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Makashavili submits Soriano at CES 38
Foster loses decision to Kattar
MMA fighters Levan Makashavili and Sean Soriano
Levan Makashavili sinks a rear naked choke into Sean Soriano on September 23 at Foxwoods.
Photos by Nicola Faraone and John Fulcher
By Brian Woodman Jr.
(September 23: Mashantucket)

   There was a lot of local support for Middletown’s Chris Foster (9-5) at Foxwoods Resort Casino during CES 38 despite former Bellator fighter Calvin Kattar (16-2) being the apparent crowd favorite. But the abundance of Chris Foster t-shirts in the Fox Theater was not enough to sway events in the cage.
    Foster, who trains at Nova Uniao and seemed to favor boxing, put on an impressive performance during the co-main event as he slipped punches, slapped away high kicks, scored a double-leg takedown and grabbed receding lower leg kicks during the first two rounds of the featherweight bout.
    But despite one of the three cage side judges actually giving Foster the second round, Kattar brought him to the ground about halfway through the third and final round. Kattar, who trains at Sityodtong in Boston, repeatedly lifted and dropped Foster as they clinched on the ground. He won by unanimous decision.
    During the main event, which was also a featherweight fight, UFC veteran Sean Soriano (9-5) appeared to actually be winning the bout. But Makashavili (9-2), who is also a UFC veteran, secured a rear naked choke at 4:05 in the first round and won the fight. Makashavili’s over-the-top reaction to winning, which included running into the cage and somersaulting, garnered nearly as much attention as his quick victory.
    The card opened with a bantamweight fight between Kris Moutinho of Milford, Massachusetts and Matthew Maldonado, who were both making their professional debuts. Moutinho scored a few takedowns and attempted to ground-and-pound Maldonado, whom trains at Kings Thai Boxing in New York City, earning a unanimous decision.
    Lionel Young (7-16), who trains at Redline in Massachusetts, used takedowns and bully mounts to dominate the first round of the next bout - a lightweight fight with Wayne Ahlquist (2-3) of Lake Region Vale Tudo in New Hampshire. During the second round, which one judge awarded to Young, Ahlquist nearly secured to rear naked chokes and began to change the direction of the fight. By the third round, Ahlquist was dominating the fight (Young ad Ahlquist did go back and forth during a brief but vicious striking exchange in the final round). It ended in a split decision win for Ahlquist.
    The next bout, a flyweight fight between Richie Santiago and Brandon Warne (2-2), ended in the quickest finish of the night. Santiago, who trains at RAC with Moutinho and made his professional debut, submitted Warne of Team Bombsquad with a rear naked choke at :52 in the first round. 
    Norwich’s Pete Rogers Jr. (2-4) appeared injured after he left the cage in the next bout -- a featherweight fight with Derek Shorey (4-7) of Shatterproof Combat in Maine. Shorey secured an armbar at 3:25 in the first round and won the fight. 
    Rogers lifted and threw Shorey at one point. Shorey used a professional wrestling-style suplex on Rogers earlier.
    Kody Nordby (7-4) of Topflight Wrestling in Woonsocket, Rhode Island won a bantamweight fight with Brandon Seyler (6-4-1) of Next Generation in Pennsylvania by unanimous decision. 
    The first round went back and forth with Nordby attempting to extend Seyler’s leg and Seyler going for a guillotine choke. Seyler scooped up and threw Nordby at one point, but the round ended with the latter on top. 
    Seyler went for another guillotine in the second round and Nordby attempted a rear naked choke. Nordby ended the third round taking Seyler’s back.
    A heavyweight bout between Pat Walsh (8-2) of Victory MMA and Carlos Zevallos (3-4) of Arena Sports Combat ended in a gruesome manner. The referee waved off the fight at 1:49 in the first round after Walsh dropped elbows during some ground-and-pound. Zevallos had a visible bulge in his forehead above is eyes that appeared to prompt the stoppage and Walsh won by TKO.
    David Garcia (3-1-1) of Chicago’s Team Mac secured a victory by key lock submission at 2:25 in the first round of a bantamweight fight with Rico Discuiullo (6-1) of Sityodtong. “I give all things to Jesus Christ, who strengthens me,” said Garcia while a visibly upset Discuiullo left the cage.
    A middleweight fight between John Poppie (7-4) of South Carolina’s Chosen Few and Mike Rodriguez (5-1) of Lauzon MMA in Massachusetts went back and forth for two rounds. But at 1:32 in the second round, Rodriguez secured a leg triangle choke but grabbed Poppie’s head rather than his arm. Poppie, to who one judge gave the first round, tapped out.

MMA fighters Chris Foster and Calvin Kattar
Chris Foster, left, versus Calvin Kattar at the latest CES event.
Photos by John Fulcher and Nicola Faraone
Three title fights highlight Muay Thai event at Foxwoods
Jo Nattawut and Hasan Toy at Lion Fight 33
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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.