The Conscience of Courage

AT RISK YOUTH REQUEST

First joint WKF & USMTA Pro Title Bout

Portales, NM Fight Poster

Featuring Anthony Ford vs Bryan Cohen for the WKF/USMTA US NATIONAL SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE (168lbs/75kg)

Portales, New Mexico on the April 26th

RED RIVER MELTDOWN

Amateur Muay Thai & San Shou

Tulsa, Oklahoma on the May 10th

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Demons of Demolition in Bowery Battle

    COMBAT AT THE CAPITALE IN NEW YORK CITY ON APRIL 4, 2014
      :

      Middleweight Men, Professional Glory Rules

      Elvis Gashi (Lions Martial Arts in Brooklyn) vs.
      André Schuler (East West Martial Arts in New Jersey)

      Elvis was just too much for André.  Photo by Peter Marney

      Elvis was just too much for André. Photo by Peter Marney

      Winner: Elvis Gashi by TKO at 1:51 of Round 1

      When a decision goes to the judges, balloting by round only makes it possible to conjure a whole from the sum of individual parts. It is an arbitrary simplification that we have to abide for the sake of objectivity. A fight’s dynamic typically is more like the journey towards a destination. There is a dramatic sequence of beginning, middle and end to reach the destination or outcome. That’s why a decision is often anticlimactic in the fights. The drama should never be  whether the judges got it right.

      Welterweight Men, Professional Glory Rules

      Niko Tsigaris (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn) vs.
      John Bowman (Longo Competition Team in Long Island)

      Before Glory │ K-1 Rules came to town, Muay Thai’s clinch seemed to tame Niko’s buoyant spirit. He is like a cheetah on the African savannah: snarl in stride. The percentages go against this cat, if a chase lasts long enough to suck the oxygen out of his lungs. It’s risky also for these predators to try punching above their weight, because the hunter then becomes the hunted.

      Twice now in succession, since turning pro, Nico has started strong only to fade in the stretch. The outcomes in both bouts have been hostage to the moment in time – when tide turns – in balloting by round. It was late enough against Nick Pace (September 27, 2013) for the split to skew towards first impressions.

      Nico worked the stationary target on Bowman’s neck like a speed bag.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Nico worked the stationary target on Bowman’s neck like a speed bag. Photo by Peter Marney.

      John came into the ring tonight looking already worse for wear. Nico punched the stationary target on Bowman’s neck like a speed bag. The tide turned here about midway through the second round. The pivotal moment came sooner for Tsigaris than against Nick Pace. Momentum switched on a flush counter that caught Nico flat footed.

      Like Nick Pace before him, John was visibly the heavier hitter. Although judges can reflect this in their balloting, short of a two-point round, votes all count the same in the ten point must system. With the heart of a jungle cat, Nico battled to the bitter end, but timing is everything. “Time and tide wait for no man.”

      Momentum switched on a flush counter that caught Nico flat footed.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Momentum switched on a flush counter that caught Nico flat footed. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Winner: John Bowman by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.

      WKA NYS Light Heavyweight Championship, Modified Muay Thai Rules (Amateur Men)

      Malik Blake (Team Tiger Schulmann in Harlem, New York) vs.
      Gueorgui Smaguin (Strike First Fitness MMA in New Jersey)

      With Mike Fischetti and Malik Blake both on the threshold of light heavyweight prominence, they’re a double dose of headline talent from Team Tiger Schulmann. Malik is the aspiring Harlem Globetrotter in this dynamic duo.

      From a tense beginning in round one through the bada bing │ bada boom in round two, Blake’s victory was the successful outcome of an integrated battle campaign. The Harlem Globetrotter’s campaign climaxed in round three on a rib crusher that came with a damage kicker. On the impact of a low kick │ body kick combination, Gueorgui’s retreat surrendered his best possibility of deterrent. An overhand right then dropped him for a respite of eight. It is well known that if you kill the body, the head will die. After a knee bent Smaguin out of shape, Malik went head hunting and got the kill.

      Malik went head hunting and got the kill.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Malik went head hunting and got the kill. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Winner: Malik Blake by TKO at 0:44 in Round 3

      Lightweight Women, Professional Glory Rules

      Anna Shearer (World Champion Martial Arts Center in Peterborough, Canada) vs.
      Jenny Nedell (Longo Competition Team in Long Island)

      Two familiar faces to Capitale crowds made their pro doubt debuts tonight. Even though more local tickets are sold here than anywhere else – except MSG and Barclay’s Center – no show is more hamish than Lou Neglia’s. If Jennie lost the split decision, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Anna was the heavier hitter with the better batting average.

      Anna was the heavier hitter with the better batting average.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Anna was the heavier hitter with the better batting average. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Winner: Anna Shearer by Split Decision: 29-28, 28-29, 30-27

      Super Heavyweight Men, Professional Glory Rules

      Carlos Brooks (Team Tiger Schulmann in Washington Heights, New York) vs.
      Shamir Garcia (Cooper Martial Arts in Detroit, Michigan)

      At a Godzilla thriller, you expect the final bell to toll for an inquest rather than a referendum. Nowhere do you see bigger size mismatches than in Paleontology. In the shadow of a human “Jurassic Park” – on the same tectonic plate as Washington Heights – the visitor Shamir Garcia from Detroit brought a unique selling proposition: how to survive with downsize. You just have to try harder.

      Carlos worked his reach advantage.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Carlos worked his reach advantage. Photo by Peter Marney.

      What Shamir tried harder to do was take the fight to Carlos, who worked his reach advantage to punish the risk taker for his impunity. It was a transparent fight to score but trickier to judge. They do crash tests in Motown to tempt fate, so we’re all less likely to become its victim. If Shamir Garcia didn’t risk the lumps he took, who among us really believes that the meek shall inherit the earth?

