By Brian Woodman Jr.
Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket hosted an event on Aug. 1 highlighting Muay Thai; a form of boxing from Thailand that allows for kicking, knees and elbows as well as punching and one of the major components of Mixed Martial Arts. AXS TV aired the event.
The event, Lion Fight 17, featured 11 bouts that included six five-round professional fights and five three-round amateur fights. The amateur bouts include two fighters that train in Connecticut. This is the second Lion Fight event that Foxwoods hosted this year and it featured some of the biggest stars in the sport.
Foxwoods previously hosted Lion Fight 15 on May 23.
Mailapat Sasiprapa, who trains at Sasisprapa USA in Fresno, California defeated Justin Greskiewicz by unanimous decision during a welterweight rematch that served as the main event. Cosmo Alexandre, who has fought with Bellator, lost by split decision to Jo Nattawut of Bangkok Boxing in Atlanta during a super middleweight fight and the co-main event.
Greskiewicz, who trains out of Stay Fly Muay Thai in Philadelphia, fell after receiving a punch to the jaw in the first three-minute round. He picked up the piece in the subsequent rounds and was considerably more aggressive but Mailapat dominated all five rounds. Greskiewicz previously lost by decision to Mailapat in 2012.
Alexandre, who Lion Fight spokespersons said took the fight on relatively short notice, seemed to focus more on powerful, potential finishing strikes with body punches, spinning elbows and flying knees during the earlier rounds. He sustained an accidental knee to the groin in the third round. that prompted a temporary stoppage.
The referee waved off the evening’s first professional fight, which was a welterweight bout between Tim Amorim of Philadelphia and Pedro Gonzalez of Worcester, Massachusetts, during the fourth round. Gonzalez, who trains at Redline Fight Sports, won by technical knockout after a clearly dazed Amorim was deemed unfit to continue. The two fighters clinched early in the first but Amorim, who trains at Rami Elite, received a cut over his eye following a punch and elbow from Gonzalez during a clinch against the ropes. Gonzalez appeared to overwhelm Amorim with aggressive clinching and powerful strikes during the fourth round.
Victor Saravia of North Hollywood California defeated Andy Singh of New York by technical knockout during a super bantamweight bout. The two fighters exchanged several high kicks during an energetic first round and Singh, who trains out of Ultimate MMA Academy, attempted a couple of flying knees during the second round. But Saravia, who trains out of Muay Thai American Gym, nearly knocked out Singh during a fast-moving third round. Although Saravia was bleeding from his forehead during the fourth round, he managed to knockout Singh at 1:26.
Carlos Lopez of Sterling, Virginia defeated Rami Ibrahim by decision following a lightweight fight. Ibrahim, who also trains at Rami Elite, kicked Lopez in the ground during the first round and prompted a stoppage. Although Ibrahim became particularly aggressive during the third and fifth rounds, Lopez clinched with him and threw him to the ground a few times. Lopez, who trains at Discipline MMA, starting throwing more high kicks in the fourth round.
Brett Hlavacek, who trains at The Wat in Brooklyn, New York, won his light heavyweight bout with Cyrus Washington of Astoria, New York’s Sitan Gym by majority decision. One judge gave both fighters 47 points while the other two scored the fight in favor of Hlavacek.
The five amateur bouts that opened the event consisted of two-minute rounds. All the fighters wore headgear and other equipment not required for the professional fights.
During the first, Jared Tipton of Level Up Boxing in Bowie, Maryland defeated Jose Rivera of Hard Knocks Muay Thai in Boston by unanimous decision in a featherweight fight. Billy Keenan, who also trains at Redline Sports, defeated Channon Kuldaree of C3 Athletics in Stamford by split decision in a well-received super welterweight bout. Stephan Smarth, who also trains at C3 Athletics, lost a decision to Bryce Lawrence of Nak Muay Striking in Naples, Florida following a lightweight fight. Nicole Scimeme of Strike First Fitness in New York defeated Jessica Palencar of Coalition Fight Team in Inwood, West Virginia after a women’s featherweight bout. Patrick Rivera, who also trains at Level Up Boxing, defeated Nathaniel King of Bladefist Muay Thai in New York by unanimous decision following a super middleweight fight.