Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Phuket fighter Tommy Yang returns from the United Arab Emirates with a bronze medal in hand. Last weekend, Tommy competed in the much anticipated Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Tournament. After winning his right to represent Southeast Asia as a blue belt, Tommy sought to show the rest of the competitors his world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills.
Tommy entered the tournament in the 82 kg Adult Male Blue Belt Division. The division hosted 24 trial winners from around the world with an additional 8 local entries for a total of 32 competitors in his bracket.
In Tommy’s first match, he drew a local competitor from Abu Dhabi. Tommy dominated the bout with a quick takedown, immediately taking full mount on his opponent. With such a dominant position, Tommy was quick to look for a match ending technique and submitted his opponent via armbar.
With tournament jitters out of the way, Tommy advanced into his second fight. His next opponent was the winner of the Tokyo Trials in Japan. Continuing to dominate, Tommy secured his second win by racking up a total of 19 points on his opponent. The matched finished with a score of 19-0 moving him into the quarterfinals.
His next opponent was the winner of the Moscow Trials in Russia. He fought a tough battle both on foot and on the mat eventually scoring points for a takedown, which was enough to seal a win for the Korean.
After 3 battles, Tommy made his way to the semi-finals of tournament. This was his toughest fight of the day in a furious stand-up battle and exciting scramble on the ground. The only points awarded by the end of time was 2 points for each competitor’s respective takedowns. The match then entered sudden death overtime that again failed to crown a victor. According to tournament rules, if both fighters are tied after regulation and one overtime period, it is up to the referee to choose a winner based on his opinion of whom was more controlling in the match. This time, the decision was not in favor of Tommy and he took his first loss of the day.
Although Tommy did not win his semi-final bout, his performance was enough to earn him a coveted bronze medal. A feat that is unquestionably the biggest accomplishment of his Jiu-Jitsu career.
A bronze medal was not the only thing Tommy walked away from Emirates. Immediately following his bronze medal run, two of his coaches, Ray Elbe and Antonio Braga Neto, awarded him with a belt promotion from blue to purple.
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Tommy succeeded in representing Tiger Muay Thai and MMA and all of Southeast Asia in one of the most prestigious BJJ tournament of the year.