MMA

Thank you, big brother

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Keanu Subba credited his elder brother Gianni for his win over American James Yang.

Keanu's grappling skill made all the difference as he handed Demetrious Johnson's protege, Yang, his first professional loss (featherweight) in the One Championship at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Sunday.

The 27-year-old managed to overcome the American's resolute defence with his superior ground attack.

Ultimately, Keanu got the nod from all the three judges to earn his eighth professional win and prove that he is back from a serious leg injury that temporarily sidelined his MMA career.

"I knew James was going to be an intelligent fighter and in the first round, he caught me good with an elbow," said Keanu who has an eight win-five loss record.

"At my corner, Gianni told me to take him down to the ground, because then he wouldn't be able to do anything, and that was what I did.

"And that was the game plan from then on to start taking him down every round. I knew I had full control on the ground."

The win over Yang saw Keanu snap a two-match losing streak following his loss to Kai Tang of China (unanimous decision) at the One Championship – Reign of Dynasties 2 in 2020 and to Japan's Ryogo Takahashi at the One Championship – For Honour (technical knockout) in 2019.

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