There were no shortage of talking points at the end of ONE Fighting Championship: "Destiny of Warriors" but one of the most impressive performances of the night was that of local favourite Peter Davis. The hometown hero put on a stand up clinic to blow Kim Hock away in under a minute.
What makes Davis's performance against the Singaporean national boxing champion particularly unusual is that he accredits it to an obscure form of Malaysian Kung Fu which he holds a black belt in,
"My style is Wuji Chuan which is more of a street fighting technique, it's striking based, although we do train ground technique but I top up that up by working with Suyan Queiroz at Muayfit who's a BJJ black belt. When I throw strikes I use my entire body weight, I'm not just using my arms to punch I try to throw the full weight of my body into every strike."
The turning point in the fight came when Davis missed with a high kick but allowed his momentum to carry him through to land a spinning back kick to the chin of his opponent. It stunned the Singaporean and might well have been the strike which broke his jaw in two places,
"The back kick is more of a defensive move and maybe I was lucky to land it so cleanly but I train for that and I knew it can connect. I noticed it got him and he didn't look too confident, there was something in his eyes which told me to go forward and so I did. I don't know if it was the back kick which broke his jaw, I landed some knees which looked pretty heavy so it might have been one of those," said the Malaysian.
With Hock hurt Davis swarmed all over him throwing hooks, uppercuts and a flying knee before unloading a further barrage of knees which caused Matt Hume to step in and call a stop to the fight. Some ringside observers questions whether the stoppage was premature but according to the man doing the damage the referee made exactly the right call,
"Matt Hume did a very good job of stopping the fight when he did because I was going for the knockout and if he hadn't stopped it it would have been worse, I did a few knees and I saw blood coming from his face and then I did a couple of uppercuts and the referee didn't stop and so I thought 'sorry buddy... more knees'. I really did think that as in a split second you do still have time to think but Matt Hume did a very good call, if you weren't as close as him you might not think so but Kim was in a very bad way."
Hock is 10 years the junior of Davis but after his impressive submission win at ONE FC: 'War of the Lions' in Singapore he had a lot of momentum and was widely favoured to win this fight. The Malaysian thinks that his age and experience made the difference but took no pleasure in inflicting injuries which could potentially prevent Hock from competing again this year,
"Kim Hock's a very nice guy but I was very focussed and confident because him being so much younger made it feel like I was fighting one of my students. I wish him a fast recovery and I feel bad about breaking his jaw and knocking a tooth out but its rules of engagement. He's a good fighter and I took him very seriously, I am sure he will be back"
One of the reasons that Davis's emphatic performance came as such a surprise was that he made an underwhelming debut at ONE FC: 'Battle of Heroes in Jakarta earlier this year. Up against a fairly one dimensional Indonesian wrestler he was never able to demonstrate his striking prowess and appeared to be en route to a decision loss when he pulled it around to win via triangle choke late in the third round.
Fighting for ONE FC in Malaysia Davis looked a completely different fighter and the 30 year old puts this down to a number of factors,
"I had problems cutting weight last time but this time I had a really good weight cut. It was cage rust as well, it's a big stage and a big cage, ONE FC is the biggest organization in Asia, and I knew the Indonesian was a wrestling champion so I played a cautious game. This time I knew I was up against a striker so I went in there with a no fear attitude because I knew I could oustrike the striker, that's my world."
Davis is an actor and model in Malaysia which had caused some to question his credibility as a mixed martial artist. He is happy to have set the record straight and also to have had the opportunity to fight in his hometown in front of a sold out crowd as Stadium Negara,
"I'm very happy that there were so many people there and it was great to fight in front of my home crowd, they cheered me on and they wouldn't let me lose so I knew I had to win. The first time I fought in Malaysia was last December and there were about 200 people there, I never thought then that I would fight in front of almost 10,000 people here but as soon as I signed with ONE FC I knew it was a possibility."
This was Davis's fourth consecutive win and he is now 2-0 fighting for ONE FC. With the popularity of MMA in Malaysia increasing at an amazing rate he is perfectly positioned to capitalize and is enjoying the additional exposure,
"In the past people just knew me as a model but now to a lot of people I am a fighter. It has definitely raised my profile and I am sure I will be seeing the fight again because it's going to be on three different channels in Malaysia, Astro, ESPN and Star Sports."
Zorobabel Moreria's notorious soccer kick KO of Roger Huerta might have deprived Davis of his 'Knock Out of The Night' bonus but it didn't take the shine of a very impressive evening's work which showed that even in 2012 there is still room for traditional martial artists to succeed in MMA.