Las Vegas

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

 

Ognjen Topic reflects on Saenchai and the ‘mentality of fighting’ for success

Ognjen Topic recently fought Muay Thai legend, Saenchai, last month at Yokkao 22 in Honk Kong and unfortunately, lost by decision. There aren’t many Farangs that are given much of a chance in the minds of Thai boxing fans when matched-up against the +400 fight veteran but then again, Topic is regarded as ‘one of the best technically gifted Thai fighters’ of the current crop (by none other than Damien Trainor who, was coaching at CSA Gym during November).

However, Topic himself was the first to admit that the fight didn’t unfold anywhere as what he would’ve liked or had planned:

“I’m not happy at all about the fight but we’re talking about a guy that’s been doing it for a very long time and he has quite a bit more experience than I do so, I’m trying to stay positive. It’s difficult especially when you’re competitive individual.”

“Before the fight and during the fight I felt great mentally, physically you know. I didn’t look at him as some, some god of Muay Thai. I just looked at him as an opponent and I prepared myself as I always do. I went into the fight with the mentality of winning and even when I was in the fight, you know it was difficult, I still wanted to beat him so, that’s that.”

It’s interesting that Topic mentioned the ‘mentality of fighting’ because not only is it fair to say that fighting is 99% in the mind but so is having the self-belief and aptitude in achieving our life goals and dreams too. Self doubt can really cripple fighters mentality; a good example of this would be the way how pro boxer, Nicholas Walters surrendered after six rounds against Vasyl Lomachenko, over the weekend in Las Vegas. Topic explained what he does away from the gym in his spare time to help him mentally with moving forward in his fighting career.

“Another thing I like to do is sometime if I have some downtime is I go on YouTube and look up documentaries on any businessman. You know I like I’m into cars so I’ll go look up the guy that started the company Koenigsegg, you know an exotic car company or Pagani. So, you kinda just listen to how they talk and how they began these things, their story and their dreams and how everything came to fruition. Then it kinda you know puts things into perspective you can follow this steps as well from other people and then you can learn from them.”

“So it really doesn’t matter what profession it is, you can always take something away from any I guess, elite person, on that high level that has that mentality to be persistent and dedicated to their craft.”

Simon Marcus vs Joe Schilling

Simon Marcus vs Joe Schilling

Muay Thai is one of the oldest forms of fighting and as a professional sport, doesn’t gain the high levels of mainstream media coverage compared to pro boxing. The likes of Joe Schilling and Kevin Ross have both previously voiced the difficulties that they’ve faced in their careers before the emergence of GLORY, Lion Fight, Bellator Kickboxing and Muay Thai Grand Prix in recent years. Even kickboxing has struggled especially since the “Golden era” of the ‘old skool’ K-1 days in Japan.

However the tide would seem to be turning for both Muay Thai and kickboxing especially now that the UFC have, for the first time ever, partnered with another sporting promotion i.e. GLORY Kickboxing to be their PPV online media partner via UFC Fight Pass for streaming, GLORY Collision: Rico Verhoeven vs Badr Hari.

Even UFC colour commentator, Joe Rogan has been voicing his support and love for K1/Thai rules and recently had Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolanos and their coach (CSA Gym owner), Kieran Fitzpatrick on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast which, Topic was delighted about for the long term benefit of the sport.

tsc-ep-39-gaston-bolanos“It was great. I really hope that a lot of people tuned in. Kevin Ross really gave a really good explanation on you know, Muay Thai and the difference between the striking between Muay Thai and MMA and it pretty much how all of us Muay Thai fighters feel you know but we never really have a stage to say that; and I think he kinda opened up Joe Rogan’s eyes as well, you know with clinch and things like that because it doesn’t seem like a lot of those guys understand and know the difference between the two, the two sports. So its great that they were on the show and they were able to kind of give that differentiation.”

 

Glory Welterweight World Title fight set for Glory 23 – Las Vegas!

On Thursday, GLORY welterweight world champion, “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini announced that he was vacating his title after his doctors diagnosed him with post-concussion syndrome and recommended that he take some time away from training and fighting to recover.  We wish Joe a speedy recovery and hope he makes his way back to the ring soon.

Now, most fans were waiting on what seemed like on eventual Valtellini vs. Holzken showdown for the welterweight title but with Joe stepping away from the title to focus on recovery, GLORY has the opportunity to crown a new welterweight champion.

Nieky “The Natural” Holzken is, without a doubt, next in line for a shot at the GLORY welterweight title but with Joseph Valtellini out of the picture for the time being, who will be the man to step in and face off with the always dangerous dutchman? Well, after recently defeating an outmatched Justin Baesman with another highlight reel spinning back kick to the liver, GLORY has decided that Raymond “Real Deal” Daniels is the right man to face Holzken for the title.  The fight will take place on August 7th in Las Vegas at GLORY 23.

Holzken and Daniels met in the ring just this past February at GLORY 19 in Viriginia.  It was not a good night for Daniels as Holzken dropped him 4 times en route to a 3rd round TKO victory. It remains to be seen if Daniels can pull off what most fight fans would probably view as a huge upset only 6 months after suffering a TKO loss to Holzken.  Below is the official press release from GLORY.

New York, NY – GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced that a welterweight title fight will headline GLORY 23, set to take place on Friday, August 7 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Undefeated under the GLORY banner and riding an eight-fight winning streak in the organization, welterweight phenom Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (86-11-0, 45 KOs) will fight for kickboxing’s most prestigious title when he takes on human highlight reel Raymond “The Real Deal” Daniels (27-2-0, 17 KOs) in a rematch of their exciting battle at GLORY 19 in February.

On Thursday, reigning GLORY Welterweight World Champion “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini announced that he would be vacating his title in order to take a break from training and competition, leading to the match-up at GLORY 23.

Additional bouts for GLORY 23, including the participants in GLORY’s one-night, four-man Middleweight Contender Tournament, will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for GLORY 23 will be available soon at AXS.com and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office.

Lion Fight 13 – Van Soest vs. Reece in Pictures

Lion Fight 13 took place on Friday, Feb. 7th in Las Vegas, Nevada. MTiL photographer Chad Hill was on hand to capture all the exciting Muay Thai action of a stellar fight card that featured American sensation Tiffany Van Soest vs. Caley Reece in what was the first time two ladies headlined a Lion Fight Promotions card. Also on the program was a highly anticipated co-main event rematch between the “Soul Assassin” Kevin Ross and Canada’s Matt Embree. Besides the two blockbuster matchup’s Lion Fight 13 was a solid card that featured bouts such as Coke Chunawat vs Rami Ibrahim and Jason Andrada vs Andy Sing among others. Check out the amazing shots Chad took of all the action!

Lion Fight 12 – Malaipet vs Pinca in Pictures

Lion Fight 12 took place last week on Friday, Nov. 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada. MTiL photographer Chad Hill was on hand to capture all the exciting Muay Thai action of a stellar fight card that featured American sensation Tiffany Van Soest vs. Magali Foroni, as well as a huge blockbster main event matchup between French World champion Fabio Pinca and U.S. based Thai legend Malaipet Sasiprapa. Check out the amazing shots chad took of all the action!

Lion Fight 11 in Pictures – Part 1 by Chad Hill

Our new photographer Chad Hill was at Lion Fight 11 to cover all the action that took place at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, Sept. 20th, 2013. Chad, is an amazing photographer with talents that range from Fashion, Travel, and Headshots to of course…Muay Thai. You can check out Chad’s work at ChadHillPhoto.com. We are extremely excited and honored to have him as part of Muay Thai is Life. Here are just some of Chad’s pictures from Lion Fight 11. More to come soon!