Liam Harrison

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

Fabio Pinca in ongoing negotiations with Enfusion Live but focused on fighting Manowan Sitsongpeenong

Fabio Pinca was reportedly set to compete in the 67kg Enfusion League in February 2017, according to Enfusion’s two-weight champion, Ibrahim El Boustati, who made the revelation prior to defeating Andrew Tate for the, 90kg world championship at Enfusion Live 44.

However, Pinca has now confirmed that he hasn’t yet agreed final terms with Enfusion Live and that talks are still ongoing with the Dutch based promotion who, had recently announced, exclusive European fight deals with Buakaw and Yodsanklai.

“I don’t know for the moment you know. I’m ongoing negotiation so I can not tell you anything about that. Everything, I don’t know for the moment. I can not tell you anything but soon you’re gonna know.”

It’s sounding promising that we will have an update soon enough on a possible deal between Enfusion and Pinca being confirmed in the early part of the new year. The Striking Corner will be monitoring how the situation unfolds and reporting again in due course.

Pinca

Peters vs Pinca – Photo credit: Bennie E Palmer II, Lion Fight Promotions

Interestingly, Charlie Peters who, Pinca defeated by decision at Lion Fight 27, recently qualified for next year’s 67kg Enfusion League, by winning the 8-man qualifying tournament in Abu Dhabi at Enfusion Live 45. Since Peters qualified, strong rumours have emerged of a possible rematch between Peters and Pinca but separate from the league concept; and that this proposed matchup under Enfusion rules, could be one of the talking points between Pinca and Enfusion.

The current year has been a very active one for Pinca and 2017 is looking to be another busy year for the Muay Thai maestro who, has fought seven times this year. One of those being his recent decision victory at GLORY 36 against, Mosab Amrani which, was a also rematch between the two but under GLORY Kickboxing rules; whereas the first fight (and decision win for Pinca) was in a 2011 tournament final on Thai Fight.

Nevertheless, Pinca is focused on his next opponent, Manowan Sitsongpeenong, in what will be a 67kg title fight at the Sanam Muay Rajadamnern (Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium) on February 23, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“First focus is Rajadamnern title on February  23. So I got to Thailand, Bangkok and take the, to the take the belt, Rajadamnern versus Manowan Sitsongpeenong. That’s the first focus for 2017. 67 kilos.“

“And the second focus is the GLORY belt at 65 kilo. At the moment that’s the two focus I have on my mind. It’s Robin [van Roosmalen] if he defend his belt. I know he’s putting his title on January so maybe its him, maybe its another, I don’t know.”

Click here to watch the full video podcast with Fabio Pinca giving the rundown on his recent victory over Mosab Amrani which, was on the undercard to GLORY Collision: Rico vs. Badr and some interesting things he had to say about: Saenchai, Liam Harrison and Giorgio Petrosyan.

Yodslanki and Buakaw confirmed to fight on Enfusion Live in 2017

Muay Thai legends Yodslanki and Buakaw will be fighting on Enfusion Live in 2017 (against opponents yet to be announced) as was confirmed by Enfusion earlier today to the Striking Corner; and it should be noted that Enfusion have made these agreements alone and not in partnership with any other promotion(s).

The breaking news follows on from Fabio Pinca joining the 67kg Enfusion League in the new year. 2017 is looking to be a an even busier year for Pinca who, had also confirmed after defeating Liam Harrison at Yokkao 19, that he’ll also be making his return to GLORY Kickboxing on what has since been confirmed against, Mosab Amrani on December 10 at GLORY 36 – the same night and preceding, GLORY Collision: Rico vs Badr in Oberhausen, Germany.

Earlier this year at Enfusion Live 37, the 72.5kg Enfusion League commenced consisting of: Mohammed Jaraya, Nordin Ben Moh, Jonay Risco, Serginio Kanters (who will now be replaced due to weight cutting issues at Enfusion Live 43), Crice Boussoulou and Tayfun Ozcan.

The 72.5kg Enfusion League returns in February 2017 and will include a mouthwatering rematch: Mohammed Jaraya vs Nordin Ben Moh – both of whom fought one another at Enfusion Live 37 in undoubtedly was one of the most spectacular fights of the year.

It isn’t only Kunlun Fight who have deep pockets to pay the big fees that attract the likes of Buakaw to fight for them. Enfusion have made a statement to the big boys i.e. GLORY and Bellator Kickboxing with this announcement, having organically developed their brand of kickboxing since 2008. The promotion started their journey with Enfusion Reality which, was a reality TV kickboxing show and featured: Eddie Walker, Cyrus Washington, Warren Thompson, Julie Kitchen and Andrew Tate as contestants.

The Striking Corner will bring you more news on both the 67kg Enfsuon League featuring Fabio Pinca and further updates on who and when both, Yodslanki and Buakaw will be fighting in the in the new year too for Enfusion.

