23.5.2015 – Dewan Foo Chow. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
I certainly got my RM25 worth…the Semis was actioned pack! A night full of upset and great fights.
Ok lets move on to the fight.

The night open with heavyweight fight .

Fahmi Sato (Karabaw KK)vs Jackson Jibit (Revolution Gym).

‘Randy Couture Sabah’-Jackson vs the Capoeira maestro Fahmi

Being a practitioner of Capoeira,…Round 1, Fahmi uses his speed to pressure Jackson. Opening with high kicks and a jumping back kick, but Jackson stood his ground, even managed to connect a left hook in some exchange. After a brief exchange the fight went to ground with Jackson sprawling & had a front guillotine but was not deep, inaction saw them stood up.

Round 2, Fahmi again uses high kick and speed, got Jackson on the ground but Jackson landed on top. Fahmi reverse and move to full mount…delivering ground & pound, Jackson tries to maneuver out but gave his back & Fahmi managed to sink in a deep rear naked choke that won the fight.

I have tons of respect for Jackson. Working as an prison officer, he’s already 42 & being active in this sports is really a great achievement in itself. Looking forward to see Jackson continue to fight and give the youngster in this sports a good fight and perhaps inspire others at his age to keep fighting.

Fahmi still fresh from the fight was still able to lead his Capoiera group for a entertaining performance half way through JFL Semis.


Lightweight. ‘Bon’ Mardanov (Gymbox)vs Malfil Yusof (Karabaw KK).

Bon’s solid built looks like he belongs in the middleweight.
Opening with a thunderous right low kick, top pressure with punches and enter a double leg take down. Ended on side control but head in Malfil’s choke. Escape it, staying heavy, managed to hook Malfil’s right hand in a crucifix…landed heavy bombs of hooks & hammer fists on Malfil’s face. Americana on Malfil’s left arm saw Malfil grimaces in pain and Bon stop attacking with ref Michael Chong ending the fight around minute 1:40

Bon holding on the Americana, showing good sportsmanship when he stop attacking as Malfil seems to be hurt
Bon with his GymBox coach Matt Pellino (L), team mates, Jace and Ahmadjon


Bantamweight. Dean Hamsah (BTS) vs Clement John (Karabaw Tamparuli).

Dean Hamsah is a accomplished Muay Thai competitor, started the 1st round with some kicks and punch keeping Clement at a distance. Clement returned fire with a flurry of kicks and they both ended on the cage with Dean controlling Clement with underhook. Knees by Dean, return knee by Clement…Dean backed off looks like a low blow. A short halt and ref Andy gave Clement a warning.
Restart, Dean was backed off with two punch as Clement press forward. End on cage. Dean had a over & under, attempted to throw but Clement resisted. Scuffle and Clement threw two knees…again Dean grimaces as he hold on his crotch. Low blow again. Andy gave time for Dean to recover & warn Clement.
Restart. Clement connect with inside left kick. Both threw right kick, Dean went low but Clement’s high round house connected. As he saw Dean step back, Clement rushes in with kicks & punches but eventually a knee by him drop Dean again…another low blow?
Restart 3rd time. Dean seems to be hesitant. Clement seems to be snappier. After a right that move back Dean, again Clement rushes in with flurry of punches. As they both hit the cage again, Dean have the upper hand here. He seems to be stronger, controlling the wrestle. Moving to Clement’s left attempted a standing choke, took Clement’s back , hooks in, drop on ground and bell rang.

2nd round. Dean connect with a right outside low kick but as he didnt follow-up Clement sense the opportunity and press forward with punches & kicks. Dean ducked under & took Clement with underhook. Controlling on the cage. Dean clinch on Clement’s body & drop back, Clement attempt to escape but Dean mounted. Clement uses the cage to sit up,  reverse position, stood up but Dean pressured him back to cage. Few seconds of wrestle..move to the other side of the cage. Dean attempt a double leg, Clement counter by sitting low, he flips but Dean quickly maneuver out and got the back. Dean’s hooks in, sinking in a RNC. Working to tighten the grip. Clement rolled & escape, Dean went to full mount & drop few punches as the round stopped.

3rd round. After a stand up exchange where both sides landed some kick & punch, fight went to the cage again, where the slight upperhand is with Dean. At one point as Dean drop low for a double leg, got a single, Clement control Dean’s head and manage shortly to lock Dean’s head and shoulder with his leg and started to hammer away…But Dean escaped and took top position.

