• in

    Reports highlight displaced Rohingya and business agendas

    The UN refugee agency’s annual report on global forced-displacement trends, released on Wednesday, which was World Refugee Day, focused on the additional 650,000 “marginalized and stateless” Muslim Rohingya expelled from Myanmar into Bangladesh from mid-2017, bringing the year-end total to almost 950,000 housed in the world’s largest refugee camp in rural Cox’s Bazar.

    They face “increased protection risks” during the May-September monsoon season from natural disaster and disease, aggravated by overcrowding and aid-delivery coordination difficulties listed in a separate analysis by Washington-based advocacy group Refugees International. The Bangladeshi government has floated a proposal to relocate part of the population to Bhahshan Char Island off the Bay of Bengal coast, also a vulnerable climate zone.

    The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) points out that more than half of the latest Rohingya refugee wave, which followed previous ones in 2016 and in the 1990s and 1970s, are children under the age of 17, and that women and girls often experience sexual violence.

    Back in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, an estimated 125,000 have been internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camp detention for the past five years, while fewer than 500,000 remain in the northern part under “entrenched discrimination and denied human rights.”

    Myanmar ranks as the No 4 home country for refugees globally, with only Afghanistan, at No 2 with double the exodus at 2.5 million, exceeding it in Asia. Almost 1.5 million Afghans have fled to neighboring Pakistan over decades of civil war, and Iran hosts just under 1 million.

    In Southeast Asia, advanced emerging markets Malaysia and Thailand have also received large Rohingya contingents fleeing by boat, and a new study co-authored by the US-based Center for Global Development (CGD) and Tent Partnership for Refugees finds them mostly in urban areas with ready employment and supply-chain access to local and multinational business.

    2017: new record of 68.5 million displaced

    In 2017 the world’s displaced total reached another high of 68.5 million, with 20 million UNHCR-designated and 5.5 million Palestinian refugees over several generations. Developing nations are host to 85%, with Turkey at the top of the list with half of Syria’s 6.5 million uprooted, and Uganda a leading destination for multiple African crises.

    The Rohingya exit was “particularly rapid,” as hundreds of thousands arrived over three months. The Asia-Pacific refugee population is 4.2 million, and it is already under a “protracted situation” where at least 25,000 are in place in an asylum country for a minimum five years, and the life-saving emergency has passed without a long-term solution.

    Return and resettlement are options, but came to less than 1 million for both categories, leaving local integration as a main emphasis, promoted by best practices to be finalized in a new UN Global Refugee Compact this year. They include full citizenship, education and employment opportunities, even as Asian hosts currently impose curbs on political and poverty grounds.

    The UNHCR trends report noted that the region had IDP return successes in Pakistan and the Philippines last year with around 300,000 going home in each country, but warned that their security was still “hazardous.” It added that international protection was especially difficult to obtain in Japan and South Korea, where initial asylum approval rates are less than 10%, while applicants from China still had almost 100,000 claims outstanding worldwide.

    Regional anomalies were cited as well, such as Indonesia’s only 25% female and Tajikistan’s entirely male refugee groups, and Afghanistan’s nearly three-quarters versus Nepal’s 10% children’s share.

    The CGD-Tent survey confirmed across a sample of two dozen host states that 60% were in urban locations, and half were of working age. Of the latter, one-quarter are in the biggest cities where multinational companies typically operate and can offer thousands of local jobs and supplier relationships.

    Malaysia has more than 50,000 urban refugees, while Thailand is at the opposite end with fewer than 7,000 under the research classifications, although both have more than 2,000 registered foreign direct investors.

    In Bangladesh, Chittagong, a city of 4 million, is relatively close to Cox’s Bazar and the giant Kutupalong-Balukhali camp. However, proximity is just a “first step,” since labor, skills and legal restrictions are common, which keep refugees in the low-paying informal economy at best.

    The paper urges the business community to demonstrate with pilot projects and “policy voice” potential bottom-line and host-community returns, with East and South Asia immediate test cases for more compassionate and commercially minded treatment of the Rohingya.

    continue reading

  • in

    Louis Vuitton scarf in London lands Thai PM Prayut in the soup

    Pressure from foreign leaders for Thai democratisation and elections are nothing new for junta chief Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha but his choice of a designer scarf during his visit to London this week captured more public attention than his diplomatic meeting with UK counterpart Theresa May.

