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Triumph Kombat 4 at Madison Square Garden – PHOTOS

The Striking Corner was recently able to attend the Triumph Kombat 4 event held in NYC at the iconic theater at Madison Square Garden. While the original fight card was slated to feature 20 fights total (18 amateur, 2 pro), as is customary in the fight game, injuries and other unforeseen issues ended up bringing the number of fights down to a final 17.

However, the 17 fights did not disappoint and the matchmakers for Triumph Kombat did a great job bringing together some very talented amateurs from around the tri-state area to showcase the promotion’s brand of fast-paced full rules Muay Thai. Traditionally in Muay Thai, all bouts are 5 rounds (2-minute rounds for amateurs and 3-minute rounds for pros).

Triumph Kombat rules push for high paced action by making all fights 3 rounds, in an effort to prevent stalling, and motivate fighters to push the pace from the opening bell.

A few Muay Thai promotions worldwide have also adopted a similar rule set and it seems many more casual fans are enjoying the change. While traditionalists may frown upon this change, we believe there is room for both presentations of Muay Thai in the US. Yet, if we want to see Muay Thai grow in America, perhaps some innovation is necessary.

With that said, even though the faster paced, full rules Muay Thai should open up the opportunity to see more knockouts, it did not happen on this night. Regardless, the amateurs, even those with less than a handful of fights, put on solid performances that often times made them look far more experienced than what would be expected given their records.

Most, if not all fights, were action-packed and entertaining. The judging was also far less controversial than usual, except for the main event, where the decision was, in our opinion, a complete travesty. But as Muay Thai grows in America and until more judges are trained in how to properly judge Muay Thai, we will still have to suffer through growing pains.

All in all, a great night of Full Rules Muay Thai action in one of the most historic venues in America and the newest member of The Striking Corner family, Pari Aryafar AKA Pari Cherry, was on hand to capture some of the night’s highlights which we have shared in the gallery below.

If you are interested in seeing more of Pari’s pictures from the Triumph Kombat 4 event or would like to purchase one of the images she took, please head to her official website at www.pari-cherry.com

Also, on the recent episode of The Striking Corner Podcast Vinny and Eric take some time to discuss the event and you can listen to that on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play Music or you can listen to it here on our site at the following link.

 

Gear Review: Combat Corner HMIT 10 oz Competition Boxing Gloves

by Drew Winkler

BASIC FACTS

Weight: 10 Oz’s

Colors: Blue and red

Material: 100% premium Cowhide Leather

Closure: Velcro

Handmade in Thailand (HMIT)

Retail price: $109.99

THE MANUFACTURER

Combat Corner was founded in 2007 by former professional MMA fighter Dan LaSavage. Since then, it has become one of the top manufacturers in martial arts equipment, sponsoring the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Ben Askren. They take great pride in the durability of their products, using only the finest raw materials to ensure lasting quality.

APPEARANCE

The CC Competition boxing gloves are only sold in blue and red, providing few choices. As for the color distribution, it varies depending on what part of the glove you’re looking at. For example, on the blue pair, the trimming is lighter than on other parts of the glove. This might bother some, but I personally enjoy the contrast. That being said, it’s only a minor difference. Aside from the trimmings and the top part of the glove, the rest is dark black leather, which allows the blue to really pop. On the thumb is a white insignia with an outline of Thailand and a caption reading, “Hand Made in Thailand” and beneath that, “Premium Quality.” The strap also reminds the customer of the quality and origin of these gloves as it features a similar insignia and a Combat Corner in gold stitching. In short, aside from a few distinguishing features, these gloves have a pleasantly simple appearance.

MATERIALS: 9/10

They’re made from 100% cowhide leather and multi-layered foams. The toughness of the leather makes them highly resistant to scratches and other kinds of superficial damage. As for the foam inserts, they are extremely durable and excellent at absorbing tough blows. You’ll typically want to avoid using competition gloves for bag-work as this particular activity tends to cause the greatest amount of wear and tear. But the combination of cowhide leather and multi-layered foam inserts makes them tougher and better suited for bag work than your usual pair of competition gloves.

CRAFTSMANSHIP: 9/10

Both the grip bar and outside padding on these are accentuated, even more so than on some 12 and 14oz gloves. This provides greater protection while punching and in situations where you’re forced to take kicks on the gloves. This makes sense considering they were designed with competition in mind, where the risk of injury is always heightened. So in terms of protection, these gloves score high. Another thing I noticed is that its Velcro surface extends under the wrist, providing a tighter fit. This feature makes these gloves accessible to people with varying wrist sizes. One drawback is that it tends to leave a lot of exposed Velcro, and since Velcro is a very coarse material, this can cause your opponent or training partner rug-burn when clinch fighting.

