Sunday, March 17, 2013

Results and Recap: Lion Fight 9

Lion Fight 9 took place in Las Vegas this Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Simon Marcus and Artem Levin were set tangle in the night’s main event in their highly anticipated fight and they did not disappoint. With the Lion Fight Light Heavyweight Championship on the line it was not stop action. From the ring of the first bell to the ring of the final bell both fighters battled like to goliaths in the ring. To the surprise of many Levin was very willing to engage in the clinch with Marcus where both fighters jockeyed for position.

In the second round a punch from Marcus knocked out Levin’s mouthpiece and his killer instinct was obvious because as soon as he noticed it had fallen out Simon pounced. Despite the flurry from Marcus Levin was able to slow the attack down in the clinch until the referee called a break for the mouthpiece to be put back in.

When the fighters weren’t in the clinch both fighter landed clean punches and kicks, but with most of this fight being fought in the clinch it came down to who was more active. Despite both fighters constantly fighting for position Marcus continued to work knees from the clinch the entire time with an occasional elbow thrown in. In the end all three judges awarded the fight to Marcus. With the win Marcus is undoubtedly the world’s number one light heavyweight fighter and the first ever Lion Fight Light Heavyweight Champion.

In the co-main event Tiffany Van Soest was clearly the more skilled fighter against Natalie Yip. Despite Yip’s toughness and efforts, Van Soest was just a step ahead the entire fight. Yip’s best success came in the clinch early in the fight where she seemed to be stronger than Van Soest, but some quick adjustments by Van Soest mitigated any advantage that Yip might have had in the clinch. In the end the judges awarded Van Soest a unanimous decision victory.

Many people considered Kevin Ross the favorite to defeat Bernie Mendieta, but apparently Mendieta didn’t get the memo. After a first round that seemed like vintage Ross things changed. Mendieta began to push the pace as Ross seemed to slow down. Through the final four rounds it seemed Mendieta had pulled off the upset by out striking Ross and looking like the stronger fighter in the ring. When the fight went to the judges it seemed Mendieta was going to walk away with a unanimous decision, until Ross was announced the winner by split decision. Despite the very controversial decision, it was a great showing by the UK’s Mendieta, who is only 22 year old. With performances like that he has a bright future in the sport. Ross has now won two in a row since returning from his ACL surgery that had kept him out of action for a year.

Ognjen Topic put everyone on notice when he knocked out Paowarit Sasiprapa in the third round. Despite there being a huge gap in experience, a few hundred fights, Topic came out swinging. In the opening round Topic scored knockdown after landing a head kick in a flurry, but Paowarit was able to beat the count. In the second round Topic once again landed another head kick that sent Paowarit to the canvas, but once again he recovered. As the third round started another kick sent Paowarit down and the referee had seen enough and called the fight. Huge win for Topic and in decisive fashion.

In the night’s opening bout Jason Andrada and Erik Ruiz started off slowly until a right hand from Andrada connected as the round came to an end. Ruiz dropped in the corner and was not able to beat the referees count and the bout ended with one second left in the first round. That’s 2 (T)KO victories in Andrada’s first two pro fights. Great start to his professional career.
Simon Marcus def. Artem Levin via Unanimous Decision
Tiffany Van Soest def. Natalie Yip via Unanimous Decision
Kevin Ross def. Bernie Mendieta via Split Decision
Ognjen Topic def. Paowarit Sasiprapa via KO (Head Kick) at 0:07 of Rd. 3
Jason Andrada def. Erik Ruiz via KO (Punch) at 2:59 of Rd. 1
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