    Netizens accused Prayut of hypocrisy, alluding to his nationalistic campaign earlier this year.

    The propagator of Thai Niyom – literally Thaism in English – was pictured in the British capital on Thursday wearing a Louis Vuitton Jhelam scarf in black to match expensive-looking sunglasses and a vest.

    The rest of the economic team, which included Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, accompanying Prayut was dressed modestly in a white shirt and trousers.

    The photos were released online by government officials but were later removed after coming under criticism on the Internet and social media.

    Some commentators were sarcastic, saying the scarf, which displayed the distinctive LV logo and reportedly cost more than Bt20,000, was ‘nice’ but perhaps he had borrowed it from a friend.

    Thai DPM Prawit criticised for wearing high-end wristwatch

    The dig was a subtle reminder of the excuse offered by Prayut’s deputy and junta number two Prawit Wongsuwan when he was accused of possessing a large number of luxury wristwatches that were not declared to the authorities.

    Others questioned: “Why does he seem to be the only one troubled by the weather? And FYI, it’s summer now in London.”

    The temperature during the daytime when Prayut took a walk on Wednesday was about 26 degrees Celsius. Government Spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak yesterday told Government House reporters in a chat room message that the PM had been unwell and had been advised to wear the items to keep warm.

    He, however, did not say why such an expensive scarf was necessary to keep the strong soldier warm.

    Prayut told the Thai community on Thursday that he was upset with such nit-picking on social media. He said he had dressed differently from other officials during the stroll that day since he was not feeling well.

    “I just wore it but was not aware of the brand. I don’t know what’s the brand but it’s not so expensive,” he said. “The next time I will wear Pha Khao Ma [a traditional loincloth],” he said.

    Photo: AFP

    This is Prayut’s first official trip to Europe since coming to power after the 2014 coup, when diplomatic relations between Thailand and the free world got downgraded. Prayut yesterday headed to Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron next Monday.

    The junta leader is expected to discuss democracy and the upcoming election. But the junta chief may have reasons to feel uneasy.

    Like London, Paris is also home to a great number of anti-junta activists, including those living in exile fearing persecution.

    After news got out about Prayut’s trip, they took to social media promising they would stage a demonstration against the junta chief.

    As Prayut paid May a visit on Wednesday, he met with both supporters and dissidents in London. Led by political critic Giles Ungpakorn, who faces a lese majeste charge and now lives in exile, the protesters held a big banner that read: “Prayut not welcome.”

    Giles told reporters that as Prayut had come to power via a coup, he lacked the legitimacy to make any decision on behalf of the Thai people.

    Former Thai PM Yingluck breaks silence months after fleeing country

    Supporters, meanwhile, held banners showing their backing and encouraged the junta leader to stay in power longer. In addition to Prayut’s visit this week, London has also welcomed two former premiers, Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra.

    Thaksin threw a little birthday party for his sister Yingluck, who turned 51, in London on June 21, a day after Prayut’s arrival. Prayut was apparently not invited even though he had served as Army chief under Yingluck before he ousted her in 2014.

    Prayut yesterday left London for France where he met with Airbus executive Guillaume Faury in Toulouse before witnessing a signing an agreement between Airbus and Thai Airways to set up a maintenance, repairs and overhaul centre in Thailand.

    Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network

    news POST

    Purchase this article for republication.

  • in

    Australia braces for further decline in Chinese investment

    China’s crackdown on capital outflows sharply reduced its investment in Australia last year, and there could be worse to come if accusations of political meddling by Beijing continue to undermine business confidence.

    Direct investment by Chinese firms and state-owned enterprises declined by 11% to US$10.3 billion in 2017 from the previous year, according to a study by the University of Sydney and global auditing company KPMG.

    Co-author Doug Ferguson said 2017 “was an important and testing year in many ways for Chinese direct investment in Australia.” Ferguson, head of Asia and international markets for KPMG Australia, added: “We believe there is likely to be a continuation of the current downward trend in 2018.”

