Non-Stop Action and Great Matchups at Lion Fight 23
The dust has finally settled and another sterling event from Lion Fight is in the books.
It was an evening of back and forth battles and calculated knockouts that left the canvas crimson red and had the ringside physician run out of stitching thread.
Yes, you read that correctly. The doctor was forced to use glue on a number of athletes because of how many stitches were doled out from devastating elbow attacks that found their mark throughout the course of the evening. Needless to say, it was a night of fights that will not soon be forgotten. Here is a brief analysis of the pro-card portion of the event:
Marvin Madariaga VS Tony Fausto
After a tentative feeling out process through round one both Fausto and Madariaga took a moment to gauge their range– with each fighter trading inside low-kicks and a series of pawing 1-2’s.
It was all the time Mr. Madariaga needed in order to land a beautifully timed right hand that induced the beginning of the end for Fausto.
After dropping him, Madariaga swarmed his fellow San Diegan with thunderous uppercuts and a spearing knee that found its’ mark before the referee call a stop to the bout via TKO. A brilliant performance by Madariaga and a wealth of heart shown by Tony Fausto.
Romie Adanza VS Daniel McGowan
After almost three rounds of action the 19 year old UK standout looked as though he was about to head back across the pond with a monstrous win against a veteran of the sport in Adanza.
McGowan implemented a beautifully crafted game plan that involved a series of well timed push kicks and sweeps to keep Romie from finding a rhythm for the majority of the bout. That was until McGowan and Adanza traded horizontal elbows near the end of round 3– a strike that Adanza was able to land with devastating effect prompting an immediate stoppage of the fight and leaving McGowan to receive fourteen stitches in his upper lip.
The takeaway was as clear as day: Romie is a battle hardened veteran who never shies away from a gunfight and McGowan’s potential in the sport after putting on a performance like that against Romie is limitless.
Mike Lemaire VS Andrew Kapel
Prior to Lion Fight, Kapel and Lemaire were both familiar with one another. The two had fought each other previously in the Road to Glory four man tournament that saw Lemaire notch the win under Glory Rules in a closely contested back and forth battle. Their rematch was no different.
After being swept nearly at will over the course of four rounds it looked as though Kapel had implemented the right strategy in toppling Coach Melchor Menor’s protege.
As round five began, the effects of taking the fight on ten days notice started to show in Kapel as his footing began to look less secure as each second passed.
Lemaire successfully capitalized on Kapel’s drop in momentum and was able to end the fight with a series of knees and punches with just 25 seconds left in the fight. Had Kapel been able to stay upright and fend off exhaustion it seemed that he would have gotten the nod on the judges score card three rounds to two.
Victor Saravia VS Stan Mancebo
After a brief feeling out process in the opening round Mancebo was able to draw first blood with a well timed head kick that opened a gash in Saravia’s cheek. As the fight progressed Saravia was able to increase his volume of punches eventually landing a big right hand near the end of the second.
At the very end of round number three Saravia was able to pull off a spinning elbow to the bridge of Mancebo’s nose followed by a right uppercut that landed flush. Referee Coban called a stop to the action almost immediately.
With the win Saravia moves to a perfect 4-0 and puts the rest of the 122 lbs division on notice with a statement that was read loud and clear by the US Muay Thai scene: Saravia and his devastating stopping power are here to stay.
Kevin Ross VS Rungrat Sasiprapa
If there was ever a blueprint to defeating a seasoned Thai veteran that hails from the famous Sasiprapa gym in Bangkok, it would be to strike first and to strike fast.
Based on the pace of the opening round, Kevin Ross was not unfamiliar with this bit of information. As soon as the bell rung Ross began to find openings on Rungrat with well-timed left hooks that kept him on the outside of Rungrat’s lead foot for the majority of the round.
It wasn’t until Rungrat found his stride in the second round and landed a flush right knee to the head of Ross after a quick scramble used to clear the clinch.
Ross being the warrior that he is was able to answer the eight count but was unfortunately welcomed back into the fight with a flying knee from Rungrat that forced Coban to call a stop to the fight with one minute left in round two.
Tiffany Van Soest VS Martyna Krol
The Lion Fight world champion was able to successfully defend her title yet again– though not without some adversity. Martyna Krol implemented her unusual timing to throw off the champ’s flow with disruptive teeps and outside low-kicks.
Though never in any significant trouble, Van Soest did a beautiful job of baiting Krol into range with shoulder dips that loaded the right uppercut-left hook-round kick three piece that continued to find a home over the course of five rounds.
With the win Van Soest went on blast by calling out fellow female standout in Valentina Shevchenko as a potential challenge to the champion’s crown. A fighter that many would consider to be Van Soest’s toughest challenge since going toe to toe with Muay Thai legend, Caley Reece.
Liam Harrison VS Malaipet Sasiprapa
Let it be known: the main event was an absolute show-stopper.
As the fight began the respect the two legends had for one another was acknowledged, and then almost immediately rescinded. Harrison went to work on Malaipet with big outside low kicks that Malaipet reacted to with some playful showboating before firing off his own series of round kicks.
It wasn’t until the end of the second round when Harrison was able to successfully sweep the Thai legend onto his head that things got heated. Malaipet’s expression changed almost instinctively at the start of round three which prompted an all out war.
After a blistering series of round kicks, evaded elbows, and knees to the body, Harrison eventually starting getting the better of the exchanges before ‘The Diamond’ made a last ditch effort to end the Brit’s night with an assault of switch kicks and right elbows that Harrison was able to successfully weather.
At the end of the day, Harrison got the nod in a hard fought split decision that will not soon be forgotten. A brilliant fight from both champions and a perfect way to cap off the event.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Lion Fight 24 which is looking to be another stacked card of elite Muay Thai fighters!
- Steve Eisman is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado, an aspiring amateur fighter and an assistant coach at The Easton Training Center in Boulder. Steve has trained in Thailand on two separate occasions where he fought in both Phuket and Bangkok. He loves Chipotle almost as much he loves seeing people progress in their training. Steve's passion for the sport is contagious and he will happily talk your ear off about the fight game, movies, books and food.