The Mixed Martial A'rr cruise came to an end earlier this afternoon (Weds., June 3, 2015) as the cruise ship returned to shore after three days at sea, which featured 10 fights and a series of pirate-themed shenanigans.
Amid the "best-dressed pirate" competitions, highly competitive dance offs and excessive consumption of grog (a mixture of rum and water, among other alcoholic ingredients), 20 buccaneering mixed martial arts (MMA) up-and-comers went head-to-head in a cage that was set up by the pool on the top deck of the 710-foot cruise ship, "Libra."
The main event was a match up between Matt Pellino and Nik Harris with the former feasting on a little too much bounty to the extent he missed weight by nearly 10 kilograms. Despite some concern that the overweight American would upset the ballast of the ship the match up went ahead as planned.
Pellino shot for an early takedown and put Harris on his back where he threw a few elbows before diving for a heel hook, which brought the tap at the 1:40 mark. The win is the first for the paunchy American in his professional career and takes him to 1-1 while the Malaysian drops to 6-3.
In the co-main event, Thailand-based Lightweight Dylan Fussell (6-2) took on Dutchman Michell Adelina (4-5) in what turned out to be a grinding fight with the American pressing his opponent up against the cage and controlling the majority of the action, but without landing many significant strikes.
With 90 seconds to go in the final round Adelina managed to break away from the clinch and attacked with a flurry of punches and elbows that had the Team Quest-trained prospect covering up. Fussell recovered quick, but in what was an otherwise uneventful fight, this late surge from the Dutchman probably made the difference under the global MMA scoring system (Pride / Dream / ONE style) with all three judges' seeing it in his favor.
In a major upset, Thai debutant Chamlong Chanream (1-0) survived an early onslaught to stop Allen Chong (1-1) in the final round with a beautiful straight right hand followed by a right soccer kick, which left the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "China" veteran dazed and defenseless.
There were also wins for New Zealand stars Caleb Lally (6-2) and Kaiwhare Kara France (9-5-0-1), who scored first round stoppages over Dindo Camansa (0-3) and Reysaldo Biagtan (0-4), respectively. The pirate-themed cruise was the latest MMA venture from Malaysian telco Tune Talk and there is already talk about future offshore fights being organized by the innovative promoters.