Iman Barlow

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

Episode 49 – Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow

In this episode of The Striking Corner podcast, Eric & Vinny speak with current Lion Fight Super Bantamweight Champion and Enfusion 54 kg Champion, Iman Barlow! Iman is currently regarded as one of the top female Muay Thai fighters in the world in her weight class. She has not lost a fight since 2014 and with over 100+ amateur fights and close to 100 professional fights, she has a wealth of experience in the sport yet she is still just 23 years young!

Iman discusses growing up around the sport from the age of 2, her unique childhood as a fighter that travelled the world (the benefits and struggles), women’s Muay Thai, haters, rediscovering her love for Muay Thai after taking time off to be a “wild child”, and so much more. A fun interview all around and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Lion Fight 34 – Roundup and results: Controversial loss for Chasteen, Barlow and Eersel rule supreme

Regian Eersel and Iman Barlow both retained their title last night in dominant fashion at Lion Fight 34 in Las Vegas. However, the night was marred in controversy by a debatable decision win for Gabriel Mazzetti over Nick Chasteen in an action packed affair and fight of the night. Both men gave it their all for a very entertaining match-up but Chasteen who, churned-out a ‘career breakout performance’.

One side of the argument would support Chasteen (6-4) seeming to have had more success in delivering his volume of striking more consistently throughout the fight compared to the 18 year old Peruvian phenom. However, the judges had seen the fight quite differently and awarded an unanimous decision (UD) to”El Nino” (14-2) which, was strongly remonstrated and booed by the spectators when officially announced  at the Tropicana Resort Casino.

Unfortunately, the contentious decision magnifies the ongoing issues that the State of Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC) are experiencing when it comes to scoring Muay Thai bouts. Something that colour commentator and ambassador of the sport, Michael Schiavello, lambasted NSAC about post-fight.

“Another terrible decision by the Nevada State Commission who showed us tonight they don’t know how to score Muay Thai.”

Barlow

Iman Barlow retains her title at Lion Fight 34 | Photo credit: Bennie Pallmore/Lion Fight Promotions

Iman Barlow (87-5-3) showcased her ‘art of kicking’ and effectively strong clinch-knees to differentiate her from Meryem Uslu (62-12-1). The two had fought once before with “Pretty Killer” securing the decision six years ago. However, on this occasion Barlow technically outclassed the determined title challenger who, managed to struggle on, despite enduring some brutal knees to the body and head. As well as a nasty cut to Uslu’s forehead from an elbow (late on into the fight) as Iman secured a UD to retain her super-bantamweight title.

Regian Eersel was initially matched-up against Samy Sana but the Frenchman was replaced for unknown reasons and with short notice by Dewitt Pratt. However, the last minute change of opponent did nothing to phase “The Immortal” who, violently rocked and battered Pratt to retain the Lion Fight super-middleweight title with a first round TKO. The power and explosive Muay Thai violence that Eersel continues to demonstrate (including his trademark flying knees), seriously raises the question as to who to match him up with next, for a more challenging threat to his championship.

Lion Fight 34 – Results:

Regian Eersel def. Dewitt Pratt via Rd1 TKO – wins Lion Fight super-middleweight championship
Iman Barlow def. Meryem Uslu via UD – retains Lion Fight women’s super-bantamweight championship
Anthony Njokuani def. Chris Harrington via Rd3 TKO
Gabriel Mazzetti def. Nick Chasteen via UD
Kevin Burmester vs. Kronphet Phetrachapat – majority draw
River Daz def. Diego Llamas via UD
Steve Walker def. Sedrick Sweet via Rd2 TKO
Gilbert Pimental def. Chris Rios via Rd3 TKO
Zhenya Chuprina def. Ardavan Moeini via split decision
Derrick Wheeler def. Dean Parker via UD
Garrett Jeppsen def. Derek Gottlieb via Rd1 TKO

 

Lion Fight 34: Eersel vs. Sana – Preview and Fight Card

Lion Fight 34 is headlined by Dutch powerhouse, Regian Eersel against French Thai boxer, Samy Sana in an international dust-up that has all the makings of a brutally violent affair on January 3, 2017 at the Tropicana Resort Casino in Las Vegas.

