LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

Read more...

Lion Fight 20 announced for February 20th 2015

  • Published in Muay Thai

Lion Fight Promotions have just announced their first show of 2015. Lion Fight 20 will take place on February 20th at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

In the main event Jorina Baars will get to defend her title for the first time since winning it at Lion Fight 14 against Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino. She will face Casey Bohrman who only has a record of 8 wins and 5 losses but has fought big names like Germaine DeRandamie.

The Co-main event will feature Chris Mauceri coming off his win over Coke Chunhawat against another tough test originally from Thailand but now training in Atlanta Sittisak. Maybe a win in this fight will give one of them a chance to take the title from Kevin Ross.

The card will be broadcast on AXS TV which means we will get our dose of Michael “The Voice” Schiavello and he will be joined by UFC hall of famer Pat Miletich to do the commentary.

The card will also include:

  • 123 lbs. Bout: Jason Andrada (Las Vegas, NV) vs. John Nofer (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 140 lbs. Bout: Tom Evans (Central Fall, RI) vs. Julio Pena (Boston, MA)
  • 135lbs. Bout: Tim Amorim (Philadelphia, PA) vs. Bryce Lawrence (Naples, FL)
  • 143 lbs. Bout: Gaston Bolanos (Dublin, CA) vs. TBD 
Read more...

Lion Fight 12 Airs Tonight -- Here Are the Weigh-Ins

  • Published in Muay Thai

Lion Fight 12

Tonight is yet again another good night for American Muay Thai as Lion Fight 12 goes down tonight in Las Vegas, airing live on AXS TV at 10PM Eastern time. Lion Fight has always delivered and tonight's card looks to be doing just the same with another action-packed line-up. Here is the card for tonight;

  • LION FIGHT 12 - 10PM - AXS TV
  • LION FIGHT WELTERWEIGHT TITLE: MALAIPET vs. FABIO PINCA
  • TIFFANY VAN SOEST vs. MAGALI FORONI
  • JASON ANDRADA vs. ABER BOUTTAVONG
  • NICK CHASTEEN vs. CHRIS CULLEY
  • GLEN SPENCER JR vs. STEPHEN RICHARDS
  • ANTHONY CASTREJON vs. MIGUEL ROSALES
  • MIRANDA CAYABYAB vs. KAIYANA RAIN

 

Read more...

Lion Fight 18 Competes For Your Time on Friday Night

  • Published in Muay Thai

This Friday night is pretty much unprecedented for Lion Fight. Usually when they are running events they are clear of most competition. There might be a minor Bellator card here and there, but it’s usually nothing of consequence. This time around, well, things are a bit different. On September 5th combat sports fans are treated to an onslaught of programming that means that inevitably, only one event can be watched at a time. You can DVR what you want to watch later, for sure, but three events at the same time? Some DVRs aren’t even capable of such feats. 

This Friday we get to see the first real event from Bellator that will have his fingerprints all over it. Cokertor will finally make its debut with a card featuring King Mo Lawal against GLORY kickboxer Dustin Jacoby. The Bellator Featherweight Champinoship is on the line in a rematch betweeen Patricio Pitbull and Pat Curran, then you have both Cheick Kongo and Bobby Lashley in action. This is probably one of the bigger Bellator events that we’ve ever seen on free TV, at least since they canceled that PPV and moved the show to Spike. 

Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have the UFC. The UFC goes down the street from Bellator to Foxwoods in Connecticut with what is a really stacked card for hardcore fans on free TV. The main event is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi, a rematch from 2008. Then you have 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem against Ben Rothwell, which is an awesome fight. Add in Matt Mitrione and Joe Lauzon into the mix and you have an appealing free card for fight fans.

This is a lot of direct competition for Lion Fight this weekend. A lot. 

