Epitaph for Sanity in a Sport’s Fairy Tale

If you’re wired into tech toys, then you’re not just a fan of the fights. You’re also a fan of technological innovation. The latest epitaph for sanity in corporate fairy tales is ‘Disruptive Innovation’. We think of mixed martial arts (mma) as an ‘innovation’, for example, that’s been ‘disruptive’ of boxing. Never mind boxing dug its own grave for mma to dance on it.

Glory LogoNow we’re seeing Glory Sports International (GSI) stand up to ‘innovation’ with a campaign for ‘disruption’ of the UFC’s choke hold on brand recognition. If this sounds more WSJ than ESPN, take a peek at the wizardry behind the curtain in Singapore’s Emerald City.

In order to get there, let’s drill down a little on the joys of your tech toys. I can remember working in a Wall Street bullpen, when Mabon Nugent’s tech analyst announced the invention of cellular phone technology. If ever there was a wormhole – when something new showed up in the universe that hadn’t existed before – what better coordinates could you lock in for a trip “Back to the Future”?

What actually happened amongst the rank and file with that announcement: there was like a universal “Huh?” With 20/20 hindsight, I also remember that the same tech analyst had one of those first generation Apple® Macs he used to play with. Everyone thought “what’s that all about?” Get the picture? Don’t expect to see the future in your rear view mirror.

There isn’t a hot shot trader or hedge fund manager anywhere who could survive a round with Steve Jobs. Never mind Steve Jobs didn’t invent the wheel. He just saw the possibilities for Formula I Grand Prix Racing.

So here’s the message in this media: ‘disruptive’ is no more of a doppelgänger for ‘innovation’ than progress is the only ripple in the eternal current of change, unless you endorse climate change by the progress of sea level rise. (“What the Theory of ‘Disruptive Innovation’ Gets Wrong” by Jill Lepore in The New Yorker on June 23, 2014) Just as change isn’t always for the better, neither should ‘disruptive’ warrant clemency for being the necessary evil of ‘innovation’. If the gain ain’t worth the pain, don’t even go there.

UFCWe were breaking each other’s faces on this planet long before Steve Jobs didn’t invent the wheel. All that’s new about mixed martial arts was Nick Lembo figuring out how to make it politically correct. Then and only then did the UFC come up with a toy for the new beat generation to enjoy.

Now we’re ready to peek behind the curtain at the wizardry in Singapore’s Emerald City. Full disclosure: the hyperlink to an ESPN url is a WSJ key word. “In 2011, multi-award winning hedge fund investor and martial arts enthusiast Pierre Andurand along with well-known media investor and asset manager Scott Rudmann and Marcus Luer, CEO of sports marketing agency Total Sports Asia (TSA), became the catalysts for the formation of Glory Sports International…In his role as Managing Director, Marcus taps into his 18 years of experience across the global sports marketing world and brings the core skills of TSA: Asia’s global leader in sports content and branding solutions.” (Board of Director Bios)

The Wrestler

Bet you never thought that prize fighters could be commodified into investment properties like such erstwhile best-selling brands as Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and André the Giant. Herein lurks a temptation to bake artificial flavors into meals on wheels the better to own every stall in the mall across the entire planet.

There’ve been some sketchy episodes in GSI’s entertaining new series, where certain plots seem tuned to the kind of wishful thinking that’s sometimes contiguous to the realm of scripting. A case in point was Glory 9, where NYC fans got a taste of FIFA officiating at its worst, which is ground zero in why soccer isn’t main stream here. What fans took away from this was that Tyrone Spong seemed to have been spared having to earn his Grand Prix tournament win over Danyo Ilunga – with the plot twisting on a foreign ref – who’d been imported for a job that a local like Chris Wagner obviously does a whole lot better. (See “How to Kill a Sport” by Mark Jacobs)

Tyrone Spong vs. Danyo Ilunga at Glory 9 in New York City on 06-22-2013

Tyrone Spong vs. Danyo Ilunga at Glory 9 in New York City on 06-22-2013

It just so happens that Glory Sports International operates outside of the law – meaning outside of regulatory jurisdiction – in both New York and California. You can blame your politicians for this, but exactly who the hires them to endorse WKA in New York and ISKA in California for the pursuit of happiness on a metric of customer satisfaction? When an industry like this regulates itself, shareholders decide which customer has to be satisfied. Fans and fighters both, thus, are effectively traded like derivatives on an unregulated exchange.

