Andra Aho, left, is pinned by a blood drenched Jeri Sitzes on March 3 at Lion Fight 35.

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Three title fights highlight Muay Thai event at Foxwoods
Jo Nattawut and Hasan Toy at Lion Fight 33

Jo Nattawut throws a kick at Hasan Toy on Nov. 18.
Photos by Nicola Faraone and John Fulcher
By Brian Woodman Jr.

(Editorial note: all professional bouts have five three-minute rounds and all amateur bouts have three two-minute rounds.)

   “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut (59-6-2) successfully defended his super welterweight championship belt against Hasan Toy (19-9) during Lion Fight 33 on November 18 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Nattawut, who trains at Bangkok Fitness in Atlanta, won the main event by unanimous decision -- each judge awarded him a win by 50-45 following the main event.
   Toy, who trains at Gym International in Amsterdam, landed some shots but received repeated kicks to both sides of his body from Nattawut. The champion kicked Toy’s legs out from under him toward the end of the fifth round.
   Antonina Shevchenko (38-1) of Lima, Peru retained the women’s lightweight championship belt during her bout with Ilona Wijmans (45-6-1) during the co-main event. Shevchenko, who trains at Tiger Muay Thai Phuket and recently signed a five-fight extension of her contract with Lion Fight, won by unanimous decision.
   She clearly dominated Wijmans, who trains out of Gym Hoofddorp in Rotterdam, for the entire fight -- she caught her kicks and threw her to the mat several times during the bout. Wijmans attempted to clinch several times with Shevchenko but was bleeding from her face by the end of the fight.
   The first title fight on the main card was a bout between Regian Eersel (40-4) of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jake Purdy (27-7-1) of Exeter, Devon England. Eersel, who trains out of the Sityodtong Gym, earned the only win by finish that evening -- he knocked out Purdy, who trains at FSC Muay Thai, with a flying knee to the chin and secured a victory by TKO at 2:41 in the second round. This earned Eersel (who is remembered for knocking out Nattawut during Lion Fight 29 on May 27 at Foxwoods) the vacant super middleweight title.
   Eersel, who made his entrance to the ring wearing an odd mask, knocked Purdy down three times during the fight with punching combinations before that flying knee landed, requiring the referee to count up to eight each time before the fight continued. 
   During the fight, Eersel nearly fell out of the ring twice -- once during the clinch and once after throwing a flying knee.

Regian Eersel's memorable entrance at Lion Fight 33 in CT
Regian Eersel makes a memorable entrance at Lion Fight 33.
Photos by Nicola Faraone and John Fulcher
   Andres Juedi (3-1) of Sityodtong Boston and P.J. Sweda (2-1) of Rami Elite went back and forth during the middleweight bout that opened the main card. Juedi seemed confident and even mocking during some of the fight, slipping and dodging many of Sweda’s punches and elbows -- he even shook his head after shaking off a series of kicks (including a flying kick) from Sweda. But despite Juedi’s effective defense and punching (two judges awarded him the final round), Sweda won by split decision.
   Yeison Berdugo (2-2) of Sparta Muay Thai in Providence, Rhode Island earned a unanimous decision during the next fight -- a lightweight bout with Anthony Carparo (0-1) of Kernsburg, New Jersey, who trains at The Institute. The fight opened with both fighters exchanging several lower leg kicks. But Berdugo clearly dominated the fight despite some spirited exchanges of blows, at one point briefly unloading on Carparo with punches before landing a flying knee to his chin.
   Chip Moraza-Pollard (1-0), who also trains at Sityodtong, earned a split decision victory during a cruiserweight bout with Brett Hlavacek (2-1) of New York City’s The Wat. Moraza-Pollard fought conservatively during the first round, gently prodding Hlavacek with his gloves, but they were exchanging spinning elbows and fighting at a quick pace by the fifth round.

Yeison Berdugo and Anthony Carparo at Lion Fight 33
Yeison Berdugo, left, and Anthony Carparo prepare to exchange blows at Foxwoods.
Photos by Nicola Faraone and John Fulcher
The amateur results are as follows:

Ava Scheininger defeated Rola Idris during a super bantamweight bout by unanimous decision.

Niko Qijazo defeated Slawek Gubermat during a super welterweight bout by unanimous decision.

J. Luck Henry defeated Chris Cunningham during a light heavyweight bout by unanimous decision.

Nick Lopez defeated Hussein Elsadeck during a middleweight bout by split decision.

Julian Nyguen defeated Oliver Jimenez during a welterweight bout by unanimous decision.

Flavio Brita defeated Josh Ford during a cruiserweight bout by unanimous decision.

“Smokin’ Jo” retains super welterweight belt at Lion Fight 35

At Lion Fight 35 Kengsiam, left, and Jo Nattawutt during the main event.
Kengsiam, left, battles Jo Nattawutt during the main event of Lion Fight 35 on March 3
Kengsiam, left, battles Jo Nattawutt during the main event of Lion Fight 35 on March 3.
Photos by Nicola Faraone
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(March 3--Mashantucket, CT)

