Tonight marks the long-awaited match between Canadian Simon Marcus, and the Russian Artem Levin, scheduled to take place at Lion Fight 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also on the card Tiffany Van Soest defends her WBC belt against Natalie Yip, and American sensation Kevin Ross takes on U.K. WBC Champion Bernie Mendieta. The show begins at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on AXS TV. As always, Liverkick has got you covered with live updates and results throughout the night. Follow me and the rest of the gang on twitter @SandersonSensei @Liverkickdotcom and @Rianscalia.--
Jason Andrada def. Erick Ruiz by KO in Rd. 1
Ognjen topic def. Paowrit Sasiprapa by KO in Rd. 3
Kevin Ross def. Bernie Mendieta by Split Decision
Tiffany Van Soest def. Natalie Yip by Unanimous Decision
Simon Marcus def. Artem Levin by Unanimous Decision
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Play by Play
Jason Andrada vs. Erick Ruiz
The fight starts at a medium pace with both fighters beginning to test the waters of the others defense. Andrada throws a high kick and follows it up right hand. They exchange leg kicks. Ruiz's left hands is dropping dangerously low. Andrada circles Ruiz back into the corner, slips a left and then counters with a big right hands that drops Ruiz to the canvas. He's not getting up from this one, and the fight is all over.
Final: Jason Andrada def. Erick Ruiz by KO (right cross) in Rd. 1
Ognjen Topic vs. Paowrit Sasiprapa
Both fighters come out cautiously. Two minutes in Topic throws two quick left hands and left high kick that clips Paowrit on the chin and drops him to the canvas. Paowrit is given a standing eight count. He recovers well looks like, but Topic is throwing with power. Topic catches a leg and dumps the Thai to the canvas. Paowrit attempts a Muay Boran-style carthweel kick to end the round, but whiffs on air. Round 1 comes to an end. /10-8 Topic/
Round 2 begins and Paowrit comes out throwing with less reservations. Topic catches the leg and lands a sweep. Paowrit eats a few jabs then throws a body kick. Topic pushes the Thai off balance with a strong teep, but Paowrit comes back with two strong body shots. Sasiprapa is eating jabs and walking through them. They exchange high kicks. Paowrit throws a punch combination and eats another hard left high kicks. He goes down in slow motion. Beautiful kick from Topic. The Thai beats the 8 count right at the bell. /10-8 Topic/
Round 3 starts and Topic lands yet another blistering headkick right out of the gate. Paowrit eats it flush. He's finished. Great, great coming out party from the man from New Jersey.
Final: Ognjen Topic def. Paowrit Sasiprapa by KO (head kick) in Rd. 3.
Kevin Ross vs. Bernie Mendieta
Both guys came out quick, Mendieta throws a high kick and Ross responds with a low kick, right cross combo. The two exchange punches and then lock up in the clinch with Ross pushing foward with knees and drving Mendieta into the ropes. Ross lands a few push kicks, Mendieta responds mostly with punching combinations then drives in a hard leg kick. Ross goes upstairs with a high kick and it catches glove. The American tosses Mendieta to the mat just as the round ends. Very close round, I have it even /10-10 draw/
At the opening bell Ross opens with a hard overhand right followed by a short left hook that catches Mendieta on the chin and wobbles him. Medieta fires back with crisp straight punches and leg kicks, but for the most part they're blocked. Mendieta lands a body, then throws a headkick that Ross sways back to avoid. They lock up in the clinch and Mendieta lands a nice upwards elbow to the nose. Ross is still landing, but it is getting outworked by the Brit. They exchange hooks at the bell. Another close round, but I'd lean towards Mendieta. It could easily go both ways./10-9 Mendieta/
Round 3 begins and immediately Mendieta looks the fresher fighter. The U.K. based nak muay launches a barrage of elbows and punches, and it doesn't seem Ross has much of an answer. Ross remains on the back foot, barely getting out of the way of a high kick. He throws a half-hearted teep and a body kick, but Mendieta keeps up the pressure. At the end of the round, Ross is looking almost completely gassed. /10-9 Mendieta/
Ross comes out looking a bit more inspired, landing a few solid right hooks and leaning out of the way of Mendieta's punches. There's not much pop on them though, and Bernie continues to march forward as Ross circles off to the center of the ring. Ross trips Mendieta to the ground, but is quickly pressed into the corner upon the stand-up. Spinning back elbow by Ross is blocked. They trade hooks and Ross lands an elbow. Mendieta moves in and lands a knee in the clinch. Mendieta is cut, but it was another round for the man from the U.K. in my opinion. Very close. /10-9 Mendieta/
Desperate urges from Ross' corner as the final round starts off. Ross landing, Mendieta returning the favor. Mendieta pushing forward, pulling Ross into the clinch and throwing knees. Ross doing well to defend and fire back but Mendieta's starting to really turn it on now. He pushes Ross towards the corner and throws everything but the kitchen sink at him. The fight ends with the throwing in the middle of the ring. It's a pretty round for Mendieta to me. /10-9 Mendieta/
It goes to the judges scorecards, and they clearly saw something different than I did, with scores of 48-47 Mendieta, 48-47 Ross, and for the win by split decision, 48-47, Kevin Ross.
