Lukas fought in Wulin Feng 武林风 MMA Championship for the first time this Friday, November 16th. It is one of the most popular and the longest running martial arts program in China. This MMA Championship is called Warriors Arena of Ruthless Submission. We were lucky enough to get the notice one month in advance so Lukas had enough time to cut his weight. Many of the fighters are told 10-15 days in advance and its quite stressful for them. The organization of competition was quite chaotic and two days before the fight, Lukas’s opponent changed. Lukas arrived on Wednesday and me one day later due to my work arrangements.
On Friday, we had breakfast at 7 am and went to sleep again because his fight was scheduled for the evening session starting 7:30 pm. The day was just about eating, sleeping and waiting. Lunch at 11:30 and first dinner at 3:20 pm, nobody ate a lot because we weren’t hungry. Our bus was leaving at 4 pm and there were more than 20 fighters plus their coaches and teammates. The stadium was located 10 minutes far from the hotel but then they let us stand in front of the gate for about 20 minutes, I was freezing. Everyone received a tag and then we could enter. On our way upstairs we saw one of the morning session fighters, limping downstairs and covering his huge black eye. I have never been to an MMA competition before and this looked very scary.
It was almost as cold inside as it was outside. We had more than three hours until his fight, this waiting is the worst of it all. The only thing we could do was to watch the fights on a big screen that was installed in the room for warm up. The Wushu and Taijiquan competitions I took part in were usually quite lively and noisy in the backstage. However, it was not the case here, everyone was so quite. The coaches looked calm but most of their fighters were not. Their nervousness has increased with every injury we saw on the screen. Most of the fighters paraded black eyes and bleeding noses after their match. However, quite a few of them broke their hands, fingers, wrists, toes. Lukas told me that when compared to his judo fights, there are more less severe injuries in MMA. In judo, there are mostly bruises and scratches. If they really get injured, it’s very serious – broken collar bones, torn knee ligaments, broken vertebrae…
The evening session was postponed to 7:50 so Lukas has his hands wrapped and checked at 7 pm and then warmed up. Every few minutes, his opponent from Kazakhstan came by to check on what Lukas is doing. At 7:30 they called him to check his blood pressure and then shoot the entrance video. Ten minutes later we were standing in the hall and waited for the host to announce the beginning of evening fights. It was a premiere for the host as well so it took him three times to deliver the official introduction for the cameras until he got it right. First, they introduced the blue corner and then it was our show time. Lukas fought out of the red corner. To be honest, I was very scared for him and had to repeat to myself many times that a little blood is no big deal and that Lukas’s level is high enough to not get seriously injured. A few seconds later, I felt much calmer as the opponent didn’t dare to strike and those few punches and kicks he threw at Lukas we’re not that strong and precise. It was more than obvious that Lukas owns the cage. And then in 3:12 Lukas unintentionally hurt his opponent’s eye and as he couldn’t continue fighting, the match was stopped without result. We were really down on our luck this time because otherwise Lukas would won. Nevertheless, everyone was impressed by Lukas’s standing fight because they didn’t expect a judoka to fight this well after just one year of training. He was interviewed by the Henan TV station and was offered a few fights in the beginning of next year, both in China and abroad. We will see what the future will bring, the only sure thing is that all the time spent on training was worth it and Lukas has many great fights ahead!