With a near-capacity crowd in attendance at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo, Legend 4 featured an action-packed fight card with several three-round stand-up wars and multiple Fight Of The Night candidates. It will continue to be available on US and Canadian Pay-Per-View until February 6, and will be available on TV in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia beginning in mid-February.
Fight 1: Aorigele (China) vs. Choi Yeong Gwang (South Korea)
The first fight of the night between Aorigele and Choi proved to be a fitting preview of the rest of the night, as the Chinese fighter and the South Korean went toe-to-toe for three rounds. Aorigele quickly showed that he was not intimidated by the more experienced Choi, as he went on the offensive at the beginning of the first round, rocking the Korean with a couple of powerful shots inside of the first few minutes. However, Choi quickly regained his composure, eventually taking Aorigele down, establishing mount, and threatening to finish him before his opponent was saved by the bell. Choi generally dictated the pace in the second and third rounds, with both fighters showing crisp striking and solid chins, with Choi ultimately taking a unanimous decision victory.
Fight 2: Mark Eddiva (Philippines) vs. Alex Lee (Hong Kong)
The crowd was clearly behind hometown fighter Lee, whose MMA debut against Team Lakay’s Eddiva was one of the most highly anticipated contests of the evening. The two rookies exchanged several flurries early in the first round, with Lee’s range giving him the slight advantage. The Hong Kong fighter looked to have the fight finished on two occasions, when he sent Eddiva crashing to the mat with crushing Muay Thai knees from the clinch, but both times the Filipino was able to tie him up and recover. Eddiva was eventually able to take Lee to the ground and secure a crucifix, and as the Hong Kong fighter escaped and rolled away, Eddiva quickly took his back and sunk in a rear naked choke, causing Lee to tap with 38 seconds remaining in the first round.
Fight 3: Bhupesh Kamble (India) vs. Pat Crawley (New Zealand)
Both fighters spent the first minute of the round exchanging heavy leg kicks and finding their range with some quick jabs before Crawley shot in with a perfectly timed double-leg takedown, slamming Kamble into the mat. The Kiwi dropped some heavy shots from a standing position before mounting the Indian and raining down an unanswered barrage of powerful ground-and-pound, beating Kamble into submission 3:31 into the first round.
Fight 4: Wang Sai (China) vs. Alex Niu (China)
The fight between Sanda veteran Wang and Muay Thai fighter Niu was expected to be one of the highlights of the evening, and it certainly lived up to expectations. The two striking specialists engaged each other in a non-stop battle from bell to bell, with both fighters landing powerful leg and body kicks, and heavy punches. Niu got the better of the exchanges, using his crisp striking to string together effective combinations, rocking the durable Wang on several occasions, although the iron-chinned Wang refused to go down. Recognizing Niu’s superior striking, Wang made attempts to take the fight to the ground in the third round, but Niu exhibited excellent takedown defense as he kept the fight standing and continued to punish Wang’s legs and body with punches and kicks. Niu ultimately walked away with the unanimous decision victory, and both fighters earned Fight Of The Night honors for their performance.
Fight 5: Li Jingliang (China) vs. Tony Rossini (Australia)
Both men came out aggressively at the opening bell, with Rossini quickly backing Li into the ropes and launching a flying knee, which the Chinese fighter caught and used to slam the Australian into the canvas. As Rossini scrambled to his feet, Li attempted a guillotine, which the Australian used to take his opponent to the mat and quickly take his back. The remaining four minutes of the first round were spent with Rossini in firm control of Li, almost finishing him several times with a rear naked choke. Escaping into the second round, Li caught Rossini in a guillotine as he shot in for a takedown, choking him unconscious before he had a chance to tap out, and winning by technical submission 1:11 into the second round.
Yao looked to be in trouble early on, when Mortimer dropped the Chinese fighter twice in the opening minutes, both times following him to the canvas and landing some effective ground-and-pound. However, Yao quickly recovered and was able to use his wrestling to dictate the rest of the fight, repeatedly taking the Australian down and controlling him on the ground. Although Mortimer out-struck Yao on their feet, and was able to keep the fight standing for much of the third round, the judges ultimately scored Yao’s wrestling and multiple takedowns more heavily, narrowly awarding the Chinese Shuaijiao (traditional Chinese wrestling) master the win by unanimous decision.
Fight 7: Yohan Mulia Legowo (Indonesia) vs. Jo Nam Jin (South Korea)
This was a battle of youth against experience, as the 19-year old Jo took on the 30 year-old Legowo. Aware of Legowo’s dangerous striking, Jo used the first available chance to take the fight to the ground, where he controlled the Indonesian for most of the first round. On their feet, Jo maintained his distance and twice took the opportunity to taunt his opponent by dancing, earning himself a warning from the referee for his conduct. In the second round, Jo again quickly took the fight to the ground, this time showing a ferocity not displayed before as he unleashed a barrage of devastating ground-and-pound on the prone Indonesian, overwhelming him with an unanswered series of punches, and closing his right eye with a particularly vicious elbow that found its mark. With Legowo clearly hurt, Jo quickly took his back and sunk in a rear naked choke, forcing him to tap at 3:20 of the second round.
Fight 8: Kim Hoon (South Korea) vs. Rod MacSwain (New Zealand)
It looked like MacSwain might suffer the same fate as Kim’s Legend 3 opponent Justin Murray, when the Korean dropped the Kiwi with a powerful three-punch combination early in the opening round. In spite of having never been dropped before, MacSwain kept his composure and pulled the Korean into the clinch, giving himself a chance to recover. The tide slowly turned in MacSwain’s favor over the next two and a half rounds, as he used his powerful left hook to particularly devastating effect, dropping the towering Korean twice. Off his back, Kim was able to effectively tie up MacSwain and prevent him from doing much damage on the ground, even threatening with triangle choke and gogoplata attempts. However, it was MacSwain’s superior striking that made the biggest impression, taking the victory with a unanimous decision, and becoming Legend’s first Welterweight Champion.
Fight 9: Nam Yui Chul (South Korea) vs. Adrian Pang (Australia)
What was originally scheduled to be Pang’s first defense of the Legend Lightweight Title became a non-title fight when Nam weighed in 0.3 kilograms over the weight limit on Wednesday. With Nam openly stating his intention to hand Pang his first ever knockout loss during the weeks leading up to the fight, the Australian decided to give the Korean every opportunity to make good on his promise, keeping the fight standing and staying in the pocket for the entire first round. Nam seemed to have the initial edge in the stand-up exchanges, landing heavy leg kicks and solid lefts from the southpaw stance until Pang answered with a crushing right hand to Nam’s eye in the second half of the round, opening a huge cut. The second round saw Pang turning up the pressure, although Nam briefly had the Australian stunned when he hit him with some hard knees from the clinch. The third round saw the fighters continuing to exchange punches, with Pang the aggressor as he kept Nam backpedaling for much of the final stanza. In the end, two of the three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Pang, handing him a split decision victory.