Eersel is the current Lion Fight super-middleweight champion having devastatingly KO’d Jake Purdy for the title at Lion Fight 33. Prior to that the “The Immortal” had emphatically executed one of the best right head kick KOs of 2016 to finish Jo Nattawut at Lion Fight 29.

However, Sana is no pushover and isn’t shy of a fire fight in the ring either, having been in with the best of them including, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Thongchai Sitsongpeenong. Neither the Frenchman nor the defending Dutch champion hold back with their aggressive styles of fighting and both have the natural power to rock anyone.

The ferocity of Eersel though is something else compared to the competition and he has always displayed explosive speed to take advantage of his adversaries with venomous violence and thunderous knockouts from any of his eight limbs. Sana will be in for a very testing time but the fans will certainly be entertained one way or the other.

https://www.facebook.com/lionfightmuaythai/videos/1322851821122452/

In the co-main event of the night, Iman Barlow defends her super-bantamweight title against Germany’s Meryum Uslu. The two female fighters are no strangers to one another having previously fought each other six years ago. Barlow had won their previous encounter by decision but Uslu will undoubtedly be very game to not only get even but end Barlow’s reign as champion.

Lion Fight 34 will be broadcasted on AXS TV in the USA and will commence from 1800 hours Pacific Time (PT) / 2100 hours Eastern Time (ET).

Lion Fight 34 – Main Card:

Regian Eersel vs. Samy Sana – Lion Fight Super Middleweight Title

Iman Barlow vs. Meryum Uslu – Lion Fight Women’s Super Bantamweight Title

Anthony Njokuani vs. Chris Harrington – Super Middleweight

Kronphet Phetrachapat vs. Kevin Burmester – Welterweight

Gabriel Mazzetti vs. Nick Chasteen – Middleweight

Diego Llamas vs. River Daz – Welterweight

Panicos Yusuf explains withdrawal against Superlek Kiatmoo9 at Yokkao 23 and hasn’t retired

Panicos Yusuf had reportedly retired from fighting according to Yokkao a week ago which, caused quite a frenzy on social media, especially since Yusuf himself hadn’t come out publicly to issue such a statement. To make matters worse, Panicos isn’t event managed by Yokkao like for example, Muay Thai legend Saenchai and is actually a co-promoter himself (at Tanko Events) whilst managing to have an active fighting career. However, a few days later in an interview with MMA Plus, Panicos was adamant in refuting the inaccurate reporting by Yokkao and that he hadn’t retired from fighting.

Speaking more about the matter yesterday, Panicos explained that juggling the demands of being a father, fighter, promoter and coach running his All Powers Gym, wouldn’t allow him to prepare properly for a proposed fight with, Superlek Kiatmoo9 at Yokkao 23, at this moment in time.

“For me to continue fighting big opponents such as Superlek, I needed to be spending more time in Thailand really. Realistically training and fighting out there just to be on par with them. Manachai was a really good fight, I don’t think I was too much out of depth with him but Superlek is another league. I think he’s as good as Saenchai if not better.”

“So, we decided that its best to maybe not fight against him on this show because its very short period of time for me training and I don’t think I’m at the level to fight Superlek yet. I’m not scared of him, I’ll fight him do you know what I mean, it’s not a problem if the money’s right, yeah I’ll fight him anytime. The only problem is I don’t get the type of training that I need to fight opponents like that. Yes, I want to fight Thais because I don’t think there’s anyone at my weight that can challenge me apart from Thais but basically, I don’t think theres any point in doing it at this moment in time.”

However, Panicos had recently made the transition to MMA, winning his debut at Tanko FC 2 against Ben Dearden and was candid about Muay Thai not being ‘financially viable’ as a fighter, especially with the added responsibility of being a family man.

“There’s no money in Thai boxing. As much as I love it, I know that if I invested the time and financial resources into bringing my level up, its not as if my purse is going to increase by a considerable amount for it to be worth it for me in the long run.”

Despite dealing with some ongoing injuries that had also prevented him from participating in the 63kg 8-man tournament at the WLF 2017 World Championship over the weekend, Panicos is aiming to return to action in March with his main aim being to further develop his MMA career.

Click here to listen or download the full podcast interview with Panicos Yusuf which, also includes a guest appearance by, Iman Barlow ahead of her title defence against, Meryum Uslu at Lion Fight 34.