Yokkao 19 & 20 – Post event review: ‘Pinca The Conqueror’ humbles Harrison and Watson ‘sherlocks’ Hodge

Fabio Pinca returned to the UK on, October 8 and secured a unanimous decision win over home favourite, Liam Harrison at Yokkao 19. These two legends of western Muay Thai were supposed to fight one another in France over the last 11 years, with Pinca suggesting in his post weigh-in interview that Harrison wasn’t too keen on taking the fight outside of the UK in the past.

The opening round was cagey with both fighters feeling each other out to begin with but from the second round onwards the tempo accelerated and both would increasingly engage one another. Pinca managed to cut Harrison on his left cheek (below the eye) in the third but the ring-craft, speed and tenacity displayed by both men was sensational. However, range control, switch hitting and that left kick of Pinca’s were decisive factors for the decision going against Harrison who, was always threatening with his explosiveness, fast hands and deadly low kicks.

Fabio Pinca vs Liam Harrison

Having previously defeated Reece McAllister at the Tanko Main Event in May (by decision), plus, Charlie Peters on Lion Fight 27 in the USA (at the start of the year) and now Harrison at Yokkao 19, ‘Pinca The Conqueror’ is clearly at the height of his powers. At 65 kg, it isn’t too easy to think of who else could even ask more challenging questions of him.

In his post-fight interview with K1ANOOP, Pinca confirmed he’d signed a multiple fight deal with GLORY Kickboxing and will next fight on the GLORY Collision event headlined by, Badr Hari vs Rico Verhoeven in Germany on, December 10.

Jordan Watson didn’t hesitate to show what his hands could do against Ben Hodge with some lovely body hooks landing throughout the fight. Hodge was under more pressure than Watson but the fight was by no means a one sided affair. Hodge was coming off a recent win over Saiyok Pumphanmuang at Thai Fight London in September, where he demonstrated his technical proficiency and good counterattacking skills on the back step. Something that would have given Watson more problems on the night (had Hodge found his range sooner) in-preparation for Giorgio Petrosyan who, he faces next at the Bellator Kickboxing event on December 10 in Italy.

Jordan Watson v Ben Hodge Yokkao 20

Jordan Watson v Ben Hodge

However, Hodge admitted in his post-fight interview that his emotions got the better of him in the ring – triggered off by the weigh-in drama the day before which, resulted in the fight no longer being a title defence for, Watson’s 70kg Yokkao world championship. Hodge summed up perfectly that both himself and Watson are intelligent fighters with intelligent coaches, so, the fight was always going to be determined by who, was more successful, in applying their tactical approach on the night at Yokkao 20.

Manachai surprisingly bulldozed his way through Panicos Yusuf for five rounds which, certainly came as a shock considering that Panicos is no pushover and can certainly stand his ground. Most of what Panicos tried to pull off on the night didn’t have any real impact on Manachai and it was as if the Thai was at times playfully throwing Panicos around – something I wouldn’t have fought would happen so easily. However, whenever the Thais come to fight in the UK, they always seem extra determined to give the Brits a damn good hiding.

Panicos Yusuf Yokkao 20

Panicos Yusuf vs Manachai

Maybe it wasn’t Panicos’s night and anything that could go wrong for him unfortunately did which, can happen. Or, is Manachai actually a hell of a lot better than the matchmakers had thought he was? Also, Panicos has become a lot more involved in the commercial world of combat sports as one of three directors of Tanko Management – has his commercial ambition taken away some of his hunger to fight like he use to?

Jack Kennedy continues to build even more momentum with his unanimous decision win over the powerfully talented Nathan Bendon. These two top quality fighters fought like a pair of tigers in the ring and the fight was full of entertaining yet technical violence. The bout was even dubbed as ‘fight of the night’ by colour commentator, Vinny Shoreman which, certainly sums ups how stacked the overall fight card was, especially when considering the likes of, Harrison and Pinca were one of two main events.

Bendon started well in the first couple of rounds but as the fight eventually went the distance, Kennedy was more efficient with his overall Thai boxing and seemed to frustrate Bendon. The future is very bright for both fighters, especially for Kennedy who, had recently won a 4-man Super Muay Thai tournament in Thailand prior to Yokkao 19 & 20.

Steven Long tremendously turned around his fight against Daniel Jedrzejezski after being cut in the outer corner of his right eye, in a terrible opening round for Long. However from the second round onwards it was all bout Long’s effective clinch-knee entry to pressure and eventually dominate Jedrzejezski.

By the end of the third round, Long’s clinching was proving too difficult for Jedrzejezski to deal with who, found himself on the end of another knee to the body that dropped him to the canvas. After surviving the count, he would find himself on the end of yet another knee but was fortunately saved by the bell as he buckled in discomfort. However, when the fourth round started it didn’t take long for Long to land another knee to Jedrzejezski’s body and the fight was over.