    The biggest falls were in infrastructure (down 89%), oil and gas (down 84%), renewable energy (down 64%) and commercial real estate (down 22%). Mining and other forms of energy grew by 448% because of one-off deals; services and manufacturing rose by 38% and healthcare by 20%.

    Beijing has been curtailing so-called speculative investments abroad since 2016 in an effort to conserve international reserves and contain foreign liabilities. Outbound investment in all countries dropped by 29% in 2017, some major markets faring badly: Outflows to the US fell by 35% and to the European Union by 17%, though the 2016 levels were unusually high.

    Biggest Asian investors

    Cumulative investment in Australia by China still amounts to a hefty US$48 billion, making it the ninth-biggest investor overall. However, this is dwarfed by inflows from the US ($662 billion) and the UK ($355.3 billion). The biggest Asian investors in Australia are Japan (US$161.8 billion), Hong Kong (US$86 billion) and Singapore (US$60.5 billion).

    One concern for Australia is that it didn’t benefit from higher investment in infrastructure, services and agriculture, industries where Australians are competitive and that are still promoted by China for outbound flows.

    Investment in these sectors halved in 2017, possibly because state-owned enterprises, usually a big source of inflows, have been targeted by Beijing.

    Private Chinese companies are now taking the lead, but their investments tend to be smaller and are closely linked to domestic demand in China, which has been leveling off. The University of Sydney/KPMG report said priority projects for China included health and well-being, tourism and lifestyle, real estate, technology, services and mining commodity resources.

    Australia has been the second-biggest recipient of accumulated Chinese investment since 2008, attracting almost US$100 billion, but there are signs that investors are getting jittery over accusations of meddling by Beijing in Australian government, universities and other public sectors.

    Canberra is expected to approve legislation soon that will impose tough restrictions on foreign donations to political parties and require that all lobbyists be accredited. Australia insists the laws are not aimed at China, but most media reports have focused on activities by Chinese nationals.

    The USyd/KPMG study found that investor confidence had been affected.

    “Chinese executives tell us that Australia remains a relatively safer and more attractive country to invest than many others but only 35% of survey respondents feel welcome to invest here, which is down from 52% in 2014,” Ferguson said.

    ‘Climate of insecurity’

    A separate survey of 50 Chinese business executives this year by The Conversation, an independent public affairs website, revealed investors were “feeling apprehensive and reluctant to engage in a climate of insecurity created by current debate about China’s role in Australia.”

    More than half of respondents either agreed (48%) or strongly agreed (4%) that they felt less welcome in Australia, compared with just over one-third (35%) of respondents in 2014. The media received the lowest rating when they were asked about support from major stakeholders.

    The Conversation’s survey reported that two-thirds (67%) of respondents strongly agreed (17%) or agreed (50%) that the Australian government was less supportive of Chinese investment than it had been previously.

    Worryingly for Canberra, 70% said the political debate about China had made their company more cautious about investing in the country.

    Yet 52% still felt that Australia was a safer place to invest than many other countries, though this proportion had fallen from 63% in 2014. Business operations by Chinese investors are also generally positive, with 65% of respondents reporting higher turnover in the past year and 45% increased profits; 64% expect turnover to rise this year and 42% see higher profits.

    While 49% of respondents were optimistic about business prospects in 2018, The Conversation noted “feelings of insecurity and apprehension” among investors and said this highlighted the difficulties of trying to separate business from politics in the investment relationship with China.

    “Business cooperation between Australia and China is strategic rather than purely transactional. This means bilateral diplomatic relations have an important signaling function for long-term and large-scale investments,” the website said.

    “In the absence of positive signals from the federal government, larger investments by state-owned enterprises – in infrastructure building, for example – are unlikely to go ahead.”

    continue reading

  • in

    Saudi Arabia ends ban on women driving

    Saudi Arabian women celebrated being able to drive for the first time in decades Sunday, as the kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

    The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s wide-ranging drive to modernise the conservative petrostate — but it has coincided with a sweeping crackdown on female activists who long opposed the driving ban.

    Women in Riyadh and other cities began zipping around streets bathed in amber light soon after the ban was lifted at midnight, with some blasting music from behind the wheel.

    “I always knew this day would come. But it came fast. Sudden,” said talk show host and writer Samar Almogren as she drove across the capital. “I feel free like a bird.”

