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Lion Fight

‘Time Bomb’ Van Soest captures inaugural female flyweight title at Lion Fight 10

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Sometimes all you can say is WOW! What was supposed to be a tough test for Tiffany “Time Bomb” Van Soest (7-0-1) against Lucy Payne (19-6) turned out to be just a “speed bump” easy first round TKO win instead. Van Soest took home the first ever Lion Fight female flyweight belt in typical explosive fashion. Even though she is only twenty-one-years old and the younger fighter by three years, Payne came into the fight with vastly more fight experience. It did not do her any good against the quick and dynamic Van Soest. She is a fight promoters dream with her skills, looks and personality. It is easy to see why Van Soest is the first female fighter signed to a multi-fight deal with Lion Fight. She will be defending her newly won title for a very long time based on how she looked in this fight.

Coming into this matchup the talk was about how tough the height, reach, and experience of Payne was going to be tough for Van Soest to overcome. Pat Miletech described Payne as having “fast hands and feet” to go with her extreme height and reach advantages. He and Micheal Schiavello talked about her being Van Soest’s most difficult opponent. Van Soest did not share their concerns. She called Payne “just a speed bump” for her in an interview with Miletech before the fight. Based on the length of this fight she was pretty accurate. It was over quickly in the first round but we still got to see a couple of new tricks from Van Soest, including a fake flying knee left hook that she landed in the opening twenty seconds of the fight that the veteran Miletech had never seen before.

That was just an example of the creativity that Van Soest brings into the ring with her. She also throws a lot of effective fakes and feints combined with her ability to throw multiple techniques and strikes with her blinding speed. This makes it hard for an opponent to get comfortable against her. Payne looked like she was in pain the whole fight. She just never seemed comfortable and never found her timing, much less her rhythm. This is a common occurrence for Van Soest’s opponents. She is so fast and unpredictable that she is able to control the fight despite giving up height and reach advantages.

Van Soest does this to her opponents with not just her speed and her movement, but also her mind. Her footwork is excellent and she dictated the fight with it. She had Payne off balance, out of sync, and was on her way to winning the first round when she caught Payne with an overhand right hook off of a fake toss and elbow strike. This hurt Payne and Van Soest moved right in for the finish. She quickly flurried with kicks and punches. This backed Payne into the corner and Van Soest started in with the elbows and fight was quickly over. It was way too easy for Van Soest. She just destroyed the number one ranked female Muay Thai fighter in the UK inside of the first round to take home the belt. She also took almost no damage at all in this fight.

There really is no ceiling for Van Soest at this point in her career. She is only twenty-four years old and is a couple of years at least away from her prime. She is a hungry fighter that trains hard and smart; highly skilled, athletic and strong mentally. Van Soest has an amazing understanding of the fight game. She is simply a Muay Thai force of nature and a nightmare matchup for anybody that steps into the ring with her. She has the belt and is ready to defend it against any and all challengers. She embodies the ideals of warrior and artist every time she steps into the ring to fight giving the fans something they have never seen before, and leaves them wanting more – including more time inside of a cage. MMA fans are screaming to see her matchup with the likes of Jennifer Maia, Leslie Smith and Barb Honchak. All three of those fights would be amazing and we might get to see them in the near future. Until then, fight fans will have to enjoy her Muay Thai stylings as she defends her title for Lion Fight.

via Dwayne Wolff for hov-mma

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