   Jo Nattawut (62-6-2) retained his super welterweight title following the main event at Lion Fight 35 -- a professional Muay Thai bout between “Smokin’ Jo” and Kengsiam (65-13-5). The challenger, who serves in Thailand’s Air Force, launched a spirited but tempered offense against Nattawut, throwing several knees. But Nattawut, who currently holds two division titles, attacked Kengsiam’s legs and eventually broke a bone in the challenger’s left leg during the third round (a prepared statement from Lion Fight management indicated it could be a broken femur).
   Nattawut secured a TKO victory at about 2:40 in the round. Kengsiam left the ring in a stretcher. 
During the co-main event, Naruepol Fairtex (180-46-5) earned an unanimous decision victory over Amadeu Cristiano (51-16) It was a back-and-forth middleweight bout in which the second round opened with Cristiano landing a light high kick to Fairtex’s face. Two judges scored it 49-46 while another awarded 48-47. 
   The main card opened with a lightweight bout between Yeison Berdugo (2-3) and Jafar Toshev (1-0) in his professional debut. Toshev, who threw several high kicks during the fight, won by knockout at 1:26 in the third round after landing a spinning back fist to Berdugo’s face.
   The next bout, a super bantamweight women’s fight, was a bloody affair with a surprising outcome. Jeri Sitzes (33-14) manhandled (woman handled?) Estonian fighter Andra Aho (7-1) for the bulk of their fight and threw lots of high kicks in between clinches. But a few well-placed elbows during the course of the bout caused bleeding from Sitzes’s forehead that became apparent during the second round. Although Sitzes continued to dominate the fight, the bleeding grew some excessive that the referee stopped the fight at 2:35 in the third round. Aho was awarded a TKO victory, which drew a negative response from the crowd at the Fox Theater. 
   CES MMA competitor Chip Moraza-Pollard (3-0) earned a one-sided victory over Scott Noble (1-1) by unanimous decision. Moraza-Pollard threw a variety of strikes but Noble stayed on his feet.

Andra Aho, left, is pinned by a blood drenched Jeri Sitzes on March 3 at Lion Fight 35.
Andra Aho, left, is pinned by a blood drenched Jeri Sitzes on March 3 at Lion Fight 35.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
The amateur results were as follows:

Christian Pereira versus Doug Holland (Heavyweight) -- Pereira by unanimous decision.

Jeff Soivilien versus Greg Muldrow (Super Heavyweight) -- Muldrow by unanimous decision.

Mike Triana versus Jose Medrano (Lightweight) -- Triana by unanimous decision.

J. Luck Henry versus Elvin Johnson (Light Heavyweight) -- Henry by unanimous decision.

Matthias Eckstrand versus Brian Bogue (Super Middleweight) -- Bogue by TKO (:53 in the third round)

Julian Nyguen versus Keeman Diop (Welterweight) -- Nyguen by split decision.

(Editor’s note -- Professional bouts are five three-minute rounds. Non-title amateur bouts are three two-minute rounds).

Scott Nobles drills Chip Moraza-Pollard on March 3 at Lion Fight 35.
Scott Nobles drills Chip Moraza-Pollard on March 3 at Lion Fight 35.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
Alley, Evans and Payant win on main card at Premier FC 22
Three ammy titles awarded as well

Nick Fiori chokes Charles Bonar on March 11 at Premier FC 22 in Agawam, MA
Nick Fiori chokes Charles Bonar on March 11 at Premier FC 22 in Agawam, Massachusetts at Chez Josef.
Photo by Nicola Faraone
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(March 11 -- Agawam, MA).

   Nick Alley won the main event at Premier FC in the exhibition hall at the Chez Josef restaurant, defeating Addison O‘Neil by TKO in a 170-pound professional fight. It was one of three pro bouts that capped the event, which also included several amateur bouts.
   Alley get kicked in the groin early in the first round, prompting a temporary stoppage by the referee. O’Neil adding insult to injury, slapping Alley in the face with a high side kick shortly after the fight restarted. But Alley got the last laugh, getting O’Neil to the ground in the second round and dropping bombs until the referee waved the fight off.
   The main card opened with a 130-pound women’s bout between Tammy Worrick and Sarah Payant that was punctuated earlier by a little practical Muay Thai. Both fighters exchanged knees and elbows before the fight went to the ground. Payant secured an arm bar submission at 4:29 in the first round.
   During the next fight, Sean Evans took the back of fellow 185-pounder Montoyia Swilling and sank a rear naked choke in the first round. He earned a submission victory at 2:19.
   There were also three amateur title fights. Nick Firori submitted Charles Bonar in the first one by rear naked choke at 2:49 in the opening round, securing a 155-pound belt. Reigning amateur champion William Knight retained his 205-pound belt, winning by TKO over challenger Ron Marshall at 1:56 in the first round -- Marshall secured a guillotine on Knight early in the fight while stuffing a takedown attempt, but the champion lifted him over his shoulder and flipped him to the canvas.
   The second title fight, a 170-pound bout between Pat Casey and Angelo Richardson, went to an unanimous decision. Casey won the decision, with each judge offering a different score.
   Casey favored brief punching combinations and lower leg kicks while Richardson leaned towards high kicks, throwing some knees in the clinch during the3 fourth round. 
   Casey scored a single-leg takedown during the fourth round, but prompted a brief stoppage early in the fifth after accidentally kicking Richardson in the crotch. A visibly irritated Richardson stepped up his punching after that, stuffing a takedown attempt and taking Casey’s back toward the end of the fight.
   The evening opened with an amateur 175-pound bout between Jordan Boisvert and Ray Johns. Boisvert won an unanimous decision, using takedowns and ground-and-pound to dominate the fight. Johns attempted a few guillotines throughout the fight, becoming a little more aggressive with strikes in the third round.
   Miguel Cuevas submitted Kenny Champion in the first round during the 145-pound bout that followed. Both fighters entered the fight swinging, but Cuevas secured a rear naked choke and ended the round at 1:47.
   Jason Showers made quick work of fellow 170-pounder Bobby Garner in the next fight, earning a TKO victory at :15.

 Pat "the Ninja Gorilla" Casey, left, and Angelo Richardson battle March 11 at Premier FC 22 in Agawam, MA
Move over, Kong. Pat "the Ninja Gorilla" Casey, left, and Angelo Richardson battle March 11 at Premier FC 22 in Agawam, Massachusetts at Chez Josef.
Photo by Nicola Faraone