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Fighters win Bangkok DARE

PHUKET: Two MMA fighters from a small Phuket gym shone at the DARE Fighting Championship in Bangkok on January 7, with both achieving good wins.

Friday 13 January 2012, 02:10PM

Ammar “Rock” Tchalabi, a student at Phuket Top Team, lays into Andre “Capo” Signorini.  –Photo by Luke Chaya and DARE FC

Ammar “Rock” Tchalabi, a student at Phuket Top Team, lays into Andre “Capo” Signorini. –Photo by Luke Chaya and DARE FC

Representing Phuket at the event were Major Overall from the US and Ammar “Rock” Tchalabi from Saudi Arabia.
For the last 12 weeks both Major and Rock have been training at Phuket Top Team, a Chalong gym owned and operated by Australian Boyd Clarke.

Major won with an impressive rear naked choke submission only 1 minute, 38 seconds into Round 1. The fight was fierce and swift. Fighter friend Rock also won his fight by verbal submission only 1 minute 34 seconds into Round 1, after he hammered his opponent Andre “Capo” Signorini.

Clarke said Phuket Top Team was very proud of the fighters for doing so well in the tournament, and helping to put Phuket on the MMA map.

“We are just a small gym and we have been open less than six months. Having two great fighters that won their fights within seconds means that we must be doing the right thing.”

Though the results are likely to lead to an increase of inquiries, Clarke intends to keep student numbers small. “For now we want [a] maximum 60 students per month so we can be able to focus on quality. I truly believe in quality over quantity and it’s proven to be the right virtue with Rock and Major.

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“Of course we will grow, but I’ll take it slow and steady.”
Major, 30, is part Japanese, Native American, African American and European, and was once a US Government employee, then later an English teacher in Taiwan. He gave up his day job at age 26 to train in MMA and is hoping to make a career out of it.

Being a small man, Major opts for simple moves and maneuvers to make his opponent submit, without
having to use much physical strength. He takes his time analysing his opponent before making a move.
However, if Major is all about brain, his fighter friend Rock is all about brawn – opting to stand his ground and wear down his opponent with strength. His nickname comes from a reputation for being tough and immovable – often maintaining a straight, expressionless face during his fights.

Rock, aged 25, began learning karate, taekwando and other martial arts at age 11. He arrived at Phuket Top Team last year, and like many other fighters who already have a Brazilian jiu jitsu or grappling background, started immediately training in Muay Thai and MMA.

–Kazira Hans



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