Sunday, November 20, 2011

Results and Recap: Lion Fight Promotions "Battle in the Desert 4"

by Faye Lucas

Las Vegas -- Lion Fight Promotions “Battle in the Desert 4”, took place at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and it was an action packed night. Despite a bout between Eduardo Maiorino and Terroll Dees being scratched from the fight card the day of the event, the remaining six professional bouts were all high quality fights.

The night’s main event featured a WBC Muay Thai international middleweight title fight between Chaz Mulkey and Simon Chu. Both fighters came out aggressive and looking to establish the temp of the fight, in the second round Mulkey started to take control as he pressed forward forcing Chu to fight moving backwards. Chu was able to land some good strikes as Mulkey pressed the action, but Mulkey was able to continuously land solid kicks and connect with punches, in the clinch he was able to keep Chu from landing elbows. Chu did cut Mulkey on the top of his head later in the fight, but it didn’t really affect Mulkey. The fight went the distance and all three judges awarded the bout to Mulkey, the unanimous decision win marks the first title defense of his WBC Muay Thai international title. With the win Mulkey caps off a great year in which he has gone 5-0.

In the night’s co-main event Coke Chunhawat and Rami Ibrahim fought for the WBC Muay Thai lightweight U.S. national title. The fight started off slow as both fighters looked to feel each other out, Ibrahim was effective working the body with his boxing. In the third round Coke started to pick up the pace, near the end of the round Coke sent Rami to the floor. With the referee considering it a slip rather than a knockdown, Coke looked over to the side and was signaling at the officials that it was a knockdown. The referee called action and while Coke was still looking at the official, Ibrahim connected with a punch that sent Coke down. Coke immediately got up and despite his protest the referee gave him a count. The number one rule in combat sports is “defend yourself at all times”, Ibrahim saw an opening and he took it.

Coke came out more aggressive in the final two rounds knowing that the knockdown could come back to haunt him. He pushed the pace as he tried to get into range to work elbows; Ibrahim did a good job of not letting Coke tee off. In the end it would be anyone’s guess as to how this fight would be scored. One judge scored the bout a draw while the other two awarded the fight to Coke. The majority decision win for Coke ends a two fight losing streak.

Kit Cope was originally slated to fight Jose Palacios, but he was not cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Malaipet took the fight on two days notice and despite showing some fatigue he looked solid. Palacios pressed the action from the start and Malaipet was able to successfully counter with kicks and punches. Despite typically seeing Palacios counter fight, he did a good job moving forward and pressing the action against Malaipet landing a variety of strikes. Malaipet seemed to focus on attacking Palacios body with kicks, but it didn’t slow Palacios down. The fight was a close bout and in the end the judges ruled it a split decision in favor of Malaipet.

Roxy Richardson and Elaina Maxwell took center stage in one of two female fights at “Battle in the Desert 4”. It was a slow start for Richardson as Maxwell seemed to out point her just enough to take the first two rounds. Some well placed punches by Maxwell connected, but Richardson was unfazed. In the third round Richardson started to turn up the pace and it seemed Maxwell’s cardio started to falter. In the final two rounds Richardson was pushing the pace and Maxwell didn’t have much to respond with. Richardson worked well behind her boxing, mixing in knees and kicks. She also had the upper hand in the clinch. The judges ruled the fight a split decision in favor Roxy Richardson.

Chidi Njokuani posed some serious issue for Ken Tran in their 170lb catch weight fight. The much taller Njokuani used his reach and size advantage to keep Tran out of striking range. Every time Tran tried to move in Njokuani had either a teep or jab waiting for him. In the second round a hard left kick to the body of Tran sent him down and he could not answer the referees count. Njokuani takes home the win with a great body kick knockout in the second round.

In the night’s first pro bout Vivian Leung welcomed Cassie Trost to the professional ranks. The fight started off slow, but then Leung began to turn up the pace. She used a mixed variety of strikes to keep Trost from getting into any kind of rhythm, although Trost was able to slow down Leung by clinching with her. In the third round Leung connected with a knee to the body of Trost and she went down, she was able to answer the referee’s count and make it out of the third round. At the start of the fourth round Leung connected with another knee to the body that sent Trost down for good. The KO win for Leung came at 49 seconds of the fourth round.

Pro bouts
Chaz Mulkey def. Simon Chu via Unanimous Decision
Coke Chunhawat def. Rami Ibrahim via Majority Decision
Malaipet def. Jose Palacios via Split Decision
Roxy Richardson def. Elaina Maxwell via Split Decision
Chidi Njokuani def. Ken Tran via KO at 2:34 of Rd. 2
Vivian Leung def. Cassie Trost via KO at 0:49 of Rd .1

Amateur bouts
Jason Andrada and Victor Perez fight to a Draw
Tyler Rodgers def. Beto Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Monique Travis def. Patti Teran via Unanimous Decision
Josh Shepard def. Mike Kruska via (T)KO at 1:59 of Rd. 1
Genesis Bravo def. Pixi O'Rielly via Unanimous Decision
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