martial arts

The Tankō Main Event – Pinca vs. McAllister set for May 14th, 2016

Tanko Main EventThe Tankō Main Event is one of Europe’s biggest promotions and currently the longest running in the UK. Established in 2009, The Main Event brand has hosted some of the top fights in the UK, including Liam Harrison vs Andrei Kulebin, Liam Harrison vs Dylan Salvador, Andy thrasher vs Tim Thomas, and many more! In May of last year The Main Event promoted the show at The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham where several thousand were in attendance and the IKF World Championship was decided.

On May 14th 2016 The Tankō Main Event will return to the USN Bolton Arena with a stellar lineup!

So far only first two bouts have been announced but they are two bouts that will no doubt interest every Muay Thai fan!

The most successful welterweight in Europe, 2x World champion Fabio Pinca, conqueror of some of the World’s biggest names including Saenchai, Mosab Amrani and Mehdi Zatout, will take on the UK’s rising star in Reece Mcallister, who has recently destroyed everyone in his path, including knockout wins over Tim Thomas and Crice Boussoukou.

 

On the heels of this bout will be a super-lightweight contest between 2x World champion and master technician, Panicos Yusuf, and one of this generations most decorated stars, 2-weight Lumpini stadium champion Kongsak Sitboonme. Panicos has beaten the best in Europe, defeating the likes of Irishman Stephen Meleady, Dutch star Sergio Wielzen, Italy’s Calogero Palmieri and Portugal’s Ruben Almeida, but faces his toughest challenge to date in Kongsak. Kongsak is one of the most successful Thais of recent times and has beaten multiple stars of the sport in his career, boasting wins over Nong-O and Petchboonchu, among others.
0567e682-b64a-450f-8601-bb96e5966370Further fights for The Tanko Main Event are due to be announced soon! So stay tuned here on The Striking Corner as they are announced.

For tickets and information go to www.tankoevents.co.uk, or find them on Facebook/MainEventMT and Twitter @MainEventMT!

Evolve University Fight Breakdown | Downwards Elbow K.O. – Sagetdao

Our good friend Timo Ruge from Muay Ties has teamed up with Evolve MMA and together they have been producing some great breakdown videos of some great Muay Thai techniques from big fights in Thailand and around the world. Not to mention that the people breaking the techniques down are either current or former Muay Thai champions with literally hundreds of fights worth of experience. Timo is a great friend of ours here at The Striking Corner and we love the breakdowns he is putting together with the good folks over at Evolve, so we will be sharing both techniques and fights from Muay Ties and Evolve on a more consistent basis. In this recent technique breakdown, Sagetdao Petpayathai shows us how Muangthai P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym scored a big KO win over Thaksinlek Kiatniwat with a sneaky downward elbow in the clinch.

Make sure you subscribe to Muay Ties official Youtube channel HERE.

Episode 32 – Asa Ten Pow

In this episode of The Striking Corner we speak with upcoming Muay Thai star Asa Ten Pow. Asa has had over 50+ fights in Muay Thai, Sanshou/Sanda, Kickboxing, MMA, and Boxing. He has won titles for the IKF, TBA, and has represented for Team USA at the IFMA Muay Thai World Cup in Banhkok. On February 26th, 2016 he makes his long awaited pro debut at Lion Fight 28. We have seen this kid competing since he was 13 or 14. Vinny and I reminisce about our old days in Kung Fu, Sanshou, and how excited we are to see Asa having so much success in the ring. Keep an eye on this kid. He is another upcoming talent in the North American Muay Thai scene!

TSC Presents “Profiles in American Muay Thai” Vol. 11 – Gaston Bolaños

There’s a particular story that tends to reincarnate itself at different gyms all over the world. It almost always starts with a ridiculous description of a guy who thinks he’s the next Bruce Lee. It’s a relatively close-minded individual that has a distinct idea that he already knows everything he needs to know. The ego on this fellow is huge, he’s usually belted in some sort of traditional martial art, and he’s typically impossible to teach. These guys come in on sparring days with big unrealistic dreams of their current selves as being the prodigal son of martial arts without ever having actually learned anything about realistic fighting. As they start to spar it becomes quickly apparent that they have something to prove and don’t understand the etiquette of combat sports. They spar too hard and they swiftly become a negative presence in the learning process for everyone else. At this point, most gyms either just kick the person out, or they have a particular member of the fight team they like to call on in these circumstances to teach some humility.

This is how a 16-year old, Gastón Bolaños earned the nickname he still carries today at 23, “The Dream Killer”

The Dream Killer started training at the F-14 School of Champions in Lima, Peru when he was around 10 years old. Immediately feeling his own talent, he jumped into full training and took a couple junior amateur fights in his home country. At 13, he and his and father moved to California and surrounded themselves with extended family and found by coincidence, that Fairtex Mountain View was right around the corner. Gastón immediately started back with his training under the experienced eyes of trainers Jongsanan Fairtex and Kirian Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons, who would later become the full-time trainer of Gastón, had only been in the same room with The Dream Killer a couple of times at this point. It wasn’t until the 2008 IFMA World Championships in Busan, South Korea, that he actually got a chance to witness the heart and grit of the young fighter and decided to take him on as his student full time.