    Television presenter Sabika al-Dosari said the end of the ban was “a historic moment for every Saudi woman” before driving a sedan across the border to the kingdom of Bahrain.

    The lifting of the ban, a glaring symbol of repression, is expected to be transformative for many women, freeing them from dependence on private chauffeurs or male relatives.

    Euphoria was mixed with disbelief as women across the kingdom flooded social media with photos and videos of their maiden car rides, with a heavy police presence in major cities.

    “This is a great achievement,” billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said as his daughter Reem drove a family SUV, with his granddaughters applauding from the back seat.

    “Now women have their freedom,” he added in a video posted on Twitter.

    Some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    The kingdom earlier this month began issuing its first driving licences to women in decades, with some swapping their foreign permits for Saudi ones after a practical test.

    A handful of female driving schools have cropped up in several cities, training women to drive cars as well as Harley Davidson motorbikes — scenes unimaginable even a year ago.

    ‘Be gentle to women’

    Photo: AFP

    Many Saudi women have ebulliently declared plans online to drive for coffee or ice cream, a mundane experience elsewhere in the world but a dazzling novelty in the desert kingdom.

    However, in a nation torn between modernity and tradition, many are also cautiously bracing for a backlash from arch-conservatives who spent decades preaching that allowing female motorists would promote promiscuity and sin.

    Saudi society has been dominated by Wahhabism, a harsh strain of conservative Islam, since the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque of Mecca by around 400 extremists.

    The decision to lift the ban was catalysed in large measure by what experts characterise as economic pain in the kingdom owing to a protracted oil slump.

    The move is expected to boost women’s employment, and according to a Bloomberg estimate, add $90 billion to economic output by 2030.

    Many women fear they are still easy prey for conservatives in a nation where male “guardians” — their fathers, husbands or other relatives — can exercise arbitrary authority to make decisions on their behalf.

    The government has preemptively addressed concerns of abuse by outlawing sexual harassment, and authorities have sternly warned against stalking women drivers.

    “To all men I say, be gentle towards women” drivers, popular Saudi singer Mohammed Abdu said in an online video.

    Prince Mohammed, appointed heir to the most powerful throne in the Middle East a year ago this month, has also lifted a ban on cinemas and mixed-gender concerts, following his public vow to return the kingdom to moderate Islam.

    But much of the initial optimism over his reforms appears to have been dented by a major crackdown on women driving activists.

    ‘Unrelenting crackdown’

    Photo: AFP

    Authorities have said nine of 17 arrested people remain behind bars, accused of undermining security and aiding enemies of the state.

    The detainees include 28-year-old Loujain al-Hathloul — also held in 2014 for more than 70 days for attempting to drive from neighbouring United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia — and Aziza al-Yousef, a retired professor at Riyadh’s King Saud University.

    State-backed newspapers have published front-page pictures of some of the activists with the word “traitor” stamped across them in red.

    Human Rights Watch last week said the kingdom has arrested two more female activists and many others have been barred from travelling outside the kingdom, in what it denounced as an “unrelenting crackdown”.

    Even some of the crown prince’s ardent supporters have labelled the crackdown a “mistake”.

    It has been seen as a calculated move both to placate clerics incensed by his modernisation drive and also to send a clear signal to activists that the prince alone is the arbiter of change.

    “If the authorities give credit to the women who championed lifting the driving ban, it means conceding that reforms can be won through activism, and then the Saudis may demand more,” said HRW researcher Rothna Begum.

  • in

    Flower power takes hold at Dior in break from menswear past

    PARIS (Reuters) – A giant sculpture made of pink and black flowers set the tone at Christian Dior’s catwalk show in Paris on Saturday as new menswear designer Kim Jones stamped his style on the storied French label with a display of floral-inspired, airy looks.

    Models present creations by designer Kim Jones for Dior Homme collection as part of their Spring/Summer 2019 collection show during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

    To a booming techno-pop soundtrack, models clad in pastel blues and pinks, with occasional splashes of acid yellow, sauntered round the larger-than-life sculpture by New-York based artist KAWS, known for his teddy-like toys.

    Singers Lenny Kravitz and Lily Allen and actors Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie were among celebrities hogging the front row at the hotly-anticipated show, which comes amid a period of upheaval for menswear fashion.

