Matt Embree

Photos from Glory 37: Wilnis vs. Adesanya

The Striking Corner’s very own photographer, Victor Alvarez was on hand at Glory 37’s first card of 2017, which took place on Friday, January 20th, 2017 in Los Angeles.

As with every Glory event, the night was full of fast paced action, some upsets, some surprises, and a little controversy. But overall Glory’s first show of 2017 was solid with great matchups such as Matt Embree vs. Robin Van Rossmalen and the Glory Middleweight title fight between Jason Wilnis and rising star, Israel Adesanya.

Check out the great images form our photographer Victor Alvarez in the slideshow below.

GLORY 37 Los Angeles – Results: Jason Wilnis retains middleweight title with controversial decision

Jason Wilnis retained his GLORY middleweight title against Israel Adesanya at GLORY 37 Los Angeles but the decision left countless kickboxing fans on social media at loggerheads as to how a unanimous decision was awarded to the defending champion. If anything, there was nothing unanimous about the controversial decision awarded to Willis who, in typical fashion, fought with a tight high guard and kept coming forward with venomous low kicks and aiming punches for Adesanya’s head.

The skilful “Stylebender” was was more varied with his striking output (even throwing Saenchai style cartwheel kicks and some nifty spinning kicks into the mix) with plenty of strikes aimed to the body and head of Wilnis whilst displaying his confident ring-craft and not being a sitting target despite, being in a much smaller ring than usual compared to GLORY Kickboxing events in recent years.

If the early rounds might have been slightly in favour of Wilnis, the same cannot be said for the reminder of the fight as the rounds progressed. The champion was lacking the effective high volume of output that was being more obviously applied by Adesanya. Although the continuous forward pressure and counter attacks from Wilnis were always present, it was Wilnis who was starting to fade in the latter rounds and the challenger who, remained composed, slick and actively efficient enough to have edged the decision in his favour and be crowned the new middleweight champion.

However, when the official decision was announced confirming Wilnis as the defending champion, two of the judges had scored the fight as 48-47 for the champion but bizarrely one judge had scored it as 49-46 for Wilnis. An immediate rematch might be the most obvious thing to call for as a result of the controversial decision, however, it was announced by the commentary team that former middleweight champion, Simon Marcus, was set to face the winner of the main event of the night; and later confirmed by Marcus himself to Michael Steczkowski.

Kongolo

Image via GLORY Sports Int’l

Yoann Kongolo won the 4-man welterweight tournament to set himself for a second rematch with the new GLORY welterweight champion, Cedric Doumbe who, had recently defeated Nieky Holzken by decision at GLORY Collision. Although Kongolo was the obvious favourite to win the contender tournament, his emphatic performance in the final with a brutal body shot to drop Karim Benmansour will send a firm warning to Doumbe who, he has twice defeated before by decision.

Zoila Frausto won her GLORY debut by decision in a slug-fest with Daniela Graf and although both ladies might have got a bit punch drunk in their fight, neither was willing to back down and both were fully committed to punching the other’s lights out. Frausto who, is a Muay Thai champion and MMA fighter, certainly is the calibre of fighter that looks set to make a bigger impact in the women’s super bantamweight division this year.

Also, Tiffany van Soest was re-presented with her super bantamweight belt in-front of her fellow South Californians. It might seem as if GLORY are being smart with their selection of American female fighters but so far, both van Soest and Frausto are two female fighters that no kickboxing promotion can go wrong with at this early stage of developing their women’s roster.

Frausto

Image via Glory Sports Int’l

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Matt Embree who, lost by TKO in the fourth round against former featherweight champion, Robin van Roosmalen. Yes, former champion – van Rosmalen had missed weight by under one kilogram at the weigh-ins the day before and refused the opportunity to try again when a time extension offered. As a direct result, GLORY immediately decided to strip their champion before he even made his first title defence. However, had Embree won he would’ve been awarded the title but since he didn’t, van Roosmalen has now secured his number one contender status and will now fight again for the title in the near future against an opponent yet to be confirmed.

