Hyung Chun Lee had an advantage in terms of MMA experience going into his heavyweight fight with Amir Aliakbari at Full Metal Dojo (FMD) 7 last weekend, but the debuting Iranian is a two-time wrestling world champion. Either the Korean wasn't aware of his opponent's credentials or he had a point to prove as he shot for an immediate takedown in the opening round.
Unsurprisingly, Aliakbari -- who is being groomed at AKA Thailand to become a future heavyweight titleholder -- easily powered through the takedown attempt and put Lee on his back. From there, the 265-pound wrestling champion was able to unload a barrage of ground and pound which left referee Dana Blouin no option but to step in and save Lee from further punishment.
The Korean came into the fight with a 1-1 record having fought twice this year for Top FC. However, he proved to be no match for Aliakbari who barely broke a sweat in securing the first win of his professional career. Sterner tests surely await the Iranian, but heavyweights won't relish the prospect of facing this world class wrestler inside the cage.
While Aliakbari and Lee tipped the scales at 265 pounds each there was also an opportunity to see one of the top 115-pound prospects in the region in action. Pongsiri Mitsatit extended his professional record to 6-0 with a quickfire win over fellow Thai Wisava Kaweewarakorn, with a barrage of first-round ground and pound finishing the debutant.
Jhaymie Gayman's MMA career is very much in its infancy but the 21 year old showed why he is already being talked about as a potential 115-pound title contender with an impressive win over Cambodia's Do Meng. The Filipino secured an early takedown and was in total control from that point onward, eventually finishing the fight with a first-round rear naked choke, which takes his record to 2-0.
In a welterweight battle which pitted Phuket Top Team's Hisyam Sams against AKA Thailand's Nikolai Kozyrev, it was the Lebanese fighter who prevailed by unanimous decision, improving his record to 2-2-0-1 in the process. There wasn't much to choose between the fighters but the Russian, who drops to 1-1, was cut and had to survive a triangle attempt which probably made the difference on the scorecards.
The Insomnia Night Club was packed for FMD's penultimate event of the year with the crowd and officials all wearing Halloween costumes. Thailand's premiere MMA promotion continues to go from strength to strength and the next stop is Phuket in December.