem with his brother (left) and Prof Bruninho (right)
Shem has nothing but praise for his BJJ coach, Prof Bruninho Barbosa aka Bruno.
” He is like a father to me. I want to be like him. He is an amazing teacher and person and a legend in BJJ.”
Shem cherish the time he trains with Prof Bruno, as it’s a constant learning experience for him and he improve his ground game on a daily basis. Ask on his family’s reaction back home in England, Shem explained that his family are proud of his achievements, but they have little interest in MMA and would rather he only teach. Shem would love to go back home one day to visit them and would love an opportunity to train with the local Liverpool MMA stars such as Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblet and Chris Fishgold.
But His heart is with Prof Bruno, he will go where Prof Bruno goes. He also feels that his Monarchy MMA family is where home is. He will aim to get into ONE Championship by having Kuala Lumpur as his base where he can continue training at Monarchy. Shem has his eyes on the featherweight gold in ONE Championship.
Recalling his most memorable match, for MMA; currently he feels his fight vs Nazri in last year MIMMA grand final was a good one for him. Nazri was a fierce competitor but Shem felt that in that fight he performed well and was able to execute his coaches plans well.
vs Nazri Sutari of Singapore in MIMMA 4 Grand Final ( pix by Mahesan )
He also very happy with his BJJ accomplishment. Sharing about the experience in Johor Open Jiu JitSu, Shem said as a white belt, he was proud that no one scored not even a single point against him, enabling him to win his weight class and the Absolute category. Also in this year’s Copa Da Malasia BJJ Comp, he won in his weight category and Absolute, in Gi and No Gi against some very tough opponents.
Will Shem again be victorious by using his BJJ skills tonight? This time he will face an opponent from Hong Kong. Ernst Tang whom also have a 1-0 record similar to Shem. So tonight’s fight will be a fight to get that second win as a pro for both of them.
England vs Hong Kong
Mehdi Bagheri
Shem’s team mate, Iranian Mehdi Bagheri will be feature in the main event. Fighting in the middle weight category, Mehdi aim to use his wrestling skills to ensure he control this fight vs Nosherwan Khanzada of Pakistan.
Mehdi teaches wrestling in Monarchy and is a no nonsense person that don’t beat around the bush to get things done. This will be his 3rd pro fight. He is looking to repeat the spectacular performance in his 2nd pro fight, which also happen in GWFC. In that fight Mehdi only took 44 seconds to win that bout with an arm lock.
Nosherwan
Mehdi’s opponent is no slouch. A veteran MMA exponent active in the China combat sports scene. Nosherwan is from Pakistan but is base in Hong Kong, coaching in Espada Studio. He has amassed 13 MMA fight ( 6-7-0 ), fighting in promotions such as Kunlun Fights, M1 and IMPI.
Nosherwan was on a 3 fight losing streak before taking a win in July this year. He would not want to slide in back to the loss column and will fight tooth and nails to get his hands with the golden glove raise at the end of the fight.
I hope you all are hype up for The Golden Fight tonight. Get yourself tickets to K-One MMA Academy to watch some serious MMA action. Tickets are at RM88. Come early as seats are limited.
Grab your tickets
Venue for tonight’s GWFC