Could a rematch between Robin van Roosmalen and Gabriel Varga be in the pipeline anytime soon? Only time will tell especially as Varga had confirmed last year that he’d been informed by GLORY that the promotion were planning on hosting future events in Canada come 2017.

Image via GLORY Sports Int’l

GLORY 37 Los Angeles – Results:
Jason Wilnis (c) def. Israel Adesayna via UD – retains middleweight title
Yoann Kongolo def. Karim Benmansour via Rd3 TKO – wins welterweight tournament final
Guto Inocente def. D’Angelo Marshall via majority draw, extra round – heavyweight
Karim Benmansour def. Alan Scheinson via split decision – welterweight tournament semi-final
Yoann Kongolo def. Konstantin Khuzin via UD – welterweight tournament semi-final

GLORY SuperFight Series – Results:
Robin van Roosmalen def. Matt Embree via Rd4 TKO – featherweight title bout (but van Roosmalen stripped off title for missing weight; title was available for Embree to win though)
Jhonata Diniz def. Tomas Mozny via UD – heavyweight
Warren Thompson def. Mike Lemaire via UD – middleweight
Zoila Frausto def. Daniela Graf via UD – Women’s super bantamweight
Giga Chikadze def. Victor Pinto via Rd1 KO (liver kick) – featherweight

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!

Meet the Canadians – Part 2 – Matt Embree

By Jenypher Lanthier

Matt “Matics” Embree is a well known Canadian fighter fighting out of Siam No.1 in Toronto Canada. Matt began training at seventeen years old and is fast becoming a major contender in the 140 lb category. In 2007 Matt won a Gold medal at the IFMA World Amateur Muay Thai Championships and the following year he won the 2008 WKA North American Amateur Muay Thai Championship for the 125lb weight class. He continued to steam roll through 2008 by travelling to Thailand and winning the Northern Thailand Championship in the 125lb category. In 2010 he returned back to Thailand to again win the Northern Thailand Champion for a second time at the same weight. Embree has worked tirelessly perfecting his game and waiting for the next opportunity to take one step closer to his goal of being the best of the best. One of those days came on the world stage in 2011 when he won the prestigious North American WMC Championship title and rounded out 2012 by winning the North American WBC Championship title. Read More

PHOTOS – Lion Fight Promotions “Schilling vs Marcus 2” Weigh-Ins.

All fighters that will compete at Lion Fight Promotions “Schilling vs Marcus 2” made their way to Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las, Vegas to weigh-in for their respective bouts. All fighters made weight and the weigh in process went smoothly. Lion Fight Photographer Bennie Palmore was on hand to take a few shots of the fighters as they weighed in and as expected we are posting them up for all of you to see. Also, MTiL photographer Galen Okazaki will be ringside tomorrow evening to take shots of all the action and you can be sure to check them out here at Muay Thai is Life.

Battle in the Desert 5 Photos by Galen Okazaki + Weigh In Pics from Jeff Dojillo!

MTiL’s very own Galen Okazaki was once again our go to guy to capture all of the action at this past weekend’s Lion fight Promotions “Battle in the Desert 5” event! As always Galen snapped away and captured some great shots of all the action that took place inside the Lion Fight ring. Along with Galen’s pics we have also featured a few pics from the events weigh ins that were captured by our good friend, the very talented Jef Dojillo. Some of you may know Jeff, as he is the mind behind the exceptional “Into the Fight” series. Jeff is another one of our talented friends and also captured some great shots of the action at Lion Fight. In the Gallery below you will see Galen’s pics as well as the pics Jeff snapped at the weigh-ins.

If you wish to see the other images Jeff snapped at “Battle in the Desert 5” please make sure you check out his blog at Jeff Dojillo Photography. Enjoy the pics!

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