The Lion Fight Middleweight Championship is on the line as champion Yodsanklai Fairtex will square off against the game challenger that is Salah Khalifa from the UK. Then you have all-around bad ass Jason Andrada taking on Stan Mancebo in a bout that should feature excitement from beginning to end. Those are just the top two fights. The rest of the card is bound to provide quite a bit of excitement. In fact, to date, Lion Fight has yet to put on an event that would come anywhere close to considered dull. 

Nick Chasteen vs. Jose Palacios is another fight that you might not recognize their names unless you follow American muay thai and kickboxing closely, but this fight has the potential to be one of the better bouts of the night -- that’s across all three events -- and all you gotta do is tune in. Lion Fight has yet to disappoint and on Friday will have a lot of competition, but this fact alone, that Lion Fight has never disappointed, is reason enough to say that the rest can wait.

Read more...

Lion Fight Announces Deal with Apparel Brand Kate Swim

  • Published in Muay Thai

When we talk about kickboxing and muay thai in the United States, we talk about the desire to go "mainstream" and to make big deals happen. Lion Fight has shown a tenacity in growing their brand within the United States and starting on September 5th at Lion Fight 18, they'll be introducing something pretty new to the world of muay thai; fashion. Today they announced a deal with swimwear company Kate Swim, best known for being featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit editions in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

Starting at Lion Fight 18 the promotion will be using Kate Swim models as ring card girls, them decked out in Kate Swim swimsuits. This is some out-of-the-box thinking for Lion Fight, which should definitely be applauded. 

Lion Fight 18 airs on September 5th on AXS TV at 10PM Eastern time.

Read more...

Lion Fight 20's Jorina Baars Talks Ughi Rematch and Life Post-Cyborg Win

  • Published in Interviews

(C) Lion Fight/Bernie Palmore

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll see Lion Fight return to Connecticut with Lion Fight 20. While women headlining major fight cards is still a bit of a misnomer in combat sports Lion Fight is unafraid to place their Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars as their headliner. Baars will be fighting the tough veteran that is Chantal Ughi in what is a rematch from a few years ago. Both women are world-renowned and have fought the best of the best, but for right now Jorina is the woman to beat. 

We briefly spoke with Jorina heading into the fight this Friday about the American media coverage that has come from the Cris Cyborg Justino victory as well as how she feels about the rematch with Ughi.

You’ve fought Chantal Ughi before and it was a close fight, how do you feel that you’ve evolved since then and how different of a fight will this be?

I have evolved in different ways, I developed and gained more experience in Muay Thai, have become stronger physically and mentally. I still train and fight for SportsArt Den Helder and started training with Andre Mannaart from Mejiro Gym to assist in coaching me, he has been the trainer of many champions such as Rob Kaman, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Andy Souwer there is a lot of talent at both Mejiro Gym and SportsArt and all my trainings partners at both these gyms have helped me evolve. I've also been training a lot with Marieke Post, she's a professional fighter as well and a friend, we battle together in the gym each day and she has pushed me forward and I gain lots of strength from her knowledge and passion to fight.

Chantal Ughi is a tough opponent who has made a name for herself by fighting in Thailand, while you have made a name for yourself by fighting in Europe. Do you consider this a clash in styles or traditions?

No I do not think it is a clash of styles and/or traditions, in Muay Thai there are more possibilities than in K1, Glory or Kickboxing rules, that means that this will be a more exciting fight. 

The win over Cyborg Justino was a huge one, how did it feel knowing that many fans saw this as an easy fight for her only to see you outclass her throughout most of the fight?

There was a lot of talk about the Cyborg fight and most fight fans thought that she was going to beat me, they were unfamiliar with me, didn’t know who I am.  But the talk after the fight is that Cyborg only had 2 Muay Thai fights and Jorina has 36.  Cyborg proved to be a great Sport and was honest about it, she stated that she fights anybody, anytime, she accepted the fight and knew where she was up against. I respect Cyborg for that !

Did you feel that you were perhaps being looked over by many people going into the fight against Cyborg?

