Hoping for more female fighters for MIMMA 4
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
Packed with excited spectators, Plaza Merdeka was filled with adrenaline and excitement as the fourth edition of Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) was back on March 19th and 20th for the registration and try out sessions.
“So far the turnout has been really good, I think we have more people turning up this year and I see a lot of familiar faces and some new faces as well,” said last year’s reigning champion of the Women’s Pride division, Joanna Yap.
“But of course, being a woman champion, what’s really exciting about it is seeing women coming to try out. I am really excited to see all these talents coming in.”
On October 10th 2015, Joanna made Sarawak proud when she became MIMMA’s first champion in the female category via unanimous decision.
Joanna, who is trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and muay thai, said that her goal right now is to master both martial arts as she hopes to apply them both in future bouts.
“For me, this is a really good fit because muay thai is really strong on the feet and BJJ is really strong on the ground. Obviously you’ve got to make some adjustment to make it suit within the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) rules. So my goal right now is to learn both these martial arts as best as I can and apply it intelligently as I can in the cage,” she said.
Joanna does not show any sign of slowing down as she will be defending her title in the MIMMA 4 final.
“I know there are a lot of talented female fighters out there and I want them to bring their A-game because I am going to bring mine. To me, the highest respect that I can pay them is when I am in the cage. I respect them enough to get in the cage so I am going to show them my respect by giving them my best,” said Joanna.
Her advice to newcomers is to take each step at a time, find a good instructor and good teammates who will be supportive and help them grow.
“If they have been doing martial arts for some time, and they are thinking of getting into MMA, my first advice would be: be bold. If this is what you want to do, you want to fight in the cage, get out there and do it, but find a good coach and a place for you can grow and just do the best you can.
“Don’t worry about whether you can beat somebody or not, you don’t know who your opponent is going to be. Just get in there, think about yourself and do your best.”
According to a MIMMA spokesperson, the number of female fighters coming in for this year try out has increased.
“In Kuching, the number has also risen, which is good as the current defending champion is from Sarawak,” said the spokesperson.
During the tryout session, the participants are tested on three stages; the striking stage to test their striking, kicking and punching skills, while the grappling stage will test their skills such as BJJ, muay thai or judo and a sparring session in the cage to judge on how the participants handle themselves in the cage.
The first largest All-Malaysian MMA Amateur Tournament aims at nurturing and growing local talents from the MMA scene by preparing a platform for amateurs.
MIMMA consists of seven different weight classes which are Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight.
Kuching is the fourth leg of the fourth edition of MIMMA, which kicked off in Penang.
To know more about MIMMA, check out their website www.malaysianinvasion.com or facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MalaysianInvasion.