      In the shadow of a human “Jurassic Park”.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      In the shadow of a human “Jurassic Park”. Photo by Peter Marney.


      Winner: Carlos Brooks by Unanimous Decision: 30-27, 29-28, 30-27.

      Kickboxing first arrived on these shores wearing space shoes and pajama pants. Elbows and knees got the same ban as performance enhancing drugs do today (but not then). Adapting to Marquis of Queensbury Rules, below the waist was foul territory. So there were no low kicks. Now there are, but the space shoes and pajama pants are gone.

      WKA World Cruiserweight Championship, Low Kick Rules (Amateur Men)

      Andrew Ball (Neglia Competition Team in Brooklyn) vs.
      Paul Miller (Institute of Muay Thai in Ontario, Canada)

      There is some collateral damage from Glory’s claim jumping K-1 rules in how it complicates Common Core Standards for today’s new beat generation. Abstaining from elbows, you’re allowed to clinch but not too much. Although knees are also allowed, it’s kind of mezz-a-mezz. On Low Kick’s road less travelled, veteran ref Chris Wagner looked like “Welcome Back Kotter” schooling two Vinnie Barbarinos, who’re “so confused”. (We’re working on a retro theme in Low Kick.)

      Sending the contender’s torso a distress signal with bad intentions.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Sending the contender’s torso a distress signal with bad intentions. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Once he got into the groove, though, Andrew went from the sorcerer’s apprentice to a demon of demolition. Nothing does the trick better than sending the contender’s torso a distress signal with bad intentions. If Paul needed a refresher in Low Kick’s rules of engagement, simple power punching off a left lead was the seal in Andrew Ball’s deal. It was the champ’s first successful title defense, since winning the crown at WKA’s Worlds in Italy. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Paul Miller. It tolls for thee.

      Power punching off a left lead.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Power punching off a left lead. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Winner: Andrew Ball by TKO after 2nd Bell

      WKA North American Light Heavyweight Championship, Glory Rules (Amateur Men)

      Mike Fischetti (Team Tiger Schulmann in Staten Island, New York) vs.
      Jeff Brown (World Champion Martial Arts Center in Peterborough, Canada)

      This was a battle for bragging rights within WKA’s footprint on the North American continent – in a radius around New York City and also around the Confederacy’s capitol of Richmond – which is quite an historical distance to travel. It was the kind of rematch familiar to WKA’s full line of customer friendly product diversity.

      Jeff Brown and Mike Fischetti first fought to a majority draw under modified Muay Thai rules in the same place on September 27, 2013. The Canadian champ had done an effective job in the clinch of taming Iron Mike’s fury. Unable to get his claws out of their paws, Fischetti spent more time on the hook (of Muay Thai knees) than most fish would’ve survived out of water. If this hadn’t been yet another affirmation of No Child Left Behind in WKA’s administrative policies and practices, there wouldn’t even have been a stalemate to console Fischetti’s fans.

      No less of an authority than  Mike Miles has observed that “styles make fights”. Another way to put it, “don’t come to a gun fight with only a knife”.

      Glory’s unique selling proposition is that their fights are more exciting for fans to watch without Muay Thai’s clinch. How tempting is it to unravel the invisible thread in a fabric of deception? Behold  EXCITEMENT from Kru Gustavo Luna at Tarragona’s Templo Muaythai Club in Spain.

      Customer friendly to a fault, WKA switched North American title belts from modified Muay Thai to Glory rules. Copping a Kenny Rogers quote “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”.

      Fischetti came with a fire in his belly and raged like a bull.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Fischetti came with a fire in his belly and raged like a bull. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Iron Mike’s take away was much more a measure of his manhood: “Difficulties break some men but make others”. [Nelson Mandela] No more patsies and palookas to romance a sterile stone. He came with a fire in his belly and raged like a bull. Only the ropes kept Fischetti from skewering the Canadian. On impulse, Referee Chris Wagner started to administer a standing eight count but didn’t like what he saw in Jeff’s eyes and called it quits better to be safe than sorry. This was the fight Mike Fischetti finally walked in Rocky Marciano’s shadow.

      Winner: Mike Fischetti by TKO at 1:52 of Round 2

      Super Lightweight Men, Professional Glory Rules

      Julio Arce (Team Tiger Schulmann in Queens, New York) vs.
      Zarukh Adashov (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn

      Julio Arce has shown so much promise in his amateur apprenticeship, it’d be a lament for destiny’s child should we lose such a prodigy to MMA. Nowhere is there more   income inequality than the purses for stand-up in America. Explaining why he’d coasted through the fifth round against Sakmongkol Sitchuchoke (August the 20th, 2011 in Las Vegas), Cosmo Alexandre gave it up. “For $500, it wasn’t worth knocking him out.”

      Every swing of the bat put a runner in scoring position.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Every swing of the bat put a runner in scoring position. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Until gambling terminals are installed in the arenas to fund our own enterprise – which is the ticket to prosperity in Bangkok – a payroll like Glory’s makes it possible now for someone like Julio to stand his ground. The ground is going to get a lot tougher to stand, though, for whoever sets his sights on scaling fame and fortune’s summit. Although pretenders there are many, all contenders but one will somewhere │ sometime meet their match.

      In the fairy tales of match making, this was like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. Neither was it too big nor too small but just right for a prodigy. Julio dominated the terra incognita that was Zarukh Adashov. If he didn’t manage to hit it out of the park, every swing of the bat put a runner in scoring position. On the tally of innings, he put up a winning score.

      Julio dominated the terra incognita that was Zarukh Adashov.  Photo by Peter Marney.

      Julio dominated the terra incognita that was Zarukh Adashov. Photo by Peter Marney.

      Winner: Julio Arce by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.

