Malaysia's Ann Osman (left) stares down challenger Sherilyn Lim of Singapore during the ONE FC weigh-in on Friday. Unfortunately Lim was disqualified from the straweight fight for being 3kg overweight. - RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first female mixed martial arts exponent Ann “Athena” Osman has been working hard the last five months to seek revenge against Singapore’s Sherilyn Lim in the ONE Fighting Championships (ONE FC) “War of Nations” at Stadium Negara.
Her hopes, however, were dashed when her bout against Sherilyn on Friday was cancelled after the Singaporean was 3kg overweight at the official weigh-in on Thursday.
Sherilyn tipped the scale at 55.1kg for the 52kg strawweight bout.
This means there will now be just nine bouts, instead of 10.
This is indeed a big blow to Ann, who was all fired up to take on Sherilyn after losing to the Singaporean in a split decision when they first met on Oct 18, last year.
Peter Davis, who is the biggest MMA star in Malaysia, nearly had his bout cancelled too.
Davis was down to take on Waqar Umar in a men’s lightweight bout but visa issues held up the Pakistani’s arrival. Luckily for Davis, Waqar’s coach – Bashir Ahmad – stepped in and volunteered to take his place.
“He (Bashir) agreed to fight at the last minute ... it’s very honourable of him,” said Davis, who began training about three months ago.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing, however, because he’s had to strike a balance between training and his profession as a model and actor.
“It’s difficult to find the perfect balance but I have trained enough. I accepted certain projects and turned down others,” said the fighter, who has a 7-3-0 fight record (seven wins, three loses, no draw).
“My opponent has big arms and powerful strikes but his cardio may not be as good as mine. I’m also a good striker and I believe my grappling skills aren’t too bad, either. I’m constantly working on improving it.
“I’ve also had to cut a substantial amount of weight for this fight and now I’m ready.
“I’m excited about fighting here. There is more pressure but that really helps during the fight as the fans will be cheering me on. I will push through and make it happen for them.”
Malaysia’s third fighter, Saiful Merican, will be facing Cambodian fighter Khim Dima in a flyweight bout.
It looks like Sherilyn isn’t the only one who failed to meet the weight limit. American Andrew Leone weighed in at 58.7kg for the 56.7kg flyweight category. His bout against Shinichi Kojima will now be a catchweight contest.
The main event of the day, though, is the bout between American Brock Larson and Nobutatsu Suzuki of Japan for the ONE FC welterweight world championship.
FULL LIST OF BOUTS
ONE FC Welterweight World Championship: Brock Larson (US) vs Nobutatsu Suzuki (Jpn)
Bantamweight: Kim Dae-hwan (Kor) vs Kevin Belingon (Phi)
Flyweight: Adriano Moraes (Bra) vs Yasuhiro Urushitani (Jpn)
Lightweight: Ariel Sexton (Crc) vs Kamal Shalorus (Irn)
Catchweight: Shinichi Kojima (Jpn) vs Andrew Leone (US)
Lightweight: Kotetsu Boku (Jpn) vs Arnaud Lepont (Fra)
Lightweight: Bashir Ahmad (Pak) vs Peter Davis (Mas)
Featherweight: Harris Sarmiento (US) vs Herbert Burns (Bra)
Flyweight: Khim Dima (Cam) vs Saiful Merican (Mas)