Fourteen of Malaysia’s top amateur mixed martial artists are training at Tiger Muay Thai this week and the show will be broadcast on ESPN Star Sports to millions of people.
“They’re going to be training in Muay Thai, wrestling, and jiu jitsu on top of what other activities are around,” said Peter Davis, an MMA fighter and one of the coaches on the show.
“I think [Tiger Muay Thai] is a great place to be and it is a great opportunity for these guys, myself included, to pick up some new skills. Really looking forward to the week and what will happen and I’m really happy to be here at the moment.”
Malaysian Invasion MMA (MIMMA) is an amateur competition, sponsored by mobile phone company Tune Talk, that will showcase Malaysia’s fight talent through a six-episode reality show that will air every Wednesday at 11pm (Malaysia time).
Davis and fellow MMA fighter Saiful Merican both coach participants and host the show.
The contestants will be split into two teams, seven a side, with Tiger trainers and UFC veterans Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole and Roger “El Matador” Huerta each taking a squad.
Training will include Muay Thai sessions with several of Tiger’s world-class trainers, including Kru Nontachai, Kru Laimongkorn, Kru P’Nong (Big Nong), Kru Phet, and Kru Yod who helped prepare Georges St. Pierre for his last two UFC Welterweight title defenses.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction will be headed by 4th degree Black Belt Fernando Maccachero.
The first episode followed a multi-day try-out tournament, held at the Paradigm Mall in Selangor, Malaysia, where over 400 participants tested their mettle in the cage.
Those participants were eventually whittled down to 14 after the semi-finals in the second episode, with the grand finals taking place on June 15 in Kuala Lumpur.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys who are in an amateur competition who are at various levels in their fight game and we’ve come to Tiger Muay Thai so they get preparation for the final,” Davis said.
The winners of the competition will take home RM150,000 (B1.5 million), with the tournament consisting of several different weight classes: Featherweight, Bantamweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight and Light Heavyweight.
“We are organising MIMMA FC to cater to the rapidly growing interest towards MMA in Malaysia,” said Tune Talk CEO Jason Lo, organisers of the event.
“Through this championship, we seek to unearth amateur talents from the grassroots who can potentially be groomed to become professionals.”