      Although Julio Arce travels unimpeded on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, it’ll remain a closed circuit until he steps outside his local comfort zone and gets past the rookies to ranked fighters. No one has been more successful than his training manager Tiger Schulmann in developing talent for the UFC’s big paydays nor more masterful than Lou Neglia in showcasing NYC Metro’s rising stars. It’ll be a fairy tale come true, if they can medal in two sports.

      Now you know why this was the main event. If this town does nothing else, who makes it here can make it anywhere.

      UNDER CARD:

      1. Shannon Halstead (Dambakely Martial Arts in North Carolina). def. Robert Reid (Alpha Omega in Long Island) by TKO at end of Round 2. Glory Amateur Rules, Men, 157 lbs.

      2. Nicholas Robyn (Longo Competition Team in Long Island) def. Eugene Leusekno (Lions Martial Arts in Brooklyn) by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27. Glory Amateur Rules, Men, 165 lbs.

      3. Daniel Bogdanov (Tiger Martial Arts International in Brooklyn) def. Javier Torres (B52 Muay Thai in Brooklyn) by TKO at 0:54 of Round 3. Muay Thai Amateur Rules, Junior Men, 145 lbs.

      4. Nazim Sadykhov (Lions Martial Arts in Brooklyn) def. Remi Singh (Militia Muay Thai Academy in Queens) by Unanimous Decision: 30-26, 30-26, 30-26. Glory Amateur Rules, Men, 159 lbs.

      5. Justin Montalvo (Longo Competition Team in Long Island) def. George Maldarelli (Neglia Competition Team in Brooklyn) by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. Glory Amateur Rules, Men, 152 lbs.

      6. Sofia Gegai (Team Tiger Schulmann in Brooklyn) def. Lauren Braccia (Longo Competition Team in Long Island) by Split Decision: 30-27, 28-29, 29-28. Glory Amateur Rules, Women, 125 lbs.

      See Peter Marney’s Photo Gallery  HERE.

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Bridge Over Troubled Water Takes Credibility Toll on Fans and Fighters

If you think that Unanimous Decision (UD) correlates with the decisiveness of a win, think again. All you can possibly know from a UD is that three road travelers have reached the same destination. How or why each got there is a matter of pure supposition on your part. It is a leap of faith for you even to suppose that any of their rules of the road are on your own map.

Amidst howls from a surreal UD (August the 20th, 2011 in Las Vegas), one of the judges confided “I didn’t vote that way”. This Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) judge claimed that his pre-printed score card wrongly listed who’d been assigned to fight out of which corner. Voting for Cosmo Alexandre – who’d supposedly been listed in the blue corner on his score card but who’d actually fought out of the red corner – the judge claimed to have inadvertently cast his ballot for Sakmongkol Sitchuchoke. What are the judges looking at?

Where angels fear to tread. │ Photo courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz.

Where angels fear to tread. │ Photo courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz.

You should know that this NSAC judge looked old enough to have also voted for Dwight Eisenhower. With thick spectacles an apparently necessary vision aid, what he sees is what we get. What we’ve been getting strains our credibility. (  Nelson “Doc” Hamilton: Oops, Can I Change my UFC 104 Scorecard for Machida/Shogun | 5thRound.com)

We’d be going off the credibility road ourselves, though, to isolate on a single defect without fixing the process that rolls wrecks off the assembly line, exempt from accountability for the consequences. The process is flawed and management of the process is remiss that abuses its incumbency.

It makes all the difference in a judged sport, like ours, because consistent application of rules is what defines the sport. (  ABC Muay Thai Rules) If outcomes are random as the roll of dice, eventually we’re all going to crap out. The sport will descend into anarchy and the public will abandon it with the same indifference that funds NSAC’s payroll. Beyond what the judges are looking at, who’s accountable for making sure that they do their jobs?

The devil is in the details.

The devil is in the details.

The paid public servant – who’d occupied this post in Nevada until his recent resignation – was Keith Kizer. How does NSAC’s departing Executive Director evaluate his own performance?

In  FOX Sports on MSN, Mike Chiappetta observed that “[b]ecause of the many high-visibility MMA and boxing bouts that are drawn to Las Vegas, Kizer often became a lightning rod for controversy. In MMA, it was often because of the therapeutic use exemptions granted for testosterone replacement therapy…In boxing, it was judges, exemplified by the outrage spewed after judge C.J. Ross scored the September Floyd Mayweather-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez match a draw despite a near unanimous belief that Mayweather won handily. Kizer said those kinds of controversies are bound to happen over the course of time, and that he had no regrets over his tenure…It was all good.”

Winter of Discontent. │ Photo courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz.

Winter of Discontent. │ Photo courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz.

It’s an ominous measure for this kind of “good”, if we’re looking to see whether the canary croaks in the coal mine. Flunking a smell test like this can be lethal to a sport’s popularity. Consider this third party audit of officiating at a recent show, under NSAC’s jurisdiction, by a USMTA certified judge:   Selected Shorts from Lion Fight 13.

It can’t possibly be “good” for a sport to descend into anarchy. Neither can it be “good” for a box office to lose the public’s confidence. It can’t be good for government anywhere to abide administrative or regulatory insularity without accountability.

On the UD measure, judges in New Jersey somehow manage to bat better than 80%. (See   Class B Amateur Muay Thai and K-1/Glory Style Kickboxing at Striker’s Cup 11.)

The process works, because there’s a manager (Nick Lembo) in place, who’s the literal opposite of insular. What this means, rules of engagement are transparent. Officials are actually schooled how to apply them. The boss himself personally does Quality Control. Professional pride makes a difference, no doubt, but there’s also a mandate from NJ’s Governor to make good or else.

