By Brian Woodman Jr. and Marc Karmelowicz
(July 8 -- Mashantucket, CT) Split decisions, a no-contest and a championship belt being awarded without a fight being held made for an unusual event at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The Muay Thai event Lion Fight 30, which was held at the Fox Theater, included two title fights on the main card. The main event was a middleweight fight between Mark Holst (19-4) and Ky Hollenbeck (34-3-1) that the referee ended at 1:50 in the fourth round due to a stoppage by the ringside physician -- the judges awarded the fight by split decision to Hollenbeck, who was bleeding from his forehead after receiving a head butt from Holst in the third round.
Sergion Wielzen (42-9-2) retained his lightweight belt following a bout with Arthur Meyer (37-9) of Phuket, Thailand’s Sitpatong Sitnomnoi Muay Thai. Wielzen, who trains out of Sityodtong Muay Thai in Amsterdam, won by split decision.
The main card opened with a announcement that Antonina Shevchenko (36-1 as of the time of the event) of Lima, Peru’s Tiger Muay Thai Phuket would automatically receive a lightweight women’s belt. Her opponent, Annabelle Gely (16-2-1 as of the time of the event) of London’s Team Tieu, was unable to fight that evening.
The main card opened with a super featherweight bout between Isaac Tijerna (1-1) and Yeison Berdugo (1-2). Berdugo, who trains at Camp Ohio, Muay Thai in Providence, Rhode Island, earned his first professional victory that evening with a knockout at :23 in the third round.
Tijerna, who trains at Nampa Indiana’s Time & Distance Muay Thai, received a spinning elbow in the second round following much back-and-forth striking, prompting the referee to count to eight before allowing the fight to continue. Tijerna collapsed after receiving a shot to the nose in the third round, ending the fight.
Amine Ballafrikh (7-2) of Capital Muay Thai in Dulles, Virginia earned an unanimous decision over Joe Logan (5-7) of Philadelphia’s Stay Fly Muay Thai in another super featherweight bout. It was a largely one-sided fight in which Ballafrikh caught several of Logan’s kicks and threw him.
Eddie Martinez (15-5-1) of Norwalk’s Sitan Gym CT earned a split decision over Nick Chasteen (5-3) of Best Muay Thai. Chasteen, who trains out of Scottsdale, Arizona, opened the first round with aggressive striking and pushed the pace. But the rest of the fight featured more back-and-forth striking with lots of punches thrown. Martinez was bleeding from his forehead by the fifth round.
Later, Wielzen opened the co-main event on an aggressive note by landing a sidekick to Meyer’s head and briefly peppering him with a punching combination. Despite falling once, he appeared to dominate the first round with punches and knees. But Meyer got his arm around the back of Wielzen’s neck and brought him to the ground as the round ended.
Meyer opened the second round with a combination of kicks and punches, following up with lower leg kicks. Wielzen sustained a kick to the groin, which prompted a referee stoppage, and the round ended before the fight could restart.
Both fighters fell to the canvas during the third round, which was marked by varied striking exchanges and clinching. It continued through the fifth round, although Meyer in particular appeared visibly exhausted.
The first two rounds of the main event featured aggressive striking exchanges with Holst dominating the first round and Hollenbeck the second. Holst clinched with Hollenbeck during the third round, pushing him against the ropes and at one point pushing him out of the ring. But Hollenbeck answered back with punching combinations and a spinning elbow. By the fourth round there was too much blood streaming into Hollenbeck’s eyes and the fight was stopped.
The preliminary amateur bout results were as follows:
- Cruiserweight: Roger Corbin knocked out Rich Ullrich at :45 in round one.
- Middleweight: Patrick Kirby defeated Tommy Mashrick by split decision.
- Cruiserweight: Paul Banasiak defeated Jack Martinez by unanimous decision.
- Welterweight: Olivier Jiminez defeated Phil Da Silva by unanimous decision.
- Lightweight: Mike Triana defeated Jason Davis by split decision.
A super middleweight between Brian Bogue and Gary Mack was declared a no-contest due to unintentional foul. It ended at :24 in the second after Bogue accidentally kneed Mack in the head.
(Editor’s note: the professional fights are scheduled for five three-minute rounds while the amateur bouts are scheduled for three two-minute rounds).