HK's Lee outgunned in MMA debut
Alex Lee Leung-wang's Muay Thai skills were no match for grappling power as he carried Hong Kong's mixed martial arts (MMA) hopes to the ring in Legends IV at the Asia World-Expo last night.
Lee, 28, was forced to submit with 38 seconds of the first round remaining to a rear naked choke applied by Mark Eddiva of the Philippines, also making his professional debut.
From the opening bell, Eddiva - a bronze medallist in the grappling and striking sport of sanda at last year's Asian Games in Guangzhou - grabbed Lee to force him to the ropes and eventually the mat.
Lee's attempt to keep the action in the stand-up game, where he could attack Eddiva with strikes and kicks, were foiled as the Filipino thwarted knee and elbow strikes to bring the fight to the ground, where he gained side control. With his arm trapped, Lee took repeated blows to the face before Eddiva worked his way to his opponent's back to apply the choke.
'It really was not a good fight, I made some big mistakes when I got him with knees and elbows,' Lee said after the bout, blaming an error he made when moving the wrong way into turtle - a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu defensive position.
'I tried to finish the fight in a hurry, but should have taken more time. When he got side control, he had the upper hand - it's not easy to get out of that when being struck. I turned into turtle and went the wrong way.'
Lee is eager to resume training and fight pro MMA again, which may hearten the Hong Kong-based Legend promotion team, which aims to build a stable of local fighters. After a record of 20 victories in Muay Thai, Lee underwent 18 months of intensive BJJ and grappling skills to prepare for last night's debut.
Meanwhile, New Zealand policeman Pat Crawley made short work of India's Bhupesh Kamble after a takedown, finishing the contest with strikes, and Australian Tony Rossini tapped out to a guillotine in the second round to give China's Li Jingliang victory.
Last night's bouts, held over three five-minute rounds, included a bantamweight tournament with the final to be held at Legends V. Yao Honggang of China sealed his place in the final with a unanimous judges' decision over Michael Mortimer of Australia.
Yao will face South Korean showman Jo Nam-jin who defeated Yohan Mulia Legowo of Indonesia with a rear naked choke in the second round. In addition to his famed wrestling skills, Jo at times took to clowning, generating a mixed reaction from fervent fight fans. Either way, they will be looking forward to a Korea-China final clash.