It was an exciting Lion Fight #23, just ask Mike Lemaire

August 1, 2015 No Comments
With the victory came stitches, some more aches and pains but at the same time, it's just an extremely fun thing to do.

At the end of his match with Andrew Kapel, Mike Lemaire comes down from the ring to celebrate with his fans. With the victory came some stitches, some aches and pains but at the same time, it was another glorious victory.

The Lion Fight #23 Full Rules Muay Thai show is now in the books and this one was a dandy. It featured several surprises, lots of blood and not one but two come from behind victories. We not only have the top photos from that night, we can also give you an up close and personal look at these fearless fighters.


 

Bout #1

The opening Amateur light heavyweight bout was a bit of a dud as the very tall and youthful Ben Roberts from Undisputed Fitness, El Cajon, Calif. had his way with Ryan Castillo from Elite Fight & Fitness/HD Muay Thai, Palmdale, Calif. Most every bit of offense came from the 23 year-old Roberts who used his reach to repeatedly clobber the 30 something Castillo, who’s strategy involved clinching, use of elbows and knees, and not much else.

The youngster, 23 year-old Ben Roberts gets set to face the 36 year-old Ryan Castillo. All photos: Jim Wyatt

The youngster, 23 year-old Ben Roberts, gets set to face the 36 year-old Ryan Castillo. It wasn’t easy to watch. All photos: Jim Wyatt

For a special affect we had the top right photo switched to black and white.

We switched the top right photo to black and white to show the Master at work, Preston “The Predator” Peters of the Undisputed Gym in El Cajon.

Bout #2 featured Amateur welterweights Antonio Arango of Valor Muay Thai, San Diego going up against Ardavan Moeini of Team Oyama, Irvine, Calif. in a three rounder. In round one, Moeini was more effective and then in both rounds two and three, it appeared Arango had come on and was the busier and more productive fighter. When it was announced Moeini had won the fight by a split decision, the boo-birds in the audience let their thoughts be known.

(photo, left) Coach John Vargas stands behind his fighter from the Valor Muay Thai Gym of Logan Heights.

(photo, left) Coach John Vargas stands behind his fighter Antonio Arango from the Valor Muay Thai Gym of San Diego. Photos: J. Wyatt

Classic photo of Antonio Arango of Valor Muay Thai landing a short right cross to the side of Ardavan's head. Notice both of Ardavan's feet are off the ground. Photo: Lion Fight Promotions/Bennie E. Palmore II

We had to show you this classic photo of Arango landing a solid right cross to Ardavan’s head. Notice the optical elusion that makes it appear both of Ardavan’s feet are off the ground. Photo: Bennie E. Palmore II/Lion Fight Promotions

Bout #3 for Amateur Lightweights featured a chess like battle between Sef Ramos of Kings Combat Sports, Chatsworth, Calif. and Jack Terzian of Saekson Muay Thai, Van Nuys, Calif. In this one, both fighters had their moments but in the end Ramos just couldn’t overcome Terzian’s height and reach advantage which had him landing more kicks and punches from a safer distance. Since one judge had Ramos ahead on points, Terzian’s win goes down as a victory by split decision. And so ended the warm-ups. From here on out, it got intense.

This was another match-up where the taller opponent was able to use his whip-like leg attacks to snare the victory from the much shorter opponent.

This was another match-up where the taller opponent, Jack Terzian (l) of Saekson Muay Thai was able to use his quick hands and whip-like leg kicks to snare the victory from the shorter Sef Ramos (r) of Kings Combat Sports.  Referee is Kru Kim. Photos: J. Wyatt

Bout #4 was a nonstop war between two adorable, young ladies in the Amateur Light Flyweight division, Fanny Tommasino of One Kick Gym, Las Vegas, Nevada versus Magalie “Molly” Alvarez of the Muay Thai America Gym in North Hollywood, Calif.

In the first round, you really couldn’t tell who was ahead as the momentum swings went back and forth. In round two, Alvarez started to gain an advantage as her kicks and punches showed better leverage and Tommasino had begun to fight off her back foot. In the third round, literally all hell broke and the ladies were banging and kicking away with authority. With the majority of the landed blows coming from Alvarez, the judges had no problem awarding her an unanimous decision victory.  

Fanny Tommasino of One Kick Gym and Magali Alvarez of Muay Thai America make their ring entrance.

