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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
After defeating Krol, Tiffany Van Soest was asked, who would you like to face next?” Without hesitation she said, “Valentina Shevchenko.”
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).
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?Lion Fight Promotions will now return to the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut for a September 25th show.