The event 'Muay Thai Madness' promoted by Pitbull Promotions and sanctioned by the USMTA. was the perfect end fight of the year. Master of Ceremonies for the event was martial arts veteran Shihan Jonas Nunas. A long time face among the East coast martial arts forum. At the beginning of the event special martial art awards were presented to the coaches for their contributions to the martial arts and Muay Thai. Among them were Ajarn Clint Heyliger, Greg Ardon, Kru Bakary, Master Extreme Lacosta, Kru Nestor Marte and Kru Simon. Before the fights began, Ajarn Heyliger shared with us a special gift he had received for the USMTA . It was a triangle folded American flag with certificate flown over from Iraq by staff Sergeant Christopher Thompson of the United States Air Force and member of the USMTA who is serving in Iraq. At that moment, we all stood up for a moments silence in salute of our troops stationed overseas who would not be home for Christmas. Unbeknown to many the USMTA has a number of its members now serving its country overseas. From all of us, we salute you.....
After the weigh-in which went remarkably smooth for Pitbulls first promotion. the fighters medicals etc., and a few adjustments between the fight schedule produced an excellent fight card for the night.. Lets move on to the bouts of the night..
Bout 1 Exhibition Heavyweights: Steve Rossi (Ultimate Gym) Vs Vaughn (Ultimate Gym)
Both these fighters put on an good display of Muay Thai for the crowd , a teaser for the nights future events. Many of the events crowd were no strangers to New York's Thai boxing circle.
Bout 2 Welterweight division: Jose Cruz ( 5 Points Fitness) Vs Richard Tallado (Ardons Sweet Science)
Bout 2 was a very exciting fight definitely one of the fights of the night. Both these young fighters showed excellent technique and style. Tallado caught the leg of Cruz and landed a straight right punch that put Cruz on the canvas for an 8 count from veteran Muay Thai ref Joel Bekker At the end of round three, Richard Tallado would got the bout.
Bout 3 Lightweight Females: Kathryn Grooms (5 Points Fitness) Vs Maryann Marcus (Americas Finest)
Another exciting bout and for those who rarely see the ladies of the sport. Its always interesting watching the 'gentler persuasion' get it on!! They always seem to give everything they have in the ring and these two ladies were no exception. It was war from the opening bell, a swinging one way then the other each time you thought one fighter was going to dominate, the other turned it around. A very close fight to call, so close all three judges scored it a draw.
Bout 4 Light Heavyweights: Kris Acevedo (USA Karate) Vs Brad Davidoff (Extreme Muay Thai)
Great bout for first both these time fighters and both were determined to leave their mark in the ring. Another up and down battle with neither fighter really seeming to get the upper hand. Davidoff was very effective in the clinch but was unable to use it to it's best effectiveness. Kris landed some very solid kicks that sent Davidoff stumbling several times, and after three rounds of this battle Kris Acevedo would manage to squeeze out a winning decision.
Bout 5 Light Heavyweights: Claude Paul (Extreme Muay Thai) Vs Andre Urenia (Bakary Muay Thai)
A devastatingly pummeling bout, Claude Paul of Extreme Muay Thai showed what it s like to be the dominant partner, so to speak, and in this ring he was. His opponent Andre Urenia of Bakary Muay Thai did his upmost to fend off the onslaught as both fighters went at it from the opening bell, Claudes ferocity and crisp hand combinations overwhelmed Andre and after a flurry of unanswered blows, Andres corner did the wise thing and closed the bout. The winner by TKO Claude Paul.
Bout 6 Heavyweights : Dave Palmer (Ultimate Muay Thai) Vs Ariel Marine (Extreme Muay Thai)
Bout 6 was time for the big boys to get it on. This bout was war from the opening bell. Marine and Palmer came at each other like the 'Red Bull logo', head on.... Just when it seemed as if Marine was dominating, Palmer would come back with a flurry of his own. This exciting match ended in favor of Ariel Marine.
Bout 7 Welterweights: Alfonso Damian (Bakary Muay Thai) Vs Camaron Mayo (5 Points Fitness)
From the beginning 5 Points warrior Damian began to pick and place his shots almost at will, where Mayo appeared to be more reluctant in his offensive techniques. It began to show quickly as with uncanny precision Damian landed an unexpected head kick that dropped Mayo to the canvas. After receiving a standing eight count, Mayo was ready to go. Damians lack of experience showed he seemed reluctant to finish of Mayo giving him ample time to recover, a mistake that would cost Damian in the later rounds. Mayo pummeled Damian numerous times in the corners with well placed jabs and hook punches. Damian was unable to mount a strong offense or defense and the end result went to Mayo.
Bout 8 Middleweights: Dabo Dijedy (Bakary Muay Thai) Vs Alex (Ardons Sweet Science)
Both these fighters were nervous and you could see the adrenalin pumping through their veins as they both prepared for their first fights. it's one thing to train in the gym ring and another to step in the ring in front of a crowd. Dabo was noticeably nervous but Alex seemed at quite home. Alex put together some good combinations on tall Dado pretty much landing at will. A fast and neatly placed kick to the head would put Dabo on the canvas for a standing eight by ref Bekker. Dabo fought back and even had his moments but Alex’s skill was far superior. The decision went to Alex.
Bout 9 Welterweights: Stoney Morales (Extreme Muay Thai) Vs John Kraljevick (5 Points Fitness)
A tight fight between these two warriors, Extremes Stoney using his boxing skills pushed the attack landing clean hand combinations followed up with very good kicks. John of 5 Points seemed a little overwhelmed but when it went to the clinch John was all business landing the cleaner powerful knees in retaliation. A superb head kick from John would put Stoney on the canvas and it looked like he might not get up, but Stoney Morales is a Muay Thai warrior through and through, he shook it of, got back up, and just about left the kitchen sink in the ring. However, at the end of round three, 5 Points Fitness warrior John Kraljevick would get the final decision.
Bout 10 Heavy weights: James Castro (Bakary Muay Thai) Vs Kevin Pelletier (Maryland Kickboxing Gym)
Bout 10 was another fight for the big boys again, both these fighters Castro and Pelletier came out swinging and kicking as if it was a championship match. Neither fighter showed any sign of backing down, as they battled around the ropes and canvas. But it was young Castros devastating knee attacks in clinches that would earn him this bouts win by TKO.
A great show and a great end to the year. Hats off to Pitbull Promotions Jeff Snook and William Rivera. A job well done by the Ref Joel Bekker, Ring Doc Charlene Perno , the Judges, time keeper, Bellman and the association officials who looked after the event. To MC Shihan Jonas Nunas and of course to all the fighters who made it possible. The crowd was phenomenal and one of New York's best.
With all this said, We wish all a very happy and prosperous New year ..... Sawsdee Pee Mai.....