I am sure some people overlooked me going into the Cyborg fight.  I never underestimated Cyborg, never underestimate any opponent that is put in front of me.  I knew where I was up against as well, Cyborg was a very worthy opponent and she came to fight, we both fought hard and I enjoyed that fight very much. I am always coming to fight, no ifs ands or buts it is what the Fans and Lion Fight expect me to do and it is what I do best.

Have you gotten a lot more attention since the Cyborg win, or has it only been in the United States, really?

I get attention through the Social Media and some Dutch Newspapers after the last fight, now for the upcoming fight against Ughi the newspapers have shown interests again and published some articles.  My day to day life is still the same, I work at a nightclub in Amsterdam as a Bouncer, its happens every once in a while that a guest at our club comes to me and says; “You are Jorina, right ?” it flatters me and respond “Yes, that’s me !”

You’ve dabbled in mixed martial arts before, is that something that you’d like to try again some time, or are you content sticking with muay thai?

I switched to MMA as it was impossible to find anyone to fight me on Muay Thai rules, I like MMA but for now, or at least for the time I am under contract with Lion Fight Promotions I will stay and remain focused on Muay Thai.

Do you feel that there are any specific challenges or hurdles that you have to overcome as a woman in fighting sports?

Women have to train just as hard as their male colleagues, it is easier to get fights as a man, there are just a lot more men fighting then there are women, it’s supply and demand, plain and simple.  Women are underappreciated in the fight business, but there are lots of improvements happening and I am happy to see that and be on the first row of experiencing it.

Is there any one fight out there that you haven’t gotten yet that you’ve really wanted to happen?

Yes there is, I would love to fight Germaine de Randamie. She is a very good and strong fighter. Before she fought in the UFC, both our teams were looking for a promoter who could let us fight at their event, as of today that has not happened yet.  Maybe and hopefully Lion Fight can make that fight happen and I will happily accept that opportunity.

What kind of responsibility do you feel as a World Champion for a sport?

Yes we are an example to all fans, kids and adults alike.  There is a tremendous responsibility with that and I enjoy having to deal with that, in matter of fact it is an honor.  I always like to inspire kids to take on Muay Thai as it not only helps them physically but also mentally, it builds their confidence that they will able to benefit from the rest of their lives. I like to portray the fighting sports and muay thai in a positive light, always have. There are still some misunderstandings for this Sport, especially in the Netherlands and I like to set that record straight and continue to do be righteous– Osu !

 

Read more...

Lion Fight 13 This Friday Night

  • Published in Muay Thai

Lion fight

A bit of a programming note as this Friday evening on AXS TV at 10pm Eastern time Lion Fight 13 will be coming into your living room live. Lion Fight 13 is another blockbuster Lion Fight full rules Muay Thai card featuring Tiffany Van Soest vs. Caley Reece for Van Soest's Lion Fight Women's Featherweight Championship.

  • Lion Fight Women's Featherweight Championship: Tiffany Van Soest (C) vs. Caley Reece
  • Kevin Ross vs. Matt Embree
  • Coke Chunhawat vs. Rami Ibrahim
  • Nick Chasteen vs. Jonathan del Rosario
  • Josh Shepard vs. Daniel Kim
  • Jason Andrada vs. Andy Singh
Read more...

Hungry for Vengeance at Lion Fight 17

  • Published in Muay Thai

Mashantucket Reservation, CT- 8/1/14:  A series of storms rolled up the east coast from the Bahamas up through New England.  Harsh winds and strong rain softened up the surfaces for a big blow from hail much like a series of jabs can set up a strong power punch.  The harsh weather outside reflected what was going on inside the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut.  Lion Fight 17 had brought a thunderstorm of Muay Thai action that few who saw it will forget.  I must say, if you are looking for awesome action, exciting techniques, and awesome aerial displays you don’t need to go to Glory, you can definitely get your fill from the high-class Muay Thai in the Lion Fight Promotions!

