Thursday , February 2 2023

Star fighters reign at Vietnam’s first pro mixed martial arts championship


The first seven mixed martial arts champions of Vietnam were named in the 2022 LION Championship which has a total prize of VND1.6 billion ($64,000).

One of the most anticipated fights was between Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat, a household name in the Vietnamese MMA scene, and young talent Nguyen Tien Long in the 60-kg category. Both fighters have brought audiences a great show.

Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat (R) and Nguyen Tien Long during the mens 60-kg final of LION Championship in Phu Quoc on November 26, 2022. Photo by LION Championship

Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat (R) and Nguyen Tien Long during the men’s 60-kg final of LION Championship in Phu Quoc on November 26, 2022. Photo by LION Championship

Long, 20, with his great physique and wrestling skills, put 33-year-old Nhat down on the floor many times. But with his experience, Nhat used grappling skills to escape Long’s wrestling holds. Nhat also countered and had accurate strikes on Long. After five rounds, Nhat won as two out of three referees gave him a higher score.

The seven final fights were held Saturday night in the southern Phu Quoc Island.

The 70-kg category saw an intense fight between Tran Quang Loc and Vietnamese-Polish Michael Kamil Nguyen Van. Loc faced a lot of difficulties with Michael’s combat skills but still won the match after five rounds.

The women’s 52-kg final saw Muay Thai champ Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc going up against Nguyen Vu Quynh Hoa, with the former finishing the game quickly in round two after a series of punches and a rear naked choke to win by submission.

The fastest game of the night was that between Duong Thanh Binh who defeated Nguyen Thi Uyen Nhi using a submission armbar to win the 57-kg final.

Fighters Pham Van Nam, Russia’s Aleksei Filonenko and Nghiem Van Y won the 56, 77 and 65-kg evens for men, respectively.

The champions got VND200 million each and a belt of the LION Championship, while those who finished second got VND40 million.

LION Championship, the first professional MMA tournament in Vietnam, took place from June to November, with the participation of 120 pro fighters.

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