Martial arts fighter John Wai wins his first MMA title
John Wai Martial Arts fighter Maurice “Mo” Morrison had the opportunity to challenge for his first mixed martial arts title and the 155-pound lightweight did not disappoint.
He entertained a home crowd and won a three-round unanimous decision to win the Combat Night MMA Championship belt. The event was promoted by Prodigy Sports and Entertainment.
Morrison is an instructor and fighter at the John Wai Martial Arts Academy in Plantation. He is driven and trained by owner John Wai.
It was a packed MMA schedule with 15 fights on the Combat Night card at Sway Nightclub in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Morrison, 25, beat a tough and experienced Miami fighter, Chacho Trinadad, and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. His amateur record is 6-4-0.
Morrison and his younger brother Daniel have been training in the art of Chinese Kung Fu since they were 4 years old and have learned their martial arts craft at the John Wai Martial Arts Academy for the past 15 years. Morrison won a Muay Thai championship title and a jiu-jitsu tournament title.
“This MMA title is more rewarding because I had a losing streak and I had to overcome that to prepare for a title and now I have a five-fight winning streak and a belt,” said Morrison. “The difference was all mental. I’m locked up now and I wasn’t thinking about anything. I like big challenges and I want to keep testing myself.
Morrison was not neglecting his opponent and focused on the title fight. Many challenges lie ahead and South Florida has a reputation as one of the best training grounds for MMA fighters.
“My opponent had fought a little longer than me and I knew it would be a tough fight,” he said. “I trained and was ready for a tough fight, and won every round, but it was close. He was the best boxer I’ve ever fought and he was very fast and powerful with his punches. I kept pushing him and was very aggressive. I finally feel like I’m on my way to where I want to be. The ultimate goal is to be a professional world champion.
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Besides being coached by Wai, Morrison is also educated and coached by Eric Morel in Muay Thai and MMA and Joe Watson who teaches fighters the art of wrestling. Having a supportive and knowledgeable group in his corner pays dividends for the young fighter.
After years of training in the art of Chinese kung fu, Morrison then transitioned into kickboxing and MMA. The Plantation resident will be looking to fight one of Florida’s top fighters before turning pro.
“I want all of our fighters to fight the best opponents, which will prepare them for the future,” Wai said. “His opponent was tough and it was a close fight. We worked on the jab and the takedowns and Maurice is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu so we were very confident in his takedowns. want to rise to the challenge. All MMA fighters want to fight the best and Mo is ready to fight again.
After a short vacation, Morrison will be back in training at the academy for some upcoming opportunities which will involve another title shot.
“Maurice is one of my most technical fighters with his striking, wrestling and ground skills,” Wai said. “His biggest challenge was the mental game. He worked on it and made the necessary improvements. When Mo comes out and lets go, he’s a very tough fighter and he can win standing or on the ground.
Combat Night MMA is one of Florida’s largest promoters and has hosted matches in the state for 10 years. They have hosted over 92 events and over 1,000 fights, providing opportunities for a younger generation of fighters.