Dean won a very close fight by split decision. Kudos to Clement for showing much heart and big potential. Dean in his winning speech acknowledge Clement’s determination and spirit & reminded himself when he first started fighting.

Clement John – an upcoming potential fighter – photo courtesy of DEB GAUGES
Dean & his BTS team mates

Dean last fight was in ladder match MIMMA3 where he lost, but in April he was in a tough fight in Fight Fest 1 where he won a gruelling MMA fight vs Azrin Kadri of team NOMAD. He was supposed to fight Effendy Kalai in the finals but pull out due to exhaustion. But this fight will materialise in June 6, D1 Fighting Championship . Looks like short rest for Dean. Give us another good fight Dean!

Heavyweight : Kent Tham (Karabaw KK) vs Md Khairul (Karabaw Tamparuli)

A very short fight indeed this one, ended in tap out by Md Kairul. Md Khairul rushes in attempting take down but Kent backed off and secured a standing guillotine that end the fight at 13 seconds.

Kent will also continue his MIMMA3 journey as he has qualified for the quarter-finals. All the best big guy, give him the support to retain MIMMA heavyweight belt for Sabah.

Kent sinking in a perfect standing guillotine


 Lightheavyweigh : Nicholas Sarigus (Karabaw KK) vs Lee Kah Sing (Karabaw Sipitang).

Heavy hitter Nicholas seems to have slim down and look fitter since the JFL ladder match.
He won the semis at the 2nd minute of 1st round as Lee seems to be in pain and could not go on


Lightheavyweight : Wun Yit Wun (NOMAD) vs Hamid Ismail.

Wun won by walkover as Hamid was injured.

LightWeight : Samuel Lai (BTS) vs Md Noor Gani (Karabaw Sipitang)

Again Sam goes in a fight facing a striker. This time his ex BTS team mate, Noor Gani. As in my previous post about this fight, Sam is looking to end it fast…to be able to support and corner his wife Val in the co main event.

Both enter the center with orthodox stand…Sam misses with a right low kick.
Noor Gani threw a left front roundhouse, connect but got caught, Sam instantly went for a take down, holding on a double leg, move to side control. Noor Gani attempt to wriggle out but Sam stayed heavy, passes Noor Gani’s guard to full mount, here comes the punches. Noor Gani was still able to block a few punch initially but as Sam continue to rain on the punches , he covers up and ref Michael Chong stop the fight. Giving Sam the TKO win in round one 1:45
According to Sam, the fight went exactly as planned, Dean Hamsah cornered him and told him , based on Noor Gani’s style, let him come in and then you do your thing.
In his winning speech…

” Well…he gave me a leg,

   what do you expect me to do?”

Sam will be meeting Bon Mardanov in the finals which he thinks will be an interesting fight as Bon is his friend and he even help cornered Bon during Borneo Fighting Championship 2.
Sam is also through to the quarter finals of MIMMA3, defeating Thinagaran of Johor with a rear naked choke. Wishing ‘The Ground Maestro’ all the best for MIMMA3!

Flyweight: Jason Chalton (Karabaw Tamparuli) vs Teo Seng Ming (Tomoi Labuan)

Significant height difference here. Round 1 start and Jason didn’t waste time, attacking forward, snapping some quick punch. Pressing Teo on the cage, trying to scoop Teo’s leg for a double leg take down. But Teo defended with underhook. Managed a take down & crawl up to full mount. Teo trying to hip escape, Jason controlling with punch, he unleashed with heavy ground and pound. Teo tried to hit back with his knees on Jason’s back while using his long arm to block, at the 10 seconds signal, Jason zoom in on the Teo’s left arm & lean back for an armbar. It look tight, amazingly Teo held on & got save by the bell.

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Round 2, started with punch exchange between the two & Jason close in grabbing Teo’s waist. Teo let go some knees. Teo rain some punch close to the back of Jason’s head as he look up after being cautioned by ref Andy, Jason took him down. Teo held on to Jason’s neck but on a mount position Jason managed to free his head & got to full mount. Dropping bombs from top, Teo’s lanky arms in the way. As per 1st round, right at 10 seconds mark, Jason swung in for an armbar again…adjusting the arm for a good lock but again Teo save by the bell.

