Rebel FC Announces Rebel FC 9: Battle for the Kingdom (名动京城)

After the smashing success that is REBEL FC 7 – Fight for Honour (荣誉之战) on 29 April 2018 in Shanghai and REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return (靓战羊城) on 30 May 2018 in Guangzhou, REBEL Fighting Championship (REBEL FC) is sustaining its momentum for 2018 in its drive to promote MMA in China as well as groom Chinese MMA talent with its biggest blockbuster yet – REBEL FC 9 – Battle for the Kingdom (名动京城).

Scheduled to be hosted on 11 August 2018 in Beijing at the National Olympic Stadium, REBEL FC 9 – Battle for the Kingdom will feature four top level fights never seen before in REBEL FC history. It showcases the best China has to offer – Liu Wenbo, Wang Sai, Ning Guangyou and Wang Yayong – against the most seasoned international superstars who have competed at the very top of global MMA – UFC veterans Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and Takeya Mizugaki, REBEL FC Welterweight (77kg) champion Adriano ‘The Rock’ Balby and REBEL FC Bantamweight (61kg) champion Shuhei Sakano, who defeated the No.1 ranked Bantamweight in China, Ayideng Jumayi in REBEL FC 7 – Fight for Honour. Without further ado, we present to you the four power-packed bouts of REBEL FC 9 – Battle for the Kingdom:

Bantamweight (61kg) Title Fight – Wang Yayong (China) VS Shuhei Sakano (Japan)

1. Wang Yayong (王亚勇)
Nickname: Wolverine(金刚狼)
Country: China
Association: Dragon Warrior (龙武士综合格斗俱乐部)
Height: 1.7m
Weight Class: Bantamweight (61kg)
Age: 27
Record: 9-5
Style: Sanda
Accomplishments: Winner of ONE FC Hefei 4-man tournament

Fresh off his win over Andre Hohlov of Ukraine in REBEL 8 – A Warrior’s Return, Wang Yayong is smacking his lips in anticipation of winning his very first title belt in his long MMA career. Not only that, Wang can also avenge his countryman, the No.1 ranked Bantamweight in China, Ayideng Jumayi, who lost the REBEL FC Bantamweight title to Shuhei Sakano, Wang’s next opponent in REBEL FC 9 – Colossal Combat.

Wang Yayong idolises Bruce Lee and has been training in Sanda since he was a kid and to him, it was natural that he progressed to learning MMA in 2015. Before Wang started competing professionally, he held a variety of jobs such as a sales executive, taxi driver and teacher.

Although Wang is comfortable with boxing and kicking combinations, he likes to go for the takedown whenever an opponent gets too close and end the game with a submission.

2. Shuhei Sakano (坂野周平),
Nickname: N/A
Country: Japan
Association: Maruwa Gym Yokohama
Height: 1.68m
Weight Class: Bantamweight (61kg)
Age: 22
Record: 11-3
Style: MMA
Accomplishments: REBEL FC Bantamweight Champion

Shuhei started training in MMA during the first year of his high school. He liked watching K-1 and DREAM and these fighting shows inspired him to join an MMA gym where he started training. Shuhei’s favourite MMA role model is former Japanese DEEP Bantamweight champion, DJ. Taiki.

In the upcoming REBEL FC 9 – Colossal Combat on 11 August 2018, Shuhei will be defending his hard-earned REBEL FC Bantamweight title against Wang Yayong. Shuhei won the No.1 ranked Bantamweight in China, Ayideng Jumayi, in the 4th round with an arm triangle submission in REBEL FC 7 – Fight for Honour earlier this year. Despite a lot at stake, Shuhei will stick to his usual gameplan – by attacking. To him, attack is the best offence even against seasoned veterans. Sakano prefers to submit his rivals with the brabo choke (ninja choke) or knock them out cold with a spinning backhand blow.

Shuhei holds a university degree in International Relations and works as a part-time cashier in a supermarket when he is not training or competing.