Overall, Yokkao 19 & 20 was without a doubt the best Muay Thai event of the year so far to be hosted in the UK, with exceptionally talented fighters showcasing their skill on both fight cards. Also, Harrison is reportedly set to return to action next month with further details to follow in due course.

As for the UK, if it hasn’t already established itself as a very strong nation for both Muay Thai (and K1 rules) yet to the rest of the world then apart from mainstream media coverage for the casual fans to take note, Thai boxing purists and global promotions can no longer ignore the UK scene; fast emerging as a global leader in the sport.

Yokkao 19 – Results:

Fabio Pinca def. Liam Harrison via UD, -65kg

Chris Shaw def. Jersey Pinto via UD, fight set at 73kg

Charles Sikwa def, Darren Howieson by UD, -86kg

Adi Woods def. Owen Trykowski via UD, -72.5kg

Steven Long def. Daniel Jedrzejewski by KO, Rd4, -69kg

Yokkao 20 – Results:

Jordan Watson def. Ben Hodge via UD, -70kg

Manachai def. Panicos Yusuf via UD, -63kg

Jake Purdy def. Brad Stanton via MD, fight set at 69kg

Amy Pirnie def. Ludivine Lesnier via TKO, Rd2, -50kg

Jack Kennedy def Nathan Bendon via UD, -65kg

Myk Estlick def. Carlos Campos via UD, -61.5kg

Fabio Pinca on Liam Harrison victory, confirms GLORY deal, next fight at ‘Collision’

Fabio Pinca won by unanimous decision against Liam Harrison in the main event of Yokkao 19 on, October 9, at the Bolton Macron stadium, England. This clash between two of the modern day greats of Muay Thai had been 11 years in the making and delivered an enthralling fight for all to witness.

Harrison is renown for having most probably the fastest low kicks compared to most if not all other stand-up fighters (both Thai and K1 rules). His overall speed combined with his technical ability has always made ‘The Hitman’ extremely threatening to all who have faced him in the ring.

In his post-fight interview with Anoop Hothi, Pinca explained that he fought instinctively against Harrison and has always relied on his instincts to feel his opponent’s movement and striking. Doing so helps him to determine in an instant, how to best evade, counter and be offensive; and fight each opponent differently:

“I fight instinctively.”

“I just feel what I have to do.”

“He [Harrison] kick very hard in the low kick. You have to block if you fight with him.”

“I think he have good hands but little bit height difference so not very good distance sometimes.”

Pinca also confirmed that he has agreed to a multiple-fight deal with GLORY Kickboxing which, will take him into the new year and his next fight (at 65 kg) will be on, December 10 in Germany, on the GLORY 36 / Collision event – headlined by Badr Hari vs Rico Verhoeven, in what is set to be one of the most epic nights in kickboxing history. His opponent will be named in an announcement to follow next week by GLORY (and all I will say is that it will be an explosive fight for sure).

Click here for the post event review of Yokkao 19 & 20 including the results.

Yokkao 19 & 20: Quick round-up and results


Fabio Pinca defeated Liam Harrison via unanimous decision (UD) in the main event  of  Yokkao 19 at the Bolton Macron Stadium, England. In what was a fight in the making for 11 years, these two Muay Thai maestros delivered an exciting and intense fight that electrified the spectators but Pinca’s Jedi like instincts and more effective kicking, kept him that slight step ahead of Harrison’s threatening speed as the fight went the distance.

Jordan Watson got the better of Ben Hodge in the headlining fight Of Yokkao 20 via UD. Both fighters managed to even throw each other out of the ring at two different points of the fight; first Watson threw Hodge over the top rope but the disgruntled Hodge would return the favour (through the middle of the ropes) later on. However, Watson was more in control of the fight, applied more pressure throughout and demonstrated some lovely body hooks too. By no means was this a one sided affair but Watson was able to apply his game plan more than Hodge over the five rounds.

Overall, the night produced very competitive and entertaining fights on both fight cards in what will be one of the most memorable nights in the UK for Muay Thai this year.

This is just a quick round up with the final results (below) from both Yokkao 19 & 20 and a more in-depth, post event review, plus,  post fight interviews, will follow separately from tomorrow onwards.

Yokkao 20 – Final results:

Manachai def. Panicos Yusuf via UD, -63kg

Jake Purdy def. Brad Stanton via MD, fight set at 69kg

Amy Pirnie def. Ludivine Lesnier via TKO, Rd2, -50kg

Jack Kennedy def Nathan Bendon via UD, -65kg

Myk Estlick def. Carlos Campos via UD, -61.5kg

Yokkao 19 – Final results:

Fabio Pinca def. Liam Harrison via UD

Chris Shaw def. Jersey Pinto via UD, fight set at 73kg

Charles Sikwa def, Darren Howieson by UD, -86kg

Adi Woods def. Owen Trykowski via UD, -72.5kg

Steven Long def. Daniel Jedrzejewski by KO, Rd4, -69kg