New Jersey Athletic Control Board Legal Counsel Nick Lembo

New Jersey Athletic Control Board Legal Counsel Nick Lembo

So Keith Kizer got it all wrong. “Good” isn’t finishing your shift, before the canary croaks in the coal mine. It’s something that you have to make happen in order to earn your paycheck. That’s why professional pride matters but not as much as legislative + executive mandates in the evaluation of a public servant’s job performance. The buck stops on the desk of an elected official in the Governor of Nevada, who’ll appoint NSAC’s next Executive Director and hold him to account or not.

Cross the Hudson River from Nick Lembo’s office. The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has a legislative mandate only to regulate pro boxing. Everything else – like our sport – gets outsourced to a privately owned and operated NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in the WKA. This from a New York State Assembly with 9 vacancies in the wake of corruption convictions and sexual harassment allegations: (  LegislativeGazette.com)

We in this country have to stop passing the buck to politicians for everything that ails us. Accountability and insularity both battle it out inside the voting booth. You can delegate accountability to fix the mess we’re in but not responsibility. So guess where the buck stops?

Kevin "The Soul Assassin" Ross vs. 17 year old Terrence Hill at The Battle of Brooklyn on May 6, 2005

Kevin “The Soul Assassin” Ross vs. 17 year old Terrence Hill at The Battle of Brooklyn on May 6, 2005

“Every nation gets the government it deserves.” [Joseph-Marie, Comte de Maistre in Lettres et Opuscules]

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Mike Miles Still Power Punching in ‘Night of Pain’

Staying busy across four decades to promote our sport, Mike Miles showed he’s still at peak performance in ‘NIGHT OF PAIN’. The 10th episode of his Canadian Challenger Muay Thai series sold out Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn and Casino on Saturday April 5, 2014. The event highlighted two very strong professional Canadian athletes. It was sanctioned by the WMC, CCSC, CMTC-A.

Mike Miles Logo

The Main Event featured Canada’s best kept Muay Thai secret in Hakeem Dawodu. Hakeem’s Muay Thai stock appreciated in Japan with his KO wins over Thailand’s Gunnaper Weerasakreck and Japanese favorite Junpei Hirai.

Back on home turf in North America, Dawodu took the battle to a former Ratchadamnern Stadium and Thailand national champion in Sam Samut. At stake was the second most important title in World Muay Thai Council rankings, a WMC Intercontinental Muay Thai Championship.

MAIN EVENT
WMC INTERCONTINENTAL WELTERWEIGHT MUAYTHAI TITLE

Hakeem Dawodu (Canada) vs. Sam Samut (Thailand)

Dawodu Scored Effectively

Dawodu Scored Effectively

Sam Samut started the bout unsurprisingly slow, as is the custom for most Thai athletes. Dawodu feigned, taunted and scored effectively. He landed some punches and kicks plus an elbow that tattooed an ugly mouse on Sam Samut’s forehead.

In round two, the Thai tried more to engage Dawodu, but he couldn’t catch the elusive Canadian. Hakeem maneuvered to again land punches, kicks and knees. While many of the blows made a resounding thud throughout the house, Sam Samut smiled his defiance. If the Thai was concealing any frustration behind these smiles, he vented on the bent of vengeful elbows.

Sam Takes the Fight to Hakeem

Sam Takes the Fight to Hakeem

Round three saw Sam Samut take the fight to Dawodu, whose moving target remained difficult to hit. As the Thai came into clinch, he walked into the harm’s way of Hakeem’s elbow. It sliced a gash on Samut’s forehead above the left eye. Like blood in the water, their clash turned to frenzy. Dawodu worked the gash, while Sam Samut leaned hard elbows into the clinch. Hakeem was nimble on the counter, dumping the Thai repeatedly to the canvas.

Hakeem Was Nimble on the Counter

Hakeem Was Nimble on the Counter

Sam Samut came into the fourth round aggressively, kneeing on transition to clinch and elbow. Dawodu was adept at countering the Thai’s attack with the sting of his own elbows. Sam Samut pressed hard throughout the entire round on the assault of long range knees. When Hakeem got sloppy, while throwing a knee, the seasoned Thai did a sweep and toss.

Behind on the score cards, Sam Samut went into the final round going for a knockout. Whenever he tried to go inside, though, the Canadian dumped him on the canvas. Seizing the initiative, it was Hakeem Dawodu who then went for the kill. Although he wasn’t able to keep it from the judges, the Canadian punished Sam Samut enough for a comfortable margin of victory.

“It was great to see Dawodu pushed the distance. This was a lesson in many ways, and an important lesson for Dawodu. Onward and upward. Dawodu wants to fight anyone, and I say that without arrogance, he wants to improve”, said coach Mike Miles.

WMC Intercontinental Welterweight Champ

WMC Intercontinental Welterweight Champ

CO-MAIN EVENT
Professional Super Light Heavyweight MuayThai Bout

Mark MacKinnon (Calgary/Miles) vs. Jason Caldwell (USA/Pagliuso)

It’s often been observed that styles make fights. How did this come into play here? MacKinnon was stepping into the ring against Jason Caldwell. The American had just beaten WKA World Champ Charles Bisset. In turn, Bisset had defeated MacKinnon two years ago. The speculation, thus, was that Caldwell would probably beat whoever had lost to someone he’d already beaten. The logic of rankings does not and cannot predict the outcome of mixing new stylistic ingredients.

MacKinnon and Caldwell both came out of their corners eager to mix it up. They quickly exchanged shots. Mark realized that he needed to dial it down on the dual imperatives of discipline and control. Whether Jason took this as an invitation to pounce, he walked right into a precisely timed right elbow from the Canadian. MacKinnon’s coach Mike Miles said “The elbow was so fast many did not even see it – including me – because MacKinnon’s back was to me, as the elbow landed. I was surprised the bout was over so quick.” Mark MacKinnon won the bout 20 seconds into the first round by elbow KO.