ISKA LogoFollowing the weigh-in, I once attended a rules meeting inadvertently for officials at an ISKA sanctioned show in Chicago. What made it memorable was the hidden handicap: “When in doubt, give it to the home team”. You can interpret “home team” to mean whoever’s paying a for-profit’s “sanctioning” fees. Whatever it takes to satisfy such a customer is a matter of “sports content and branding solutions” to solve the profitability puzzle as GSI alone defines it.

Orbiting outside of public policy’s gravitational pull, you’d expect market incentives to lift off Starship Glory’s rocket thrust in live gates, paid subscriptions and Spike TV viewership. A 3% loss of altitude over L.A. (Glory 17) discerned this truth in the consequences: “The fact it was slightly off from its last outing could be a concern. Mirko Cro Cop appeared on the prelim portion here which provided name recognition to hopefully garner viewers.” (Jason Cruz in mmapayout.com on June 24, 2014) So there was enough riding for Starship Glory on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to merit a corporate urine sample on the possibility of performance enhancement.

Viewers around the world saw Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller’s knees crumble “Cro Cop” repeatedly. Time and again, Brooklyn’s “Big Baby” had the Croatian in trouble. Only the ref “Big” John McCarthy nullified all of them, as did apparently the judges, all of whom ultimately were on GSI’s payroll by way of ISKA.

Now it’s more rule than exception for a ref to give the benefit of the doubt to close calls in the foul zone. Never mind we’ve got different rules than boxing about below the belt, basically because of the low kick. So McCarthy exercised his prerogative to give “Cro Cop” safe passage out of harm’s way from Miller’s first two borderline yellow cards, even though very few males of our species bounce back that fast from genuine ball busters.

If two’s company, the third wasn’t even close. It was bull’s eye on Mirko’s solar plexus. See for yourself.

Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at Glory 17 in L.A. on 06-21-2014

Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at Glory 17 in L.A. on 06-21-2014

“Cro Cop” was in visible trouble. He could have been down and out in L.A. had the ref kept his finger off the scale. Instead of a count and mandatory point deduction for GSI’s tv ratings mascot – which almost certainly would’ve made a difference in the verdict – “Big” John McCarthy declared yet another cease fire. Even though the re-play made manifest this mistake, the network’s talking heads were like soccer commentators: much too eager to go with the flow.

The whole point about knees in this sport is that they’re supposed to matter. So we’ve now got to wonder whether a veteran mma ref blew it, or was he caught up in a corporate culture (like General Motors) that preaches the practice of following the herd? (“Why did GM take so long to respond to deadly defect? Corporate culture may hold answer.” by Michael A. Fletcher and Steven Mufson in The Washington Post on March 30, 2014) Competitive sports just aren’t a natural fit for contrived content and branding solutions.

Big John McCarthy

In the Land of Oz, it seems like all roads lead to Emerald City. Culture doesn’t get any more vulture in the battle of the brands, though, than for ownership of the toy with most joy throughout all of the stalls in the mall. Try digesting these meals on wheels:

“The international sports wagering market is about one trillion — does one trillion of business a year. The Asian markets alone, they have more transactions, sports bets on a daily basis than the New York Stock Exchange goes through.”

Soccer has been tainted in the past by evidence of match fixing…The European Union’s police agency, Europol, said an 18-month investigation turned up 680 matches suspected of being fixed across the globe…The probe cited links to criminal networks, including a Singapore-based crime syndicate.”

“According to Europol’s investigation…the syndicates — and the focus here is on a Singapore-based crime syndicate — they hire runners. The runners go out and make contact with a player, an official, perhaps a team official of the club that they have targeted…[They] fix a game, and then put down a lot of bets on it…The head of Europol said that it’s so large, at such a grand scale, that it threatens the very fabric of the game.” (“For Global Soccer, Scandal and Corruption Seem Pervasive as Grass Stains” in PBS Newshour broadcast on February 15, 2013)


While soccer fans seem so far unperturbed by evidence of artificial flavoring in their meals on wheels, boxing’s sordid experience with content and branding solutions pretty much dropped it off America’s hit parade. Soccer and kickboxing both now yearn to go main stream in the world’s richest sports market. Gullible though we are in the voting booth, American consumers are wily coyotes.

