Rebel Fighting Championship debuted in Guangzhou on May 30 to shouts of joy, pity and rabid enthusiasm from the throngs of media and MMA fans in attendance. Titled Rebel FC 8: A Warrior’s Return, the combat event brought over 4,000 attendees to Tianhe Sports Center despite torrential rainfall that hammered the city that evening.
Over the course of the night, 20 MMA athletes slugged it out in 10 exciting bouts, with beefy MCs, ring girls and electrifying dance and DJ performances rounding out the experience.
Much to the chagrin of Brazilian, Ukrainian and Filipino MMA fans, ‘A Warrior’s Return’ saw all participating Chinese MMA contestants defeat their foreign opponents – which included Philippine martial artist Jaypee Espinosa, Brazil's Marcelo Tenorio and Konstantin Linnik of the Ukraine.
In the 70-kilogram lightweight championship, Chinese fighter Wu ‘hammer master’ Chengjie squared off against Jaypee Espinosa. Defying audience expectations, Espinosa was defeated in two minutes and 24 seconds by technical knockout after being tossed to the floor by Wu and viciously attacked with a flurry of punches.
In another adrenaline-pumping matchup, Liu Wenbo, considered China’s premier heavyweight fighter, battled Marcelo Tenorio of Brazil. The two highly-skilled MMA athletes gave combat-hungry fans three rounds of intense fighting, with Liu ultimately winning by points, securing him the heavyweight title.
The grand finale of ‘A Warrior’s Return’ was a match between Wang Sai of China and Ukrainian championship fighter Constantine Linnik. Wang, previously dubbed ‘the fire unicorn,’ is known for his fast and accurate punches and kicks, skills he put to work to defeat Linnik in just one minute and 44 seconds into the first round.
After the match, Wang accepted a challenge from Brazilian fighter Adriano Belbo. The two will meet each other in the ring this August in Beijing.
With professionally executed events and more high-level fighters joining the fray, Rebel Fighting Championship is set to visit more Chinese cities in the coming months. So fans, stay tuned!
All photos provided to Newsgd