Jordan Watson vs Ben Hodge headlined Yokkao 20 on October 8, at the Bolton Macron Stadium, UK. Watson would be victorious by unanimous decision but the build-up to this huge domestic clash was not without controversy.
Although Hodge would remain diplomatic outside of the ring come fight day. Once in the ring with Watson in-front of him, the two would not only throw each other out of the ring but also exchange plenty of verbals with one another too. This fight already had a ‘North vs South’ sporting rivalry in the mix and the overnight weigh-in drama lit a very combustable fuse for the fight to explode.
In the joint post-fight interview (below) Hodge conceded that his emotions did get the better of him when fighting Watson. Considering the gruelling weight cut (Hodge had dropped to a lower weight class than usual) compounded with being denied a title shot the night before, its no real surprise that any fighter’s mindset wouldn’t be effected.
Both fighters made peace and shook hands afterwards in the changing rooms with, Anoop Hothi interviewing them both together about tensions boiling over in the ring and their tactical approaches in outwitting one another. Hodge also gave his opinion on how he feels Watson would do against the defensive Thai boxing genius, Giorgio Petrosyan, on the upcoming Bellator Kickboxing show on, December 10 in Italy.
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.
Liam Harrison vs Fabio Pinca headlines Yokkao 19 on October 8 at the Bolton Macron stadium in England. Both men have beaten every top contender in Europe and have accumulated +200 fights between them.
This clash between two of the greatest Muay Farangs of the modern era, has been one of the most anticipated match-ups for over a decade and is finally about to happen this weekend, to the delight of Muay Thai fans around the world.
Speaking to Anoop Hothi on the K1ANOOP podcast, Harrison was complimentary of Pinca, describing him as a good allrounder. ‘The Hitman’ knows that it will be a close fight on Saturday and that it could very well ‘come down to who is sharper on the night’ in securing a win for either fighter.
However, when the subject of sparring, pre-fight medicals and a year of loses in 2013 was discussed, Harrison reflected on having once failed a brain scan for GLORY Kickboxing prior to his fight at GLORY 5 against Mosab Amrani:
“I got stopped against Mosab [Amrani]. I didn’t even train for a month. I’d failed a brain scan.”
“So, I didn’t train at all and then we were gonna pull me out of the fight. I’d weighed in but I hadn’t really trained, I said: ‘Ricard [Smith – his coach and manager] what’s happening here?’ – because I was waiting for the specialist to call me back [for a month before GLORY 5].”
“The day before the fight, the specialist rang back and said, ‘I’ve gone over your brain scan, you’re fine’. So I thought, oh sh-t, I’m going to fight here. I hadn’t trained whatsoever and you can tell from my body shape and everything, I wasn’t in shape at all.”
“I was gonna pull out and probably should’ve done really.”
Harrison explained that two separate Doctors had reviewed the brain scan at two different points in time – the first being on the day that the brain scan was taken (a month before GLORY 5) when he was told that the had failed the medical. The second opinion from an alternative Doctor was not received until the day before fighting Amrani two years ago (after the weigh-ins).
Fortunately, ‘The Hitman’ has had annual brain scans since then which, have given him a clean bill of health. These have also been one of the pre-fight medical requirements of other global promotions such as Yokkao that he has fought for since GLORY.
The Yokkao 19 clash with Fabio Pinca (32 years old) will be the 104th career fight for Liam Harrison who, recently turned 31 years of age earlier this week.