Fanny Tommasino (l) of One Kick Gym, Las Vegas, Nevada and Magali Alvarez of Muay Thai America in North Hollywood, Calif. make their ring entrance. (bottom) Soon after they got themselves caught up in a wrestling match.

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At the conclusion of their bout, the victorious Magalie Alvarez and her support group pose for a photo. Photo: Jim Wyatt

At the conclusion of her bout, the victorious Magalie Alvarez along with her coach David Huey and her support group pose for a photo. Photo: J. Wyatt

In Bout 5 (Middleweights, Amateur) Devin Taylor of The Arena, Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. defeated Sean Madden of Easton Training Center, Denver, Colorado by an unanimous decision. With each fighter having significant confidence in their striking ability, their match quickly evolved into a boxing match and before long, it became clear who had the faster hands. Taylor’s punches were sharper and had ferocious power behind them. Within a short time, Madden’s face was a bloody mess.

Taylor, who has excelled locally, got his feet wet fighting in the Battle of Champions Muay Thai series which has had shows locally in San Diego and Tijuana.

Team Arena, (l to r) Charles Alvarez, Vince Salvador and their shining star middleweight Devin Taylor make their ring entrance. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Team Arena, (l to r) Charles Alvarez, Vince Salvador and their shining star middleweight Devin Taylor make their ring entrance. Photo: J. Wyatt

At this point in the fight, it was 50-50 who was going to win as both fighters land their blows at the exact same time.

At this point in the fight, it was 50-50 who was going to win as both fighters landed their blows at the exact same time. Photo: Bennie E, Palmore II/Lion Fight

Devin Taylor looks over at his opponent Sean Madden who is being examined by the fight doctor.

(top, right) Devin Taylor awaits the fight doctor’s decision concerning the blood streaming down the face of his opponent, Sean Madden.

The coaches from The Arena in Point Loma. both Charles Alvarez and Vince Salvador Devin Taylor's two

The coaches from The Arena Fight Team in Point Loma, Charles Alvarez (r) and Vince Salvador (l) pose for a photo with their fighter Devin Taylor.

Bout #6

San Diego’s Marvin Madariaga (5-0-1) from San Diego’s Blue Ocean Muay Thai/Black House Team Nogueira made quick work of Tony Fausto (0-1) from the Pacific Training Center in La Jolla. In Round #1, after getting walloped several times leading to a knockdown followed by an 8-count, the referee finally stopped the match when he saw Fausto not responding to additional unanswered blows.

(top, left) Marvin Madariaga makes his way the ring. (bottom, right) soon after his opponent is on the canvass.

(top, left) Marvin Madariaga makes his way to the ring. (bottom, right) soon after he’s looking down at his opponent who is on the canvass. Photos: J. Wyatt

Bout #7

Another grizzled veteran, Romie Adanza of Team Oyama, Irvine, Calif. got lucky and landed this looping left hook which ended up splitting Daniel McGowan’s lip. As a result the contest ended up being a TKO by doctor’s stoppage at the 2:19 mark of Round 3. Up to that point the younger and taller McGowan from London, England was in complete command and landing the harder kicks and punches almost at will.

thorough beat down

Early on, the taller Daniel McGowan looked like a world-beater. His punches had more power, his kicks were harder and most importantly they were getting there first.

Daniel McGowan sits in the neutral corner wondering what just happened - I was winning, I got caught by a punch out of nowhere and now I'm the loser. Incredible!

All of a sudden McGowan’s world went topsy-turvy as he sat there in the neutral corner wondering what had happened. “I was winning. I got caught by a punch out of nowhere and now I’m the loser? He discovered later that the culprit was a lightning fast elbow that ended up splitting his lip.

What everyone else was looking at

Bout #8

On February 9, 2013, in front of a roaring crowd at the Hollywood Park Casino, Mike Lemaire (9-0) defeated Andrew Kapel in a Glory USA Middleweight elimination tournament and went on to win $20,000 and a one-year development contract with the world’s new premiere kickboxing league.

On that night, Kapel sent Lemaire to the canvas in round one with a round kick to the head, but Lemaire beat the referee’s count and continued to move forward, press the action and score repeatedly with his right hand. After the third and final round, the bout was declared a draw, sending the fight into a fourth, “sudden death victory round”.

Lemaire took charge in that added round, pounding Kapel with his right and repeatedly using these round kicks, including one to the head near the end of the round before being declared the winner by a split decision.