End Story MarkNo one succeeds in this mall, who doesn’t heed common sense: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.” (From: “A Lincoln Album: Readings by Carl Sandburg.” Caedmon TC 2015, 2 LP set, (c) 1957, last 2:25 of Side 1.) Outsourcing public policy to circumvent the regulation of athletics is like gambling in casinos outside the jurisdiction of gaming commissions. Caveat EmptorLet the buyer beware.

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“Born Warriors” Documentary Release


Announcing the release of an upcoming documentary “Born Warriors”.

The first part covers the art of Lethwei or bare-knuckle fighting before the opening of Burma (a/k/a Myanmar).

A series of outtakes has already been released as “The Physical Body”. They proved to be popular. So it was decided to repeat the process and release the outtakes earlier rather than wait until after the DVD was out.

Fight Photo

There is a possibility of securing a spot for “Born Warriors” in the forthcoming Myanmar (Burma) Film Festival to be held in Los Angeles in mid-September. If this falls through, the producer plans to organize Vanishing Flame screenings and immediately bring out the final DVD. If the documentary makes it into the festival, we will announce the times and dates of the screenings as soon as we know them. If the film makes it to Los Angeles, further screenings will be scheduled.

The DVD release itself will probably be a two DVD set:

Disc One:

“Born Warriors” – Documentary

“Born to Battle: Burma vs. Thailand”
(A new edit of the previous Vanishing-Flame-only release)

Training and Training Methods
A cross section of the producer’s visits and training with different teachers, classes, and training camps during the period when the original “Born Warriors” was shot.

Lethwei Wei

Disc Two:

“Born Warriors Redux” – documentary
An update on the sport of Lethwei since the country opened.

Training and Training Methods
A visit with eight of the current top training camps to see how the camps and training methods have evolved and what is currently being taught.

This is the current plan but things can and do change. The original plan was for a single-disc DVD release, but the producer believes that the two DVD set will give the full coverage that is needed. He is raising funds now for the DVD’s completion as well as for the next trip into Burma to complete a forthcoming DVD on Burmese Martial Arts. The release of this next DVD on Burmese Martial Arts will probably follow the same DVD format and structure.

The next Vanishing Flame newsletter, “# 43: Burma Redux”, will cover the last Burma trip, the shooting of the new DVD and all the trouble that erupted during the filming. If you are not on the Vanishing Flame list, you can send an email to [email protected] and ask to be added.

Vanishing Flame members get all the DVDS first through pre-buy ordering and are alerted to any release information first including screenings and seminars at discounted rates.

Below is the first series of promo outtakes released. Since the documentary was shot over a long period of time, the shooting format and camera systems changed, for example from MiniDV tape to shooting on P2 cards to finally HD and beyond. So the producer tried to preserve the original format without altering it. The new footage is all in HD and will be presented that way.

Burmese Boxing Vimeo Channel:


Born Warriors Promo Teaser:


Born Warriors Outtakes Part 1:


Born Warriors Outtakes Part 2:


Born Warriors Outtakes Part 3:


Born Warriors Outtakes Part 4:


Born Warriors Outtakes Part 5:


End Story MarkThere will be a set of youtube.com links going up soon, along with the new burmeseboxing.com site when it is ready.

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Enfusion.tv Schedules ‘Victory of the Vixen’ for September in Thailand

In Season 5 on Enfusion.tv, our own Tiffany Van Soest will compete with the ladies for “Victory of the Vixen” from Superpro Samui Resort Koh Samui in Thailand. It’s scheduled for September 2014.

Tiffany Van Soest (Left) vs. Vivian Leung.  Photo by Ray Kasprowicz.

Tiffany Van Soest (Left) vs. Vivian Leung. Photo by Ray Kasprowicz.

Here is the FULL LINE-UP:

1. Fatima Pinto (Norway)

2. Johanna Rydberg (Sweden)

3. Ferial Ameerroedien (South Africa)

4. Meryem Uslu (Germany)

5. Germain Yeap (Malaysia)

6. Samantha van Doorn (The Netherlands)

7. Soraya Haurisa (Indonesia)

8. Isis Verbeek (The Netherlands)

9. Marina Zueva (Russia)

10. Filipa Correia (Portugal)

11. Adi Rotem (Israel)

12. Tiffany van Soest (USA)

13. Iman Barlow (England)

14. Ashley Nicolas (Canada)

15. Lizzie Largeilliere (France)

16. Sam Nanu Brown (Australia)

17. Maria Pantazi (Greece)

18. Simone Van Dommelen (The Netherlands)


Tune into Enfusion.tv for the latest program information.