This night’s line-up featured some great matches and re-matches, and if you had never seen an actual Lumpini Champion in action live, this was a great opportunity.  Scott Kent and Christine Toledo had brought Malaipet Sasiprapa to the States for a second match-up against Philadelphia’s Justin Greskiewicz.  Also on the card as the co-main event, Brazil’s Cosmo Alexandre was matched-up against Atlanta’s Jo Nattawut.  The professional undercard had great talent in the likes of Brett Hlavacek and Cyrus Washington, Carlos Lopez and Rami Ibrahim, Victor Saravia and Andy Singh, and Tim Amorim versus second time last minute replacement, Pedro Gonzalez.  Even the amateur preliminaries were exciting, entertaining bouts pairing local talent and some tough out-of-towners.  

In the Main Event, a confident and energized Purple People Eater aka Justin Greskiewicz started well, as he came out jabbing, and probing Malaipet’s defense.  Everything was going according to plan until thirty seconds into the fight, when Malaipet countered a probing low kick with a solid overhand right that landed flush on Justin’s temple sending him clattering to the canvas quickly.  Running on auto-pilot at this point, Greskiewicz returned to his feet, wobbled on his rubbery legs, and then pulled himself together in time to beat the count and continue.  The dazed Greskiewicz reverted to his hard-wired programming; advance and attack.  As he came forward, trying to reassert himself and recover the fight if not the round, Malaipet circled and moved around and countered Justin’s punches with hard shin kicks to the ribs and underarms.  Somehow, Justin made it through the first round and back to his corner for a refresher.  The minute rest helped a lot, as Greskiewicz came out back in form for the second.  Although by no means dominant, Justin was more accurate and effective with his boxing.  He landed some hard shots to Malaipet’s head and body, pushing the thickly muscled Thai backwards and into a circling pattern, but not hurting him.  At the same time, Sasiprapa continued to pepper Greskiewicz with hard punches and more kicks to the body.  By the end of the second round, Justin’s latissimus muscles had turned the same dark purple hue of his trunks.  Malaipet had tasted Justin’s power in the first two rounds and seemed to be unimpressed as the third round started.  He began to clown around, sticking out his tongue and shaking his head when hit.  He was baiting Justin to come at him, like holding a fat steak in front of a hungry dog’s eyes.  Undaunted, Greskiewicz advanced, landing a clean 1-2 combination.  Malaipet shrugged it off, again clowning.  Justin pressed forward, closing the distance and trying to land some elbows.  With some smooth footwork, the thick Thai avoided the attack and swept Justin to the ground loudly.  Now behind three rounds and an 8-count, Greskiewicz would have to sell out in the last two stanzas if he was to stake any claim on victory.  He came out of the corner under control but more intense with a more consistent pace.  He had mentioned to me previously that he expected Malaipet’s conditioning to be a weakness in his game, and that he would fade as the rounds went on.  Attacking with good boxing skills and combinations, Greskiewicz managed to cut Malaipet in the corner of his eye.  Malaipet’s reaction to the more oppressive Greskiewicz was stolid, more serious now, with no clowning.  I was briefly reminded of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV when he got cut, or James “the Grim Reaper” Roper in The Great White Hype, taking a good shot as an insult and hitting the switch to really turn his game on.  Going into the final stanza, Justin knew he was behind on the cards, at least 3 rounds to 1 and that pesky early knock-down.  Still under control, knowing that Sasisprapa was looking for that over-aggressive movement to counter hard, Greskiewicz attacked from distance.  He landed a clean high teep to Malaipet’s face, snapping his head back, and giving notice that Justin wasn’t ready to admit defeat just yet.   It seemed as if Justin’s comment about the older Thai’s conditioning was ringing true as Malaipet threw less and less, and defended more and more.  This allowed Justin to rack up points in the round.  However, when Malaipet felt Justin taking too much momentum, he would fire back effectively and not just coast through the round.  The final decision was a Unanimous Decision in favor of the Lumpini Champion, Malaipet Sasiprapa.