Round 3, Teo being a muay thai specialist did not use enough kicks to create the distance, he threw 2 kicks in the start which Jason easily avoided and he closes in , threw knees and push Teo to the cage. Teo held on with underhooks but Jason kept the pressure. Teo shot a few punch on Jason’s head, as Jason locked his hands & attempt a take down. Teo got a guillotine and drop down, Jason in side control, passes guard and move to mount & got his head out of Teo’s hold, staying on top with some ground and pound to secure the round.

Jason won by unanimous decision.

Featherweight : Raymond Mah (Karabaw Tamparuli) vs Ricky Cheong (Karabaw Sipitang)

Again another battle between Karabaws.
Ricky took this fight in short notice replacing Hafizul Hakim. Raymond didn’t make weight on 1st attempt at weigh in. Managed to hit the mark after some light work out.

Short feeling out process. Ricky lunge in with a left, Raymond slide out & uses underhook to swing Ricky to the other side. Ricky held on & responded with few upper cuts to the body. Raymond swung a right cross, disengage and then stalk forward on Ricky. Few heavy exchange.
Then Raymond shot a low right kick to Ricky’s left thigh, Ricky side step and lunge forward but Raymond was quick to block, Ricky’s head may have knock on Raymond’s face and he fell to the ground with Raymond following with a right cross. Ricky uses his guard to block & tries to push Raymond away. Raymond circle around looking for opening. Drop a right hand, connect, shot in another one…this one was hard as Ricky’s head got snap on the canvas, third right quickly followed but ref Andy jump in to stop the fight at 1:24 for a KO

Raymond dropping hard right that KOed Ricky


1st Co-Main Event:
Female Strawweight : Valerian Rosario (Sabah Top Team) vs Nur Sakinah ( Karabaw Sipitang)

Val came off a successful MIMMA3 ladder match in April to progress to quarters. Sakinah although consider still new in MMA, met a seasoned kickboxer and her journey in MIMMA3 stop at the ladder match, but she gave a good 3 round of fight.

Salute to two of the top amatuer MMA female fighters of Sabah

For JFL Semis, Sakinah is very determined to make a mark for herself, you can see it in her eyes. She started the 1st round with a right that connected clean. Val clinch with over & under & push to the cage & both exchange knees. Val had success with a few right knees. Val move to Sakinah’s right, but Sakinah drop a few punches with her left hand as she tries to clinch on Val’s head with her right,
Val drop to get a single on the left leg, posture up to get a mount but Sakinah’s back was high on the cage & Sakinah manage to drop Val in the middle of the cage.
Val cling on a triangle..Sakinah sum up her strength & drop Val on her back,…twice.

2nd round, Sakinah the aggressor threw few combinations punches. Val kept her at bay with a few front kicks. Fight end at the cage where Val kept the pressure and again found success with some good knees and few body shots. Sakinah push out Val, disengage & threw two left on Sakinah’s face. Stand up exchanges ,..Sakinah with the punches & Val with the push kicks. Fight went to cage. Val looking for a single leg take down. Sakinah defended fiercely. Eventually Val got the mount & few punch to the head to end the round.

Close first 2 round, with Val having the slight upper hand. Into the 3rd round, Val started with kicks, counter by Sakinah, but checked, Val lunge in got a right punch. Clinch on the cage. Guillotine attempt by Sakinah, Val escape & connect with a right hook. Kicks exchange, Val even threw in a spinning back kick. Fight went to cage, this time Sakinah pressure. A brief stand up exchange and Val shot in a single kick to avoid Sakinah’s barrage of punch. Got the take down. Got the mount as the bell rang.

There was a long wait for the result as both fighters anxiously wait for the ref to tally the scores…and when it came, what a surprise…a draw!?!. Judges announce a 4th round decider to determince the final score.

(4th round review pending- as video not available as of this time )

Both Sakinah & Valerian display warrior spirit. They give their all in the fight. Hats off to them for giving fight fans a great fight.

Valerian certainly inspired more wives and mothers to take up this sports, showing them how pure determination overcome any challenges.
She teaches in a SK Bingkor Keningau, teach part time in Jacky Fitness Keningau, and drive down regularly from Keningau to KK to train at Sabah Top Team & Borneo Tribal Squad. All that and plus her responsibility as a mother and wife…kudos to the Supermom!