    British designer Jones, formerly of LVMH stablemate Louis Vuitton, took the Dior job in March, in a merry-go-round of designer changes at the French conglomerate.

    Top luxury brands are looking to renew their menswear offering and tap into a growing clientele drawn in part by a shift toward street-style, sportier looks.

    Models present creations by designer Kim Jones for Dior Homme collection as part of their Spring/Summer 2019 collection show during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

    Jones, known for infusing this urban edge into designs during his Vuitton tenure, including through a hit collaboration with skatewear brand Supreme, took a slightly different turn with his Dior reinvention.

    Models wore tailored suits paired with sneakers, in a nod to Jones’ streetwear credentials, but looks also referenced more traditionally feminine styles, with flower motifs appearing on shiny raincoats and an array of delicate, see-through shirts.

    The collection broke with a darker, more rock-and-roll style that had endured at Dior’s menswear collections since designer Hedi Slimane was at the helm in the early 2000s and brought in sharp, slim-cut silhouettes.

    Slideshow (7 Images)

    Jones took his inspiration from the label’s founder Christian Dior, according to show notes, including the designer’s love of nature.

    The collection also featured accessories long associated with the womenswear collections at Dior, such as a handbags shaped as saddles, which models wore attached to belts or as saddle-style pockets stitched onto backpacks.

    Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Mark Potter

  • in

    Geje Eustaquio Unifies Flyweight World Titles After Classic With Adriano Moraes

    Four years ago, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio stepped into the ONE Championship cage to battle Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes for the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Title, and was submitted in the second round.

    On 23 June, almost four years on from that bout, Eustaquio returned – a little older, a little wiser and a much better martial artist – and defeat his rival in a rematch via split decision. In doing so, he became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.

    The bout at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER at Macau’s Studio City Event Center pitted World Champion Moraes with Interim World Champion Eustaquio in a unification battle, and the pair served up a match to remember.

    They tussled back and forth in a gripping contest that went all the way to the scorecards.

    Eustaquio made a statement in the opening round as he showed he wasn’t afraid to engage with Moraes on the mat.

    He survived the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion’s guillotine choke attempt, then avoided an armbar – all while looking to land powerful ground and pound on the reigning champion.

    In the stand-up exchanges, “Gravity’s” wushu-based striking game was more effective than Moraes’ Muay Thai-style strikes, as he let his hands and feet go without fear.

    Eustaquio looked far more relaxed than in their first meeting, and the Team Lakay-trained star’s more confident approach forced Moraes to change tack.

    In the second round, he switched things up to lean on his grappling skills, and it almost had an immediate effect

    The American Top Team-trained World Champion mounted Eustaquio and looked to lock up a rear-naked choke.

    However “Gravity” kept his composure and gave referee Olivier Coste a thumbs-up from underneath his opponent to let him know he was comfortable, despite Moraes’ attempts to squeeze him into submission.

    Moraes pressed forward again in the third round, looking to lock up his man in the corner and drag him to the mat, but once again, Eustaquio’s improvements were on show. He used his improved takedown defence to keep the bout standing.

    “Mikinho” eventually got the takedown he was looking for midway through the round, and immediately transitioned to Eustaquio’s back. He worked for a submission, but “Gravity” showed his grit as he defended well and the match-up moved into the championship rounds.

    Moraes’ grappling became an increasingly dangerous factor in the contest as the bout progressed, and the Brazilian began to have more success with his takedown attempts.

    The script was flipped and the pro-Eustaquio fans were on their feet once again as the Filipino fought his way back to his feet. They roared with approval as he then picked the World Champion up and attempted to slam him to the mat.

    Moraes tried to counter with spectacular techniques of his own, as he twice attempted flying knees. However, he could not find his mark and the bout progressed into the fifth and final round.

    Moraes went on an all-out attack at the start of the last stanza, slamming Eustaquio to the mat and locking up a tight guillotine choke.

    The interim champion refused to quit and managed to escape the hold once again.

    Whatever the Brazilian tried on the mat, Eustaquio seemed to have an answer, as the Filipino escaped two kneebar attempts in the final minute of the contest.

    The final bell came and while the judges deliberated, the pair kneeled together shared a moment of respect before the verdict was announced.