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Lion Fight 17 Brings Tricks & Treats to Foxwoods on August the 1st


Lion Fight 17
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Friday, August 1, 2014

Foxwoods Logo

Thepnimit “Mr. Knock Out” Sitmonchai vs. UK Champion Dean James

Malaipet vs. Justin Greskiewicz (Rematch)

Andy Singh vs. Victor Saravia in an East-West Shoot Out
Brett Hlavacek vs. Victor Monfort for NYC ↔ Boston Bragging Rights
Rami Ibrahim vs. Carlos Lopez
Pedro Gonzalez vs. Tim Amorim

LION FIGHT 17 – the Muay Thai promotion’s second East Coast event – is set for Foxwoods Resort Casino in the Northeast Corridor about midway between Beantown and the Big Apple. Thai superstar Thepnimit “Mr. Knock Out” Sitmonchai will make his American debut in a main event matchup with the United Kingdom’s multiple world stand-up champion Dean James.

Thepnimit Sitmonchai vs. Dean James at Foxwoods

“Lion Fight fans have been asking us to bring Thepnimit ‘Mr. Knock Out’ Sitmonchai, a star in Thailand who trains in one of the most respected gyms in the country, to fight here in the U.S.,” said Scott Kent, Lion Fight CEO. “He’s an aggressive and powerful fighter who has more than earned his nickname in this sport, but World Muay Thai Champion Dean James didn’t hesitate to step up and accept this fight. Sitmonchai vs. James is one of the most exciting main events we’ve put together. I can’t wait to go back to the east coast for Lion Fight 17 August 1st at Foxwoods Resort Casino.”

Known internationally for his flashy, skillful fight style, Sitmonchai (115-38-5) earned the nickname “Mr. Knock Out” after racking up a stunning 98-KO record. For a sample, CLICK HERE. He is ranked seventh in the 119 lbs. weight division at the world famous Lumpinee Stadium. Hugely popular on the fighting circuit, American Muay Thai fans have been asking for Lion Fight to bring the devastating knockout artist to U.S. soil.

Dean James def. Rungrawee Sasiprapa by TKO (round 3 injured left arm) in Yokkao 8 at Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England on March 8, 2014

Dean James def. Rungrawee Sasiprapa by TKO (round 3 injured left arm) in Yokkao 8 at Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England on March 8, 2014

Dean “The Black Diamond” James (20-2-0) is a four-time champion in standup combat, holding rank as an ISKA Champion, two-time WMC Champion and IKF Commonwealth Champion. Fighting out of Birmingham, England, James is credited for going the distance with Rungravee Sasiprapa in their first fight (loss) and lauded for defeating the Thai legend via TKO in their second fight in March of this year. James’ powerful kicks, clinch and physical strength matches well against Sitmonchai’s speed and experience.

The legendary Malaipet “The Diamond” Sasiprapa – who fights out of Fresno, California – returns to the Lion Fight ring for a rematch with local favorite Justin Greskiewicz. “Malaipet vs. Greskiewicz 1” took place at LION FIGHT 6 in May of 2012 with “The Diamond” winning a unanimous decision. The estimable Tony Myers, Ph.D. will be watching this one from the U.K. for evidence of whether “Home Team Advantage” makes a difference in the outcome.

Malaipet (left) vs. Greskiewicz in May of 2012

Malaipet (left) vs. Greskiewicz in May of 2012

Fighting out of “The City of Brotherly Love”, Palestinian native Rami Ibrahim battles WKA world welterweight Muay Thai champion Carlos Lopez, fighting out of Sterling, Va. New Yorker Andy Singh also headlines against Victor Saravia, fighting out of Hollywood, CA. Reprising the rivalry between Beantown and The Big Apple, Ludlow, Massachussets’ Victor Monfort will Take-On New York City’s Brett Hlavacek. Pedro Gonzalez, fighting out of Gloucester, Mass. and Philadelphia’s Tim Amorim both looked impressive last time in their pro debuts, but only one will boast a winning streak on his tale of the tape.

LION FIGHT 15’s East Coast premiere on May the 23rd was a sold-out event. As a result, Lion Fight and Foxwoods Resort Casino negotiated a multi-fight deal for the remainder of 2014 and throughout 2015, enabling Lion Fight to present events every three to four weeks between west and east coast venues.

