Lion Fight 20 set for February 20, 2015

Lion Fight returns with Jorina Baars in the main event at Lion Fight 20 in Connecticut.

Top King World Series 3 Final 8 Match Ups

Top King World Series 3 will feature name likes Buakaw, Andrei Kulebin and more. Read the Final 8 match ups here.

Scott Kent talks 2015 Lion Fight plans

Lion Fight promoter Scott Kent talks about their successful 2014 and what is to come for 2015.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Murthel Groenhart to participate in 4-Man tournament in China

Murthel Groenhart of Mike's Gym looks to start off the new year in Kunlun Fight's 4-man tournament in Nanjing, China. Groenhart, a staple of the elite kickboxing scene, will face one of Thailand's current top fighters, Sittichai Sitsongpeenong. The fight will take place under K-1 rules.

On the other side of the bracket is K-1 superstar Andy Souwer vs. China's Jiao Fukai. Fukai is a veteran of the Kunlun Fight series and looks to break the current winning momentum of Andy Souwer.

Stay linked to Muay Thai Authority for further updates!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rami Ibrahim vs. Joe Marchand Tipping set as main event for Friday Night Fights season opener

Friday Night Fights will kick off 2015 with their season opener on January 23rd at the Broad Street Ballroom in New York. The main event will feature Philadelphia's Rami Ibrahim looking to defend his WKA 135lb North American Title against Canada's Joe Marchand Tipping.

Ibrahim and Tipping are both veterans in the North American fight scene and should provide fight fans with a solid technical fight. Ibrahim has fought  not only in Muay Thai, but MMA and Boxing. He is known for having some of the best hands in the North American Muay Thai scene. Tipping has fought primarily for Friday Night Fights in the past few years having mixed results. 

You can keep checking back here at Muay Thai Authority for more news regarding the Friday Night Fights season opener.

Eric Luna talks fight career, future plans, and more

Eric Luna is one of the best new pro fighters in the North American Muay Thai scene. Fighting out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Eric had an accomplished amateur career that included him representing the United States at the 2009 IMFA’s and winning a gold medal. Eric’s fan friendly fighting style makes him an instant crowd favorite when he fights and his skill makes him a fighter to watch in the upcoming years. Eric was kind enough to sit down with Muay Thai Authority to talk about his fight career and a few other things.

You can also follow Eric Luna on twitter @ericakamuaythai.

MTA: Eric, you are one of Muay Thai's newest pro talents. How is it that you got involved with Muay Thai?

Eric Luna: Well, years ago I went and watched UFC 57 for my 21st birthday. Paul Buentello was on the card and won by TKO. I was a fan of his and other guys from AKA like Mike Swick because they were from San Jose. Right when I got back home from Vegas, I went through a really rough time and personal problems and just found myself making the drive to AKA to check it out. I ended up signing up right then with the goal of fighting. I didn't know whether it was going to be boxing, MMA or Muay Thai. Once I started with Muay Thai, it was love from the beginning. It became my passion from the get go. That was February 2006.

MTA: You weren't very active this year, is there any particular reason?

Eric Luna: No, no particular reason really. I think maybe just a lack of opportunities. I'm the type of fighter who's always training and I was always available to take fights. I look back now and I'm ok with not being as active as I'd have liked. I added a lot to my game this year and I feel I improved a lot. Hopefully I'm more active this next year so I can show the fans.

MTA: What are your plans for 2015, anything scheduled already?

Eric Luna: No fights on the schedule yet, but hoping to get a couple during the first quarter of 2015. I'm planning on going back to school in March with the goal of being an EMT and Firefighter, but even then I'll still be training and open to any fight opportunity that comes up.

MTA: You represent AKA, how is it training at a renowned camp like that?

Eric Luna: It's great! Everyone knows AKA as one of the top MMA gyms around, but we have some solid Muay Thai fighters there and who I think is one of the best coaches, Derek Yuen. The gym is a great facility with a lot of tools available to us. The best thing might be that we get so much focus from our coach and the owner of AKA, Javier ensures that we're set with anything we might need.

