Ferocious best describes the glut of exciting Muay Thai fights at Pechanga

The action between Miriam Nakamoto (black trunks) and Aleide Lawant (red, white, blue trunks) was fast paced. Neither fighter showed any sign of slowing down. Temecula, California August 24, 2013 Saturday evening, August 24, 2013, WCK full rules Muay Thai presented by Dennis Warner’s In Sync Productions, Inc. in association with the Pechanga Resort & Casino showcased another exciting show featuring local fighters defending the home turf plus standouts from all over the globe. The show dubbed, “Hot Summer Fights” certainly lived up to the hype. In order of ferocity, here are the candidates for “Fight of the night.” Numero uno - the Main Event As far as credentials go Aleide Lawant (19-8) from The Netherlands is one of the most respected female Muay Thai fighters in the world. However, it’s difficult to compare anyone with the reigning WBC Muay Thai Women’s Lightweight World Champion Miriam “The Queen of Mean” Nakamoto (15-0), Lawant’s opponent on Saturday night. Nakamoto began her reign as champion on August 12, 2007, when she became the first ever, American woman to win the prestigious Queen’s Cup World Title in Thailand. The rest of her alphabet world titles soon followed. It’s also understandable why these fighters were selected to be in the Main Event. Both have a reputation for being fearless, crowd pleasers who never take a step backwards. From the opening bell, they came out firing with the hard leg kicks and straight punches to the face. Before long, Nakamoto, with her vast skill set, added a few new wrinkles. Poised throughout, she never showed any hesitancy when introducing her wide variety of punches and kicks which almost insured that Lawant would be the one taking the majority of the punishment. On Saturday night, August 24, 2013, (l to r) Miriam Nakamoto and Aleide Lawant made their way to the ring to fight for the Women's WBC Muay Thai World Lightweight Title. All photos: Jim Wyatt Even though, Lawant was the first to draw blood, a cut on Nakamoto’s brow from an elbow, it didn’t take long before Nakamoto returned the favor with an even wider gash over Lawant’s left eye which soon had blood streaming down her face. It was enough of a gash that veteran referee Cecil Peoples immediately stopped the bout to have, Dr. Larry Vigilia, the fight physician have a look. With Lawant being so competitive and trading blows with the taller, seemingly invincible Nakamoto, the crowd cheered when the fight doctor stated it was okay for the bout to continue. As the fight progressed the cunning Nakamoto realized she’d have to pull out all the stops, use her feints, employ every deceptive trick in her arsenal to wear down the relentless Lawant. By the end of the fight, she proved to all three judges that she was stronger and by comparison her punches and kicks had done more damage. The evidence that this was truly a great fight was plain to see by the cuts and bruises on both of the fighters’ faces and bodies. “Fight of the night” candidate #2 Luis Bio’s defense of his WBC Mexican National Middleweight Title against Raul Rodriguez of Bakersfield, CA was also memorable. Early on, it appeared Rodriguez was getting frustrated by the taller Bio who was definitely the slicker of the two with his hard leg kicks and especially his knees in the clinches. As the bout progressed, Rodriguez started catching Bio with these wide, looping punches. How Bio was able to survive the hard shots to the head was simply amazing. With Bio relying more on his clinch and kick game to neutralize Rodriguez’s boxing, this match had startling momentum swings. In the end, two of the three judges decided the industrial engineer/business analyst by day had done enough to defend his title against the tough Raul Rodriguez of Bakersfield, California who’s record now falls to 11-2. The Luis Bio (bottom left) versus Raul Rodriguez (bottom right) bout for the WBC Muay Thai Mexican National Middleweight Title had the patrons on the edge of their seats. At the conclusion of his bout with Raul Rodriguez, the victorious Luis Bio (center) was joined by his most loyal support group. The third WOW!! bout saw Adam Rothweiler of Adrenaline Combat Sports & Fitness, San Bernardino, CA improving his record to 3-0 with a TKO stoppage of Levon Sarkysan from Little Armenia in Glendale, CA who was making his