Original artwork by Matt Buvvart

The day has come to crown the inaugural champions of Jesselton Fighting League. On 4 OCT 2015, will go down in history for Borneo MMA as the date where 9 MMA champions from different weight categories be decided.

JFL is only in it’s first edition, already it has garnered so much interest among the martial arts scene in Borneo and made an impact in the combat sports scene in Borneo generally. As the 1st ever league format MMA competition in Borneo, the founder of JFL is Rayner Kinsiong, founder of Team Karabaw, ex-national Karateka and ONE Championship fighter.

This is not Rayner’s first experience in organising MMA fights. He partnered with Johan Julian of Kinabalu Fighters to organised the 1st ever MMA competition in Borneo – Borneo Fighting Championship. BFC was held twice, on 16 Nov 2013 and 29 March 2014. Both event was equally successful in getting talented local fighters and foreign fighters to slug it out in Kota Kinabalu.

Johan Julian (L) with Rayner Kinsiong (R) came together to organised Borneo’s 1st MMA Competition, Borneo Fighting Championship in 2013

BFC’s success proved that the time is right for locals to have a league format of MMA fights.

The journey of JFL started in 18.10.15 at Dewan Masyarakat Kota Kinabalu. It was the tryout, close to 90 fighters signed up. It was a glorious beginning for Borneo MMA.

The day JFL materialise
It then progress to the ladder match on 7 FEB 2015, held at the Federal Complex, Kota Kinabalu. A few fights was affected where the fighters didn’t turned up due to injuries from an earlier Muaythai event. But it was also a day of great fights…particularly Jason Gaban vs Kevin Andrew, Ahmadjon vs Effendy Kalai.
Ladder match
Quarter final was held at Dewan Foo Chow, Kota Kinabalu, on 4 APR 2015; Notable fights of the quarters were; Adrian Tham vs Syafiq Akmal, Writh Kapotosan vs Eddy Kalai, Terence Bungkilin vs Samuel Lai.
Quarter Finals
And most recent, the Semi Finals was held in the same venue. Semis saw some crazy fights. Fights to remember : Nur vs Valerian Rosario, 4 rounds of female slug fest! The roof was also brought down with upset wins of Khairul over Jace Law & of Md Hasbullah over Ahmadjon.
Semi Finals – (artwork by Matt Buvvart)
If you missed out these awesome fights, past JFL fights CD are still available, contact Rayner 013-888 8379 or Kelly 016-901 3370 ( Ladybug Bridal )
(artwork by Matt Buvvart)
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( artwork by Matt Buvvart )

The Grand finals for JFL will be held at Likas Indoor Stadium. It will be a bigger event. Held over two days 3rd & 4th Oct. Day 1 will see a fight cards that is made of a MMA Bantamweight Super4, 3 bouts of MMA Superfight, and for the first time in Sabah- 4 bouts of Cage Boxing. Fights to watch out for: Writh Kapotosan vs Christopher Sani. Md Rashidin vs Cedo Gomba. Randall Kadayum vs Jiji Pulah. Erexy Manuel vs Terence Bungkilin.

Day 2 ( 4.10.15 ) is championship fight night. The fights will be hard and fast as all fighters are very determine to wear the title belt on their waist.

Fight fans, if you haven’t got your tickets, call Rayner now or you will regret missing this historic day in Borneo MMA. Plenty of stuff to keep all occupied as in this grand final Rayner has up the ante; with lots of carnival booths offering F&B and other items. Cars enthusiast will be thrill as there’s an auto show from Daily Driven KK, supported by Borneo Tuner from 6pm to 10pm ( 3.10.15 ) and 10am – 6pm ( 4.10.15). On display will have categories such as LED

Pre event hi-lights will be the press conference and weigh-in on 2 OCT 2015 at Hard Rock Café, 3pm. Ladies get free flow drinks and guys get welcome drinks and 2nd drinks at 20% off.

Organizing a league format MMA event is a tremendous task as it needs continuity. Aside from having great support from his dedicated team of staff from the organizing committee, Rayner wants to thank all the sponsors that have made this event a reality. League format needs long term support from sponsors as it’s not a one off event.

(original artwork by Matt Buvvart)
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JFL’s objectives from the beginning, is to provide a platform for amateur fighters to test their skills, gain experience and build a fight record. All this is very important for newcomers and for experience fighters, it keeps them active and busy. This type of opportunity used to be only available in West Malaysia. With JFL, Borneo fighters will face less financial challenge of paying for flights and accommodation to participate in West Malaysia. With this, Rayner hopes to see more fighters being develop from JFL and in the long term help develops the MMA scene in Borneo, which benefits not only the fighters but also gives long term exposure to sponsors and grow the martial arts industry in general.

MMA having a market which consist mostly of youth, sponsors from alcohol brand is eager to come in but I respect the fact that Rayner has resisted even though it is an easy way to get financial support. Many times he has to fork out money from his own pocket to keep JFL going. But all this does not go down in vain, the government has notice the potential of JFL in terms of producing talent from Sabah and has come in to support through the Sabah state Ministry of Youth & Sports, hence the new venue of Likas Indoor Stadium, which have better facilities. Looks like JFL 2nd edition will have a new permanent home.

Rayner getting endorsement for JFL from Sabah state Minister of Youth & Sports , Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan
message from JFL CEO & founder – Rayner Kinsiong 

Watch out for the stories on some of the fighters coming up very soon in next posting.

PS: The awesome JFL poster artwork are design by Matt Buvvart. Himself actively involve in martial arts as the founder of Keningau MMA, a personal trainer and also a professional photographer. 
Do contact him for his artistic services or look him up in Keningau if you want to learn martial arts from him ( 016-509 6887 ), you won’t regret it.