The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

UNDER CARD

The show originally had ten bouts set to go. Seven bouts were guaranteed. Two days before show time, one fighter pulled out. The day of the weigh-in, three failed medical clearance to fight. This brought it down to six bouts. Then post weigh-in, two gamers were thrown together (voluntarily) to battle and make a seventh bout.

Phil Leier (Calgary/Miles) vs. Brian Bruns (USA/Pagliuso)

This was a good clean fight, with crisp exchanges and both fighters demonstrating sound skills. All three rounds were close. Leier took one round, while Bruns won the other. It was round three that decided the outcome. Phil moved well at first but then suddenly slowed down and fought defensively. This conceded the initiative to Brian, who took full advantage. The bout was close enough for some disagreement among the judges but a plurality voted for the American Brian Bruns by Split Decision.

Dwain Soon (Calgary/Miles) vs. Andrew Vandervelden (Airdrie/Bellegarde)

Both these gamers had been scheduled to fight different opponents under different rules. Dwain’s bout was originally supposed to be under modified Muay Thai rules for three rounds. Andrew’s contract was for five rounds of full rules Muay Thai in quest of the vacant Western Canadian Muay Thai Title. Both agreed to meet each other halfway, just to get a match under their belts.

The bout began with an exchange of punches and kicks. It was close enough to have gone either way. On second bell, Vandervelden backed Dwain into the ropes and fired a shot that shook the local. Instead of grabbing to hold, clinch and knee, Soon tried to counter punch but he was out gunned. Another punch dropped Dwain to the canvas. Despite regaining his feet, the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Andrew Vandervelden didn’t take home the belt that he’d come for but was consoled with a second round TKO. “You don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”

Blake Weigel (Calgary/Miles) vs. Jeremy Grieve (Winnipeg/Westerlund)

The taller Grieve brought a reach advantage that Blake neutralized in the clinch. In dominating the clinch, Weigel dumped Jeremy often throughout the bout. While Grieve also worked in the clinch, he was more passive in trying to tie up Blake, rather than exchange with the local. Both threw punches in bunches, along with kicks and knees, in what proved to be a crowd pleasing match up. The bout was close enough for the judges to split their ballots with Blake Weigel winning the Split Decision.

Olivia Awad (Calgary/Miles) vs. Maria Hayball (Edmonton/McKinley)

Hayball literally ran across the ring, off first bell, throwing leather. In the first round and most of the second, Olivia connected more effectively with punches, kicks and knees. Maria’s pace was just too torrid, though, and took its toll on Awad. By the third and final round, she was able neither to mount effective offense nor defense. Maria Hayball earned the win by a Split Decision.

Jordan Poirier (Calgary/Miles) vs. Tony Kuhn (Vancouver/Fenton)

First match of the evening featured these two rivals for survival. Tony was glad to be back on Canadian soil from Japan, where he’d beaten a native with 50 plus fights. This was his sayonara before turning pro for fame and fortune. Jordan did his job, exchanging leather with Kuhn, but Poirier’s downfall came from moving backwards after punching. This gave Tony the edge to press continually, while moving forward. The bout was action packed and well matched. Tony Kuhn won by Unanimous Decision.

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Foxwoods Joins Forces with Lion Fight Promotions for First-Ever Lion Fight Event on the East Coast: LION FIGHT 15 on Friday, May the 23rd.

LF15 Trailer

Cosmo Alexandre set to battle Mark Holst

Tiffany Van Soest, Kevin Ross and rising star Jason Andrada also on tap for LION FIGHT 15

LION FIGHT Founder and CEO Scott Kent and Foxwoods Resort Casino are joining forces to bring Lion Fight’s hard-hitting world class Muay Thai action, for the first time ever, to fight fans on the East Coast. LION FIGHT 15 features a main event matchup between World Muay Thai Champion and Brazilian MMA superstar Cosmo Alexandre and World Muay Thai Federation Champion and former UFC fighter Mark Holst. It will take place live from Foxwoods Casino Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Friday May 23.

Muay Thai is King of the Ring

“Fans have been asking us to bring Lion Fight’s world class Muay Thai events to the East coast for years,” said Kent. “We just needed the right venue and the right partner and we found both with Felix Rappaport and his team at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Every year Lion Fight makes bold moves to grow this sport and attract more and more fight fans to Muay Thai, and so we are very excited to bring Lion Fight 15 and this incredible Muay Thai experience to fans out East.”

The 31-year old Brazilian fighting superstar Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre is the former World Muay Thai Council (WMC) Intercontinental Champion, It’s Showtime Champion and WMC/S1 Champion. He fights out of the famed Blackzilians training camp in Boca Raton, Florida and is a three-sport professional athlete, fighting in MMA, boxing and Muay Thai. He stands undefeated in boxing and is riding a five-fight win streak as a professional mixed martial artist. On May the 23rd, Alexandre returns to the Lion Fight ring for this full rules Muay Thai mega-fight against Holst.

“Muay Thai is my first love and I’m excited to give fight fans out East a great main event at Lion Fight 15,” said Alexandre. “I’m taking this fight seriously and don’t plan to let the judges decide. So don’t blink. This is Muay Thai, the action doesn’t stop and I’m going to give my fans a knockout.”

Canadian Mark “Boots” Holst is a former World Muay Thai Federation Champion and also a former UFC lightweight. He has been training since he was 17 years old and has earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate and a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie. He is also a Certified Senior Kru by the Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. He is known for his aggression and trademark roundhouse kicks. He looks forward to taking on Alexandre, one of the biggest stars in Muay Thai, and showing fans he is ready to fight one of the greatest athletes in the sport.”

“I am very excited to make my comeback to the Muay Thai ring,” said Holst. “I have always loved to fight Muay Thai rules and I will be doing so for the prestigious Lion Fight organization. It is a great honor for me to fight Cosmo Alexandre, I can’t wait to put on a show for everyone watching!”