Middleweight (84kg) Title Fight – Wang Sai (China) VS Adriano Balby (Brazil)

1. Wang Sai (王赛)
Nickname: The Fire Kylin (火麒麟)
Country: China
Association: Enbo Fight Club
Height: 1.84m
Weight Class: Middleweight (84kg)
Age: 32
Record: 23-6
Style: MMA

Accomplishments: WCK Muay Thai Intercontinental Championship; M-1 Global Intercontinental Champion; Kunlun Fight Intercontinental Champion; Incumbent Kunlun Fight Middleweight World Champion

Wang Sai had an active childhood. He loved basketball, swimming and climbing mountains while schooling. He also developed an interest in martial arts after watching Bruce Lee and Jet Li movies. After watching a movie titled Sanda King, Wang Sai decided to learn Sanda at the age of 16. He later transitioned to MMA after attending a few MMA events in China. He felt MMA offered something fresh with its mix of different styles and that the techniques, especially ground fighting ones, are useful in any situation, be it for self-defence or competition. He competed in his first professional MMA fight in 2009.

Wang Sai will be contesting REBEL FC’s inaugural Middleweight (84kg) title against Adriano ‘The Rock’ Balby of Brazil. Balby is REBEL FC’s current welterweight (77kg) champion and he will be going up one weight class to fight Wang. Wang is currently on a roll, having defeated Konstantin Linnik of Ukraine in REBEL 8 – A Warrior’s Return in the 1st round with a guillotine choke.

He sees his experience in several high-level competitions, including the UFC, and his all-rounded striking and ground fighting skills in allowing him to hold his own against equally or more seasoned MMA professionals. Also, years of competing against the best has trained him to be calm and more analytical when contesting a match. Balby is of a similar background, with a base in striking. Theirs will be a spectacle for those who prefer ferocious punch-kick combos.

2. Adriano Balby (阿德里亚诺·贝尔博)
Nickname: The Rock (硬石)
Country: Brazil
Association: Balby Team/Squad MMA
Height: 1.74m
Weight Class: Welterweight (77kg)
Age: 38
Record: 16-3
Style: Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Boxing
Accomplishments: REBEL FC Welterweight (77kg) Champion

REBEL FC’s reigning Welterweight Champion Adriano Balby leads a very colourful life. When he was young, he felt restless and decided to pick up martial arts as a form of exercise and also for self-defence. Later, he attained professional certifications for data processing and physical education but decided to work as a forklift operator. However, the love for martial arts proved too strong and Balby decided to become a professional in the MMA circuit. Balby’s finest hour came on 12 August 2017 at REBEL FC 5 – Quest for Glory – when he won the REBEL FC welterweight championship in Shanghai, China by defeating David Hulett of the United States in the semi-final and Andy Wang of China in the grand final.

As someone who idolises boxing legend Mike Tyson and the MMA great, fellow Brazilian Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira as well as goes through a punishing routine of 7 hours of physical training, 9 hours of MMA and 16 hours of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu every week, Balby’s match-up against the equally experienced and powerful Wang Sai will be a spectacle for everyone on fight night. Also, he will be going up one weight class – from welterweight to Middleweight – to do battle with Wang, who is an accomplished champion in the Middleweight division in China. Will Balby prove he can be as good in a Middleweight fight as he is a REBEL FC welterweight champion? Tune in to REBEL FC 9 – Battle for the Kingdom to find out!

Co-Main Event (Bantamweight, 61kg) – Ning Guangyou (China) VS Takeya Mizugaki (Japan)

1. Ning Guangyou (宁广友)
Nickname: Smasher (扣杀)
Country: China
Association: Beijing Ning Guangyou MMA Gym (北京宁广友搏击健身俱乐部)
Height: 1.65m
Weight Class: Bantamweight (61kg)
Age: 36
Record: 5-4
Style: Wrestling
Accomplishments: The Ultimate Fighter: China Featherweight (66kg) Champion

Ning Guangyou is as illustrious as they come. A UFC veteran and a Featherweight Champion of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter: China reality show, Ning is one of the top MMA stars in China right now. He took up MMA relatively late in his life, at the age of 28 years old, but that did not stop him from excelling in the sport.

Ning has a wrestling background and this has helped him greatly in disorienting opponents when he takes them down or slams them hard before going in for the submission or knockout. His opponent, Takeya Mizugaki of Japan is his polar opposite, preferring to go for the straight knockout with his punches and kicks. Takeya is also a UFC veteran. Ning’s match against Takeya will be one that will set the pulses racing with their skill, speed and power. Ning is the owner of his own gym and he coaches students on MMA when he is not competing in events. He is also a notable referee in many MMA events in China, including REBEL FC’s.

