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Gloving up for Myanmar's First MMA Tournament

Oct 09, 2019

Naypyitaw (Myanmar) Oct 09: Fight night is fast approaching in the Garden City of the East.
October 19 sees amateur fighters converge on Yangon for the country's inaugural Mixed Martial Arts event. Organised by Yangon Fight Club (YFC) owner Jason Maung, the tournament will play host to 36 athletes, including foreign participants.
"It's not about making money," Jason tells Metro, taking a break during a training session. "This is about building grassroots talent and getting the ONE Championship to pay attention to the Myanmar fight scene," he explains, referring to Asia's largest martial arts organisation now broadcasting to over 140 countries.
Jason and his partner, MMA pro fighter Nicholas "JJ" Lee (24), initially envisioned a low-key event with local kids flexing their muscles in front of friends. But an avalanche of applications meant shifting venues to Yangon United Sports Complex and purchasing stacks of new safety mats.
With Karate, Judo, Muay Thai and lethwei represented in the tournament, Myanmar's first amateur MMA tournament will likely cement the country's place at the centre of some of the most exciting combat sports in Asia.
Each fight takes place under strict International Amateur Mixed Martial Arts rules, with no protection outside of shin guards. Because the event is in tournament format, some 50 fights will run continuously from doors-open at 12pm until the final bout at 7pm.
Full contact standup and ground striking means that even an amateur event like this one demands fighters put in hours of preparation.
Source: Myanmar Times