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Asia MMA Awards: The best of Asian MMA honoured at inaugural gala in Hong Kong

Martin Nguyen and Seo Hee Ham led the list of award winners on a glittering night in Hong Kong

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The Fight Nation

The very best in Asian mixed martial arts was celebrated at a gala evening in Hong Kong as The Fight Nation presented their inaugural Asia MMA Awards.

Seventeen awards were presented in all, with the region’s best fights, best fighters and best events all recognised, as well as welcome awards celebrating the best of photography, gyms, equipment and clothing.

The Male Fighter of the Year award went to Australian star Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, who made history by becoming the first fighter in Asian MMA to hold major world titles in two weight classes.

Nguyen knocked out long-reigning ONE featherweight champion Marat Gafurov, then followed up with an even more spectacular one-punch KO of ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang to become a simuntaneous two-weight champ in ONE Championship.

The Female Fighter of the Year gong went to South Korean fan favourite Seo Hee-Ham for her thrilling year that saw her become the ROAD FC atomweight champion.

“Hamderlei Silva” captured the vacant title with a third-round TKO finish of Mina Kurobe last June, then successfully defended her title with a first-round knockout of Jinh Yu Frey in December.

Event of the Year went to the UFC for UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Gastelum last November. The event saw 15,128 fans pack the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai as Gastelum sensationally knocked out former UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping in the main event.

And Hong Kong’s own Alain Ngalani received a rousing reception as he picked up an award for the Knockout of the Year for his stunning one-hitter quitter on Hideki Sekine at ONE: TOTAL VICTORY last September.

When titans collide. Alain "The Panther" Ngalani will soon be striking up a storm in ONE Super Series!

When titans collide. Alain 'The Panther' Ngalani will soon be striking up a storm in ONE Super Series!

Geplaatst door ONE Championship op Donderdag 3 mei 2018

The event was the brainchild of Matt Eaton, founder and CEO of Tap Media. He said: “The Asia MMA Awards are a celebration of all the things we love about the sport and pay tribute to the people who get in that cage and put on a show for us all.

“We want to give these fighters the recognition they are due, but to also honour those who are sometimes missed by the spotlight, from head coaches to gym owners, photographers, ring girls and the brands that support the fighters on their journey.”

Asia MMA Awards 2018: All the winners

Best Walkout
Kevin Belingon (ONE Championship)

Photographer of the Year
David Ash

Best Technical Equipment
Venum

Amateur Fighter of the Year
Theebaan Govindasamy (MIMMA)

Best Destination Gym
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA

Ring Girl of the Year
Red Dela Cruz (UFC)

Event of the Year
UFC Shanghai: Bisping vs Gastelum

Most Functional Clothing Brand
Reebok

Rookie of the Year
Hwang In-Su (ROAD FC)

Gym of the Year
Team Lakay

Submission of the Year
Kang Kyung-Ho defeats Guido Cannetti (triangle) @ UFC Fight Night 127

Head Coach of the Year
George Hickman (Tiger Muay Thai & MMA)

Knockout of the Year
Alain Ngalani defeats Hideki Sekine @ ONE: Total Victory

TFN Readers’ Choice Award
Max Leali

Fight of the Year
Moon Jea-Hoon vs Asakura Kai (Road FC)

Male Fighter of the Year
Martin Nguyen (ONE Championship)

Female Fighter of the Year
Seo-Hee Ham (ROAD FC)

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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