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Lion Fight

The “Ridiculous” Evolution of Jason Andrada



andradasinghOn Friday night Lion Fight had their first event of the year. Lion Fight 13 featured six action packed fights on AXS TV from The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. There were six fights on AXS TV and with so much action I am going to break this up into two parts. Check that, the only fair way to do this is to breakdown each fight. Which is a lot more fun for me and hopefully interesting to you the reader.

One of the highly anticipated fights coming into this event was the Andy Singh (3-1) versus Jason Andrada (5-0) one. They were two undefeated, talented and dynamic rising fighters. They are still talented and dynamic. Now only Andrada is still undefeated as a pro. He is the first fighter amateur or professional to defeat Singh. It was an exciting fight even though it was not that close on the judges scorecards. The rounds were competitive and contained a lot of action.

They both came out firing at each other and used strikes instead of feints and fakes for the feeling out process in the first round. One of the elements that emerged in this fight is the differences in the creative way they strike. Singh likes to use a lot of leaping techniques. While Andrada is not as flashy but mixes up his striking using all levels and strikes. He is very clean and crisp technically. Right from the first round Andrada was working the body, legs and head. Singh countered with several leaping strikes including a knee to the body that landed near the end of the round. Andrada was looking for it though and just missed a right hand counter. While the knee landed it did not appear to do much damage. Singh did end the round strong with a combination.

It was a close active round. Miletich scored it for Singh and Michael Schiavello agreed, but noted that it was very close. In the end two of the judges scored the round for Singh and one had it for Andrada.

To open the second round Singh showed a sweet little counter. Andrada threw an outside leg kick that Singh checked. When he planted his leg he let the momentum of the kick carry it forward and into a spinning back fist that just glanced off of Andrada. The first minute was similar to the first round except Andrada was consistently landing a little more. Slowly taking control of the round. Then Singh had a nice little flurry about one minute into the round.

It started with a front kick from Singh that sent Andrada backwards into the ropes. Singh then used the space he creative to explode into the flying left knee to the body and simultaneously landed a right hand to the head. He landed and immediately went into a right hand, left hand, right hand, left hand all to the head and ended with right kick to the body that was mostly blocked. It was one of the best sequences for Singh but did not slow Andrada down. As the fight went on it became apparent that Andrada was not worried about Singh’s power.

After this flurry is was again Andrada who was coming forward. He was also now starting to really target the body and landed a solid thudding kick to the left side of Singh’s body. It was another example of how these fighters used creative combinations against each other.

It started with low inside lead leg kick from Andrada that was at about three-quarters speed and power. Andrada then threw another kick with his right leg only this time up to the body. Then a little right into left kick into the other side of Singh’s body and another right hand jab as Singh moved away. They had a nice little exchange in the middle and Singh ends up moving backwards and against the ropes. From there, Andrada was able to do some work and land several nice shots during the next thirty seconds. He also started working a lead step-in right elbow and even combined it with a fake liver kick and stepped right into the elbow. While it caught Singh slightly, he was able to avoid getting hit cleanly with it.

Moments later Andrada showed why they feint was effective as he landed a kick to the right side of Singh’s body and came back with a right hand to the head. To end the round Andrada caught a front kick from Singh. He held that left leg, faked a right elbow then dropped the leg and landed a left hook right into another clinch and knee as the bell sounded.

Both Miletich and Schiavello scored the second round for Andrada. It was another close round but Andrada clearly landed more than Singh. It was also Andrada’s ability to control the distance and space of the fight in the second round. He was able to keep Singh up against the ropes for most of the round. Andrada landed more on the inside during these exchanges and it kept Singh from being to use his flying techniques.

The third round started as a continuation of the second. Andrada had settled in and seemed very comfortable with Singh at this point. He was dictating the pace and space of the fight. His pressure, the constantly coming forward or cutting off the ring, made it difficult for Singh to use his flying knees. When Singh did launch them they usually were telegraphed and Andrada was looking to counter with the right hand. Also by coming forward Andrada did not allow for Singh to get set to launch one of his flying techniques. Andrda was effective in fighting in the distance, mid and close ranges as well, using leg and body kicks from a distance and mid-range and punches, elbows and knees in close.

It was thought by many people that Singh would have the better hands and that was not the case during the fight. He might have displayed a little edge in pure hand speed, but he never seemed to hurt Andrada enough to force him to respect his power. Even the couple of times he did catch him cleanly, Andrada was able to take one and land a combination throughout the fight. Also, because of his usage of all levels with his strikes, he created more openings for his hands as the fight progresses and he is able to land more consistently. If their was a difference in hand speed it was negligible and more than offset by Andrada’s superior anticipation or reactions.

This really started to open up in the third round as Andrada started it working his kicks to the legs and body to close the distance, then on the inside went to work with the hands. During the middle part of the round he worked the head more. Then during the last-minute of the round back to the body. Most of the kicks and punches to the body were to Singh’s right side as Andrada was looking for the liver shot KO. He threw a liver shot uppercut followed by an outside thigh kick. This prompted Schiavello to point out that it was a favorite combination of Muay Thai/Kick Boxing legend Ernesto Hoost. Meanwhile, if there was an opening for an elbow he threw that as well.

While Andrada was not able to get the knockout with the body shot he did slow Singh down. Singh’s body seemed to get a little stiffer and more upright as the round progressed. Singh did have one good shot in the round as he landed a clean overhand right. It made Andrada give him the old, “that was a good shot smile”, but Singh was not able to do anything with it. He attempted a spinning back fist that Andrada easily saw and avoided. Andrada seemed to use the first round to gauge Singh’s movement and power and was now completely comfortable with him. He did not get cocky or flashy dropping his hands or anything like that but he was just that one beat ahead of Singh. He knew Singh was still dangerous but only if he gave him the opening.

Going into the fourth round Miletich and Schiavello were in agreement that Andrada was up two rounds to one. Andrada’s corner thought he was up three to zero and in control of the fight. They were calling for more kicks to the legs and body.

The fourth round started with Andrada again setting a high pace for the fight. He forced Singh to fight his fight and attacked all levels. In the round Miletich was continually impressed by the way that Andrada was using all of his different weapons in this fight. This round was again more of the same from the previous two rounds. Whenever Singh would have a moment Andrada would come with a combination to re-assert himself.

A perfect illustration came with just under twenty seconds left in the round. Singh slipped a lead right hand from Andrada and countered with a sweet, solid overhand right of his own. Again, just the one clean shot and that was it. Andrada reset himself, avoided a front kick, came forward, feinted a right hand, landed another thudding shot to liver region with his left, step-in outside right leg kick that backed Singh up against the ropes. Then Andrada went jab, jab, left to the liver again and right hand. Then another jab, right hand combo and Singh landed a right hand followed by an exchange of low leg kicks at the bell.

It is a credit to Singh that he continually tried to win this fight. Many times a fighter will get discouraged by their opponent and they will start looking for a way out instead of fighting to the end. He came out in the fifth like he knew he was down on the scorecards and needed the knockout for the win.

The problem he had was that Andrada just had answered before Singh could even ask the question. He came out to the start the fifth again dictating pace and distance. Throughout the fight he used his length very effectively. He landed his punches and then was able to slip and evade the counters. He also stays very balanced and in position to land the right strike and defend himself. He achieves this by just moving the slightest distance to avoid the strike. A tilt of the head instead of leaning or ducking one way or the other. He also does not open himself up in those moments either making it very hard to set him up. This forced Singh to throw some wild looping punches in the fifth round to try and change the momentum and end the fight. The problem he had was that Andrada has a great chin and Singh did not have the power to take him out with one punch.

The fifth was a better round for Singh, certainly his best since the first but Andrada was still out working and out landing him. Miletich had it 49-46 for Andrada and two of the judges agreed with him and one judge had it a clean sweep for Andrada at 50-45. The first round was close enough to go either way but the rest were definitely Andrada.

It was an exciting fight due in part to the fact that Singh kept coming to win the fight. He stayed offensive throughout the fight but just could not break through against Andrada. You see why many people are excited about Andrada’s future in the sport. Singh is a talented fighter who came into this fight with a combined amateur and professional record of 29-0. He also has big bright future ahead of him but Andrada is a bad matchup for him. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Singh makes in his next fight as he will come back stronger.

Look for Andrada to continue to grow as well. Many fighters can get complacent when they have some much early success. If they are also knocking people out like Andrada then there is the added danger of them looking only for the knockout. You do not see any of that with Andrada. Every fight he comes out sharper and more complete than the previous fights. He does not hunt the KO instead he lets it come to him and is in position to strike when it opens up. There are a lot of opponents who would have gave him that opening after one of those livers shots he landed throughout the fight. Instead Singh battled through them and stayed dangerous himself. Instead of getting frustrated by not getting the KO, Andrada was calm and focused on fighting his fight up to the final bell. In many ways Andrada combines an intelligently destructive style with excellent movement and a strong chin. While he may not be hunting the KO if it is there he will take brutally and efficiently. He is just so balanced and is capable of throwing almost any technique. That allows him to be in position to throw the right strike at the right time. It was another great performance from Andrada that left you anticipating his next fight as he continues his “Ridiculous” evolution as a Muay Thai fighter.

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