    When the decision came, Eustaquio’s hand was raised. The judges were divided on the final outcome, but two ruled in his favour.

    “I came to Macau with one vision, one mission, and that is to get this,” said the newly-crowned champion, pointing to his belt.

    “The moment I started 14 years ago, it looked impossible for me to stand up in front of you and get this belt.

    “But for 14 years in the making, guys, impossible is not a word. It’s just a reason.

    “Anybody can be a World Champion as long as you have the drive and the attitude.”

    Eustaquio showed that he had those qualities, and as a result, the Filipino star finally fulfilled his dream of becoming ONE World Champion.

  • in

    Xiong Jing Nan Defends Her Title For The First Time At ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER

    Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin exceeded many people’s expectations by pushing “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan to the judges’ scorecards, but the Chinese athlete held on to her ONE Strawweight World Title with a dominant victory.

    Xiong left no doubts that she deserved the unanimous decision at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER on 23 June, as the Argentinian challenger was dominated for the majority of their 25-minute contest.

    It was one-way traffic in the first round, as the champion picked up the pace and aggression from the opening bell – attacking with her boxing.

    Balin tried to find some solace in the clinch, but “The Panda” would not let up, reacting with hard knees. A lateral drop put the Chinese champion in top position, where she poured on the pressure with ground and pound from every angle.

    Balin managed to see out the tempestuous opening round and came out for the second with a renewed vigour. Although the Argentinian was still outgunned on the feet, she showed her Brazilian jiu-jitsu acumen on the ground, escaping several submission attempts.

    The champion was still in control, but Balin began to show she belonged after a first-round blowout.

    Round three was where “La Gladiadora” did some of her best work, threatening from her back with an offensive guard game. 

    She shut down more of Xiong Jing Nan’s ground and pound, but could not find any serious inroads towards a submission.

    “The Panda” rallied with a flurry that had Yuji Shimada ready to pounce, but Balin stayed in the contest with a heel hook attempt.

    As the championship rounds began, Balin was being picked apart by the renowned finisher, but Xiong Jing Nan’s aggression was notably scaled back as the hard pace began to take its toll on both competitors.

    Balin needed a miracle to win by the time the final round came, but she could not find the finish she needed. 

    The champion seemed comfortable, having her way with the striking exchanges, and staying well clear of danger.

    “The Panda” used her sharp boxing to remain in control, leaving no doubt that she had retained her crown against a game opponent when the action ended.

    Xiong made her first defence as ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion and improved her record to 15-1.

    Though she did not earn a knockout as she did in her first two ONE bouts, it was a mature performance that proved her ability to go for 25 minutes and stay in control of a tireless opponent.

    news POST

    Purchase this article for republication.

  • in

    Ev Ting Outmanoeuvres Koji Ando In Battle Of Lightweight Contenders

    Ev “E.T.” Ting stopped the charge of a former World Title challenger in Macau to bolster his claim for a second shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.

    The Kiwi-Malaysian defeated Koji Ando in an all-action bout, in which he had to be at his best to overcome the Japanese athlete as he pushed forward for three five-minute rounds at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER.

    Ting used his superior footwork and variety of strikes to earn a decision victory and prove that he is equally as impressive fighting off the back foot as he is moving forward.

    Ando started the contest by looking to meet Ting in the centre of the ring. The Japanese athlete came in throwing big shots, but it was Ting who seemed to have the better of the early exchanges.

    The Kiwi-Malaysian looked more fluid and relaxed as he expertly mixed up his strikes while slipping out of the way of the 33-year-old’s powerful punches.

    It was a pattern that played out over the course of the entire bout, as Ando came marauding forward, throwing punches. 

    However, it was a rather one-dimensional approach that was well marshalled by Ting, who stayed elusive, switching stances and throwing hands and feet to keep “The Commander” at bay.

    Ting was on top in the second round, but Ando’s relentless forward pressure meant the Kiwi needed to be on his guard throughout. He was, and he continued to counter effectively.

    Ando poured on the pressure in the third and final round. He began to cut off the ring effectively and catch Ting up against the ropes. 

    Despite that success, the bout was still under the command of Ting, who sent Ando staggering across the ring after a perfectly-timed knee, though he was unable to capitalise and find a finish.

