KOTA KINABALU: The wait is over for local mixed martial arts (MMA) practitioners and fans with the announcement of the coming ladder match of the Jesselton Fight League (JFL), which will take place on the Feb 7 at the Mini Putrajaya Auditorium Hall from 9am onwards.
The tryout round of JFL was held on October 18th last year where more than 100 aspiring MMA fighters signed up for the ultimate test.
“We wanted to organise the ladder match sooner,” said JFL founder, Rayner Kinsiong. “However, we were having problems securing a venue as most of them were already fully booked. But we are so grateful to have secured the Mini Putrajaya Auditorium Hall as our venue this round. It’s more than what we could ask for and there are plenty of car park space for spectators,” added Rayner, who is a former national-level karateka and professional MMA fighter currently signed with the biggest MMA promotion in Asia – One Fighting Championship (ONEFC).
Following the tryout, which had seen some weight divisions receiving more participations that others, JFL has decided to reopen some of its weight classes for participation in the first ladder match.
“We have reopened the bantamweight (max 61kg), light-heavyweight (max 93kg), heavyweight (max 120.2kg) and women’s atomweight (max 48kg) divisions for the ladder match as these divisions can still receive more participation,” he said.
After the ladder match in February, JFL will no longer be accepting new participations and aspiring fighters will have to wait for the next season to take part.
About 70 fighters will be fighting their way to qualify for the quarterfinals, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in May.
With more time to prepare in between fights, Rayner said that he is expecting the fighters to show improvements this time around.
In addition to local Sabahan fighters, JFL has also received participations from Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, as well as other Asian countries. The JFL ladder match will have a 3×3 minute-round format in which fighters will fight for three rounds of three minutes each.
Fighters who emerge as division champions of the Jesselton Fight League will win cash and other prizes worth RM20,000 as well as a championship belt for each bout. JFL is sponsored and supported by DIHNAR Boxx Arena, Cock & Bull Bistro, 333 Fight Gear, USI Universal Equipment, Potosan Corner, Lady Bug Bridal and Photography, Kookie Jar Communications & PR, Tamparuli Stickers, Mitsubishi Motors and the Ministry of Youthand Sports, Sabah.
Tickets are now available for purchase at RM25 (normal) and RM35 (VIP seats). Contact Rayner at 013-8888379 for more information.-Sayangsabah