x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Oliveira lays down a marker

Marcos Oliveira, the Abu Dhabi-based jiu-jitsu instructor, declared the Dh1 million Grand Prix prize was his after a spectacular 17 second victory over Johan Romming.

Hassan al Rumaithi, the Emirati fighter, beat Silviano Valenti at the Exhibition Centre last night.
Hassan al Rumaithi, the Emirati fighter, beat Silviano Valenti at the Exhibition Centre last night.

ABU DHABI // Marcos Oliveira, the Abu Dhabi-based jiu-jitsu instructor, declared the Dh1 million Grand Prix prize was his after a spectacular victory over Johan Romming in the shortest fight at the inaugural mixed martial art (MMA) Abu Dhabi Fighting Championship last night.

The Brazilian landed a right hook to floor his opponent in just 17 seconds of their first-round match at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. "I love this country and I love Abu Dhabi," yelled Oliveira. "No one is going to take this Dh1 million away. This prize is for me." Oliveira was all over Romming when the referee stepped in to stop the fight before further damage was inflicted on the Frenchman. Romming seemed disappointed the fight was stopped, but their would have been fears for his health had it been allowed to continue.

Joining Oliveira in the semi-final, the date for which will be announced shortly, are Britain's Neil Wein, Shamil Abdurahimov, of Russia, and Thierry Sokoudjou.

Wein earned a second-round knockout over Przemyslaw Mysiala, of Poland, and Abdurahimov won a unanimous points decision over Jeff Monson, the American. "This is what I do for a living and I don't want anyone messing around with it," remarked Wein, who unleashed a couple of punches that sent Mysiala crashing to the canvas with a minute left in the second round.

Hassan al Rumaithi, the Emirati, served notice that the host nation has a potential MMA fighter of some promise with a first-round debut victory against Silviano Valenti, of Italy, in the last of the six scheduled fights in the amateur division. Al Rumaithi had the Italian down with a jiu-jitsu "Kimura" throw early on and floored him for a second time soon after. He was peppering his opponents face whenl the referee stopped the fight with more than two minutes remaining in the opening round.

The first four fights of the non-championship event didn't go the full distance. Michele Mirabella, of France, and Aymen ben Ali, the Tunisian, were the first fighters in the octagon and they set the auditorium alive for what was to come later in the night. Mirabella earned a TKO at the end of the first round having pinned his opponent to the canvas and pumping both his fists on his face. Malik Omarov, of Russia, and Maiky Reiter, the Brazilian, were the most impressive in the non-championship category.

Omarov landed a few kicks to the head and landed a left hook to send Arzan Quasid, the UK-based Iranian, crashing to the canvas . Reiter had another Iranian, Abbas Mollahamahdi, down and out with an arm lock. Tam Khan scored a third-round knockout over Evasio D'onforio, and Abdallah abou Hamdan received a walkover from the Frenchman Loic Marty because of an injury. apassela@thenational.ae