Asa Ten Pow was on the wrong end of a decision loss against Carlton Lieu in what was one of the (if not most) entertaining fights of the night at MTGP 6 – Muay Thai Grand Prix, in the O2 Indigo, London on October 15.
Lieu was outmuscled for the majority of the fight and on the back foot as Pow continually came forward with a variety of striking skill including, some very crafty spinning backs kicks to the body. However, the first three rounds were not scored in Pow’s favour by all of the judges; and these were the rounds in which Pow had much success with: effective teeps (front / push kicks) to the body, imbalancing Lieu, clinching and use of elbows.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, Lieu fared much better against Pow especially as he was noticeably countering more often (than the first three rounds) to most of Pow’s attacks. The American’s industrious output fight have marginally decreased in the latter two rounds but overall, the fight was very close but many fans would seem to strongly disagree with the decision.
The decision win for Lieu secures a future title shot for the Lion Fight light-welterweight championship in the new year (date to be confirmed). However, a rematch between the two in the near future would be just – especially if it were on US soil under the Lion Fight banner. Both Lion Fight and MTGP are in-partnership to promote international Muay Thai as Scott Kent and Kieran Keddle explained (separately) at MTGP 5 earlier this year which, was headlined by John Wayne Parr defeating Pavlos Kaponis by decision.
In the main event of the evening, Salah Khalifa defeated Giannis Tsigkos in another close affair. Tsigkos, fought valiantly and was very handy with his boxing (for Thai boxing) prowess but Salah’s kicking was the notable difference between the two fighters. However, Tsigkos made it a very tough night for Salah who, as the fight reached the latter rounds, significantly improved with his evasiveness from the Greek’s attacks.
The fight could be described as kicker vs puncher at times. Tsigkos fought valiantly and made it a very tough fight for the new 69kg MTGP world champion. In the latter two rounds though, Salah’s slick and evasive movement came into play as he was able to read more of Tsigkos’s attacks and avoid being hit too often.
However, Tsigkos and his corner were ‘disappointed for the decision and believed he won’ the fight and that it ‘wasn’t very close’. Tsigkos believed he not only attacked more but also landed more effective strikes that should have scored the fight in his favour. In his post-fight interview, he made it clear that he wants a swift rematch to ideally be arranged on the next MTGP event which, should be confirmed for later this year in Greece.
Bernise Alldis successfully defended her 57kg MTGP world championship against Elna Nilsson with another dominant win by decision. A lot has happened for Alldis away from the sport since losing to Tiffany van Soest at Lion Fight 22. However, now she’s back fighting, it really is about time Alldis was given more opportunities to fight in the USA on Lion Fight; where she would undoubtedly face more challenging opponents across the Atlantic than outside of the US in the current climate.
Ash Uddin steamrolled Jamie Ahern to emphatically KO him (via body shots) within the first minute of round one. There was no feeling out process as you may expect in the opening round of full Thai rules. Uddin explained in his post-fight interview, how he had decided on a very aggressive approach after noticing Ahern had looked like he’d been through a gruelling weight cut, having weighed-in a kilo lighter than him the day before.
Kelly Haines had a superb performance to win the 52kg ISKA K1 rules English title against, Mina Lamoure. In what was only her fourth fight, Haines displayed the skill set and self-confidence that we would expect from a more seasoned veteran in the ring. It wasn’t just her spinning back-fists and hook kicks that were threatening (and landed), they were thrown at the right time too when for example, Lamoure would be on the back foot near the ropes.
Muay Thai Grand Prix 6 – Results:
Salah Khalifa def. Giannis Tsigkos via UD for, 69kg MTGP world title (FTR)
Bernise Alldis def. Elna Nilsson via UD, retains 57kg MTGP world championship (FTR)
Mateusz Duczmal def. Adam Hart via UD, 94kg (K1 rules)
Carlton Lieu def. Asa Ten Pow via UD, 63.5kg (FTR), secures Lion Fight light-welterweight title shot
Ryan Li def. Pedro Luque by TKO (round 1), 80kg (FTR)
Evan Jays def. Lauge Petersen by UD, 51kg (FTR)
Pablo Ben def. Paul Benson by UD, 70kg (FTR)
Ash Uddin def. Jamie Ahern by TKO round 1, 48kg (FTR)
Michael Pham def. Brett Webster by split decision, 68kg (FTR)
Kelly Haynes def. Mina Lamoure by UD (K1 rules) for, 52kg ISKA English title
Marcos Diaz Perez def. Alex Beck by UD, 70kg (FTR)