Sports

LION Championship back with aggressive fights

The LC 12 will be the opener of a 10-event series to be held throughout the year in different localities. There are 24 martial artists competing in 12 bouts, divided into class A and B.

Mixed martial arts

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Trần Ngọc Lượng (above) will fight Bùi Trường Sinh in the main match of LION Championship 12 on April 13 in HCM City. Photo of VIMMA

HÀ NỘI The nation’s largest mixed martial arts series, the LION Championship (LC), will be back in action with 12 thrilling fights on April 13 at the Rạch Miễu Gymnasium in HCM City.

The LC 12 will be the opener of a 10-event series to be held throughout the year in different localities.

There are 24 martial artists competing in 12 bouts, divided into class A and B.

The main card will feature class A men’s 60kg fight between Trần Ngọc Lượng and Bùi Trường Sinh.

Lượng is former national jujitsu fighter who won an Asian silver medal, while Sinh is one of the talented athletes under Johnny Trí Nguyễn, a Vietnamese-American actor, martial artist, action choreographer and stuntman.

Lượng was promoted from class B to A last season where he secured two impressive wins at the LC 06 and LC 07. He is currently the No 5 athlete in the LC’s 60kg category.

Sinh ended the 2023 season with a knockout win in the LC 05 and a defeat in the LC 11. He is No 1 player in this weight class.

The winner of this match will face reigning champion Robson de Oliveira Soares for the championship title. Brazilian Soares defeated Sinh by submission in last year’s belt match.

The next biggest match will be between Phan Thanh Tùng and Phạm Ngọc Cảnh in the men’s 56kg.

Tùng used his jujitsu techniques to have two wins in the LC 08 and LC 10 in 2023. At No 7 he is three ranks below Cảnh who recorded a loss at the LC 05 and one win at the LC 11.

In the 77kg, Vietnamese Đặng Hoàng Minh will fight Jesse James Bernal, a marine security guard at the US Embassy in Việt Nam.

Minh is currently No 6 after one technical knockout (TKO) win and one TKO loss last year.

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A poster for LION Championship 12 which will feature 12 thrilling bouts. Photo of VIMMA

Meanwhile Bernal, a member of the US Marine Corps, was pushed to class A this season after a TKO win in the LC 08. The No 12 just finished a training camp in Thailand prior to the season’s opening.

This fight was scheduled at the LC 11 late 2023 but was delayed because Hoàng was injured and could not fight.

Both targeted a win so that they could advance to the title belt which was returned to the organisers earlier this year by reigning champion Aleksei Filonenko. Russian Filonenko suffered a back injury which cost him more than one year rest for treatment.

In the 56kg, Võ Thanh Tùng is expected to make another impressive match against Trần Trọng Kim.

Tùng has competed three times in the LION Championship with two losses and one win. The two latest matches were voted “Fight of The Night”, making every tournament that he took part draw a huge number of supporters.

The No 8 athletes said his goal this year was a slot in the final against defending champion Phạm Văn Nam who lost to him in the 2022 season.

On the other side, Kim, an architect, was one of the most active fighters in 2023 in all competition levels. In the LION Championship alone, he won two and lost one for a fifth ranking.

Other matches of the night are Lê Văn Tuần vs Trần Minh Nhựt in the men’s 60kg and Ngô Hồng Giang vs Nguyễn Đức Tuấn in the men’s 84kg along with bouts of class B in the afternoon.

LION Championship is the first professional MMA event in Việt Nam, run and managed by the Việt Nam Mixed Martial Arts Joint Stock Company and the Việt Nam Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

VTVcab, Zeit Media and MCV S&E jointly cooperated in the production.

Theo Vietnamnews