In the Co-Main Event, Jo Nattawut took on Cosmo Alexandre in what looked as much like a professional fight in Thailand as almost any fight I’ve seen in the US.  They both took their stances and bouncing rhythms early and began the slow feeling out first round typical of fight in the big stadiums in Thailand.  Once in a while one of the combatants would land a sharp strike, countered equally by the other.  It was the slow steady build up that the true fans of Muay Thai can appreciate, much like the Ram Muay/Wai Kru.  Unfortunately, not everyone in the crowd was an educated fan of Muay Thai.  It was one drunk asshole, who just wanted to see some violence who repeatedly shouted silliness into the ring, things like “kill ‘im”, “rip his fuckin’ head off”, and other lame standards.  Undaunted, and not acknowledging the idiot, the fighters moved on, and in to the second round.  Cosmo seemed to be testing Jo’s power, taking a couple of shots, in order to land a hard on in return.  The pace had picked up a tick, as both fighters used quick punches to set up leg and body kicks, and both countered well when hit.  As the rounds progressed, so did the action and amount of power shots.  More knees from both fighters, more kicks to the head from each marked the passage of time.  In the third and fourth, Cosmo’s Defense First style allowed Jo to dictate the pace and get off clean shots consistently over the two rounds.  Alexandre did take the opportunity to explode in a few well-placed flurries and aerial attacks.  It seemed to me that Nattawut was, however, starting the exchanges and finishing them.  The fifth round was somewhat less than exciting.  A strong throw by Jo early was equalized by one from Cosmo towards the end, with not too much in the middle.  The Split Decision went to Nattawut, 48-47, 47-48, 48-47.

In a very interesting rematch, Cyrus Washington would take on Brett Hlavacek.  Brett had very recently taken Cyrus’ WBC title in a hard-fought battle at Chris Tran’s great Warrior’s Cup promotion in New Jersey.  Although the belt was not up for grabs, a shot at vengeance was.  This type of rematch is often great motivation for the guy who had lost the first.  They often rededicate and refocus themselves, pushing to another level during training.  However, it appeared that Brett had counted on that and trained harder and more effectively than ever before.  Brett came out in the best shape I have ever seen him in, and looked not only confident, as he usually is, but also focused, and serious.  Cyrus came out toned and ready as ever.  At the bell, Cyrus came out swinging for the fences, trying to punish Brett and possibly hurt him early.  Brett, however, was on his defensive game, blocking or evading most of Cyrus’ shots.  In a short clinch, Brett grazed Cyrus’ eyebrow with a rising elbow.  It didn’t land hard and flush, but just enough to open a cut and start a trickle of blood between Cyrus’ eyes.  The fight progressed with an intense pace, with both fighters flashing elbows and power kicks.  At one point, Brett landed an elbow and went to finish the combo with a jumping knee, Cyrus spotted it coming, and stepped around into a safe position and swept the already airborne Brett, flipping him upside down, landing in a heap on the back of his neck.  Brett smiled, picked himself up, and a moment later landed a straight right hand flush to Cyrus’ chin, sending Washington to the mat for an 8 count.  The rounded ended with Brett pinning Cyrus to the ropes and peeking over his shoulder to watch himself on the big screen.  He landed a few lateral knees to Cyrus’ flank then pushed off and landed a nice elbow at the bell.  This caught Cyrus’ attention.  From then on, Cyrus would try to press and push the pace, desperate to even the score and take the victory.  As Cyrus pressed forward, he was stepping into Brett’s range.  Brett used his quick hands and good movement landing some flashy and effective blows, including a teep to the face, some good elbows, and a nice double round-kick going from Cyrus’ body then quickly up to his head.  The fourth round slowed the output a bit, as each man seemed to be resting up for the final showdown.  In that final round, Cyrus’ used a savvy right feint to set up and land a hard left hook to Brett’s head and followed that trying to take the momentum, round and possibly the fight.  Brett tried to smother Cyrus’ attacks, but didn’t go on the offensive in return.  He seemed to be shutting the engines down and relying on the rounds he had banked as well as that knock down.  The decision was one of the only weird ones of the night, as one judge had it 47-47, one 48-46 and the last 48-45 for a majority decision for Hlavacek.