“Our first event with Lion Fight was such an unqualified success, that we wanted to build on that debut event with more great cards for the remainder of 2014 and throughout 2015,” said Felix Rappaport, Senior Vice President and COO, Foxwoods Resort Casino. “I give my thanks to Lion Fight and Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler and President and CEO Scott Butera for making this event a success. For sports fans that crave action, every amateur fight and every professional fight at Lion Fight’s first event on the East Coast was competitive and exciting. Fans of MMA and boxing alike should come to Foxwoods August for LION FIGHT 17. They won’t be disappointed.”

Lion Fight Logo

Tickets for LION FIGHT 17 are on sale at the Foxwoods’ Grand Theater. Tickets are also available through   Foxwoods.com or by calling the Foxwoods’ Box Office at 800-200-2882 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. LION FIGHT 17 airs live on AXS TV starting at a special time, 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Visit   LIONFIGHT.com for news, information and event updates, and follow on Twitter @LIONFIGHT.

End Story MarkThe emphasis at Foxwoods is on Resort rather than Casino. It is the kind of place a lot of you might not remember, where you went to get away from the rat race instead of fighting a losing battle for custody of your wallet. Different strokes for different folks, it’d be a waste to turn this into a day trip if you’re into fresh air and natural surroundings, especially for married with children. Why should they be the only ones who get a vacation at summer camp?

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Kickboxing ■ K-1 Rules

Merseburger Fight Night

Enfusion Live 21
October 4, 2014
Merseburg, Germany



Fighter Legion Logo

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WMC I1 World Muay Thai Grand Extreme

Hong Kong – Kowloon
August 25, 2014

Master Kim IP


Fighter Legion Logo

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Spanish National Championships 2014

National Championships of Spain

July 12, 2014

Benidorm (Alicante)


Gold Medalists will represent Spain at the European Championships in Krakow (Poland) next September.


FEMALE: Kids ■ Cadets ■ Juniors ■ Seniors-A ■ Seniors-B
MALE: Kids ■ Cadets ■ Juniors ■ Seniors-A ■ Seniors-B

Doors Open at 10:00 am

End Story MarkMore Information at: [email protected]

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Battle Chariots Rumble in Canyons of Concrete

Just in case your search engine’s algorithm defaults to boxing, no one fights his or her way up the rankings in kin sports like ours. That’s because there are no rankings. If you think Glory Sports International (GSI) does rankings, don’t even go there. GSI only ranks fighters under contract. Have you ever seen any ladies in GSI’s shows, who weren’t waving round cards or serving cocktails?

Photo #1

Don’t take my word for it. See “The Fighting Spirit” for a dose of reality. [Full Disclosure: this is an hour long tv show.] Then compare WBC’s ranking of boxers with the Muay Thai division’s flea market for U.S. national titles. The only objective criterion determining who gets to fight for these titles is how many tickets they can sell.

Exactly because there aren’t any rankings is getting noticed ultimately by a gatekeeper – like GSI’s national talent scout – such a big deal for career advancement in our sport. It’s the same deal in mixed martial arts, where the UFC mints coin of the realm.

That’s why 3x world kickboxing champion Lou Neglia measures success by how many of his Ring of Combat headliners have made the leap to UFC stardom. So long as the UFC occupied the only stall in the mall, Combat at the Capitale produced stand-up to mma’s specifications. Just as market incentives shape economic behavior, so also is Combat at the Capitale now standing up to a more GSI compatible profile.

The Capitale New York

We’re seeing less quantity, for example, and more quality in the matchmaking. Pro purses are now the rule, rather than the exception. You don’t even have to bring a compass to see these shows are going in the direction of career development. Plus they’re making money, which means that Lou has hit on a viable business model.

Appearances can sometimes be deceiving. For all the skin GSI has in the game, let’s call an ace and a spade a spade. This NYC local shows more on his bottom line than all of the sorcery in Singapore. Which business model is more viable?

In the shadow of Wall Street: bulls make money; bears make money; pigs get slaughtered. Hedge fund management is a game for gamblers. Even if the gamblers can afford to lose their bets, they’ll be left with no chips on the table. Better not to bet the bubble. Let’s go to the recap for Combat at the Capitale on June 13, 2014.