pro-debut. Early on, neither Rothweiler nor Sarkysan took a step back. Instead they stood there toe to toe pounding each other as if they were hitting a heavy bag. Even though Sarkysan appeared to have the quicker hands, Rothweiler was able to hold his ground and take the many hard shots to the head. The difference in this one proved to be Rothweiler’s resolve to stay the course with the game plan of delivering these crippling leg kicks to Sarkysan’s lead leg that went unchecked. By the fourth round Sarkysan could no longer take the punishment and you could see the pained expression on his face. After finally losing his balance, down he went. Once Sarkysan got back on his feet, Rothweiler, like a hungry shark seeing blood, went in for the kill. After slumping to the canvas for a second time, it was clear Sarkysan could no longer continue. This forced veteran referee Vichai Supkitpol to step in and stop the bout. Prior to their five round WBC Featherweight bout, Adam Rothweiler of San Bernardino (l) and Levon Sarkysan of Glendale met in the center of the ring with the referee Vichai Supkitpol. At the conclusion of their bout, Adam Rothweiler (l) had his arm raised in victory by referee Vichai Supkitpol (c) after he defeated Levon Sarkysan (r). Candidate #4 for "Fight of the Night" is the opening bout between rookie Ed Abasolo, also from Dublin, CA and the veteran Angel Meza from Upland, CA. Like in the other bouts, the action began early. It was as if the fighters had been promised an extra incentive for an early first round knockout. Meza, who had the experience going for him, thought he hit the jackpot after landing the big overhand right flush which surprised Abasolo and knocked him off his feet. Instead of taking an 8-count, Abasolo jumped back up as if it was only a flash knockdown. After taking the mandatory few steps forward, he had convinced referee George Valdez that he could indeed continue. Considering the power behind that punch and the time left in the round, most of the people in the crowd if polled would say Abasolo was finished. Oh contraire, Abasolo went right back to work trying to recoup the lost points. For him, the early knockdown was just a wakeup call and from that point on both fighters exchanged kicks and blows as if their lives depended on it. By the fourth and final round Meza began to tire. This led to the grabbing and holding of the more energetic Abasolo. In the end, the war of attrition had been won by the rookie, Abasolo. Early in the first round, the veteran Angel Meza (top photo, right) caught Ed Abasolo flush with a big overhand right that knocked Ed Abasolo off his feet. Photo below shows Abasolo trying to convince referee George Valdez that he is alright and ready to continue. For the remainder of the first round Meza did everything he could to put Abasolo away, but Abasolo proved too strong and weathered the rough seas. As the tide soon turned, it was Abasolo trying to put Meza on his back. When you have loyal supporters like this, it becomes almost impossible to fail. In the Co-main event it was the big boys, San Diego’s Mike Lemaire, the current WCK Muay Thai World Cruiserweight Champ, professional MMA fighter plus instructor at the Art of Eight Gym in Kearny Mesa going up against San Medina, Ohio’s Ryan Madigan (28-6) a former UFC fighter. They were fighting for the WBC Muay Thai Cruiserweight title. Early in round one, after the two exchanged such pleasantries as a hard knee, several swiping kicks and blows to the stomach and head, Madigan suddenly fell to the canvas clutching his right knee. After being given an eight count, it appeared the short respite may have allowed him to recover and get back into the contest. At that point, Lemaire was on the attack and Madigan drifted back against the ropes just as Lemarie appeared ready to deliver a flying knee. Madigan continued his fall until he was on his back and again clutching his knee. That’s when referee Cecil Peoples knew it was time to call a halt to the match. After defeating Ryan Madigan, the victorious Mike Lemaire (l) was joined by his favorite trophy of all, his girlfriend Francesca. Intermission After the 15 minute intermission, retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant Charles Bellamy, accompanied by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians color guard gave a stirring rendition of our National