Wu HaoTian and Arthit Hanchana to battle in RUFF 7 co-main event

Dec 6, 2012
(PRESS RELEASE) -- The December 22, RUFF 7 co-main event between Wu HaoTian and Arthit Hanchana promises to be a fight full of surprises, as these two vastly different athletes go head-to-head at Nanjing’s Wutaishan Indoor Stadium, battling for a spot in the 2013 RMB 1,000,000 Super Fight.

A wrestler and Jiu Jitsu practitioner who fights out of Beijing’s China Top Team, Wu HaoTian methodically imposes his will on opponents with brute strength and force, while Hanchana, a product of the Guangzhou KO Club, brings a slick striking game to the RUFF cage, using his high level Muay Thai skill set.

The differences between Wu and Hanchana run much further than their fighting styles, with the shorter and stockier Wu, who hails from Inner Mongolia, conceding a four cm height and reach advantage to his Thai-born competitor. But for all their contrasts, these two athletes share a common foe, both suffering crushing defeats to lightweight division leader Rodrigo Caporal.

“It was a very careless loss,” comments Wu, who was knocked out by Caporal in the second round KO at RUFF 5. “[Next time] it will be a war on the ground.”

While Wu HaoTian, considered the top Chinese-born lightweight, is looking forward to a rematch with Caporal at the February 2, 2013 Super Fight, he will have his hands full with Hanchana’s repertoire of crisp and flamboyant kicks. Having yet to win inside the RUFF cage, Wu must also not underestimate A Ting’s Jiu Jitsu prowess, the Thai fighter earning both his RUFF victories via submission.

Hanchana, while proficient on the ground, occasionally showing signs of brilliance, still has a penetrable submission defense, tapping out via head arm choke in his RUFF 6 loss to Caporal. One of the highest level Muay Thai fighters in China, Hanchana must create distance to fire off his heavy head kicks, exposing weaknesses in Wu’s standup game.

“My advantage is my courage and strength,” explains Hanchana, owner of a 2-1 RUFF record. “In the second round I will [hit him with] with strong Muay Thai knees.”

With only one RUFF appearance to his credit, Wu HaoTian faces additional pressure in this unconventional title eliminator. Unlike the other elimination matchups on the RUFF 7 main card, the winner of the Wu HaoTian-versus-Arthit Hanchana showdown will not automatically qualify for the 2013 Super Fight.

Given Wu’s limited sample set inside the RUFF cage, he will have to do much more than edge out a split-decision win to advance to next year’s championship event. He will need to impress the judges with a dominating performance, and perhaps even finish Hanchana in order to qualify for the Super Fight; whereas, for Hanchana, it is a win-and-in situation.

“A Ting has the better record and lasted longer with Rodrigo [Caporal], but if HaoTian dominates it’s a hard case to put the loser through,” adds RUFF matchmaker Brandon Resnick. “Like we've been saying from the [beginning], it isn't just your record, it is also the fights you put on and what you do outside of the cage.”

Veterans of Chinese MMA, Wu HaoTian and Arthit Hanchana are both determined to compete for China’s first MMA national championship belt next February. And while these two previously fought once before, with Wu winning via Kimura submission in 2009, the growth and development of these athletes, along with the Chinese MMA community at large, ensures that this rematch, complete with potential title implications, will be a highly contested war.

Both Wu HaoTian and Arthit Hanchana are set to star in RUFF’s 10-part reality TV series RUFF Journey, which recently debuted on November 27, 2012, and will be broadcast weekly across China leading up to the Super Fight.

RUFF 7 and the co-main event between Wu HaoTian and Arthit Hanchana will air live on Saturday, December 22.

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