COMFORT/USE: 9/10

Initially, these gloves were extremely tight and provided little to no wiggle room. This made it harder to open and close my hands while wearing them, making the following tasks more difficult: closing your fists at the end of punches, spreading your hands when throwing elbows, navigating the clinch, and lastly, catching and parrying kicks. All of these require the ability to open and close your hands with ease. Thus, the initial tightness of the gloves was an inconvenience. That being said, this became less of a problem with time and continued use. Eventually, the foam inserts began to soften, the leather stretched a bit, and the gloves themselves gained a looser and more comfortable feel. In other words, the comfortability of these gloves really depends on how often they’re used.

CONCLUSION: 9/10

Combat Corner’s 10oz competition gloves were clearly designed with efficiency in mind. The materials used to construct these gloves are incredibly durable, providing lasting quality and continued protection over time. The only drawback to this is that they’re initially very stiff, and, in comparison to other gloves, take longer to break in. But after a few months of consistent use, maximum comfort is added to their overall quality.

Score: 9/10

Glory 48 Results + Photos

GLORY Kickboxing visited the Mecca of fight sports once again, as Glory 48 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City this past Friday, Dec. 1st, 2017. The event featured a great card highlighted by two title fights, one of which was the highly anticipated super bantamweight world title fight between USA’s Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest and Anissa Meksen of France. The Striking Corner’s Victor Alvarez was on hand with his camera to capture all of the action on this amazing night of fights. Check out the full results and images from the event below:

GLORY 48 New York:
– Kevin Vannostrand def. Anvar Boynazarov by KO at 1:06, Round 1; Vannostrand claims interim GLORY featherweight title
– Robert Thomas def. Mike Lemaire by KO at 0:18, Round 3; Thomas wins GLORY middleweight tournament
– Thiago Silva def. John King by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
– Robert Thomas def. Wayne Barrett by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-27); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal
– Mike Lemaire def. Matt Baker by unanimous decision (extra round); Thomas advances to GLORY middleweight tournament semifinal

GLORY 48 SuperFight Series:
– Anissa Meksen def. Tiffany Van Soest by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46); Meksen claims GLORY women’s super bantamweight title
– Chris Camozzi def. Kyle Weickhardt by TKO at 3:00, Round 3
– Elvis Gashi def. Nate Richardson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
– Ivan Galaz def. Paul Banasziak by majority decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
– Itay Gershon def. Justin Houghton by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Could Iman Barlow headline Enfusion Live 51 in Canada against Ashley Nichols?

News recently emerged that Dutch kickboxing promotion, Enfusion Live are headed to Canada on July 8, 2017 with further details of the venue for Enfusion Live 51 and the overall fight card, to be announced in due course.

However, Iman Barlow had some very interesting things to say in her post-fight interview after winning the Muay Thai Grand Prix bantamweight title against, Therese Gunnarsson at MTGP 7“Pretty Killer” thinks she could be facing Canadian fighter, Ashley Nichols in her next fight come July 8.

“Maybe Canada. Enfusion Live in Canada which, would be wicked in July. Then Lion Fight hopefully, return to Lion defend that belt end of July.”

“Its a Canadian girl. Ashley Nichols I think, I think, I think. But obviously she’s Canadian so I’m guessing I think it might be her and she’s returning home from Thailand; and she’s a good fighter and obviously we were together on the ‘Reality’. We didn’t fight each other but we were there together, so we will see.”

The kickboxing and Muay Thai platform for international female fights in the North Americas seems to be building momentum, especially with Tiffany Van Soest from California, becoming GLORY Kickboxing‘s first female champion; and GLORY having recently signed multiple world champion, Anissa Meksen.

Both Van Soest and Meksen’s careers enter a very interesting stage this year along with Barlow. All three are widely regarded as three of the very best in their division, with Meksen having a second round stoppage win over “Pretty Killer” in 2014. However, after MTGP 7, she was accused by Iman’s Dad, Mark Barlow, of twice pulling out of rematches with Iman for Enfusion.

Then there’s the beef that’s brewing between Van Soest and Barlow. Tiffany isn’t one to pull her punches when verbally lambasting any of her rivals, especially Barlow, after the latter didn’t sign a GLORY contract due to, alleged miscommunications between her manager, Edwin Van Os (owner of Enfusion Live) and GLORY, over the proposed terms for fighting under the GLORY banner.

The coming weeks and months seem likely to unfold with some interesting developments for all three women and it will be interesting to see if Barlow vs. Van Soest could possibly happen this year, with their being no restrictions for such a match-up by Enfusion. However, Iman’s contract with Enfusion prevents her from fighting Meksen outside of the Dutch promotion, for reason explained in her post-fight interview.

 

Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 Roundup: Charlie Peters and Iman Barlow with KO title defences

Charlie Peters and Iman Barlow both showed that champions do what champions do and that’s win with solid performances to their defend their world titles at, Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 on April 1, 2017 at the O2 Indigo, London.

