Aik Tong and I stayed back to watch Reeza Azim in action during the quarter finals to study his moves. We found out that he was not very strong on the ground and we work our game plan. During the quarter finals, Nashriq accompanied Ooi Aik Tong as I had to stay back to train the Penang Judo team. I have confidence that Aik Tong would emerge as victor over Reeza.
The match started off with Reeza as the aggressor. At the start of the bell, Reeza came out with flying punches and managed to land one on Aik Tong. However Aik Tong was not fazed and manage to grab hold of Reeza. However Aik Tong slipped while trying to throw Reeza and Reeza managed to mount Aik Tong’s back. Aik Tong managed to fight off the mount. Both of them got up and Aik Tong grabbed hold of Reeza and slam him to the ground before mounting and finishing Reeza off with a rear naked choke. The whole mat lasted about 30 seconds.
Next off all finalist were given a special trip to one of Asia’s top mix martial arts academy Tiger Muay Thai to train. It was an eye opening experience for Aik Tong as he was able to train with top muay thai coaches to sharpen his strikes and also have a good idea on his opponent. To his surprise his final opponent Chew Chee Chan was the very same player which Aik Tong beat in the 2010 SUKMA Judo finals. This time however Chee Chan has bulked up considerably and Aik Tong could not recognise him at all.
I only realised that when I watched the episode on their trip to Tiger Muay Thai. In that episode, when it was Aik Tong’s turn to say something about the fight, he mentioned that he has beat Chee Chan before and he will do it again.
For the finals, we all went to support Aik Tong. The finals was held in Stadium Negara. Many thanks from Ringo Coldenhoff who managed to get FightWearHouz to sponsor fight shorts with Budo Academy’s logo for the finals. During the finals, our BJJ coach Marcos Escobar help to corner Aik Tong. Marcos managed to return to Malaysia for the finals. It was moral boosting for Aik Tong.
For the first time, Aik Tong was not able to finish his opponent in the first round. This was expected as Chee Chan was no push over. Furthermore he was a judoka as well. Both fighter showed great determination. At the end of the first round, Chee Chan managed to get an arm bar position on Aik Tong. However Chee Chan’s grip was not secure enough and Aik Tong managed to hold off the attack till the belt rang signalling the end of round 1.
At the end of round 2, Aik Tong told me that he was very tired. He had mild fever that day and this affected his strength. I told him that he has come so far to achieve his dream. So don’t freakin give up when your dream is so near. You are tired and so is your opponent. He manage to get his second wind and at the start of round 3, he went offensive. He managed to mount Chee Chan and started striking Chee Chan while mounted. One of his shots hit Chee Chan’s ear and blood started oozing from Chee Chan’s ear. The referee decided to end the match and declare Aik Tong the winner.
So his first dream of being a fighter is achieved. All the hard work finally paid off. At the second edition of MIMMA 2, he would be defending his belt. To be a champion is difficult and requires hard work. To defend the belt requires something even more than that.