2. Takeya Mizugaki (水垣偉弥)
Nickname: N/A
Country: Japan
Association: Sonic Squad
Height: 1.71m
Weight Class: Bantamweight (61kg)
Age: 34
Record: 22-13
Style: Striking, Boxing, Judo
Accomplishments: 2008 Cage Warriors Bantamweight Tournament Champion; 2005 Shooto Rookie of the Year; 2005 Shooto Rookie Tournament Winner & MVP; 2004 All Japan Amateur Shooto Winner

Takeya Mizugaki started learning Kendo until the end of high school and decided to try something fresh upon entering university. This was the stage in life when he embraced MMA, having followed the sport since his teenage years on PRIDE and Shooto.

Takeya is the only Asian to date to win five UFC matches in a row and his experience at the highest level of the sport will be a formidable challenge to China’s equally experienced and tough The Ultimate Fighter: China’s featherweight champion, Ning Guangyou. Predominately a striker with wicked punching skills and power, Takeya can also hold his own on the ground with his judo skills. This clash of seasoned professionals with evenly matched skills will be unpredictable as it is thrilling and their match is sure to set the crowd in Beijing roaring with delight.

Main Event (Heavyweight, 120kg) – Liu Wenbo (China) VS Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (Brazil)

1. Liu Wenbo (刘文擘)
Nickname: The Big Show (大秀)
Country: China
Association: ET Club Beijing
Height: 1.86m
Weight Class: Heavyweight (120kg)
Age: 34
Record: 11-7
Style: Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Accomplishments: National Youth boxing champion; Multiple winner of the China jiu-jitsu Champion; Legend Middleweight Champion

Liu Wenbo received a rousing reception when he returned to his place of birth in Qingdao, Shandong when REBEL FC hosted its first event in China in June 2015 at the Qingdao Sports Center. Then, he fought the ferocious Adil Boranbayev of Kazakhstan to a draw. Liu was not amused by Boranbayev’s antics of employing a defensive game and taunted the Kazakh for fighting like a child.

Returning to compete in REBEL FC for a second time in REBEL FC 6: China VS The World on 2 September 2017 in Shenzhen, Liu’s magnetic personality and flamboyance was a sure-fire hit with the spectators and he defeated American Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch via TKO in a hard-hitting first round. Last month, Liu competed in his third REBEL FC event, REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return and defeated Brazil’s Marcelo Tenorio in a hard-fought match which he won via split decision.

Liu packs a powerful punch and a painful submission with his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) ground skills if an opponent gets too close. His love for combat sports was evident in his formative years when he quit high school to focus on boxing fulltime. In 2006, Liu decided to branch out into MMA as he feels it is more exciting and allows room for improvisation in fighting techniques. In that time, he picked up BJJ, Sanda and wrestling to complement his boxing skills.

Liu’s fourth fight in REBEL FC 9 – Colossal Combat will be his biggest and most difficult match to date. He will be up against Strikeforce and UFC heavyweight legend Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva of Brazil. A truly David VS Goliath battle which pits China’s best heavyweight MMA fighter against one of the world’s heavyweight MMA icons, Liu VS Bigfoot will be a match for the ages.

2. Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (安东尼奥 ‘大脚’ 席尔瓦)
Nickname: Bigfoot(大脚)
Country: Brazil
Association: American Top Team
Height: 1.93m
Weight Class: Heavyweight (120kg)
Age: 38
Record: 19-12
Style: Karate, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo
Accomplishments: Cage Warriors Champion; Cage Rage Champion; EliteXC Champion

An illustrious name in the MMA world for his power and imposing physical stature as well as his fearsome striking and submission techniques, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva would make even the most experienced of MMA fighters think twice before stepping into the MMA cage with him. In reality, Bigfoot Silva is actually a gentle giant, always all smiles and ready to pose with eager fans.

It was not always about fighting for Bigfoot. When he was a child, he loved football a lot and even dreamed of being a professional football player. But as he grew older, he enjoyed the physical challenge of martial arts. He first took up karate and attained his black belt in the martial art at the age of 12 years old. He then took up BJJ and Judo and received black belts in these two styles too. Once he mastered these martial arts disciplines, he began training in MMA in 2003 at the age of 24 and has since competed in many top promotions such as EliteXC, Strikefore and UFC.

Bigfoot Silva’s fight against Liu Wenbo of China in REBEL FC 9 – Colossal Combat is billed as REBEL FC’s most prestigious bout in its five-year history and its underdog against top gun theme is sure to pull the heartstrings and interest of every spectator, MMA and non-MMA fans.

Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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