After the IFMA’s, Gastón decided his best chance to make something out of his love for Muay Thai was to move to Dublin and become a full time fighter at Combat Sports Academy under Kirian. However, he was a minor and needed a legal guardian to finish high school and his father was set on moving back to Peru. That’s when Kirian took him in as one of his own. Fitzgibbons became his legal guardian so Gastón could finish out high school and started the extraordinary trainer/fighter relationship they still share today.



As an amateur, Gastón had almost 30 sanctioned fights going 23-3 with 1 draw and various smoker fights that he doesn’t include in his record. When he was still just 15, they had run through all of the juniors in the area. They had to lie about his age so he could continue to get experience until he turned 18. He was fighting grown men before he even hit his second growth spurt. On one occasion, as Gastón recalled on the phone, he was fighting in an amateur modified rules Muay Thai fight at the 6-Flags theme park in California with a 30-something year old man who apparently trained predominantly in MMA. The man, who was losing at the time, picked Gastón up in his frustration and slammed him down as if they were in the cage in an illegal throw that badly injured The Dream Killer’s arm. Gastón thought he’d broken his collarbone. When he returned to the corner he told Kirian that he couldn’t move his left arm and Kirian responded, “Shut up, you’re going to get DQ’d, just knock him out with your right”. Gastón responded promptly by knocking out the 30-something year old MMA man with a straight right cross and a smile. My jaw dropped even further when he told me he had a fight scheduled for two weeks later and he didn’t drop out. Instead, he trained in a sling and just focused on using the right side of his body. Right there in that moment it became apparent to me what Kirian saw in him at the IFMA’s in 2008. He went on to fight two weeks later to a badly decided draw in his opponent’s hometown and found out after that he had a grade II separation in his shoulder.

After he ran out of opponents again, it became clear it was time to go pro.

Bolaños met Brian Del Rosario at Lion Fight 14 for his pro debut and proved he was ready for the big leagues in dramatic fashion. The fight ended with a huge spinning back elbow that landed on the face of Del Rosario, opening a cut that stopped the fight by TKO. Bolaños thanked his trainer and his team and took his win with a huge smile and a humble attitude as he moved onto his next training camp.

Since then he’s had 7 professional bouts and some incredible patterns have already started to emerge. The first one and probably the most obvious is what Kevin Ross and rest of the team at CSA like to call the “Hellbow” or the spinning back elbow.

#GymTricks101 😂 @dreamkiller_bolanos

A video posted by @csagym on

The spinning back-elbow is an impressive strike to land in any way, but it’s also a technique that less experienced fighters are inclined to be excited about because it’s flashy. This leads most of these inexperienced fighters to have no set-ups or intelligent uses for the strike at all, they really just wing it and hope it lands.

What makes Gastón’s spinning back-elbow so impressive is that it’s used cerebrally. It’s professional, it’s used technically and he makes this obvious by how many different situations he can use it in. Coming forward, he uses the overhand to set up the spin for the elbow. He interlaces the two strikes together so his opponents never know if the overhand is coming to the face or its being used to peel the defense away, which makes them ripe for the elbow. If the elbow misses he can simply keep spinning with another overhand or straight right and use the momentum he’s created for an impressive display of dominance in combination. With the powerful forward momentum, sometimes he lands inside the clinch. As we can see when he KO’d Caleb Archer, he quickly gets inside, frames the clinch with bicep control and immediately explodes into a vicious spinning elbow that ends the fight.

He can also use it moving backward as a counter. This is probably the most impressive use of the strike because it requires expert level timing and composure when an opponent is being the aggressor. In his fifth professional fight he met the veteran, Ben Yelle, who had over 8 times the experience. The Spinning-Elbowlaños caught Ben as he came in with his 1-2 combination in perfect timing right over the top of his straight right hand. The elbow made Ben Yelle do the stanky leg and opened up a huge cut that stopped the fight by TKO.

LF27-29The spinning back elbow isn’t the only pattern that’s emerged. If I had to classify The Dream Killer in any category of fighter I would place him among the great fighters who fight with a rhythm. As he pushes forward on his opponents, there are stretches of time within his offense that he almost appears to be dancing. As if you placed a single bass beat on each of his shots that land in sequence, they would sound like a DJ mixing a beat. In his zone, he appears to be fully connected to everything around him. His fakes and feints are sewn-in seamlessly with the punching combinations and the powerful leg kicks that make up his arsenal and without which, wouldn’t make the spinning back elbow so dangerous. He mixes up his offense so often that it seems impossible to find a stretch of video where he throws the same string of combos in the same round. He’s unpredictable, fast, creative and technical and he always seems to leave his opponent’s blood on the canvas.