Final: Kevin Ross def. Bernie Mendieta by Split Decision
Tiffany Van Soest vs. Natalie Yup
Natalie Yip starts quick, opening up with nice rear leg kicks to the mid section. Van Soest presses forward lands a few good shots and engages the clinch. Yip dumps Van Soest to the canvas. The remainder of the round is a clinch battle with neither woman gaining any significant advantage. Too close to call in my opinion. /10-10 draw/
Tip starts the second with a teep to the face the engages the clinch and rips a few hard knees to the ribs. Van Soest attempts a spinning elbow, lands a right hand, and then ferociously dumps Yip to the canvas. Van Soest begins to take control near the mid way point of the round, landing some good punches and another trip landing in some weird MMA position. Close, again, but I'd have give to Van Soest. /10-9 Van soest/
Van Soest comes out taking control, landing a right hand and a leaping sweep that spins Yip into the air. Timebomb pushes forward and lands a stiff right hand. Yip throws a few body kicks and pushes forward into the clinch. Van Soest dances around Yip and pops a few shots to the face as the round ends. /10-9 Van Soest
Van Soest is opening up now, landing a left then a right, then a flying knee to yip in the corner. Yip is trying to establish her range but Van soest is moving in and out too well. Van Soest landed a solid uppercut. Wild hands from both fighters. Yip lands a solid leg kick but is countered by two hooks. The round comes to an end. /10-9 Van Soest/
Van soest immediately begins going to work in the 5th, landing some hard punches, elbows, and attempting a wild spinning backfist. Yip trying to defend and throw powerful kicks to the body, but they're simply having no effect. Timebomb pushes in, lands two leg kicks and forces the clinch, throwing a knee. Van Soest throws some nasty backwards elbows in the clinch and then does a strange judo throw that definitely should be illegal. /10-9 Van Soest/
It goes to the judges cards, and it goes as expected with Tiffany Van Soest taking a unanimous decision victory.
Final: Tiffany Van Soest def. Natalie Yip by Unanimous Decision
Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus
First round begins and Levin comes out landing well with his hands. Marcus engages the clench and almost goes over the ropes for his efforts. Artem lands a very solid body shot, and now Levin is the one almost going over the ropes. Simon lands some good knees from the clinch, and is taken down against by Levin.Spinning back elbow to the body from Levin. Good round for both guys- /10-9 Levin/
Simon picks it up at the start of round 2, landing some great elbows, and bodyslams Levin from the clinch. They clinch again, and Marcus trips him to the canvas. After taking some more elbows Levin lands, and trip take down. The round finishes with Marcus firing in some good knees. Clear cut round for the Canadian- /10-9 Marcus/
Levin begins working the jab from the onset, Marcus is looking for elbows and the clinch. They exchange knees against the ropes. Marcus continues to push forward and pressure the fight. What a war! /10-9 Marcus/
Round 4 starts and Marcus continues to keep up the pace, absolutely smothering in the clinch and landing some very solid knees and working the elbows. Levin begins to come back now, throwing a few solid jabs and a body shot, but is quickly turned around again into the clinch. Levin lands a HARD elbow near the end of the round. I'm leaning towards Levin. /10-9 Levin/
Marcus comes out like a house on fire in Round 5, opening up with a solid straight punching combination, and then immediately forcing the clinch. Simon lands a few good leg kicks and AGAIN moves into the clinch where he throws hard knees. Marcus tackles Levin back into the turn-buckle. They exchange furiously as the round comes to an end. What a war. I have Marcus taking the last round, and the fight, but we'll have to see what the judges think. /10-9 Marcus/
Final Results: Simon Marcus def. Artem Levin by Unanimous decision