Vietnamese MMA champ to fight Russian opponent

By Duy Doan   October 28, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Vietnamese MMA champ to fight Russian opponent
Pham Van Nam lift his Lion Championship belt in 2022. Photo courtesy of Lion Championship
Winner of the 2023 Lion Championship Pham Van Nam will fight Russia’s Roman Kokurkin at a martial arts event in Ho Chi Minh City next month.

Nam, nicknamed Nam Chou, made his mark with the Lion 56kg title last year. He successfully defended his belt after defeating Dinh Van Huong in August.

Kokurkin is a famous name on the Russian MMA scene. He won the 2017 Saint Petersburg Sambo competition, as well as a gold medal in sambo, a silver medal in wrestling and a bronze medal in boxing at the 2018 Southern Russia Martial Arts Tournament.

"My opponent is experienced in sambo, wrestling, jiujitsu, and won a gold medal. This fight will bring me new feelings. I have always been confident with my wrestling and locking skills, but this opponent is even more experienced in that field," Nam said.

Replying to Nam’s challenge, Kokurkin said he has been training and researching his opponent’s fighting style over the past month, so he’s "ready."

The fight between Nam and Kokurkin is the headliner of the Master of Fights Championship (MFC), a martial arts event combined with entertainment. Its first edition will take place on Nov. 25 and is expected to come back every three months. The event will include martial arts like MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

The organizers said each MMA fight will have five rounds, with each round lasting five minutes.

MFC is expected to become a major new platform for Vietnamese fighters. Organizers have invited the nation’s top martial arts studios, as well as famous fighters from abroad, to attend and participate at the event.

"The goal of MFC is to become a regular martial arts platform that hosts fights between Vietnamese and foreign fighters. With the recent development of the martial arts movement, we hope we will get support from authorities and departments, and attract attention from fans in Ho Chi Minh City," said Do Duy Anh, a representative of the organizers.

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