It was a battle then and you got to believe Kapel, lying in wait for his opportunity at revenge, was preparing extra hard for Friday night. On Friday, Kapel came focused and then pulled out all the stops. He was willing to take one punch in order to deliver two. When Lemaire got careless, he made him pay. In the end it was a knee to the head by Lemaire that secured the TKO victory coming at the 2:35 mark of the fifth and final round.

For Lemaire, things got dicey, especially in the fourth round, when he was bleeding from a gash over his right eye, plus he was gasping for air. As he mentioned later, “I went to hell.” Lucky thing Hell’s gatekeeper was on bathroom break, because Lemaire miraculously survived that critical moment and somehow pressed on for the win.

Mike LeMaire is not much of a talker but when he puts pen to paper that’s a different story. After this fight the often reticent Mr. Lemaire wrote the following message to his support group, “When you have a dream that you can’t let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. But remember, real dreams take work. They take patience, and sometimes they require you to dig down very deep. Be sure you’re willing to do that.

“Friday was an emotional night for me. I found myself in one of the toughest fights I have ever been in, going all the way back to my roots in Muay Thai. It was fun and also brutal fighting K1 rules over the last couple of years.
For me, this was a rematch with Andrew Kapel from the Glory Tournament in 2013 which I won. All the respect to him because he is also one tough SOB. I finished the fight with a knockout in the 5th round. His team and coaches were a class act. That’s what Muay Thai is all about.

“I’m blessed to have such great coaches and team around me, namely Melchor Menor, Danny Perez, Quiet Storm Mada, and my brother BJ. I love you guys. Thank you for believing in me, always pushing and supporting me.
To my Art of Eight training family, thanks for always showing up to support me.

“Thank you to my family, my friends and all my fans for their continuous love and support. Thank you Lion Fight Promotions for another great show and for putting Muay Thai on a great stage here in the U.S.

“It’s now time for me to relax. I went to hell last night in that ring. Fortunately, there is no quit in me.”

(top, left) Andrew Kapel makes his way to the ring. (top, right) Mike Lemaire follows.

(top, left) Andrew Kapel makes his way to the ring. (top, right) Mike Lemaire follows.

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(top) After it took every ounce of energy to stop the formidable Andrew Kapel, Mike Lemaire stretches out on the canvas. His exhilerated striking coach Danny Perez hovers above, "Dog, you did it!"

(top) After it took every ounce of energy to stop the formidable Mr. Kapel, Mike Lemaire stretched out on the canvas. Danny Perez, his thrilled striking coach was the first on the scene and appears to be saying, “Slap me five! Dog, that was amazing!”

Bout #9

Victor Saravia (4-0, 2 KOs) from the Muay Thai America Gym in North Hollywood defeated Stan Mancebo (1-2 KOs) from Pound 4 Pound, Toronto, Canada by TKO (elbow) at the 3:00 minute mark of Round 3. Mancebo had his moments, especially in Round #2 but they didn’t compare to the battering he was getting to from the heavy handed Saravia. If the bloody face or redness on his body are any indicators, Mancebo will now need some time to recuperate. 

Fighters, Stan Mancebo (top) and Victor Saravia (bottom) make their way to the ring.

Fighters, Stan Mancebo (top) and Victor Saravia (bottom) make their way to the ring.

Once Victor Saravia got warmed up there was no stopping him.

Once Victor Saravia got warmed up there was no stopping him. Our guest from Toronto, Ontario, Canada could not stop the North Hollywood Express.

Bout #10

Super lightweights Rungrat Sasiprapa (85-33-2) from the Hard Knocks Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada by way of the Sasiprapa Gym, Bangkok, Thailand vs. Kevin Ross (31-9, 10 KOs) of the Combat Sports Academy, Dublin, Calif.

Rungrat Sasiprapa comes away with the late victory over Kevin Ross by TKO (knee) at the 2:13 mark of Round 2. Truth be told, Ross was beating the crap out of Sasiprapa and ahead on the judges’ score cards until he got careless and Sasiprapa made him pay. Down he went with the blood streaming from his forehead. “Where am I?”

In this one, Sasiprapa looked pretty foolhardy at the outset and Ross took advantage by smacking him good each time he left his hands drop after delivering a kick. Sasiprapa’s strategy of trading a kick for a blast to the face was fine and dandy with Ross, especially if he could land one with enough power to get the knockout.

(top, left) the much feared and celebrated Kevin Ross makes his entrance. (below) Ross wasted little time and went right to work to gain control of the fight.

