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Lion Fight

Lion Fight 12 was over 9000!




This past Friday night, Lion Fight 12 went down at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, and the main card was on AXS TV. It was another night of exciting fights for this growing promotion. They crowned their first welterweight champion when Fabio Pinca defeated Muay Thai legend Malaipet Sasiprapa via UD. It was a great introduction for Pinca to the American viewing audience. He dealt with the power, pressure and antics of Malaipet to dominate the fight. Pinca came in prepared for Malaipet’s tactics and did not get frustrated by them. He did gesture at Malaipet to try urge him to fight but he never deviated from his game plan. He picked Malaipet apart, not going for the KO but taking advantage of the openings to punish him. By the end of this fight it seemed like Michael Schiavello’s head was going to explode like a scene from Scanners, as the referee continually broke the clinches as fighters were throwing strikes. It continues to happen and it drives him and others crazy. It is frustrating to watch referees who do not seem to understand the sport they are officiating. Fortunately Pinca’s performance was on point and did not suffer because of the refereeing. He is a legend within the sport in his own right and will help the promotion to continue to grow.

Also it should be noted that Kevin Ross accurately predicted how this fight would unfold during his brief interview with Pat Miletich. It is always good to see Ross, even better when he is in the ring fighting. We cannot wait for his next one for Lion Fight.


Lion Fight will grow as CEO Scott Kent is doing a good job of finding exciting young talent. One example of that talent is Anthony Castrejon (pictured). He started the broadcast off with an impressive first round highlight reel head kick win over Miguel Rosales. Throughout the round Castrejon easily switched stances and was very comfortable right away with Rosales’ timing. Just halfway into the round Rosales attempted consecutive step-in elbows. Castrejon easily backed away from the first one and bounced off of the ropes. When Rosales started to move in for the second one, Castrejon unleashed a right round kick that landed solidly against Rosales’ head. He somehow got back to his feet but was wobbly and out of it and the referee waved the fight finished. Castrejon was in control for this brief but violent fight and has bright future ahead of him. After Stephen Richards dominated Glen Spencer for five rounds to take a UD win, it was time for Jason Andrada to enter the ring.

His nickname is “Ridiculous” because of the power he possesses and his opponent Mohammed Lemjerdine got a taste of that early in the first round and then again in the fifth when Andrada finished the fight via a violent and perfectly timed elbow KO. Lemjerdine should be given credit for taking this fight on three weeks notice and helping to make it a great fight. He took a lot of damage and dealt out some of his own before the elbow ended his night. It looked like it was going to end early for a moment.

They were just ten seconds into the fight when Andrada caught Lemjerdine with a short overhand right as he was coming in. It sent Lemjerdine careening backwards and down to the canvas. Lemjerdine got up quickly as it was a flash knockdown and he was not hurt. It did make him more cautious about rushing in though. He used his advantage in length and reach to work effectively from a distance to try to offset Andrada’s speed and power. Andrada also switches stances easily and has a full arsenal of weapons at his disposal. He consistently landed his overhand hand right on the taller Lemjerdine throughout the fight. Besides switching stances, Andrada also used feints and fakes to keep Lemjerdine off-balance.

In the second round Lemjerdine started to consistently land his elbows and punches. Andrada countered with some leg and body kicks, but he did utilize his fakes and feints in this round. Lemjerdine was able to read him better in this round and caught him coming in consistently to take the round. The momentum shifted again in the early part of the third round courtesy of another overhand right that stunned Lemjerdine. Andrada also got back to fakes and feints and started to land more consistently. Lemjerdine did not back down and kept coming back at Andrada.


At the start of the fourth round Andrada was looking sharp, bouncing up and down. cutting angles and dictating the action. He was throwing nice combinations mixing in kicks and punches and keeping Lemjerdine slightly off-balance. One beautiful sequence from southpaw stance he threw a lead left hook, right hook, and left kick to the body. He then switched stances naturally at the end and flowed right into another combination. Andrada had also effectively used front leg kicks on Lemjerdine and they seemed to be slowing him down just a tick. The last thirty seconds of the round was a nice back and forth action sequence with Lemjerdine landing some nice shots of his own. Just when it looked like Andrada was taking control of the fight Lemjerdine fought his way back into it. It was a close round and a close fight going into the fifth round.

