First MMA (mixed martial arts) event in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam


A night of MMA fights in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam

We experienced a great moment yesterday, the 6th of October 2013. While not the very first MMA (mixed martial arts) show in Vietnam (there was one last year organized by the same gyms as today), this was a significant event in terms of size and preparation that can certainly go down as making MMA history in Vietnam.

Seamless organization, the best I’ve seen in any event in Vietnam so far, a great venue, the Saigon Sports Club (the most impressive facilities for MMA training I’ve seen in Vietnam and elsewhere too), talented and tough fighters, sponsors doing a great job (Thanks to the Hard Rock Café for the free drinks and great food) and an enthusiastic crowd.

MMA fighting in Saigon, Vietnam

MMA training camps in Ho Chi Minh City made this happen: SSC and Liên Phuong

Two gyms brought this event to life: Saigon Sports Club and Liên Phong.

Saigon Sports Club, besides offering some great facilities, can boast having Dave Menne (from the U.S., the first ever Ultimate Fighing Championship -UFC- middleweight champion) as their main coach. Other accomplished trainers are Andy Thrasher (from Birmingham, U.K., Muay Thai World Champion), Sylvain (from Paris, France, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert) as well as top Vietnamese and Thai trainers. Thanks Andy and Sylvain for your warm and friendly welcome to the event, nice meeting you guys!

Here is a promotional video for the Saigon Sports Club.

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Liên Phong’s training facilities but I hear that they are really nice with a Japanese inspired training area, making it possible to train hard while being in an aesthetically pleasing surrounding. Besides enjoying the notoriety of Johnny Tri Nguyen, a famous Vietnamese actor and avid martial arts practitioner, they also have a great panel of coaches, most memorable to me is Patrick Nguyen, some of us call him “Mighty Mouse” because, despite not being the tallest one around, he’ll tie anybody into knots, anytime, any day. The trainers and coaches at this camp must be good because practically all of their fighters won their fights in this event!

Johnny Tri Nguyen and Liên Phong training center

Johnny Tri Nguyen and Liên Phong training center

Check out their website at Liên Phong training center.

Photos from the first notable MMA (mixed martial arts) event in Vietnam

Special thanks to the fighters for their heart and effort to make the public enjoy the event. Out of 10 fights, only two were, from my opinion, not crowd-pleasing, the other eight were hard-fought and intense fights, a great ratio for any event!

First of all, my apologies for the mediocre quality of the photos, my Iphone wasn’t up to the task and perhaps that open bar and delicious vodka cocktails had something to do with the ability to keep the camera still while shooting the photos 🙂

Here go some photos to try to describe the excitement we all felt while witnessing this important moment for mixed martial arts in Vietnam.

Some pre-event interviews for the press:

Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_2 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_3

 

A series of fighters getting ready to go to war. Turns out that all of these fighters won their fights:

Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_12 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_14 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_16 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_6 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_10 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_11

 

Some (scrambled and blurry) images of the fights, sorry once more for the bad quality:

Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_17

Looks like a brawl but its not, just the winning team celebrating while the looser lies on the floor.

Looks like a brawl but its not, just the winning team celebrating while the looser lies on the floor.

Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_8

Real MMA and some great talent giving us food for thought about Vietnam's MMA future.

Real MMA and some great talent giving us food for thought about Vietnam’s MMA future.

Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_13 Saigon_MMA_first_MMA_event_Vietnam_15

For sure, no MMA event should take place without good and impartial referees. To guarantee neutrality in the refereeing department, my buddies from Saigon Jiu-Jitsu were among the men in black.

Pre-fight meeting for the referess to get the rules clear

Pre-fight meeting for the referess to get the rules clear

Left to right: Mike (Newcastle, U.K.), Sasha (Vladivostok, Russia) and Steeve (Liverpool, U.K.). Possibly the best MMA referees around :-)

Left to right: Mike (Newcastle, U.K.), Sasha (Vladivostok, Russia) and Steeve (Liverpool, U.K.). Possibly the best MMA referees in South-East Asia 🙂

Cale, from Kansas, U.S.A.

Cale, from Kansas, U.S.A.

In case you would like to see the match-ups and the rules for this Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam:

2013-10-07 11.57.26

2013-10-07 11.56.50

2013-10-07 11.57.00

 

Update 08/10/13

Another photo, contributed by Benji 🙂

MMA in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam

Saigon MMA

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