Amateur Glory Rules, 3×2, 155 lbs. Men
Mike Trizano (Team Tiger Schulmann in Nanuet) vs. Nazim Sadykov (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn).

Mike Trizano (right) vs. Nazim Sadykov.

Mike Trizano (right) vs. Nazim Sadykov.

Where the common core standard is “protect yourself at all times”, failure administers its own punishment. Nazim Sadykov’s punishment comes from sloppy execution. With a wrong turn, he goes from a slight edge in Round One to Mike Trizano’s sledge hammer about midway through the match. Mike then proceeds to turn the tide against Sadykov. “Time and tide wait for no man.” The newbie from Team Tiger Schulmann wins going away.

Winner: Mike Trizano by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.

Amateur Glory Rules, 3×2, 135 lbs. Men
Missel Sanchez (Team Tiger Schulmann in Spanish Harlem) vs. Daniel Nelson (Combat Sports Center in Richmond, Virginia)

Missel Sanchez (right) vs. Daniel Nelson.

Missel Sanchez (right) vs. Daniel Nelson. Photo by Peter Marney.

How much sense does it make to judge a teacher’s job performance by test scores? About as much sense as judging Daniel Nelson’s teacher on the score of punches in bunches that land on his chin from Missel’s faster hands. Between nature and nurture, it’s a no brainer. Swifter always beats slower, except in a fairy tale. Missel Sanchez is another newbie from Team Tiger Schulmann, who looks like he might go places.

Winner: Missel Sanchez by Unanimous Decision: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.


WKA Northeast Championship. Amateur Glory Rules, 4×2, 180 lbs. Men
Andrew Ball (Neglia Competition Team in Brooklyn) vs. James Smith, Jr. (B52/Weapons 9 in New Jersey)

Southpaw cruiserweight Andrew Ball just brought home a low kick title from the WKA worlds in Italy. Open invitations to WKA’s European tournaments are authentic as we’re going get to a world title in this sport. Never mind ‘amateur’ means un-pedigreed by definition.

European pros also compete in these tournaments. They bottom fish for wardrobe accessories to stroke their obviously superficial egos or maybe to play for some local pay. You can never go wrong following the money. What you can infer from this, though, is that Andrew is pretty damn good.

Back on home turf, Lou Neglia matches Andrew with New Jersey’s James Smith, Jr. for WKA’s Northeast title. Jurisdiction and citizenship both are local for mainstream bragging rights. Glory rules come with so much more brand recognition than low kick, which is basically a transition for full contact kick boxers to either get a life or pull the plug.

Heir to the throne of the B52 dynasty is trained by his Hall of Fame dad, from which you can also infer that he moves with the grooves. Pivoting orthodox off his left foot for a round kick, Smith maintains the classic left guard carriage, with a right hand back sweep for accelerated torque.

Andrew Ball (left) vs. James Smith, Jr.

Andrew Ball (left) vs. James Smith, Jr.

Herein lurks the peril in one size fits all, because Andrew is a southpaw. So James is literally putting all of his strength into a collision with Andrew’s left hook, which clobbers him on the jaw. This is where we get the expression “knock yourself out”. You better believe that Eric Haycraft will eventually pick up Andrew’s blip on his GSI radar.

Winner: Andrew Ball by KO at 0:56 of Round 1.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 135 lbs. Women
Jennie Nedell (Longo Competition Team on Long Island) vs. Casey Bohrman (Sitan Gym in Philadelphia)

Jennie Nedell always comes to mix it up. One size fits all, though, could be a trap for a wily coyote to mix her up. It’s a matter of what comes out of the mix. What comes out of the mix in this one: Jennie’s sauce turns out to be just too hot for the seasoned Casey Bohrman to digest.

Winner: Jennie Nedell by Unanimous Decision: 30-29, 29-28, 30-27.

Jennie Nedell (right) vs. Casey Bohrman.

Jennie Nedell (right) vs. Casey Bohrman. Photo by Peter Marney.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 137 lbs. Men
Zaravkh Abashev (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn) def. Dom Biondo (Alpha Omega on Long Island)

Give credit to the traffic cops on patrol here, with so many different rules of the road in NYC. There’s Low Kick, which is basically full contact kickboxing for today’s new beat generation. Glory rules are the same as K-1, if you’re hip to artificial flavors in branding. Without elbows and knees to the head – which seems to be a random matter of contractual consent – something resembling Muay Thai tends to detour into clinch orgies. What referee Chris Wagner probably doesn’t expect to see on his radar is Combat Sambo in a full-on brawl.