Sakinah is still young. Looking at how new she is in this sports ( she took up training in Karabaw KK in Aug 2014), it’s certainly impressive of how much she has accomplished. Taking this lost into her stride as a good learning, no doubt she will come back stronger.

For co-main event, the female has set the standard bar high. It’s for the male to put an equally good show or better.

Co-Main Event: Flyweight- Faizal Dzid (Karabaw KK) vs Eddy Kalai (Kalai Boxing).

As expected Faizal as a capoiera student was moving fast. Eddy very cautious. Faizal misses with two low kick but was still fast moving side to side. Eddy patiently wait for the opening, bam!.. connect with a front hook with his left hand as Faizal attempt a low right kick. Faizal bopping around suddenly shot for a single leg take down and got it, but it wasn’t long. Eddy controled Faizal’s body with a good sprawl, work his way up & threw a knee. Eddy looks the stronger one as he swung around Faizal to disengage.
Faizal misses with a low kick & front kick. Eddy miss with left hook, Faizal went low for a single, spun around, Eddy sensing this move sprawl to defend. He let Faizal up, prefering to do this stand up style. In the middle of the round. Eddy got Faizal on the floor, with side control, almost got the mount, but posture up and drop a few heavy right but Faizal defended well.

2nd round. Faizal with a few good attempt with kicks & punch but only connect with the first low kick. Eddy returned fire…Faizal went for a take down, Eddy sprawl and defended very well. He let Faizal stand back up. Eddy connect clean with a reverse right, followed by a few hooks, Faizal counter punch and push forward, Eddy clinch with underhook, move to Faizal’s right, trip his leg and executed a beautiful throw. From there on Faizal looked a bit dazed. Eddy control the pace, pushed him on to the ground, and started to rain hammer fists, Andy steps in at 1:37 to give the win to Eddy.

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Eddy continued his good run in JFL, showing good timing with his punch and take down defense and providing fight fans with highlight reel of good throws. ( in JFL quarter finals , he executed two perfect suplex vs Writh Kapotosan)


Co-Main Event: Bantamweight- Md. Hasbullah (Keningau MMA) vs Karimov Ahmadjon (Gymbox)

I was in for a surprise for this fight. Honestly I do not know much about this kid from Keningau ( a town in interior of Sabah, 3 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu). I’ve seen Ahmadjon ( Jon as he is known ) fought in the trial and ladder match which he had a TKO win vs Effendy Kalai. he looks sharp and dangerous. And most recently qualified for the quarter finals in MIMMA3 fighting in the Foreign Pride category
Hasbullah had a walk over win in JFL ladder match and lost at the MIMMA3 ladder match.

1st round, both sizing up each other. Hasbullah cracks with a low kick. Jon measure with his left and threw a right cross which Hasbullah ducked under, cocked his right hand and unleashed an overhand right that shooked Jon and made him stepped back. Hasbullah misses with a one two combo. Snapped a low kick that slapped Jon’s thigh.
As they were circling each other, Hasbullah exploded into a jumping back kick, hit hard on Jon’s body, Hasbullah jump in with a right hand. Jon clinch and drop Hasbullah to the ground. Passes Hasbullah’s guard to half guard, slipped Hasbullah’s right arm into his leg to a crucifix and started to drop bombs on Hasbullah’s face. Hasbullah pushes with the hip and escaped, got up and droved forward for a take down but Jon controlled with underhook, sprawl & swung him to the other side. But Hasbullah was relentless, continue to drive through, circled around and got the take down and into side control. Briefly got the full mount before Jon did a reversal into Hasbullah’s guard. Then he passes one leg, then the 2nd leg, postured up and swung some hard punch on Hasbullah.
Hasbullah tries to escape, almost gave his back to Jon, and position change as Hasbullah went on top. In Jon’s half guard, Hasbullah began to knee Jon’s left side. End 1st round

Review of 2nd Round and 1st part of round 3 pending as video yet from organisers. My battery ran out..  : (  

3rd round ended with Hasbullah caught in Jon’s triangle, but he stayed active and drop some punches

Hasbullah got the split decision win. This young lad from Keningau showed true fighting spirit. Going into the fight vs Ahmadjon, with Jon’s record of defeating Effendy Kalai didnt worry him at all. ( will post a story on Hasbullah soon ). Hope to see him putting up a great show again in the final. As for Ahmadjon, I guess this was not his night but wishing him all the best for his journey in MIMMA3 Foreign Pride category where he will fight Dzafarof Kushdil from Russia in the quarter finals.