They came out firing away to open the final round. In the early part of the round Lemjerdine was scoring and doing some knée work in the clinch when as he was throwing a knee the referee separated the fighters. Once again Schiavello is irritated and Pat Miletich tells him, “that is America my friend.” It does not slow down Lemjerdine who is the aggressor in this round. He initiated another clinch and landed some nice elbows before being separated too early by the referee. Lemjerdine stayed on the attack and backed Andrada up against the ropes. Andrada stayed there as Lemjerdine fired away. He was watching Lemjerdine looking for the opening and was ready when it occurred. He threw a front push kick that forced Lemjerdine to step back. When he stepped in to throw his right hand Andrada was waiting with his right elbow. He threw it perfectly. It landed on the right temple of Lemjerdine who immediately went down sliding along Andrada’s body. For some reason the referee felt obligated to make the full ten count but it was obvious that Lemjerdine was out. He made no real attempt to get up during the count. Schiavello, Miletich and the crowd went crazy. It was masterpiece of violently beautiful timing from Andrada who was certainly over 9000 on this night as his walkout shirt had proclaimed. He left the crowd roaring and anticipating his next fight. He is exactly the kind of fighter to grow along with a young promotion.


The co-main event featured the simply spectacular Tiffany “Time Bomb” Van Soest who destroyed yet another opponent. She is the female face of Lion Fight. The only real obstacle in front of her and the promotion right now is finding opponents that can challenge her. In this fight she was clearly at another level than Magali Foroni. Lion Fight has gone to England and now France to find her last two opponents but Van Soest used them like sparring partners. Foroni brought a stellar 12-1 record, a strong chin and a huge heart into this fight. Van Soest put her chin and heart to the test as she overwhelmed Foroni for almost three rounds before her corner appropriately threw in the towel.

On her way to the finish Van Soest put on a Muay Thai striking clinic showcasing her incredible skills. She is fast, powerful, sharp, accurate, switch stances as easily as most people breathe. She has virtually every strike in her arsenal and seems to come up with something new each fight. In this fight it took all of thirty seconds to get comfortable in the fight and Foroni never got close to that state. She seemed unsure, tentative and never seemed remotely comfortable in this fight.

Right from the early moments of the first round you saw some of what makes her so special. Everything she throws in almost always apart of a combination. She will string together eight, nine, ten or more strikes at a time. They will be a mixture of punches, knees, elbows and kicks to all three levels. A one two to the head, kick to the body, elbow to the head and leg kick is just one example of the type of sequences she strings together. As much as any fighter right now she embodies the “flow like water” concept with her movement and strikes.

In the first two minutes of the first round of this fight Van Soest was throwing her strikes with less than full power. It looked like she was gauging and reading Foroni. In the last minute of the round she started to open up and unleashed her power. Foroni was getting rocked even on the blows she was blocking. They locked up for a clinch and Van Soest pushed her back into the corner and landed some nice elbows including a nice tight, short spinning one that left her right back in the clinch after she landed it. She was in complete control of the round.

In the second round Van Soest started out by working on her footwork using it dance away and avoid the few strikes that Foroni attempted. She then used some fakes and feints to set up her own strikes. During one sequence Foroni glued her arms to her head, and Van Soest land five straight body shots. In close she landed knees and elbows. From a distance she consistently landed her kicks and punches. She also kept Foroni off-balance. If Foroni was expecting a kick Van Soest threw a punch, if she was blocking low then Van Soest came high. One beautiful sequence included a left right to the body, left to the head, right kick to the leg, right hand to the body, and left to the head. It was excited with blinding speed and precision.

One technique she used to offset Foroni reach was her skip-in strikes. At 5’4″ Van Soest consistently gives up the reach and height advantage to her opponents. She combats that with her quickness and inventiveness. She is able to skip-in and throw several different techniques with it. She can kick, punch or elbow as moves forward. You cannot not anticipate which she will throw at you as she is taking the opening that you give her. She does not fall into a pattern or a rhythm so you cannot get a read on her. When you add in the fact she has a lot of power behind her techniques it makes her a nightmare for future opponents.

In the third she came out in full force. She was throwing nasty strikes and just pummeling away at Foroni until her corner mercifully threw in the towel. By this point Foroni was just taking damage and not firing back. Van Soest had turned her into a purely defensive fighter by this point. It was a masterpiece of Muay Thai brilliance from the talented Van Soest. After the fight she gave a shout out thanks to Bas Rutten, who had obviously been working with her on the level changes within her combinations. She was not satisfied with her performance afterwards and that is another one of signs of greatness.

Most fighters after they dominate their opponent as easily as she did in this fight would revel in their handiwork. Instead she is focusing on the little things that she did wrong right after the fight. With that kind of dedication to work hard and attention to detail she is a constantly evolving and improving fighter. Her ceiling right now is limitless and only problem she is running into is finding opponents who can challenge her. Lion Fight is literally scouring the globe to find them. It may just be that she is just too good.

It was another night of exciting Muay Thai on AXS TV from Lion Fight promotions. They continue to put on great shows and we cannot wait for their next one.

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An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny