MTGP

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

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.”