MTA: Who would you say are your influences in Muay Thai?

Eric Luna: Wow, there's quite a few there. #1 will have to be my teammates and my coach. We're very much like a family and they influence me a lot and have helped me grow into the fighter I am today. But I think outside of them, it's actually other coaches from other gyms. Rudi Ott, Kirian Fitzgibbons, and Jongsanan. They were my coaches when I fought at IFMA in 2009 when I won gold and they influenced me so much and still do. It's always great when I see them.

MTA: Before everything is said and done if you could make sure you face one opponent in particular before your career is over who would it be and why?

Eric Luna: That makes me think! Well I know a few passed opponents of mine like David Huerta, Ognjen Topic and Joe Cox, have made the jump to the pro rank and I'm sure that we'd meet again eventually. Which I think is funny because I've become good friends with them. But when it's all said and done, I would love to share the ring with Ognjen again. He gave me my first loss as an amateur in what was a FOTY candidate and is still my favorite fight I've had. I've become a big fan of his and I know we would be able to give the fans and ourselves an equal performance.

MTA: Like with many fighters it's not easy making a living simply fighting Muay Thai, do you have a full time profession?

Eric Luna: At the moment no. I left my last job basically because I was unhappy with the environment. I don't regret it because I was able to focus 100% during camp for my last fight as well as figuring out my school situation. But throughout my fight career, I worked a full time job, had a 1hr+ commute and still made it training every day.

MTA: Where do you see or anticipate your fight career in 10 years?

Eric Luna: Well considering that I'm turning 30 on 12/20, I don't think I'll be fighting at 40. I know that I still have a lot of years left in me since I've never suffered any serious injuries and I've always felt great, physically. But I can actually see myself being a coach. I hope to share my knowledge and experience in the fight game with future fighters.

MTA: Are you considering at any point crossing over to MMA or is Muay Thai strictly what you will be focusing on?

Eric Luna: I've actually been asked that quite a bit. MMA is really popular and since people see I train at AKA, they always seem to bring it up. When I first started training, it was an idea but I fell in love with Muay Thai. The whole culture, history and experiences I've had are what make me stick with it.

MTA: As a fighter and member of the American Muay Thai community what do you think needs to be done to see the sport flourish here in the United States?

Eric Luna: I think first off would be more support from the public. The more fans that we, the Muay Thai community, can bring to shows will help the growth. Whether it's in the local, regional shows or the bigger televised shows. More fans equal more shows and more opportunities to fight.

MTA: Outside of Muay Thai what are some of the things you like to do?

Eric Luna: I like visiting my family and my dog, who lives with them, as much as I can. Family is a big part of who I am, so I make sure to see them often. For the most part, I just mix in trips to the shooting range, going on dates with my girlfriend and being a big kid when I can.

MTA: To fight fans not familiar with you can you describe yourself as a fighter, your style, values, etc?

Eric Luna: If I were to describe myself as a fighter, it would be as one with a fan friendly style. I don't have a traditional Thai style, more of an aggressive style that keeps the pressure on my opponent, while still being sure that I don't get reckless. Regarding the values I have, I would say that in my career, I've always been respectful to my opponents. I'll be friendly with them, shake their hand and wish them luck before the fight. When we're in the ring, it's a different story. We're both in there with the goal of taking the other's head off. After the fights though, win or lose, I'll go back to paying respect and I'll offer to buy them a beer.

MTA: Any words for your fans and supporters?

Eric Luna: Well without the fans, our sport wouldn't be growing like it has been recently, so I'd like to thank all of them. I've had the chance to meet a lot of new fans at all the shows I've fought on, whether they were here in the Bay Area, down in Southern California, up in Seattle and definitely out in NYC. I love meeting people, and always welcome them to come say hello.

Mostly, I need to thank my family who have been supportive since day one and my girlfriend who has been cheering me on since my 2nd amateur fight. Love them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jo Nattawut vs. Richard Abraham added to Lion Fight 20

Atlanta based Thai fighter Jo Nattawut has been added to Lion Fight 20, which takes place February 20, 2015 at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Nattawut will face Chicago based Richard Abraham at the event.