LION FIGHT 15 also features the return of former Lion Fight Featherweight Champion Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest, Muay Thai Champion Kevin “The Soul Assassin” Ross and rising star Jason Andrada.

Foxwoods Logo

The full rules Muay Thai LION FIGHT 15 event will take place inside Foxwoods’ Fox Theater Friday, May 23, 2014. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET; the first bout starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Starting at $25.00, tickets for LION FIGHT 15 are available online at www.foxwoods.com or by calling the Foxwoods’ Box Office at 800-200-2882 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available by visiting the Foxwoods box office.

AXS.tv Logo

LION FIGHT 15 airs live on AXS TV starting at a special time, 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. The broadcast will feature play-by-play and color commentary by legendary MMA fighter and coach Pat Miletich alongside renowned sports commentator Michael “The Voice” Schiavello. This will be the eighth LION FIGHT event on AXS TV and the second since renewing their broadcast deal in early 2014.

About Lion Fight Promotions

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lion Fight Promotions, LLC is one of the world’s premier Muay Thai organizations. Founded in 2010 by owner and Chief Executive Officer Scott Kent, Lion Fight is the most active national promoter of Muay Thai events and stands as the most prestigious full rules Muay Thai operation in North America. Lion Fight’s full rules Muay Thai events are televised live nationally to over 42 million homes as part of AXS TV’s long-running Friday Night Fights series. The company is dedicated to growing Muay Thai in America and to presenting world-class events stacked with the best fighters in the sport.

Lion Fight Logo

See more at: http://www.lionfight.com/news/2014/03/10001/#sthash.COMAGhsq.dpuf.

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TEAM USA MOBILIZES FOR WKF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The World Kickboxing Federation’s American affiliate   USMTA is assembling Team USA to compete at the 2014 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic from November 10th thru the 15th, 2014. Team USA will compete in Amateur Muay Thai, MMA, Point Fighting, Kata, Weapons Katas, Kickboxing, Low Kick, Semi-Contact and Light Contact.

USMTA Logo

The time is now to make the first move towards winning global prestige for yourself and your country. This is not an open tournament. Only national teams will compete at the   World Championships in historic Prague.

Whoever makes Team USA, we’re on our own to cover the trip’s costs. Full disclosure: $1,975.00 would have to be sent in advance to WKF USA Headquarters, along with a copy of your passport and ID. That’s what it’ll cost to cover registration fees, airfare, ground transportation, meals and hotel accommodations.

This will be the first time since 1992 that we’ll have sent Team USA to compete at the WKF’s World Championships. It’s time for TEAM USA to go for glory.

WKF Logo World

This is also the time for sponsors to endorse America’s team at the World Championships this coming November. Where Red Army tanks once patrolled Prague’s streets in the Czech Republic let’s carry the red, white and blue. Send a message with your support for Team USA:

WKF – USA (World Championships)
2018 North Roff Avenue
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73107
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ATTN: WKF – USA President Ric Sniffen

Call to join today:
(405) 212- 6047
Or send an email to [email protected]

First People Founding Fathers

WKF – USA Vice Presidents:
Clint Heyliger
Kevin Jacub.

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Asian American Milestone in San Francisco

The Asian America Foundation celebrates cultural diversity and promotes the standing of Asian Americans by advancing community, education, and women’s empowerment.

Poster

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
7:00 PM August 2, 2014

City Box Office
  Online Ticket Sales
180 Redwood St, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94102

(415)392-4400
Phone Hours:
Weekdays: 9:30am – 5pm
Saturdays: 12noon – 4pm

President Emeritus Rose Chung announces that the 2014 Miss Asian Global Pageant is moving to the next level. She is passing on the presidency to Vincent Ma, who has been volunteering for 13 years. They are also establishing a non-profit, Asian America Foundation – led by Executive Director, Jeffrey Kwong – to deepen their efforts in professional development of mentorship programs, educational initiatives, and training for API women.

Scene from last year’s pageant.  Photo courtesy of Dale Shirley.

Scene from last year’s pageant. Photo courtesy of Dale Shirley.

To fulfill their worthy new goals, your support in purchasing tickets today for the new generation of Miss Asian Global and Miss Asian America Pageant would be greatly appreciated. They need your help more than ever.

Friends and Family Discounts:

15% off tickets now through Friday, April the 25th.
Use Code presale
Click  HERE to purchase your tickets online.

2014 Miss Asian Global and Miss Asian America Pageant

Aby Rulloda and her crew from World Muay Thai Team USA.  Photo courtesy of Dale Shirley.

Aby Rulloda and her crew from World Muay Thai Team USA. Photo courtesy of Dale Shirley.

Share the culture, diversity, and celebration of achievement and support the Asian America Foundation – dedicated to promoting the standing of Asian America through education, training, and women’s empowerment. They will also be continuing their support of Asian American mentoring, educational, and women’s and family programs.

Mailing Address:
1376 Broadway Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

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McCann’s Thrive in Chaos Seminar

Thrive in Combat

Full Contact Fighting Seminar!!!

Primal Gym
231 Bakers Basin RD
Lawrenceville NJ 08648
www.Xtremefreestyle.com

Primal Gym

April 27th
10AM – 3PM │ $50

Find out what works and what doesn’t

● Trouble shooting
● Worse Case Scenarios
● Multiple Opponents

Fighting:

● Hand vs. Hand
● Hand vs. Knife
● Hand vs. Stick
● Hand vs. Gun
● Knife vs. Knife
● Knife vs. Stick
● Knife vs. Gun
● Stick vs. Stick
● Stick vs. Gun

This seminar will test your skills at all levels.

