Saturday, February 13, 2010
M-1 Thai Boxing's Preston Baptiste and the Wat's Nick Vaughan are up, with the venerable Kru Phil Nurse in Vaughan's corner ready to infuse his ward with the power of a thousand years of Thai warrior spirit. Or something like that. Anyway, this one is close, with each man waiting for the other to move so they can counter and explode, and if midway through the bout Baptiste is ahead, it's by a fraction of a point. Yet Vaughan clearly takes Round 4 when he traps Baptiste in a corner and unloads, and he keeps it up in the fifth. All three judges give it to Vaughan, but it was close as hell. Next: Mohawk Muay Thai rep Chris Minor, sporting a punky Mohawk, against 5 Points Academy rep Eddie Martinez. This one doesn't last too long. Martinez is clearly the superior fighter, and after dropping Minor in the second round, he follows it up with a right high-kick that knocks the Mohawk Muay Thai rep out. Last up is Rami Ibrahim against Dutchman Dave Duyn. How big of a hometown star is Ibrahim? The dude's got his own rap song for his entrance music. Despite a reach advantage and a pretty tight and seamless game, Duyn is exceedingly wary of Ibrahim, practically freezing when the Palistinian shifts his weight or changes his stance. Duyn does land, though, as does Ibrahim with his sharper hands, so it's most certainly competitive. That is, until late in the fifth round, when Ibrahim is feeding Duyn punch after punch and Duyn is doing nothing to stop it. This prompts the ref to step in, giving Ibrahim the TKO win. And that's all she wrote...
Another Canadian takes to the ring, this one Tony Manohran of M-1 Thai Boxing. His opponent: Eric Ruiz of Sitan/Progressive Martial Arts. They're both doing that full Thai pre-bout routine, complete with music and head pieces, and then they're fighting in what is far and away the most technical bout of the night so far. Seriously, these guys could be filming a demo. It's pretty even in Round 1, but Manohran's jab starts to penetrate Ruiz's defenses, leading to openings that the M-1 Thai Boxing rep is able to capitalize on. By Round 4 Ruiz is cut and covering up more than he's throwing, and though he's still game, the doctor waives off the bout early in the fifth, giving Manohran the win. Texas-based Javier Vongphet of Vongphet Muay Thai steps up to take on Sitan's Jay Matias. With a fantastic sense of range and the ability to fire off kicks with the full torque of his swiveling hips, Matias dissects Vongphet like he's a frog in science class. Vongphet - clearly a hard-headed brawler - does his best to fight back, but as Matias' spinning back-kick in Round 5 indicates, it ain't nearly enough. Matias gets the decision, plus an "A" in Biology.
Robert Zatarain from Mohawk Muay Thai steps into the ring to face Sitan's Greg Lachaga. Lachaga's had about a million fights, but he starts out looking outgunned by the California-based fighter, Zatarain appearing to land about four strikes for every one of Lachaga's. However, "The Tank" is made out of steel, and here and there he lands an artillery shell of a left hook that knocks his opponent's head back and wobbles him. Ultimately, Zatarain takes the decision, but it's a competitive one. Next: Canadian Gary Gilchrist of OAMA against 5 Borough Fight House rep Jesse Jimenez. Jimenez starts strong, looking mean and hungry and bullying his opponent around, but Gilchrist has got a decent neck clinch, and more than a few times he uses it to lock Jimenez up and feed him a prix fixe dinner of knees. Rinse and repeat for Rounds 2 and 3, and you have Gilchrist taking the decision. Now it's intermission time.
First up is David Miqui of Sitan Gym against Tamaz Jorjoliani of 5 Points Academy. Miqui seems to be one tough hombre, as evidenced by the broken glass he's eating in his corner before the bout. Round 1 sees Miqui coming forward and a lot of clinch-work, while Round 2 has Jorjoliani consistently allowing his foe to back him into a corner before firing back. Miqui has more in his gas tank in the third, which makes his strikes seem less desperate, and the Sitan rep takes the decision when time runs out. Next up is a female bout featuring Min Goodspeed of CT Combat vs. Sitan's Peelo Deonarain. Goodspeed is aggressive and constantly in motion, but the taller Deonarain's reach enables the Sitan fighter to use her head as a punching bag. It's a genetic disadvantage that Goodspeed cannot overcome, and midway through the third round the ref has seen enough. Deonarain wins via TKO. Another ladies' bout follows, with CT Combat's Janet Pacitto taking on Sitan's Stacy Hughes. Pacitto comes out on fire and about a minute in has completely shot her wad, her subsequent exhaustion allowing Hughes to pick her apart. This time the ref calls it in Round 2, notching another victory for the Queens gym.
MMA Journalist is here in Chinatown in Flushing, Queens for New York Showdown, a Muay Thai show featuring competitors from as far away as Holland and as close as Astoria. There should be about ten fights on tap, and some of the more notable names (ie, names I recognize) include Rami Ibrahim, who fought Tiger Schulmann ace kickboxer Shennen Maceo at a Ring of Combat, and Greg Lachaga, who actually fought at New Jersey's first amateur MMA show ever back in 1979. According to the event flyer, traditional Thai boxing rules will be used, which means that competitors will be dipping their hands in resin then broken glass before bouts. Should be fun.