Peters who, is overdue a Lion Fight title-shot following his KO win against Nauzet Trujillo at MTGP 5, would defeat Theo Michailidis with a fourth round TKO. The Greek fighter was almost stopped by “Charlie Boy” towards the end of the third round but managed to recover from being knocked-down in the dying seconds, only for the fight to be waived off by Michailidis’s coach, Pavlos Kaponis, in the fourth round after another onslaught from Peters.

The victory sets-up an epic clash for Peters against the UK’s number one ranked 65kg Muay Thai fighter and Yokkao world champion, Liam Harrison at MTGP 9 on July 15. The fight has been several years in the making and will headline the much anticipated event.

Lion Fight and Enfusion Live world champion, Iman Barlow added the MTGP women’s bantemweight title to her trophy cabinet, with a fifth round KO win against, Therese Gunnarsson. The two had fought before in March 2015 with “Pretty Killer” having won their first encounter by decision, However, this time round, Iman ensured it wasn’t left for the judges with a powerful display against a resilient and competitive Gunnarsson.

Carlton Lieu who, had won by decision against Asa Ten Pow at MTGP 6, secured an unanimous decision victory against Julian Ariza last night too. As you may or may not recall, Lieu is also another British Muay Thai fighter that has secured himself a Lion Fight title-shot via the promotional partnerships between the two promotions and it will be interesting to see when he will making the trip across the Atlantic this year.

Muay Thai Grand Prix 7 – Results:

59kg MTGP world championship defence:
Jose Varela def. Rung Kharnphan via unanimous decision

53.5kg MTGP world championship, title fight:
Iman Barlow def. Therese Gunnarsson via TKO (rd 5)

66.7kg MTGP world championship defence:
Charlie Peters def. Theo Michailidis via TKO (rd 4)

63kg ISKA European title fight:
Carlton Lieu def. Julian Ariza via unanimous decision

52.5kg ISKA European title fight:
Luciano Mendola def. Evan Jays via split decision

67kg ISKA European title fight:
Michael Pham def. Shane O’Neill via unanimous decision

Paul Barber def. Alex Dass via KO (rd 1)

Bart Tweed def. Reiya via majority decision

Ryan Li def. Leon Jason via unanimous decision

Nicolas Mendes def. Jesus Arias via KO (rd 2)

James Toomey def. Daniel Terry via unanimous decision

Jenna Ross def. Kelly Haynes via unanimous decision

Phil Casper def. Fabio Agius via unanimous decision

Richard Abraham opens up about his childhood and being focused on fighting and family

Richard Abraham (11-3) will welcome former Thai Fight ‘Super Champion’ Antoine Pinto (130-36-1) to GLORY Kickboxing tomorrow in the co-main event of, GLORY 38 at the Sears Center, Chicago. Abraham is undefeated in GLORY and on a four fight win streak since making his own GLORY debut a year ago at GLORY 27.

Abraham’s fighting career was influenced by his upbringing which, was a tough one for him and his siblings, after his Mom passed when he was 12 years of age. He and his brother, struggled to deal with the emotional anguish which, spilled over into violent aggression growing up, especially when insults would fly around amongst other youngsters. Eventually though, he learnt to curb his aggression and focused his energy instead on Muay Thai and winning various titles including the WKA world championships in Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Losing his Mom as a child and growing up fighting

“When I was younger I lost my Mom the I was 12 and back then the ‘your Momma’ jokes was like the biggest thing. So it was like your Momma this, your Momma that you know at time I’m angry. That turned into a lot of gifts for me, you know, my brother and I; people spout off about something, we try to give people a chance but people still get brave and get stupid you know. It’s just a fight to me, you win or lose, it’s not whatever.”

“I’m not overwhelmed but like I have to run a business, I have to provide for my family, have six kids, I train fighters, I personal train people and I train at a very high level. So what kinda takes priority in my life is I mean, for what I need to care about and that’s about it.”

Committed to the cause and no excuses

“A lot of people don’t want to put in the work, its easy to fall behind with excuses. No one would blame me if I said, man, I’ve got my family, I’ve got to support my family, you know. I can’t kickbox no more. No one would blame me, I don’t think anyone would. Just my life is so busy, I’ve got to run my business. Actually, I make less money because I’ve less time focusing on fighting, it’s not bad money, not phenomenal. I would make more money if I just focused on what I did. So I take a step back and look at what’s important in my life and what legacy I want leave and my kids to view me.”

“If you want something bad enough, you’ll make time for it if not, you’ll make an excuse.”

Pinto’s ring experience tremendously exceeds that of Abraham’s. However, the Chicago based fighter’s development over the years has gathered momentum and with his resolute mindset, the co-main event between both fighters will certainly make for a very interesting match-up.

Click here to listen and download the full podcast with Richard Abraham.