May 23rd, 2014-Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, CT-
The biggest Muay Thai Promotion in North America has finally brought its great product, Lion Fights, to the East Coast. The event brought some of the biggest established names in North American Muay Thai into the ring as well as some solid up-and-comers and talented amateurs. In a region of the country that has seen some recent criticisms of its Muay Thai and MMA scene’s refs, judges and sanctioning bodies, Lion Fight rose above, and but for a slip-up by the announcer, had solid reffing, judging, and even the ringside doctors did a great job in monitoring the cuts during the show.
In the Main Event, the much touted Cosmo Alexandre faced off with the Canadian Mark Holst. Alexandre, the Brazilian ex-patriot, looked physically stronger, moved better, and for the full five rounds looked like a Lumpini champion sparring with a talented but not at his level professional. Cosmo controlled the pace and action, absorbed what he allowed and then landed hard overhand rights, at will. Holst was game, and kept attacking, but he saw early that his power had no effect, while Alexandre’s shots knocked him off his spot and bent him like a palm tree in the wind. All three judges had it for Alexandre: 50-45, 49-45, and 49-47.
The Co-Main Event was really the fight of the night. Like a gourmet meal, it wasn’t the biggest serving, but you got was absolutely awesome. The action started before the bell finished tolling, Mauceri came straight out of his corner like cannonfire, as is his usual style. The veteran, Kevin Ross, had obviously watched tape and game-planned for this. Ross used Mauceri’s straight forward approach to lure him into traps, letting Mauceri run into his elbows, use his movement, his ring-savvy and crafty combos effectively. In the first few minutes Mauceri’s head crashed into Kevin’s right elbow, resulting in a deep, deep gash on his forehead, above the left eye. The blood began to flow immediately and the referee stopped the fight to let the ringside physicians take a look. One came and looked deeply into the cut, he then called over the other physician who looked again, they conferred, and as if in response to the crowd calling for it to continue, decided to give him a chance to finish the round and let his corner work on it. Knowing the immediacy of the situation, Mauceri turned the aggression on, landing punch and kick combos, and pushing Ross to the ropes. But the always cagey Ross used great lateral movement to circumvent Mauceri’s attacks and set up flashy elbow attacks and punch combinations. After the Black and Blue team had a minute to work on Mauceri’s cut, he came out hard and fast in round 2, catching Ross with a great sweep that scored well. But Ross laughed it off confidently and went to work over the rest of the second and beginning of the third round, carving the always advancing Mauceri’s head up with his elbows, causing the doctors to stop the fight and leaving a scar like the Mark of Zorro, in 25 stitches on Mauceri’s head as a souvenir. Wow!
In other notable action, Tiffany van Soest stepped into Payne’s pocket, in close enough range for van Soest to land effectively, but too close for Payne’s much longer arms and legs to have any power. The pressure, movement and power of van Soest were too much for the game and fighting back Payne, but in the end, the Unanimous Decision went to Tiffany: 50-45, 50-46, and 49-46. Mohammed Lemjerdine took on Jason Andrada for the second time. Again, the longer more technical and traditional Lemjerdine controlled the action, scoring two flash knockdowns in the first, that I thought didn’t need to be counted in either instance, but the referee did, thus giving Mohammed a big advantage on the cards. Andrada responded very well, and made it a great and entertaining fight, but couldn’t find that knockout button he used to take the victory last time. The Unanimous Decision went to Lemjerdine: 48-47, 48-45, and 48-46. As a last minute replacement, Pedro Gonzalez stepped in and took on Nick Chasteen. Gonzalez was consistent in his attack, driving Chasteen to the ropes, clinching and mushing, and then dropping elbows and knees when he had position. It was very effective for him, as he scored a standing 8 and a cut over Chasteen’s left eye in the first and then sealing the deal with another series of elbows that cut Chasteen badly enough for the doctors to signal an end to the fight. In both fighters’ pro debut, Tim Amorim showed what traditional Muay Thai strategy and technique can do against a more kickboxing, TKD style as he chopped down Tom Evans front leg, and evaded the spinning back kicks and fists to land hard punches and elbows, causing Evan’s cornermen to stop the fight between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, giving Amorim a TKO victory in his young record.
Amateur Bouts on the card included:
Brian Bogue def. Jesse Skomial by UD
Brandy Young def. Colleen Downey by UD
Stephane Kenny (ne Smarth) def. Dave Hayrikyan UD
Patrick Rivera def. Pavel Zawistowski by MD
Phil DaSilva def. Stoney Morales by MD