There aren't too many Kung Fu fighters holding their own in mixed martial arts (MMA) but Malaysian lightweight Peter Davis is the exception which proves the rule. He has the sort of traditional martial arts background which fight fans like to mock but no one was laughing last time he fought.
Least of all his Singaporean opponent.
In the sort of move which few fighters would dare to attempt outside of a sparring session, Davis threw a left high kick which missed but simply used the momentum to spin around again and throw a spinning back kick which connected clean with the jaw of Kim Hock. (video)
The performance was perhaps overshadowed by that of his compatriot Adam Kayoom, who won a hard-fought decision victory over Gregor Gracie, not to mention Zorobabel Moreira's controversial knockout of Roger Huerta, but it did wonders for the credibility of Davis who up until that point had been better known in Malaysia as an actor and model.
The 30 year old, who made his MMA debut in 2004, has a very unique philosophy to martial arts which he enjoys applying inside the cage.
"Fighting for me is very creative, I like to try different things and see what works. My style of fighting is Wuji Chuan but what that really means is 'like water,' so you can do whatever you want as long as you can make it flow."
The striking didn't flow quite so freely the first time he fought for ONE FC when he was frustrated by Indonesian wrestler Ngabdi Mulyadi. Davis said he learned from that experience and will never put in such a poor performance again.
"Fortunately, I won the fight by submission but it was my first time fighting at 155 pounds and I have been fighting at 170 since the age of 23 and cutting weight takes a lot of getting used to. I'm sorry I didn't make it more entertaining for the crowd, but I hope I made up for it with my second fight for ONE FC."
The question is whether this 'Wuji Chuan' style will serve Davis as well when he starts to face more experienced opponents, but he believes that with the right training, he has the tools to take on anyone in the lightweight division.
"I am very confident in my striking, so far my style has been effective and I still have a lot more tricks which I haven't had a chance to use yet. Guys like Shinya Aoki and Kotetsu Boku have so much experience, I'd need to work a lot on my wrestling and submissions before I fought either of them but if ONE FC wanted to make the fight then why not?"
He has a very unconventional style and likes to crouch down, switch stances constantly and then lunge in with strikes. It is unusual but effective, as Hock discovered to his cost with the Singaporean's jaw already broken in two places when referee Matt Hume stepped in to save him from further punishment.
Davis will get another opportunity to showcase this skill set against 2-0 Indonesian Leo Krishna at ONE FC: 'Return of Warriors' next week and hopes to carry on where he left off last time with another explosive performance.
"I've been to a decision a couple of times and it sucks! I want to finish this fight in the first round, I know Leo Krishna has good BJJ and has won a lot of competitions and he has said he wants to frustrate me so it's going to be up to me to attack him and I plan to win by KO again."
Davis admits that he does cross train in Muay Thai, boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) but believes that it is his expertise in the obscure martial art known as Wuji Chuan which gives him the edge over opponents who come from more traditional backgrounds.
"Sometimes a trainer look at my stance or the way I do certain things and tell me that I am doing it wrong and try to correct me because my style of fighting is unusual but, so far, it works. Wuji is all about using your instincts and I think it enables you to express yourself more than some martial arts, I try to do stuff that other people haven't seen before because it means they won't be prepared for it."
As a catwalk model with a black belt in Kung Fu the Malaysian does not have the sort of credentials which most MMA fans consider desirable in a fighter. Davis has it all to prove every time he steps inside the cage, particularly after putting in a lacklustre performance on his ONE FC debut, and will need to do something special again at Stadium Putra next Saturday if he is to silence the doubters.
The presence of fighters with unusual or unconventional styles makes the MMA world a much more interesting place and Davis definitely falls into this category. If he can dispense with Krishna in the same style he did Hock then a few more fighters might start to switch Muay Thai and BJJ for some good old fashioned Kung Fu.