Sarawak’s SMASH & D30 Fighters Secure Gold in Borneo MMA Expo


Whelan, Chai, Kelly, and Coach Tsan
Whelan, Chai, Kelly, and Coach Tsan

KUCHING (Dec 19):

Sarawak’s martial artists showcased their prowess at the Borneo Mixed Martial Arts Expo held at the Palm Beach Resort in Labuan from December 15-17. The six-member Sarawak team, led by Tsan Nieng Khai, comprising three fighters from SMASH I MadFightClub and D30 Fight Team, clinched an impressive three gold and four silver medals.

Medal Highlights:

  • Kelly Pang Zhe Teng dominated the women’s low kickboxing (65-70kg) category, securing the gold title.
  • Chai Xin Zhe emerged victorious in the men’s junior full-contact kickboxing (54-56kg) event, adding another gold to Sarawak’s tally.
  • Whelan Thian contributed a silver in the men’s low kickboxing (above 85kg) competition, showcasing the team’s well-rounded performance.
  • Alvin Yet of D30 Fight Team displayed skill and determination, bagging the gold in Boys U20 low kickboxing (50-54kg).
  • Matthew Hii secured a silver in Boys U18 low kickboxing (56-60kg), demonstrating the team’s depth and talent.
  • Lee Kah Man showcased her skills in women’s low kickboxing and women’s sanda (45-48kg), contributing two silver medals to Sarawak’s success.

Tsan Nieng Khai’s Satisfaction:

Tsan Nieng Khai, president of the Sarawak Mixed Martial Arts Association and founder of SMASH, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance. “We targeted four golds and managed to secure three, but what’s more impressive is that we aimed for two silvers and returned with seven. This proves that our fighters can compete at a high level with the best from all over the country,” said Tsan, who also served as a referee at the tournament.

Athlete Development:

Highlighting the growth of the sanda athletes, Tsan mentioned, “Our sanda athletes are improving and getting stronger after every exposure, especially Kelly, Alvin, and Matthew.” He noted areas for improvement, stating, “For Lee Kah Man, she needs to work on her defense skills.”

Regarding newcomer Chai Xin Zhe, Tsan expressed optimism, “Chai, who has just joined the sanda long list team, has trained for just over two months and has shown great improvements, winning all his debut fights. He shows promise for getting medals in Suksar and ultimately in Sukma XXI.”


Prestigious Tournament:

Tsan concluded by praising the Labuan tournament, organized by ISKA Borneo, which featured various martial arts disciplines, including low kickboxing, full-contact kickboxing, taolu and weapons, sanda, weapons combat, and push hand. The prestigious event saw over 150 participants and more than 20 teams vying for top honors, providing a platform for Sarawak’s fighters to showcase their skills on a national stage.


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