Anthem. All photos: Jim Wyatt During intermission, it was announced that big things are planned for the WCK Muay Thai organization in 2014 with shows being staged around the globe. For the first time they'll be entertaining fight fans in Dubai, Qatar (according to Forbes Magazine, Qatar is the richest country in the world). Africa and Eastern Europe was also mentioned. Of course taking a photo of the lovely ring card gals (l to r) Shelby Korpi, Gloria Friedley and Haylea Minks became obligatory. On the TV side, the Fox Sports' announcing team of Phil Stone (l) and William “Blinky” Rodriguez (r), veterans of 25+ years, claimed Saturday's show was one of the best they’ve ever witnessed. When your first broadcast took place in 1977 with a fight card including Bill “Super Foot” Wallace, that claim holds a lot of weight. Next up, we witnessed the quick destruction of Miguel Cosio of Whittier, CA by Jacob Poss of Torrance, CA. Poss first used his elbow then his knee to manufacture the first round knockout. Lying there on his back with a nasty looking cut on his left brow, Cosio appeared so relaxed he may have fallen asleep. His hesitation to get up ran it’s course, right up until the 2:59 mark of the first round. His corner people argued that the bell to end the round had already sounded before the ref, Vichai Supkitpol, had given Cosio the full 10 count. Their complaint fell on deaf ears. Miguel Cosio (top, left) and Jacob Poss (top, right) make their ring entrance. After being counted out by referee Vichai Supkitpol, Miguel Cosio (bottom right) wanted no part of the celebration of victory for his opponent Jacob Poss. In the final nail-biter, James Steelsmith, Mike Lemaire’s sparring partner at the Art of Eight Gym, managed to pull out a squeaker over the always tough Dave Pacheco via split decision. Their’s was another match with many twists and turns. A few punches here or there and Pacheco would have been declared the winner. Might I say Steelsmith got the nod because his punches and kicks appeared to have more power with his use of leverage and full extension. In another tightly contested match, it was James Steelsmith of San Diego, (l) securing the win over Dave Pacheco of Riverside (r). Also on the fight card, you had John Vargas of San Diego and Alfred Kashakyan of Glendale, CA scoring dramatic, first round knockouts. With his quick hands, the 31 year-old Vargas was able to catch Rajesh Narine of Fullerton, CA with a nose jarring, full extension uppercut. As a result of this one blow, Narine took a seat in his corner and began to ponder what had happened. (l to r) John Vargas of San Diego and Rajesh Narine of Fullerton, CA. Kashakyan, another champion from Little Armenia in Glendale, CA, bull rushed Chris “Mohawk” Minor of Los Angeles using a barrage of punches. As a result of their quick defeat, both Minor and Narine were more embarrassed than hurt by the quickness of their loss. (top photo, l to r) Alfred Khashakyan of Glendale, CA, then Chris "Mohawk" Minor of Los Angeles, CA. Alfred Khashakyan (c) has his arm raised in victory by veteran referee Jose Cobian. The Lena Ovchynnikova of Lvov, Ukraine defeat of Emily Bearden from the Five Points Fitness Gym in New York City was another one-sided affair. With the win Ovchynnikova becomes the IKKC Women’s Super Bantamweight World Champion and adds another belt to her already large collection. After getting tagged repeatedly by Ovchynnikova’s left, Bearden started circling to the right, which was right into Ovchynnikova’s wheelhouse. The miscue helped Ovchynnikova land her left hook and straight left at will. After breaking her hand last year in the Tiffany Van Soest bout, Ovchynnikova forced herself to use only her left hand during rehabilitation which later made her ambidextrous, able to hit opponents equally hard with either hand. When in her southpaw stance, Bearden became easy prey. By moving to the right, Ovchynnikova’s power alley, rather than her left, Bearden got hit over and over again by Ovchynnikova’s straight left. Before Bearden’s next fight, it’s recommended she see a boxing coach. After her victory over Emily Bearden, Lena Ovchynnikova was joined by her coaches (l to r) Viktor Lazurko and George Jay Bastmajyan. Look for rebroadcasts of this exciting show on Fox Sports Net PrimeTicket or Fox Sports West.



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