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Lion Fight 29 at Foxwoods on May 27
Nattawut knocked out, Eersel wins decision
Eersel and Nattawut at Lion Fight 29
Regian Eersel throws a punch at Jo Nattawut during the main event at Lion Fight 29.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
By Brian Woodman Jr.

     Fight fans at the Foxwoods Theater in Mashantucket were treated to an evening of live Muay Thai during Lion Fight 29 on May 27. The headlining events included a fifth-round knockout and a win by majority decision.
     During the main event, Regian Eersel (38-2) of the Sitydong Gym in Amsterdam knocked out Jo Nattawut (56-6-2) of Atlanta’s Bangkok Boxing in a middleweight fight. Eersel out-pointed Nattawut during the first two rounds, rocking him with a left elbow and right punch during the second. But as the back-and-forth continued during the third, Nattawut began to get the upper hand. The fourth round opened with Nattawut landing a flurry of lower leg kicks, but the fight went to the ground a few times as the fight progressed. 
     During the fifth round, which consisted of more exchanges, Eersel threw a punch that missed but landed a side kick to Nattawut’s jaw. The fight ended at 2:02 in the round.
   Ognjen Topic (19-11) of North Jersey Muay Thai defeated Dechsakda Sitsongpeenong (67-28-4) during the co-main event -- a lightweight bout that ended with two judges awarding Topic the victory and one judge declaring it a draw.
   Sitsongpeenong, who trains at the Sitsongpeenong Gym in Thailand, won the cautiously-fought first two rounds. But as the pace gradually quickened by the third round, Topic began catching Sitsongpeenong’s kicks and throwing him. Topic hit Sitsongpeenong during the fourth round, sending him to one knee as it ended. The fight ended with an energetic fifth round that clearly pleased the crowd.

Ognjen Topic and Dechsakda Sitsongpeenong at Lion Fight 29
Ognjen Topic, left, and Dechsakda Sitsongpeenong fight at Foxwoods on May 27.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
   During the previous bout, lightweight Julio Pena (4-1) of Boston’s Hard Knocks Muay Thai dominated the first round against Travis Clay (2-0) of Sitan Gum in Chandler, Arizona. But during the second round, Clay landed a punch at followed it up with a kick to the face that knocked Pena out. The fight ended at 2:35.
   The main card opened with a welterweight bout between P. J. Sweda (1-1) of Philadelphia’s Stay Fly Muay Thai and Diego Llamas (8-2) of Dublin, California’s Combat Sports Academy. Although Llamas appeared visibly tired as the fight progressed, he surprised the crowd and knocked Sweda out in the second round at 2:42 after slipping a punch. 
   During another welterweight bout, Asa Ten Pow (2-0) of West Palm Beach, Florida defeated Bryce Lawrence (2-2) of Florida’s Fight Sports Naples by TKO at 1:34 in the fourth round. Ten Pow, who trains with Legend Fight Team, used a variety of strikes that including punching combinations to the body and a flying knee to the face during a clinch. The referee stopped the fight after Ten Pow clinched against the ropes with Lawrence, peppering his body with punches and elbowing him in the side of the head. 
   John Nofer (8-1) of Philadelphia’s Rami Elite knocked out Jared Lipton (1-2) of Maryland’s Level Up Boxing at 1:57 in the fourth round of a featherweight bout. Nofer landed a sidekick to the torso that brought Lipton to the ground wincing in pain and prompted the referee to wave off the fight.
   Nofer generally paced himself throughout the bout, slipping punches and throwing a few kicks. He caught a kick from Lipton and threw him, strolling off and looking relaxed.
   There were also five amateur three-round bouts. The results were:
         (Welterweight-145) Malcolm Hill defeats Chris Lena by unanimous decision.
         (Cruiserweight-185) Kris Silck defeats J. Lucky Henry by split decision.
         (Super Middleweight-165) Brian Bogue defeats Mike Jenkins by split decision.
         (Welterweight) Julian Nguyen defeats Mike Santos by unanimous decision.
         (Super Bantamweight-120) Ahmad Ibrahim defeats Emilio Pineda by unanimous decision.

Travis Clay and Julio Pena at Lion Fight 29
Travis Clay throws a high kick at Julio Pena during Lion Fight 29.
Photo by Nicola Faraone