Jadamba Narantungalag tasted victory at Legend Fighting Championship 6. | File Photo: Taro Irei
Despite a 10-month absence from the ring, Jadamba Narantungalag showed no signs of rust in the main event of Saturday’s Legend Fighting Championship 6.
The 35-year-old Mongolian out-struck and outworked lightweight champion Adrian Pang at City of Dreams in Macau, winning a split decision and claiming the Legend 155-pound strap in his promotional debut.
Pang brought the action to the floor in the opening moments of the three-round affair, only to find himself snared in a guillotine choke for the better part of two minutes. After extracting his head, “The Hunter” tried for the first of several leglocks which yielded no result. The remainder of the round belonged to Narantungalag, who attacked with knees and elbows from top position while avoiding armbar attempts.
In round two, Narantungalag continued neutralizing Pang’s takedowns and escaping from the champion’s dangerous heel hooks. When the Mongolian did find himself on his back, Narantungalag was able to sweep skillfully and punish Pang with punches from mount or knees from north-south position. Perhaps the most impressive piece of striking from the bout came in the form of a Narantungalag front kick, which snapped Pang’s head around and earned an approving nod from the Australian.
Narantungalag sealed his victory in the third round, cracking Pang with a trio of hard left hooks before catching the bloodied titleholder in another guillotine. Pang survived the choke and managed to stay on top, where he used elbows to open a cut above Narantungalag’s left eyebrow. After being cleared by the ringside physician, Narantungalag finished strong, scoring a takedown and mounting Pang in the fight’s waning moments.
After 15 minutes, judges Erick Buthsombat and Daniel Charles Pereira scored the contest 29-28 in favor of Narantungalag, while judge Henry Chan cast a dissenting 29-28 card for Pang.
“Pang is a very good fighter and his striking is very hard, strong,” Narantungalag said in a postfight interview. “His heel hook is very strong, but I couldn’t tap out because I wanted to be the first Mongolian MMA champion. I couldn’t tap.”
The show’s semi-main event saw New Zealander Sam Brown earn a hard-fought split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) over newly minted light heavyweight Wenbo Liu in Legend’s first 205-pound contest. After a slow-moving first round controlled in the clinch by Liu and a tight second frame spent boxing, Brown came on strong in the third, plowing Liu to the mat four times to drop heavy punches and elbows through the Chinese fighter’s guard.
With Team Quest coaches Pat Healy and Brad Hannah in his corner, sanda stylist Guan Wang snatched a razor-thin decision from Wajutsu Keishukai product Koji Ando. The judges seemed to value the visible damage done by Wang’s standing strikes over Ando’s sustained ground-and-pound assault, awarding the Chinese fighter a split verdict with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29.
Rob Hill found success with chopping leg kicks against Un Sik Song early in their lightweight bout, but it was a short right hand which earned the Australian his first win in three Legend appearances. When Song charged forward to throw a wild combination, Hill saw the opening for a left hook-right cross counter which sent the Korean to the canvas and referee Thomas Fan into action at 3:18 of round one, much to the displeasure of the still-conscious “Tornado.”
Former Legend welterweight titleholder Rodney MacSwain took a lackluster unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27) over South Korean Yong Jae Lee, who was docked one point in the opening round for a pair of accidental knees to the groin of MacSwain.
A pair of former Pancrase fighters impressed on the undercard, as featherweight contender Yusuke Kawanago beat and bloodied Chengjie Wu in a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) and Korean vet Hoon Kim stunned previously unbeaten Aussie welterweight Robert Whittaker with a triangle choke at 3:01 of the first round.
Sengoku veteran Nick Denis needed only 63 seconds to demolish former Bellator bantamweight Nick Mamalis on Friday at Wreck MMA “Unfinished Business” in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. What began as a suplex from Denis ended as a vicious chokeslam which drove Mamalis’ head into the canvas and separated the American from consciousness at 1:03 of round two. Other winners on the evening included Nathan Gunn, who took a five-round decision over Nabil Khatib to claim the Wreck MMA welterweight title, and heavyweight Rolles Gracie, who finished Lee Mein with an arm-triangle choke at the 1:51 mark.
Jose Landi-Jons earned his fourth straight win Friday at Kumite MMA Combate in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, as the 38-year-old vale tudo icon forced a medical stoppage of Samuel Quito at 2:49 of round two. Daniel Acacio punched out Jose Gomes de Ribamar (a.k.a. Zezao Trator) in the second round of their welterweight bout, reportedly setting up a match between Acacio and Japanese vet Ryo Chonan at the as-yet-unannounced next Kumite event.
Dream Super Hulk tournament champion Ikuhisa Minowa made quick work of inexperienced South Korean Young Woo Yu in their middleweight contest at Sunday’s Gladiator 25 in Tokyo. “Minowaman” submitted Yu with a kimura after just 2:55, while Ryuta Noji retained his KPW heavyweight title with a two-round unanimous decision against Carlos Toyota.
Fighting on enemy soil, former two-division King of the Cage champion Tony Lopez snapped the nine-fight winning streak of Russian heavyweight Dmitry Zabolotny at Friday’s MMA Corona Cup 4 in Moscow. Lopez, who improved to 5-3 on the year, survived an early knockdown to finish Zabolotny with a textbook armbar from guard at 4:05 of the opening period.
John Phillips, the Welshman known as “The White Mike Tyson,” defended his Knuckle Up MMA middleweight title with a 56-second injury stoppage against Matt Ewin at Saturday’s KUMMA 8 “Eclipse” in Hull, England. Onetime Bellator lightweight tournament competitor Greg Loughran finished Grant Harris with an arm-triangle choke after 4:18, while debuting muay Thai convert Hannah Stephens submitted Helena Martin via neck crank at 1:35 of round three.
Guam’s “Baby” Joe Taimanglo outpointed well-traveled Hawaiian Harris Sarmiento in their five-round tilt for the vacant Pacific Xtreme Combat featherweight title at Saturday’s PXC 27. Other winners included bantamweight standout Justin Cruz (five-round decision over Trevin Jones), Korean Top Team’s Hyun Gyu Lim (first-round knockout of Ferrid Kheder) and onetime “Ultimate Fighter” contestant J.J. Ambrose (unanimous decision over Sebastien Garguier).