Photo #7

Chris shows a lot of restraint in the opener. He could legitimately dq both of these guys for so much tripping and flipping. Once he settles them down, though, a pattern emerges.

Dom Biondo keeps walking into harm’s way. About midway through the match, he walks into one too many. It earns him a standing eight count, which comes with the obligatory point deduction. You’d expect a pro – who knows something about defense – to beat a brawler. So Zaravkh Abashev takes the full measure of Dom’s throwing all caution to winds. It turns out to be an ill wind that blows Dom Biondo a “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”.

Winner: Zaravkh Abashev by Unanimous Decision: 29-27, 30-26, 30-26.

Zaravkh Abashev (left) vs. Dom Biondo.

Zaravkh Abashev (left) vs. Dom Biondo.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 160 lbs. Men
Elvis Gashi (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn) vs. Mike Santiago (Team Top Notch in Chicago)

Amongst “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, none still on this planet are more ferocious than the Tasmanian Devil. It is this animal spirit that seems to inhabit Elvis Gashi from first bell.

A left hook flush on his jaw rings Mike Santiago’s bells. Instinct, nature and probably Mike’s corner all tell him to keep his guard up. That leaves the door unlocked downstairs for Gashi to clobber him with knees. Santiago goes down twice – without the TLC that referee “Big” John McCarthy gave Mirko Crocop at Glory 17 in Los Angeles on June the 21st – where it seems kind of transparent which best-selling brands GSI’s corporate hq has endorsed in its WWE business model. See “How to Kill a Sport” by Mark Jacobs.

Elvis Gashi (left) vs. Mike Santiago.

Elvis Gashi (left) vs. Mike Santiago.

The common core standard here at least is “kill the body and the head will die”. While Elvis goes for the kill, Santiago seems to have stopped paying attention or lost the capacity to defend himself. It’s enough for a ref – whom you can evaluate by his job performance – to show how it should be done. Chris Wagner stops the fight to let the doc also do his job.

Winner: Elvis Gashi by TKO at 1:11 of Round 2.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 148 lbs. Men
Niko Tsigaris (Lion Martial Arts in Brooklyn) vs. Billy Rose (Team Top Notch in Chicago)

Since turning pro, Niko has been starting strong but fading about midway through the match. Against quality completion – like Nick Pace last September the 27th and John Bowman on April the 4th – it’s been bada bing bada boom from bell to bell.

Billy Rose is also no stranger to this ring. The same night that rain fell early on Niko’s parade, a wicked wind blew Chicago’s Top Notch Rose away at 2:45 of Round One.

Niko Tsigaris (right) vs. Billy Rose.

Niko Tsigaris (right) vs. Billy Rose.

Neither leopard changes his spots to seal this deal. Tsigaris comes out strong and sets a torrid pace. Billy catches two standing eight counts less than a minute from first bell. Three’s a charm, and he exits early.

Winner: Niko Tsigaris by TKO at 1:01 of Round 1.

We know more about Billy Rose from this than we do about Niko Tsigaris. You get ahead in this business by fighting up, not down.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 140 lbs. Men
Julio Arce (Team Tiger Schulmann in Queens) vs. Brian Burgan (Soo Do Thai in Detroit)

It seems like Cruel and Unusual Punishment for a native son from Detroit – which has experienced so much heartache – to come all this way for a demolition derby in the shadow of Wall Street. Is there any place better at steam rolling whoever gets in the way of what it wants?

Unlike the loose cannons – which are apt to sink their own ships – Julio Arce takes aim at risk and opportunity. His exchanges with Brian Burgan are crisp. They’re also purposeful. Julio’s left is getting through. Burgan seems unable to defend himself against them. It looks – by the first round’s end – like Arce has managed to hurt Brian.

Julo Arce (right) vs. Brian Burgan.

Julo Arce (right) vs. Brian Burgan.

They’ll tell you on Wall Street “buy the rumor, sell the fact”. Brian buys a bull dozer from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Julio sells him cab fare to LaGuardia Airport. Referee Chris Wagner paves the way with an early curfew, so they can both catch a pizza at Lombardi’s before Burgan hits the road back to Motown.

Winner: Julio Arce by TKO at 1:40 of Round 2.