Bring:

● Mouth Guard
● Head Gear
● Training Sticks
● Training Knives
● Training Guns
● Gloves
● Head Gear
● Eye Protection

We will absolutely bring your Combatives Skills to the Next Level

Logo

“A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood.” – General George S. Patton

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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Seems like two years ago, it began to look like full rules Muay Thai would finally break through New York’s political grid lock. There was one local show promoter, who’d retro-fitted his chariot on the attenuation of eight limbs down to six. He seemed to think – or at least hope – that full rules Muay Thai would be a tipping point for the next big thing. It turned out that dressing little leaguers in pin stripes doesn’t transform a sandlot into Yankee Stadium.

Just last week, the New York Jets signed QB Michael Vick to rescue the franchise from mediocrity. Whatever potential attends a sport’s popularity, athletic performance makes all the difference between novelty and fame.

Chris Romulo vs. Sean Hinds at Church Street Boxing Gym's Friday Night Fights Series in NYC

Chris Romulo vs. Sean Hinds at Church Street Boxing Gym’s Friday Night Fights Series in NYC

Our local promoter stayed with pay-to-play. Featuring home town heroes and rivalries, he maintained payroll discipline on the metric of pro purses. Although we got full rules Muay Thai, NYC didn’t even notice. With pay-to-play instead of pay-per-view, a local cottage industry can’t even think about funding the bling in Floyd Mayweather’s wardrobe.

Along came Glory Sports International. Never mind GSI would’ve had to rent a sound stage at Sunnyside Studios for its Spike-tv broadcast – instead of packing MSG – if not for Lou Neglia’s mastery of pay-to-play. Glory Sports International brought us Giorgio Petrosyan on the incentive of a six figure tournament prize. It staged a “Rocky” re-enactment with unranked local Wayne Barrett upsetting Artem Levin’s conqueror Joe Schilling in a thriller to match Manila.

Wayne Barrett vs. Joe Schilling at Glory World Series in NYC

Wayne Barrett vs. Joe Schilling at Glory World Series in NYC

You need world class athletic talent to get the attention of a national – much less global – sports audience. Only with enough fans do your talent shows make the kind of news that produces views. You’d think it should follow then, like the night the day, that money talks and nobody walks.

Spike-tv came out a winner on the score cards that rank broadcast networks in the Young-Invincible demographic. Although most of GSI’s shows air live – while few here are awake – this one was broadcast in the prime time for ratings and advertising dinaros. Everyone got their money’s worth, except maybe the content producer Glory Sports International, who gave up weight to make the match.

Dave Walsh touches on this in alluding to GSI’s arrangement with Spike-tv. It’s well worth the  READ on LiverKick.com for as thoughtful a survey on our sport’s popularity prospects as you’ll see anywhere.

Crowd Sourcing at Church Street Boxing Gym's Friday Night Fights Series in NYC

Crowd Sourcing at Church Street Boxing Gym’s Friday Night Fights Series in NYC

In transitioning from old to new media, the jury remains sequestered on how content producers – like Glory Sports International (Singapore) and Lion Fight Promotions (Las Vegas) – can self-fund their costs of doing business. In our kid in a (YouTube) candy store of VOD gluttony, seeing comes a whole lot cheaper than believing in return on investment. On the metric of screen views – in and of itself – popularity only approximates the potential for our sport’s sustainability, much less showing us the exit ramp from wandering in the wilderness of niche to a land of mainstream milk and honey.

Let’s remember that Spike-tv got only two shows from GSI last year for prime time broadcast in North America. One ratings bomb could be fatal for any series so capricious with gravitational imperatives in random orbit. No show producer can realistically expect to monetize away the downside risk in such an un-cyclically speculative enterprise without frequent at bats, at the same time hitting for a respectable percentage.

So the road ahead – not just for our sport but rather for all content producers – goes through a matrix of pay walls somewhere in the distribution of signal. This brings NetFlix to mind. It connects directly with consumers through a subscription pay wall – mediated by cable operators, like ticket brokers, but by-passing networks like Spike-tv – also distributing content across all (mobile) platforms. While the NFL might get more jolt from old media’s advertising volt, NetFlix’ horizon illuminates the unlimited possibilities in new media.

Brave New World Apps

Brave New World Apps

Whether our sport ends up smoking or getting smoked, content producers have been early casualties of new media across pretty much all entertainment platforms. The message in technology’s bottle is that winning or losing will almost certainly pivot off how well we master the rules of new media’s game. “If you build it, they will come.” But will they pay?

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Selected Shorts from Lion Fight 13 in Las Vegas on February 7, 2014

Report by Miguel Rivera. Photography by Ray Kasprowicz.

Jason Andrada (Las Vegas) vs. Andy Singh (New York City)

Jason does most of his damage in the clinch

Jason does most of his damage in the clinch

Jason Andrada comes out the aggressor. Andy Singh looks more passive than we’re used to seeing him in the ring. He does a good job, however, countering with push kicks and crisp overhand shots. Jason is visibly the bigger fighter. He does most of his damage in the clinch, which is something that has always been the chink in Andy’s armor. After catching Singh’s kicks, Andrada has two opportunities to sweep Andy but to no avail. Singh shows Jason how it’s done, however, trapping Andrada’s kick and sweeping his legs out from underneath him. A pretty close round to score, it could have gone to either fighter. Seems like no matter how much you miss or your attack is blocked, in this sport, you still get an “A” for aggressor on the score cards. In my opinion, Andy landed the more solid shots. Jason’s kicks sounded more like slaps – meaning that he was connecting with his instep more than with his shin. When it comes to judging, Las Vegas seems to be a place with different strokes for different folks.