In other notable pro action, Rami Ibrahim suffered a tough loss to the taller, longer, quicker and stronger Carlos Lopez by Unanimous Decision: 49-46, 49-46, 50-44.  An acrobatic aerial attack from Andy Singh was shot down by the grounded, steady approach of Victor Saravia.  Saravia won by TKO in the fourth round.  In his second pro fight, Tim Amorim learned a valuable lesson; don’t sleep on last minute replacements.  The always game Pedro Gonzalez kept up his usual bull-rushing style, driving Tim to the ropes and dropping him with a right hook.  The game Amorim played matador as well as he could, but the ring was not big enough for him to keep a distance.  He was eventually bullied into a TKO loss in the fourth round.

The amateur bouts were exciting and good match-ups, although I would like to see them lose the head-gear and shin pads.  The pro fights were top notch, and the Main Event did not disappoint.  It was a great night that showed not only great Muay Thai technique, but the heart, discipline and character of Thai-boxers that help build the reputation and mystique of our beloved Art of Eight Limbs.  

-CHOK DEE!

Amateur Results:
Jared Tipton def Jose Rivera by UD
Billy Keenan def Chanon Kuldaree by SD
Bryce Lawrence def Stephane Smarth by UD
Nicole Scimeme def Jessica Palencar by UD
Patrick Rivera def Nate King by UD

Read more...

Lion Fight Announces Lion Fight 16 Main Card

  • Published in Muay Thai

(C) Bauzen

Lion Fight 16 will be airing live on AXS TV on Friday, July 4th from the Pearl at the Palms. The event will be officially a part of UFC's International Fight week, meaning that fans in attendance for UFC's big, multi-event weekend will have Lion Fight 16 as a part of their official itinerary, meaning Lion Fight might see one of their biggest turnouts yet in their biggest venue yet; the Pearl at the Palms. The event will be headlined by Kevin Ross and Michael Thompson fighting for the Lion Fight Super Lightweight Championship, while the co-main sees Tiffany Van Soest take on Sindy Huyer. 

Lion Fight Super Lightweight Title: Kevin Ross vs. Michael Thompson
Tiffany Van Soest vs. Sindy Huyer (125 lbs.)
Rungravee vs. Adrian Morilla (132 lbs.)
Katel Kubis vs. Michael Corley (155 lbs.)
Tyler Toner vs. Gaston Bolanos (142 lbs.)

Read more...

Top Class Muay Thai Fighters, Top Class Fights At Lion Fight 20

  • Published in Muay Thai

(C) Bauzen

Foxwoods Casino, 2/20/15: Scott Kent and the Lion Fight crew delivered another great night of fights, showcasing what really makes Muay Thai the Sport of Kings. If you don’t already know, what sets Muay Thai apart from other combat sports is the sportsmanship, honor, respect and friendship amongst the fighters. Even after what was to some a questionable decision the fighters always maintained a smile on their face, and acknowledged the skill and ability of their opponent. By the end of the night there were two after parties. One at Scorpion, the bar across the hall from the Fox Theater, where UFC Veteran and BJJ Gold Medalist Gabriel Gonzaga and many other spectators were partying it up and burning off the adrenaline. The other, smaller party was fighters, coaches and cute medical staff only, and it was in the ambulances and emergency room of the local hospital, where at least half a dozen of the fighters got to bond. The pictures from the taxi’s, buses, ambulances and ER are great. They look like pictures from a kid’s 12th birthday party. But enough of this love in the hospital, let’s get to the war in the ring.