Pro Glory Rules, 3×3, 124 lbs. Women
Andrea DeAngelo (Neglia Competition Team in Brooklyn) vs. Theodora Pisiolis (Hook Up Muay Thai in Toronto, Canada)

You’re not going to see anyone do the tricks better than Andrea DeAngelo. She also exhibits a fashion flair, which just happens to precipitate a wardrobe malfunction. Though it’s not quite as sensational as Janet Jackson’s at Superbowl XXXVIII, neither should it go unremarked. The message in this media is: “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”.

Andrea’s left jab works all night for her, except when she inexplicably goes into hibernation. That’s also when Lou’s blood pressure begins to code, as Theodora Pisiolis gets her knees into the action. The clinch clearly isn’t Andrea’s favorite place to hang out. It’s probably what costs her a round on all of the score cards.

Andrea DeAngelo (right) vs. Theodora Pisiolis.

Andrea DeAngelo (right) vs. Theodora Pisiolis.

When she flaunts it, though, DeAngelo blasts Theodora with a spinning back fist in the opener. She later drops the Canadian with a high octane mule kick in the same round. Finishing with a flying knee at closing bell, Andrea launches off the canvas like a rising star.

Winner: Andrea DeAngelo by Unanimous Decision: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.

Given Glory Sports International’s uniquely male selling proposition, we just don’t live in a fair world. Theirs is not a business model that endorses gender neutrality. All the more reason to patronize shows that headline the best from both worlds.

Peter Marney’s Photo Gallery is  HERE.

Rich Villa’s Photo Gallery is also a  CLICK AWAY.

End Story MarkIf money talks, you’ve got to believe that it’s eventually going to connect with whoever figures out how to listen. What it’ll take is a school of hard knocks like Combat at the Capitale to put the ladies on a career path to equal pay for equal work. We’re perfectly capable in this country – and especially in this town – of standing up to the profile of our own destiny.

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Ultra Elite Fighters Europe

Promo Flyer

Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Turkey…
100% full Muay Thai Rules

July 5, 2014

Ronda – Malaga (Spain)


Doors Open at 7:30 pm ■ First Fight at 8:00 pm

Tickets available from [email protected]

For more INFORMATION or RESERVATIONS: (+34) 652049777

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Lion Fight 16 on UFC’s Calendar for July 4th Fireworks

Main Card Starts after UFC 175 Weigh-In, Finishes prior to Fireworks Displays


UFC Fight Week


The perfect prelude to the fireworks spectacular, LION FIGHT 16 on Friday, July 4th features a super lightweight championship fight between Muay Thai Champion Kevin Ross and Australia’s Muay Thai prodigy Michael “Thomahawk” Thompson. In the co-main event, former Lion Fight featherweight champion Tiffany Van Soest will face Italy’s Sindy Huyer. For the first time ever, Lion Fight brings Thailand’s superstar Rungravee Banchaemek Sasiprapa to America to take on Adrian Morilla in a special attraction and Muay Thai fan superfight. Also on the main live card, Tyler Toner takes on Gaston Bolanos.

Lion Fight 16 Poster

For fight fans and Las Vegas locals getting ready for the UFC International Fight Week extravaganza July 1-6, LION FIGHT announced that its Friday, Fourth of July event, LION FIGHT 16, is carefully time-slotted so that fans can hit the UFC 175 weigh-ins inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., then head over to The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort for the start of the main card at 6:00 p.m. PT. The full rules Muay Thai fights will conclude before sunset, in advance of the Fourth of July Fireworks displays.

Following are times for LION FIGHT 16 – Friday, July the 4th:

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – UFC 175 Weigh-Ins, Mandalay Bay Events Center
6:00 p.m. – Lion Fight 16 Main Live Card Begins
8:45 p.m. – (approx) Lion Fight 16 concludes
9:00 pm. – Fireworks Displays begin, locations below:

● Station Casinos will host simultaneous fireworks displays at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resort, lasting nine minutes each.
● Caesars Entertainment hosts a Las Vegas Strip 10-minute fireworks display.

Lion Fight Logo

Tickets for LION FIGHT 16 are on sale NOW starting at $25 and are available for purchase through   Ticketmaster. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Pearl at the Palms box office. (Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges).

End Story MarkVisit   LIONFIGHT for news, information and event updates, and follow on Twitter @LIONFIGHT.

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