Nattawut has fought twice for Lion Fight, and won both times. In his first fight he defeated Brazilian striker Cosmo Alexandre by unanimous decision and then most recently stepped in to fight Sean Kearney at Lion Fight 19 on short notice after Fabio Pinca fell ill at the last minute. Nattawut won the bout against Kearney by unanimous decision. Abraham will look to shock Muay Thai fans by beating the more experienced  Nattawut.

Fight Card:
Jorina Baars (c) vs. Casey Bohrma – Lion Fight Women’s Wetlerweight Championship
Chris Mauceri vs. Sittisak Por. Sirichai
Jason Andrada vs. John Nofer
Jo Nattawut vs. Richard Abraham
Tom Evans vs. Julio Pena
Tim Amorim vs. Bryce Lawrence
Gaston Bolanos vs. TBD

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Victory Sports League Paris Results: Sittichai defeats Dylan Salvador

Victory Sports League took place this past weekend in Paris. There was some great talent that was competing on the card with a main event that featured Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Dylan Salvador. Sittichai followed up last months tournament win in France at Nuit des Champion with a decision win over Salvador. It is another well respected names to add to the list of fighters that have been defeated by the young Sitsongpeenong representative. 

Also in action at the event was Karim Ghajji who won a decision over Alexander Stetsurenko and Djime Coulibaly who took a decision from Johann Feauveau.

Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Dylan Slavador via Decision
Chigiz Allazov def. Jordan Levrat via (T)KO
Djime Coulibaly def. Johann Feauveau via Decision
Karim Ghajji def. Alexander Stetsurenko via Decision
Harut Grigorian def. Edouard Bernadou via Decision
Thomas Alizier def. Moussa Nyang via Decision
Kenan Gunaydin def. Nizar Galas via Decision
Gary Anad def. Samir Lofti via Decision
Anissa Meksen def. Yolande Alonzo via Decision

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scott Kent talks 2014 Lion Fight success and plans for 2015

We had the change to talk to Lion Fight promoter Scott Kent about 2014 and what the promotion has coming up in 2015. Lion Fight continued its strong growth in the United States, and has bigger plans for 2015. They have started to focus on developing America's young talents and as always continue to bring some of the world's best striker into the Lion Fight ring. You can read the interview with Scott Kent below.

MTA: Another year is in the books for Lion Fight. How would you sum up 2014 for the promotion?

Scott Kent: 2014 has been another great year for Lion Fight. AXS TV has given us tremendous national exposure and as a result our shows at Foxwoods have been a huge success and Muay Thai is definitely exploding across the U.S. This is also the first year the UFC has asked another professional promotion to be a part of the International Fight Week and Lion Fight was thrilled with the opportunity on the biggest stage in combat sport to showcase Lion Fight Muay Thai.

MTA: When Lion Fight started there was a decent amount of promotions promoting Muay Thai in the United States. Since then many have disappeared. What is it that you have done different that has kept you going strong?

Scott Kent: We've seen many promotions come and go since we started 4 years ago. I'm sure there are different reasons for each promotion but this is a very tough business and one of the keys to our success is having consistent shows and building a brand. That takes operating capital and reasonable expectations from a business standpoint. We've been fortunate to have that support and commitment and like any business you have show growth and a vision beyond 1 or 2 fights.

MTA: 2015 is coming and you already announced the year will start off with Lion Fight 20 on the east coast. Why start the year off on the east coast?

Scott Kent: We have to work around available dates for the venues and AXS TV, our television partner. The response on the East Coast to Lion Fight has been amazing and we felt this is how we will start the year with Jorina Baars, the new "Baddest Woman on the Planet" defending her title after beating Chris Cyborg in an epic fight in Las Vegas. Foxwoods is the biggest casino in North America and has been a tremendous partner on the East Coast and we will continue to showcase the best Muay Thai fighters in the world and grow our brand and fan base.