In the main event Jorina Baars was just too fast, too strong, and too accurate for the more experienced Chantal Ughi to handle. Starting with a one-sided first round in which Jorina came forward with a mix of punches, body and low kicks that kept Ughi moving back, defending, and still taking clean hits. Although Chantal posed no danger to Jorina, her own front leg was quickly in danger of collapse from Baars’ kicks. More of the same action followed in the second round. Sensing her imminent demise, Ughi began throwing elbows after clinching Jorina, but couldn’t find the space to make effective contact. She did have a brief flash of life before the end of the round, but it turned out to be naught but a last gasp. Although Chantal made it out of the round, she was unable to get off the stool, and surrendered from her corner before the third round could start.

The co-main event was one of those fights that could have been a disaster on paper, but in either direction. Joe Sittisak has a world of experience, but with that experience comes an older body which can break down in training or a fight. Chris Mauceri has youth, speed, height and reach on his side. Youth brings with it passion and aggression, whereas the elder has composure, patience, power and resilience. Watching this fight was like watching a young fighter training on a heavybag, or even more like a wing chun dummy, heavybags move too much. Mauceri came forward tirelessly, like an incoming high tide, throwing waves of punches, kicks and knees. But like a strong seawall, Sittisak just absorbed them and turned them back. He moved around the ring like tired old elephant, but when he felt his back touch those ropes, he would fire back with a solid combination, or a clean knee or kick to the body, or a sweep so smooth and effortless you’d think he was on ice. The rounds were close, and followed the same pattern for the first four rounds with Sittisak doing just barely enough to keep the Upstate New York product at bay. In the fifth the older Thai looked like he just wanted to get to the end and have a cigarette and a beer. He had put enough rounds in the bank and was now in cruise-control. Mauceri may have sensed he was behind because he hit the gas even harder, coming forward and almost literally swinging for the fences with huge arcing right hands that Sittisak either slipped, faded, or countered. One of those counters punched Chris’ ticket to the ER, opening up a gash over his left eye which was bad enough for the ref to ask the doctor to look at. After the pause, Chris opened up the throttle even more and poured on the pressure. It was a valiant effort, and a great fight, but in the end the heavy bag will always be hanging there ready for more, while we need to rest and ice. So to did Sittisak win by UNANIMOUS DECISION 48-47 x 3 judges.

I wish I could just skip the rest of the card, oh faithful reader, and list the results. But to do so would be an injustice of the highest order to both you and the fighters who had the crowd dazzled. So dazzled that they didn’t really know when to applaud or cheer. Or perhaps they were on Japanese manners that night? It was ironic because the theater was filled, but almost silent for most of the time during the fights. I think not having the traditional Thaiboxing music playing during the rounds opened up the ears to hear the silence from the crowd. The other pro fights were intense, but I’ll try to keep it short.

John Nofer shocked everyone in the Muay Thai world except for him, his trainer Rami Ibrahim, and the Sitan family. After Jason Andrada started fast with some heavy leather and leg kicks, Nofer landed a solid right cross that make Andrada acknowledge it with a smile and nod. The emotionless Nofer just pushed his fists deeper into his gloves and came forward like the Terminator. Andrada’s movement and quick slickness weren’t enough in the second round to prevent a sudden knockdown that he popped up from but had to endure a count for. Then he got his with a solid and well placed left handed crossing elbow that cut Jason just above and behind his right eye. After getting up, smiling and wiping the blood from his face Andrada attacked. But attacking the Terminator never worked in the movies, and it didn’t work that night as the stoic young automaton put together enough punishing combinations that referee Tom Sconzo was forced to step in for a standing 8-count, effectively the 3rd knockdown of the round and thus end of the fight. Nofer wins by TKO at 2:58 of the second round.