Gastón Bolaños AKA The Dream Killer, AKA The Spinning- Elbowlaños is a WMC South American Champion as a professional, and as an amateur he was a 2x US champion and a Junior World Champion.

His current record is 7-1 as a professional after a terribly decided split decision loss against Khronpet Phetrachapet at Lion Fight 27. He credits his team and his sponsors for his accomplishments so far in the sport. He made it a point to tell me how grateful he is for his coach, Kirian Fitzgibbons, and his training partners like Kevin Ross, Ky Hollenbeck, Gina Carano, Diego Llamas and the rest of the fight team at CSA in Dublin, California for creating such a family atmosphere.

The sponsors that give us the great pleasure of seeing an athlete like Gastón perform are Action Pro Gear, Out Of The Cave for his meal prep, Nutrishop in Dublin, and for the best shorts in the game, Muay Thai Addict.

He also asked me to add a big thank you to Lion Fight for facilitating so many of his fights and giving him the platform he needs to excel.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the writing of this article the IKF has officially overturned Gaston Bolaños split decision loss versus Khronphet Phetrachapet. Therefore, Gaston still retains a perfect record of 8-0. Also, we must add that Gaston did not ask for the bout to be overturned and had nothing to do with that decision as he took the loss with class and never complained about the outcome of the fight. It was the IKF that independently decided to look into the judging of the fight and decided to overturn the decision. )

Lion Fight 27 – RESULTS + PICTURES

This past Friday, January 29th, 2016, Lion Fight Promotions headed to the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California to once again showcase the best in the sport of Muay Thai at Lion Fight 27. Their were a total of 10 fights at the event with 4 amateur bouts and 5 pro bouts, two of which were title fights. It was a night where every fight went the distance but that did not take away from the fact that pretty much every fight was exciting and action-packed. There were no duds at Lion Fight 27.

The night was not without controversy however, as rising star Gaston Bolaños (7-1) put his young undefeated record on the line against Kronphet Phetrachapet, a Thai veteran with over 100 fights. Bolaños was no doubt aware that Kronphet was a step up in competition but he sure did not fight that way. He put on a Muay Thai display that was well beyond his experience and for many in attendance and watching around the world it seemed he had done more than enough to win the fight. However, in a surprising decision, the judges awarded the bout to the Thai via split decision. The consensus across social media and for those in attendance was that the 23 year old Peruvian born sensation, Gaston Bolaños had been robbed. We also scored the fight for Bolaños.

In the other fights of the night Tiffany Van Soest became a two division Lion Fight champion with a win over Canadian fighter, Ashley Nichols. Nichols did not go down without a fight and took Van Soest the distance but Van Soest was simply too quick, too elusive, and too mobile for the Canadian out of MAS Muay THai in Cambridge, Ontario.

In the main event of the evening, Fabio Pinca defended his Lion Fight welterweight title, fighting a game but outgunned Charlie “Boy” Peters. Peters showed resilience and determination to not get finished but it was one way traffic from Round 2 as Pinca ran roughshod over Peters, tossing the Englishman around the ring and landing significant kicks, punches, elbows, and knees seemingly at will.

All in all it was yet another successful night of fights for Lion Fight Promotions who continues to showcase that they are without a doubt the top Muay Thai promotion in the U.S. and only growing. Lion Fight promotions heads to the East Coast for their next event on February 26th as they head to the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut for what already looks like an absolutely stacked event.

Below are the full results of the evening as well as photographs of the event taken by The Striking Corner’s new official photographer, Victor Alvarez.

FULL RESULTS:

Fabio Pinca def. Charlie Peters by Unanimous Decision
Tiffany Van Soest def. Ashley Nichols by Unanimous Decision
Kronphet Phetrachapet def. Gaston Bolanos by Split Decision
Brian Del Rosario def. Chris Culley by Unanimous Decision
Anvar Boynazarov def. Coke Chunhawat by Unanimous Decision
Travis Clay def. Jared Papazian by Unanimous Decision
Spenser Mix def. James Gregory by Unanimous Decision
Bee Nguyen def. Gabi Maxwell by Unanimous Decision
Carlos Dagieu def. J.J. Madrid by Unanimous Decision
Susan Wallace def. Monica Teran by Unanimous Decision

Photos by Victor Alvarez

“The Nakmuay From Lyon” – A Fabio Pinca Highlight by The Striking Corner

In anticipation of Fabio Pinca’s fight versus Charlie “Boy” Peters at Lion Fight 27 on January 29th, 2016. We decided to put a small highlight together of some of Fabio Pinca’s recent fights and those that we could find that were in HD, as well as some training footage. One of the top foreign Muay Thai fighters in the world, Fabio Pinca as of this writing is the WBC Muay Thai World Champion and current Lion Fight Welterweight Champion. He is a skilled and crafty fighter with an elegant style who has faced some of the best fighters in the world. This is just a small quick highlight video we put together to showcase his talent. Enjoy!