MTA: Jorina Baars will be defending her Lion Fight title, is she someone that Lion Fight fans will be seeing more of come 2015?

Scott Kent: We have signed a multi fight deal with Jorina Baars and she will be fighting exclusively for Lion Fight. You rarely fight a Muay Thai fighter with as many fights as she has and still have an undefeated record. She literally can't get fights overseas and she is an amazing talent and we are thrilled to have her fight for us. No one outside of a very small group of Muay Thai fans gave her much of a chance against Chris Cyborg but she really showed her Muay Thai technique and that she wasn't going to be intimidated. That is another rematch that is on our radar at some point.

MTA: You also have Chris Mauceri in action, definitely a young up and coming prospect. He is taking on Thai veteran Sittisak, what are your thoughts on that match up; Sittisak definitely has a lot more experience?

Scott Kent: Chris Mauceri wants to fight the best fighters out there. He reminds me of a young Kevin Ross in that respect. He just beat Coke Chunhawat who has vastly more experience and was a former Thai champion on Lion Fight 19. Sittisak fought Kevin Ross on Lion Fight 1 and beat Kevin in a very close fight in which Kevin sustained significant cuts but kept bringing the fight and solidified his reputation as the blood and guts warrior of Muay Thai. Chris Mauceri and Sittisak is another example from our matchmaker, Christine Toldedo that we don't mismatch fighters to build their records. Christine puts the best fights together for the fighters and the fans and thats another reason Lion Fight Muay Thai has grown so fast.

MTA: Is there any one in particular you would like to bring to the Lion Fight ring in 2015?

Scott Kent: There are many fighters we are looking at for 2015. We have always tried to bring in the best fighters in the world and Christine is having discussions with many fighters as we fill up our cards for 2015. You can always expect us to bring in a few surprises from Thailand and I'm sure we will be bring in many more exciting fighters from around the globe to the Lion Fight ring. We are also very excited about all of the great Muay Thai fighters that we are developing in the United States and of course Lion Fight World Champion Kevin Ross.

MTA: Lion Fight is also making their move into California in 2015, how excited are you for that? California use to be a hot bed for Muay Thai but in recent years it has had a lack of quality events.

Scott Kent: I've always followed the Muay Thai scene in California and wanted to make sure the timing was right and we had the right partner before we brought Lion Fight there. We will be working with Pechanga and are so excited about bringing the Lion Fight brand to the biggest and best casino in California. Pechanga is a beautiful property and their location is perfect for our California fans. Strategically it gives us the best locations on both coasts and with our home in the Fight Capital of the World in Las Vegas we feel Lion Fight and Muay Thai have a very bright future.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Top King World Series 3 Quarterfinal Match Ups Announced

The match ups for the Top King World Series Final 8 have been announced. The event which takes place on December 20th in Hong Kong has a strong field of competitors. Buakaw Banchamek vs. Dmytro Konstantynov and Andrei Kulebin vs. Khayal Dzhaniev will make up one side of the tournament bracket, while the other side will feature Niclas Larsen vs. Marat Grigorian and Reece McAllister vs. Marcin Parcheta

Buakaw is of course the favorite to win the tournament, but it is definitely a talented field. Niclas Larsen demolished Vladamir Konsky in their quarterfinal fight and is definitely a dark horse in this tournament. With tournaments anything can happen, but with this field fireworks are definitely going to be taking place.

Fight Card: 

Final 8 Tournament 
Buakaw Banchamek vs, Dmytro Konstantynov
Andrei Kulebin vs. Khayal Dzhaniev 
Niclas Larsen vs. Marat Grigorian 
Reece McAllister vs. Marcin Parcheta

Super Fights
Pornsanae Sitmonchai vs. Denis Puric
Sangmanee Sor Tiempoe vs. Ka Man Kwok
Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym vs. Irshaad Sayed
Peemai Jitmuangnon vs. Mostafa Abdolahi
Kaito Fukada VS. Chan Kai Tik
Yusuke Otahara VS. Ming Tang