In what started out at a slow simmer of a fight in the first soon heated up and boiled over as the rounds wore on between Rich Abraham, out of Chicago, and Jo Nattawut, up from Georgia. They started out with the traditional slow Thai pace, and I figured out quickly, as it appeared Jo did, that Abraham was a slugging boxer, throwing hard punches at every opportunity. Nattawut seemed made for this type of opponent as he figured out that his own kicks were as fast, if not faster from distance than Abraham’s arsenal of punches. The tough and aggressive Abraham continued to press forward and advance through all five rounds, including the fifth in which Nattawut really tried to step it up and put him away. Nattawut had tasted Abraham’s power a few times in the fight, but was not afraid of it, to the point that he would bait Abraham with lowered hands, and if not taunt, then at least toy with him, pulling out any trick he could muster, including a cartwheel kick that looked good until it missed and Jo landed heels over head in the ropes. Aside from that, Nattawut dominated, cutting up Abraham’s head, sending him to the ER Party, UNANIMOUS DECISION, Nattawut.

Dublin, CA sent us Gaston Bolanos and his interesting mix of traditional and exotic techniques to take on New York’s Caleb Archer and his tough Sitan style. A good match up with both fighters showing great skill and stamina, however a close eye could see that Gaston was building momentum and confidence as the fight progressed. He was looking for a spinning back elbow throughout, setting it up from afar with a right cross miss, then stepping through and spinning the left elbow. He missed it about 4 times, but like a good baseball player knows, with enough at-bats he’ll get the homerun, he stayed with it. And it paid off in the 3rd round; when he finally landed the right spinning back elbow flush to Caleb’s head, knocking him out at 1:05 in the round. A quick note here about the great refereeing of this moment in particular. Caleb was unconscious but on his feet. Veteran fighter and referee Coban Lookchaomaesaithong (yes, I had to look up the spelling!) stopped the action, waived off the fight, and caught the fighter in his arms before he could hit the mat and bounce his head off the floor. I can’t stress how important that is, because the concussive force of a limp person’s head hitting the floor compounds and amplifies the damage from the original blow, if not creating its own separate concussion. Kudos to you, Coban!

Julio Pena gave up height and reach, but carried the muscle needed to get inside and pound on Tom Evans. After a clinch had been broken, Tom turned his back momentarily and walked away. Pena seized the opportunity and jumped in front of Evans, unloading a barrage of punches. There is already a Vine of the knockout, title “One-punch KO” but that takes away from the effort that Julio truly exerted. He through punches non-stop for a good ten-seconds before landing that perfect right cross. Ten seconds of non-stop full power punching is no joke. Try it. I’ll wait… 8…9…10. Okay, now catch your breath, wipe the sweat and reassess the one-punch theory. All that work earned Julio a KO at 1:30 of the first, and Tom Evans a VIP ticket to the ER Party.

The first professional fight, which sadly didn’t make it to air on AXS TV was one of the most even match ups and a great contest. Bryce Lawrence showed some fluid movement and great combinations in the first round, scoring both a knock-down 8-count and a cut on Tim Amorim’s face. Tim is normally a slow starter, but picked his pace up quickly from the time of the knock down. Through the second, third and fourth rounds he stayed aggressive until Bryce checked his progress with strong punch combos followed by nice snappy kicks and forced him into the reverse. The very game and tough Amorim continued to fight back, but was moving backwards away from the smooth and confident Lawrence. In the fifth, just when Bryce was looking winded, he snapped a teep to Tim’s face that scored well and followed it with a right cross, spinning back-fist combo that put Tim down for another 8 count and sealed the deal for Bryce Lawrence, giving him a majority decision, 47-47, 48-46, 47-46.

Amateur Results:

KRIS SILCK def. Brian Gamez by TKO Rd. 2.
GREG MULGREW def. Mike Carbonneau by KO Rd. 1.
STACEY SCAPECCIA def. Colleen Downey by UD
JULIAN NGUYEN def. Chris Malloy by UD
PHIL DaSILVA def. Ben Anton by SD
Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version