I know it's not MMA, but Muay Thai and kickboxing are two sports that I'm a big fan of. I was hoping to find some place where there would be a forum or article on Lion Fight 15, but didn't find anything until I finished writing this article. Yes, I know there is a fanpost with over 100 comments on the event here on BE, but I literally just noticed it a few minutes ago. Alas, here's my recap of the card, in case anyone missed it.
A week after AXS TV Fights returned from a three week hiatus last Friday with MFC 40: Crowned Kings, Lion Fight made its return. The promotion that has caught fire recently, due to begin the promotion that brought high class Muay Thai to the States, had a fairly stacked card on the bill Friday Night.
Granted, some of it's most notable fighters like Jorina Baars, Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino, Malaipet and Yodsanklai Fairtex were not on the card, but a lot of Muay Thai stars and prospects were on display Friday night, and none of the fights disappointed.
The main card began with a pair of debutants, as both Tim Amorim and Tom Evans were making their professional debuts. It ended via Evans not being able to continue, giving Amorim a victory via tko (retirement) in round 2. It was a weird way to kick off the main card, but the next fight was just as one-sided.
Nick Chasteen, a seven-time amateur Muay Thai champion, was making his professional debut against Pedro Gonzalez. Being a rising star in the world of professional Muay Thai, Chasteen was expected to steamroll Gonzalez. However, Gonzalez (1-0) stayed close and dominated the fight, winning via dominant decision over the heavily favored Chasteen (2-1).
Up next was a rematch for pride as undefeated Jason Andrada once again fought Mohammed Lemjerdine. That's because Andrada landed an epic elbow in the fifth round of their first fight on November 1, 2013 earning him "knockout of the year" honors as a result. This night went much better for Lemjerdine (5-3), who dominated Andrada (5-1) to earn a clear-cut decision win.
The fourth fight was another rematch, as former Lion Fight women's featherweight(it's only 125 pounds in Muay Thai) champion, and arguably the face of Lion Fight, Tiffany van Soest, went up against Lucy Payne. The two had fought each other last July at Lion Fight 10, where the "Time Bomb" finished Payne off with punches and elbows midway through the opening round. It was the fight that gave van Soest the Lionfight Inaugural Women's Featherweight Championship.
Tiffany lost her first title defense in her last fight, against Austrailian Muay Thai star Caley Reece, which was also her first ever professional loss, so the intrigue behind the idea of whether or not the 2nd degree Shorin-Ryu black belt would rebound well was quite high. While she didn't finish Payne (20-8) this time around, van Soest (9-1-1) still dominated her way to a decision, and will fight on Lion Fight 16's co-main event during the UFC's International Fight Week.
While van Soest's throwdown of Payne was the highlight of the fight, perhaps the judging was even more notable. That's because one of the judges scored the fight 50-45 in favor of Payne, or so it seemed. In reality, he had scored it for van Soest, but marked the scorecard wrong. It's quite a rookie mistake, but that happens on occasion. At least he's not a male version of CJ Ross.
In the co-main event of the evening, Kevin Ross took on undefeated Chris Mauceri. The story of the fight was the gigantic, bloody cut that Mauceri suffered in the opening round, due to massive elbows from Ross. He made it into round three, but just 21 seconds into it, the fight was stopped due to said cut. One can blame the cutman for not covering up the cut properly, or at all, but that's how the fight ended. As a result, Ross (28-10) earned his spot in te main event of Lion Fight 16 against Michael Thompson.
In the main event, Blackzilian Cosmo Alexandre took on Mark Holst. Both fighters may ring a bell to some MMA fans, since Alexandre fought five times for Bellator and once for Legacy FC, going 5-1 in his career thus far. Meanwhile Holst fought twice for the UFC, losing to John Gunderson and Paul Sass in 2010, before getting cut. However, both are much more highly regarded in Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Alexandre was expected to dominate, until he suffered a left calf injury two weeks ago. As a result, he was supposedly unable to train or run, and even had trouble cutting weight. Alas, he still won the fight with ease, and wasn't really challenged until the final round. Alexandre upped his record to 42-14-1, while Holst fell to 19-2.
All in all, the night was full of entertaining, albeit often one-sided decisions. It wasn't Lion Fight's best night, but was still good enough to satiate any combat sports fan's cravings. For MMA fans, at the very least, it served as a terrific appetizer for tonight's UFC 173 card. If you missed it, the event is currently re-airing on AXS TV right now, and hopefully, Lion Fight 16 will be just as fun, if not better.
\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.