Main Event: Featherweight- Jace Law (Gymbox) vs Khairul Anwar (NOMAD)

This fight will see two different dominant style. Khairul started BJJ in 2011. But over the years training together with his members in team NOMAD has broaden his repertoire of skills, especially when he train with fighters like Adrian Tham ( MIMMA1 Heavyweight Champ) & Richie Ismail
(MIMMA2 finalist)
Jace Law’s coming in from a KO win in MIMMA3 ladder match looking for another fast win. Training in the state of the art GymBox in Kuching, Jace has serious KO power in his hand. His wrestling and ground game has also improve with guidance from Matt Pellino.

1st round, Jace came in with a crisp left jab that snapped Khairul’s head back, followed by a cross that barely misses. Now with a triple combo, jab cross jab, 1st 2 strikes connect, follow again by punches, Khairul was returning punch but didnt hit as Jace hand was faster. Fight went to the middle, more combo punch from Jace, most found it’s mark, Khairul surprisingly still willing to stand & trade punches. Jace push forward with barrage of punches. Khairul attempt a take down, but didnt not have the forward momentum, Jace easily defended it. They stood and trade more punches, Jace’s punches again connect, one good right drop Khairul.
From top Jace drop some viscious right repeatedly. Goodness… Khairul is still in the fight, he managed to roll & got on top and into side control. Passes Jace guard & got full mount. Now he is starting to score with ground and pound. Crowd erupted to cheers. Some good punch landed clean, Jace avoid damage by rolling and gave his back to Khairul, which he immediatly lie back to execute a rear naked choke. Taking his time to look work his grip, Jace defending. Manage to peel off Khairul’s grip, immediately took the opening to roll & got up to standing. This is where he wants the fight to be, unleashing combos of punch looking for a KO. One of the punch drop Khairul. Jace jumps in, Khairul with the high guard but Jace was still able to land some good punch.
Khairul defends, caught Jace’s right hand with his left, Jace still raining punch with his free hand.
Khairul left leg crosses on Jace head and he executed an armbar which roll Jace down, Jace tap out at 2:41.
The crowd was estatic! Khairul ran around the cage screaming in joy. What a win!

Khairul revealed later that the game plan set by his Team NOMAD was surprisingly stand and brawl. They work him so hard in training. They not only prepared him on the ground game but also on the stand up too.

” Bite down hard on the mouth-guard, chin down and brawl!”

Khairul was glad he stucked to the game plan. He knew Jace was strong, but when the first few strike connect then he really realized Jace’s power, but he kept telling himself,..” hang in there, don’t get KOed ” Staying calm in face of adversity is not easy, require mental toughness.
And regular training perfected his techniques, once he sense Jace’s hand didn’t pull back after punching, he grab it and wait for the perfect moment to cross his leg and execute the armbar, it seems to be like instinct. So new fighters out there… the message is…train, train & train some more.

This win Khairul dedicated it to his Team NOMAD brothers that has prepared him well for this epic battle against a formidable opponent. To Valor Martial Arts run by Richie Ismail for the great place to train and his sponsor KK POMADE HOUSE.

As for Jace, tapping out I believe was a good move as the armbar was tight and he still have MIMMA3 quarter finals to do, so keeping himself injury free was certainly a wise move. But still he was surprised by Khairul’s ability to absorb those hard punches. The first time he dropped Khairul and executing those ground and pound he was wondering why the ref didn’t stopped the fight.
Jace knows his strenght is on the stand up, he prefers to stand & trade, nevertheless he does not neglect ground game training. He work a lot on positioning and escaping.
Being a warrior, Jace very determined to improve on his mistakes and is set to redeem himself in MIMMA3, all the best to the Warrior from Sarawak.

JFL Semis are done, and it was worthy of a final, good news is the finals are yet to come. Let’s hope for greater and more exciting fight in the finals. Warriors …you have yourself to be proud of…train hard, fight easy. To the organising team, pat yourself at the back for a job well done.
Shout out to the sponsors, thank you for making this possible.
As for Sensei Rayner, the head of JFL, fantastic job,…and all the best to you for D1 FC : Rise Above the Rest on 6 June 2015.

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