    It was a back-and-forth battle, but Ting’s more well-rounded MMA game took him to victory on the scorecards as he picked up the 16th win of his career against just four defeats.

    While his record shows he has the power to finish a contest quickly, Ting’s performance against Ando proved once again that he has the talent, the bout IQ, and the gas tank to be equally effective if a match goes the distance.

    There is a packed crowd of contenders jostling for position to get the next shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title held by Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, but Ting’s hard-earned win could propel him to the front of the queue.

    news POST

    Purchase this article for republication.

  • in

    Narantungalag Jadambaa Dominates Edward Kelly In ONE Championship Comeback Bout

    Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa had not competed in the ONE Championship cage since November 2016, but he looked like he had never been away during a phenomenal defeat of Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly.

    On Saturday, June 23, the former ONE Featherweight World Champion returned with a dominant second-round TKO victory at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau’s Studio City Event Center.

    A strong Filipino presence in the arena meant the majority of the support was on Kelly’s side, but the Mongolian was not affected by the partisan crowd.

    Both competitors pride themselves on their powerful strikes, and they approached the contest in a way that was sure to excite fans as they stood toe-to-toe to start the contest.

    It did not take long for the 42-year-old “Tungaa” to remind fans about his ability. True to his promise ahead of the match-up, he displayed new dimensions to his mixed martial arts game – shooting for takedowns and dealing damage with powerful ground and pound.

    The 34-year-old Filipino managed to get back to his feet and mount some offence, but by the end of the first round, he was on his back and appeared to be saved by the bell as Jadambaa unloaded with his right hand.

    The Team Lakay veteran adjusted in the second round by trying to create distance between him and his opponent, but the Mongolian was too strong and imposed his will.

    “Tungaa” even appeared to lock in a deep north-south choke, but the Filipino miraculously escaped, only to be taken down again by the former champion.

    In a display of courage and determination, “The Ferocious” continued to actively defend from his back, but Jadambaa would not let the chance to finish slip away again. He used his strength to overpower Kelly and establish mount.

    When he gave up his back, “Tungaa” wasted no time in resuming his ground and pound attack, and the referee had no choice but to call a stop to the contest with two seconds remaining in the round.

    Jadambaa’s triumphant return improves his record to 13-5, but more importantly, puts him right back in the hunt for a shot at Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen’s World Title.

    news POST

    Purchase this article for republication.

  • in

    Lerdsila Wins ONE Super Series Debut After Competetive Battle With Sok Thy

    For the first time in ONE Super Series, Kun Khmer and Muay Thai athletes faced off, and the action did not disappoint as Lerdsila Phuket Top Team showcased his veteran experience against the young and talented Sok Thy.

    Lerdsila, a three-time Rajadamnern Stadium World Champion, edged the Cambodian by the narrowest of margins to win by split decision as the two warriors put it all on the line in front of the fans at the Studio City Event Center in Macau on Saturday, 23 June.

    The first round began with kicks galore as the two athletes set a high pace and Lerdsila pushed the young Thy backwards.

    After some beautiful exchanges, the two warriors exchanged smiles and touched gloves as the fans showed their appreciation. Both men seemed relaxed as they exchanged technical strikes.

    Following the action of the first round, the stand-up athletes resumed their high pace to start the second. Thy showed his strength by dumping “Mr. Lightning” to the ground in the opening moments.

    It was a huge round for Thy as he showcased his offence, while the Lerdsila seemed to be on the back foot for the most part.

    There was no let-up to the action in the third frame as both Thy and Lerdsila looked to land knockout punches and kicks.

    Thy dumped Lerdsila to the canvas twice in the final round, but the 37-year-old continued to push forward. 

    When the final bell sounded, the contest seemed to have been as close as Muay Thai action can get.

    After some difficult deliberation, two of the three judges favoured Lerdsila, and he took the victory by split decision.

    The win pushes Lerdsila’s record to an impressive 187-31-5 and moves him one step closer to a ONE Super Series World Title shot.

    Though Thy’s record fell to 221-37-12, he emerges from his debut ONE performance with a lot of credit after a close contest against an icon of Muay Thai.

    news POST

    Purchase this article for republication.

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.