(top, left) the much feared and celebrated Kevin Ross makes his entrance. (below) Ross wasted little time and went straight to work to gain control of the fight.

At this point in the fight, it appeared Kevin Ross had the match in cruise control.

At this point in the fight, it appeared Kevin Ross had the match on cruise control.

The nightmare - Kevin Ross never saw it coming.

The nightmare came minutes later and Kevin Ross never saw it coming.

After flooring Kevin Ross, Rungrat Sasiprapa ran to the neutral corner, clim the ropes and appears to be saying, "Oh yeah! Was there ever any doubt."

After flooring Kevin Ross, Rungrat Sasiprapa ran to the neutral corner and climbed the ropes. His facial expression says, “Oh yeah! There was never any doubt?”

Bout #11, Co-Main Event

Tiffany Van Soest defended her women’s featherweight title by completely dominating the much taller Martyna Krol who was supposed to be strong in the clinches. Not so on Friday night. Van Soest had Krol on her back, incessantly clinching and looking like her only interest was surviving the fight, going the distance. The scores don’t lie (50-45, 50-45 and a 50-44 from Judge Ajahn Ruben Rowell – all for Van Soest).

Not wanting to poke fun but at the end of round one, Krol mistakenly went to a neutral corner instead of her corner. At the end of round three, she did the same. She skipped a round, and then did the same at the end of round five.

The young ladies, (left to right) Martyna Krol and Tiffany Van Soest make their way to the ring. Photos: Jim Wyatt

The young ladies, (left to right) Martyna Krol and Tiffany Van Soest make their way to the ring. Photos: Jim Wyatt

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Here we see the one time Tiffany van Soest got caught with a straight kick. Photo: Lion Fight Promotions/Bennie E. Palmore II

Here we see the one time Tiffany Van Soest got caught with a serious straight kick. Photo: Lion Fight Promotions/Bennie E. Palmore II

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(bottom, right) Veteran referee and coach, Kru Puk issues Martyna Krol an 8-count. Photos: J. Wyatt

(bottom, right) Veteran referee and coach, Kru Puk issues Martyna Krol an 8-count. Photos: J. Wyatt

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After defeating Krol, Tiffany Van Soest was asked, who would you like to face next?” Without hesitation she said, “Valentina Shevchenko.”

The 27-year-old, all everything fighter (Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, etc.) Valentina Shevchenko is from Perú by way of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The 27-year-old, all everything fighter (Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, Taekwondo) Valentina Shevchenko is from Perú by way of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The Main Event, Bout 12, was extremely entertaining. From the gitgo the legendary Malaipet Sasiprapa (146-29-6) from Sasiprapa USA in Fresno, Calif. by way of Surin, Thailand, with his super strong, tree stump like legs, began showcasing these startling high kicks and moves that only he can perform. For a time there he resembled one of those entertainers you see on the street, whipping his leg from side to side and then over his head, one specialty kick after another. To his credit, the good natured Liam Harrison didn’t lose his cool and went along with the tomfoolery, right up until the point where he felt the circus act might be costing him points with the judges.

Soon, they were going back and forth blasting each other. In the end, it was Harrison winning a split decision over the entertainer, Malaipet, with scores of (48-47, 49-46 for Harrison which offset the one judge who had it 50-46 for Malaipet).

Early on the legendary Malaipet Sasiprapa had these grand intentions of showing up the younger fighter, Liam Harrison. Harrison played along for awhile until the point where he felt he was being disrespected.

Early on the legendary Malaipet Sasiprapa (r) had these grand aspirations of showing up the younger fighter, Liam Harrison. Harrison (l) played along for awhile until finally he got to the point where he felt he was being disrespected.

Screen shot 2015-08-03 at 8.51.28 PM

(photo, left) shows a bloody Malaipet Sasiprapa in the final stanza.

(photo, left) shows Malaipet Sasiprapa’s bloody face in the final round.

The victorious Liam Harrison salutes the cheering crowd.

The victorious Liam Harrison salutes the cheering crowd.

Time for a quiz? Are you one of those people who believe you know just about everybody? On Friday night we took photos of the many celebrity guests. Of the ones we have here, how many can you name?IMG_7387640 name the celebrities atendanceIMG_7567Screen shot 2015-08-03 at 9.24.31 PMLion Fight Promotions will now return to the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut for a September 25th show.

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