Andrada takes the fight relentlessly to Andy

Andrada takes the fight relentlessly to Andy

In the next round, Jason continues to be the aggressor. He brings the fight to Singh. At first, Andy matches Andrada blow for blow but eventually begins to slow down, while Jason maintains a torrid pace. Singh doesn’t so much look tired as overwhelmed. Andrada takes the fight relentlessly to Andy. Singh has his moments in the fight – where he lands an overhand right and a flush jumping knee to Andrada’s chest – but Jason just eats it and swarms all over Andy with punch-kick combinations. Andrada throttles forward in his momentum, mixing up the attacks. It’s the pressure that throws Singh off his game, where he’s used to seizing the initiative. Andy seems like he’s beginning to fade but – towards the end of the round – he lands overhand rights and leg kicks. Jason sticks to his fight plan with head, body and leg kick combinations. Both fighters finish the round very strong.

Singh lands some solid punches, but Jason has a very strong chin

Singh lands some solid punches, but Jason has a very strong chin

Fast forwarding to the final round, the two of them are swinging for the fences. Singh lands some solid punches, but Jason has a very strong chin. Andy has found his mark all night with the overhand right but was unable to slow down Jason, who’s relentlessly strong pace all five rounds was the message in this media. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Andrada wins a Unanimous Decision.

Kevin Ross (U.S.) vs. Matt Embree (Canada)

Kevin takes his time and picks his shots

Kevin takes his time and picks his shots

Kevin Ross starts off a lot faster in the rematch than he did first time against the Canadian. Not too aggressive, Kevin takes his time and picks his shots. He lands solid kicks inside, finishing hand combinations with kicks. Matt Embree has always been known to be a slow starter. He also picks his shots but does his most damage in the clinch.

Matt punishes Ross in the clinch

Matt punishes Ross in the clinch

It looks like Matt wants nothing to do with Ross on the outside, in the next round, constantly pulling Kevin into the clinch. Ross dumps Embree not once but twice out of the clinch. Kevin continues to do his damage from the outside. He seems just a bit too fast for Matt’s timing. Embree stays with his game plan. He pulls Kevin into the clinch but this time punishes Ross with elbow after elbow and knee after knee, neutralizing The Soul Assassin’s attack. This is – or should have been – a solid round for Matt Embree.

Round Four is pretty much a stalemate. Neither fighter seems able (or willing) to solve the other’s puzzle, not Ross from the outside nor Embree from the inside. The final round goes through the same motions, leaving it for the judges to decide, one of whom always casts a blind ballot on the premise “when in doubt, give it to the home team.” At the end of five rounds, Kevin Ross gets the Split Decision.

It’s obvious that these refs need to be schooled on the clinch difference between boxing and Muay Thai. There were way too many early separations by both Mazzagatti and Tony Weeks. There are no sports, where one size fits all.

Tiffany Van Soest vs. Caley Reece

Both champ and contender pretty much feel each other out in the First Round. Neither does any visible damage. Both are just looking to find their range.

Reece dominates Tiffany in the clinch

Reece dominates Tiffany in the clinch


Next round starts off the same, until they go into the clinch. Caley dominates. Her knees crush Tiffany’s ribs. She controls Van Soest in the clinch, until of course Referee (and ex-boxer) Tony Weeks separates them. Tiffany Van Soest then lands a beautiful spinning elbow. The only problem is that it puts Tiffany right back in Reece’s grasp, where her ribs take a pounding from the Aussie’s knees.

In Round 3, Van Soest finds her groove. She moves in and out, landing punches and kicks that avoid Caley’s clinch. It works for Tiffany at first, but Reece uses her longer reach to chop at Van Soest’s legs. The Aussie then cuts the ring, making it possible for her to pull Tiffany back into her clinch, where she does effective damage. Both fighters get the crowd’s adrenaline pumping in this round.

Van Soest finds her groove

Van Soest finds her groove

In Tiffany’s most aggressive round, Van Soest puts her combinations together. She closes the gap to cut off Caley’s range with the ole “stick and move”. Reece works the clinch, where she’s dominant. Both fighters are solid in the final round. Tiffany is very aggressive on the outside. Caley also lands from the outside but mostly scores on the inside. At the end of five rounds, Caley Reece is the new Lion’s Fight Champion by Split Decision.

Wrap Up

I agree with the decision in the Singh vs Andrada fight. For the first time, I saw a less aggressive Andy Singh. I’m not sure why, but he is one of the best out there, and I look forward to seeing him come back.

Here’s what I don’t get. In the Van Soest vs. Reece fight, Caley did most of her damage in the clinch. So did Embree to Ross. While both Kevin and Tiffany scored on the outside, Reece didn’t do anything special on the outside. Neither was she as aggressive as Van Soest. So I’m guessing that she won on the criterion of damage in the clinch. If that’s so, how did Matt Embree lose a technically similar fight, where he also did very little on the outside but had his way with Ross in the clinch?

Judging in Las Vegas seems to be a place with different strokes for different folks

Judging in Las Vegas seems to be a place with different strokes for different folks

Let’s also do a smell test on referees, who have no clue how to police the clinch. They must have boxing OCD to break up every clinch without regard to the action inside. Hey refs, it’s Muay Thai not boxing. Let the fighters fight by the rules that apply to Muay Thai. Next time you get some vacation time, go to Thailand and learn what REAL Muay Thai refereeing is all about.

Last but not least, I’ve really got to wonder who among these judges is going rogue and why.

OTHER PRO RESULTS:

Coke Chunhawat def. Rami Ibrahim

Coke Chunhawat (San Francisco by way of Thailand) def. Rami Ibrahim (New York City by way of Palestine) in a Unanimous Decision.

Nick Chasteen def. Jonathan Del Rosario

Nick Chasteen (Tempe) def. Jonathan Del Rosario (Los Angeles) in a Unanimous Decision.

Josh Shepard def. Daniel Kim

Josh Shepard (Las Vegas) def. Daniel Kim (SF) in a Unanimous Decision.

See Ray’s Photo Gallery  HERE.

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