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Reality Fighting at Mohegan Sun
Lachinov defeats Goff
Night of finishes
Kemran Lachinov, left, versus Billy Goff at Mohegan Sun
Photo by John Fulcher
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(June 1-Uncasville, CT) Reality Fighting president Kipp Kollar predicted before the fights began at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday evening that it would be a night of knockouts and quick finishes. The fights proved him correct.
The main event, a professional welterweight title fight between Kemran Lachinov and Billy Goff, was one of the only exceptions that evening. Lachinov earned an unanimous decision after five hard-fought rounds in which he used wrestling to head off aggressive standup attacks from Goff.
The other exception was an amateur three-round bout between Arianna Melendez and Arianna Cruz that ended with the latter winning by split decision. Both women debuted that evening with Melendez shooting for takedowns and Cruz leaning towards strikes. The referee temporarily stopped the fight about 7 seconds before the fight ended as both women were swinging for fences -- the move prompted booing from an annoyed crowd. Cruz, who trains out of Ascension Athletics in Bristol, CT, seemed to be going for a knockout before the stoppage.
Both Cruz and Goff found their energetic striking, which included a lot of kicks, trumped by wrestling. Goff in particular threw a lot of high kicks as Lachinov kept shooting for his waist while attempting double- and single-leg takedowns.
The evening’s other professional fight was a flyweight bout between Jose Lugo and Johnny Campbell, who said afterwards he was brought in as a replacement on three days notice. Campbell generally dominated the first round and kept the fight to the ground, submitting Lugo by Americana at 3:26 in the second round.
There were two other title fights that evening -- a light heavyweight bout between Willimantic’s Wolfgang Fiasconaro and Yuri Panferov; and a featherweight bout between Zac Richard and Miguel Cuevas. Panferov, who comes from Moscow, knocked out Fiasconaro at 1:17 and became the new champion. Cuevas retained his belt and 1:23 in the first round by submitting Richard with a triangle choke.
The rest of the fights were amateur bouts that started with Serhi Boychun using ground and pound to earn a TKO over Andy Kurzontski at 2:05 in the first round during a catch weight battle. Randy Francis grounded and pounded a TKO win over fellow featherweight Mike Placentini at 2:59 in the first round.
Light heavyweight Johnny Santos used a frenzied punching combo to bring Zachary Watson to the ground and pounced before the referee waved the fight off in the second round. Santos, who also attempted to ground and pound Watson in the first round, won at :26. Ashley Barrett grounded and pounded Tracy Baldwin, winning by TKO at 2:19 in the first round during the evening’s other women’s fight.
The event also featured grappling bouts. WWW.NUTMEGMMA.COM will post the results on our blog.
Johnny Campbell, left, tosses Jose Lugo.
Photo by John Fulcher
Lion Fight 56: Live Muay Thai at Foxwoods
Moraza-Pollard, Ballafrikh still champions
Iron Boy Wins
Chip Moraza-Pollard, left, versus Kongjak Po Baoin
Photo by John Fucher
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(June 8 - Uncasville, CT) Chip “the Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard (11-0) of Plymouth, MA successfully defended his world cruiserweight title against Kongjak Po Baoin (160-73-8), a prolific Muay Thai fighter from Thailand, during the main event at Lion Fight 56 -- a live Muay Thai event that CBS Sports aired live on Saturday evening. Foxwoods Resort Casino hosted the event, which included a North American lightweight title fight between Amine “the Lion” Ballafrikh (12-3) and Ricardo “the Scorpion” Cruz (42-12-1).
Every fight that evening went to a decision.
Moraza-Pollard earned a split decision win after five hard-fought rounds in which he and Kongjak took turns stalking each other, opening up the match with each doing what appeared to be the traditional Muay shuffle -- each fighter moving forward and periodically raising the leading leg with the knee bent while the foot points downwards.
Although Moraza-Pollard appeared more aggressive during much of the figtht, Kongjak periodically switched and chased him backwards with punching combinations while clearly to dictate the pace of the fight himself. A few of the rounds ended with the referee being obviously pro-active in keeping the fighters apart. The exchanges were almost constant with Moraza-Pollard throwing occasional high side kicks and Kongjak slipping in knees.
Moraza-Pollard seemed to have the upper hand in the exchange that ended the fourth round and ended the fight by catching Kongjak’s leg in mid-kick before flipping him.
Defending champion Ballafrikh earned an unanimous decision over Cruz, demonstrating great sportsmanship despite sustaining a possible kick to the crotch during the third round. But he was still all business when the fight commenced -- after the referee stopped the fight during the fifth round to examine Cruz’s legs, Ballafrikh continued to work the lower legs.
But although Ballafrikh appeared dominant during most of the fight, Cruz still managed to open a cut on “the Lion’s” forehead during the third round. The two engaged in furious exchanges of mixed strikes and while Ballafrikh caught a few of Cruz’s kicks before tossing im earlier in the fight, the challenger returned the favor during the fourth and fifth rounds.
Cody Laskar (3-0) earned a unanimous decision over Chase Walden (3-3) during a middleweight bout that was also the evening’s first professional fight. Laskar worked close with clinching, knees and punches while Waldern seemed to favor kicks. Although Laskar generally dominated the fight, Walden slipped in some elbows and became generally more aggressive in the fourth round. The fighters maintained more distance in the fifth round, allowing Walden to land a perfect high side kick that he followed up with a vicious punching combination as the fight ended.
Nchukwi (1-0) looked visibly tired by the fourth round of his super cruiserweight fight with Doug Holland (2-1) and even sustained a strike to the groin. But none of this prevented Nchukwi from winning by unanimous decision despite Holland trying to corner him against the ropes during the end of the back-and-forth, clinch-heavy fight.
Mike “Iron Boy” Triana (6-1) earned an unanimous decision over Joseph Mueller (6-3) in a super featherweight fight. Mueller approached Triana with caution during the first round, using kicks to keep the distance. The second round started with a furious striking exchange that culminated in knees in the clinch. Mueller tried to corner Triana during the third round and exchanged knees in the cinch with Triana, throwing him for the second time in the fight and landing a spinning back kick.
Triana caught Mueller with a elbow during the fourth round that prompted a referee count. He knocked Mueller down again after an exchange in the clinch and the referee counted again. Triana ended the round focusing on head shots.
Triana picked up the pace in the fifth round, although Mueller his leg and threw him during an exchange. Both fighters unloaded on each other near the end of the round and Triana fell backwards as the fight ended.
(Editor’s note: we will post the amateur results for this event on our blog).
Amine Ballafrikh, left, versus Ricardo Cruz
Photo by John Fulcher