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Lion Fight 9 Preview

It's true. We love Lion Fight. 

There aren't many big-name muay thai promotions in the United States. Of those select few, Scott Kent's Lion Fight has easily become the most recognizable, not only for their wide array of American bred talent, but also because the Lion Fight ring has played host to some serious international stars like Yodsanklai, Gregory Choplin, and Cosmo Alexandre. The icing on the cake is their television deal with AXS TV, which went into full effect at Lion Fight 8 back in January.  

Tomorrow marks the date for Lion Fight 9, which sees muay thai superstar Artem Levin take on Simon Marcus for the first ever Lion Fight championship. Also on the card, America's favorite son, Kevin Ross, goes head to head with Bernie Mendieta, Tiffany Van Soest faces Natalie Yip, and Ognjen Topic takes on Paowrit Sasiprapa. Joe Schilling was originally scheduled to be on the card but due to an issue with turning in his medicals in he was forced to withdraw.  

Obviously the biggest fight of the night is Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus. Both these guys have something to prove. Marcus wants to show he can truly hang with the elite of the light heavyweight division. On paper, Simon is a wrecking machine. His record looks almost criminal with the amount of TKO and KO wins he's racked up over the course of his 32 fight win streak. But after watching his fights you'll see the Canadian struggle against strong boxers, drop his hands when put under pressure, and move backwards in a straight line after taking a few shots. It's understandable. The confidence to stand in the pocket, pivet on your lead foot and cover up only comes from the experience of facing fighters that will push you to your breaking point. And that's exactly what Levin is looking to do.

If you know Muay Thai, you probably know Artem Levin. The guy has beaten the who's who of 80 kg: Dmitry Shakuta, Cheick Sidibe, Alexander Stretsurenko, L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni, Roberto Cocco,  and Murthel Groenhart. He's also beat both Yodsanklai Fairtex in the Amateur World Muay Thai Championships (It might not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is). He's the former It's Showtime 77 kg Champion, and current WBC champion. But even with all those accomplishments, Levin is still coming into this fight with a monkey on his back: His hotly disputed draw against Steven Wakeling late last year. In what was a highly debated fight to say the least, Levin was at first awarded a decision victory, but the ruling was overturned to a draw. Levin seems to have been slacking in his past few fights, and he no doubt wants to restate his position as the best in the world at light heavyweight by winning definitively over Marcus.

Also on the card we'll see Kevin Ross take on Bernie Mendieta in what will surely be an exciting technical affair. Mendieta is the U.K. WBC Champion, but against Ross he'll be the heavy underdog. Prematurely announced to be fighting at the GLORY 65 kg tournament in Japan, Kevin Ross is one of the few fighters from the United States that I personally believe has the potential to become competitive in the kickboxing world. Mendieta is not just another opponent for Ross- if he loses this fight, his stock will surely fall in the eyes of the international kickboxing community. There's a lot of pressure riding on his shoulders, but it's probably just another day at the office for him.

The other fight I'm really looking forward to that no one seems to be talking about is Ognjen Topic vs. Paowrit Sasiprapa. Topic, fighting out of New Jersey, is considered one of the top tier Muay Thai fighters from the East Coast. Last year he put a beat down on Rami Ibrahim, and has only two losses, both of which were very controversial. He faces Paowrit Sasiprapa who's been staying with Lion Fight regular Malaipet Sasiprapa since December of last year. Paowrit is a former Rajadamnern and Omnoi champion, and will be a huge test for the budding American star. 

Lion Fight will be shown live on AXS TV tomorrow at 10 PM Eastern Time. 

 

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Check Out Artem Levin and Simon Marcus at the Lion Fight 9 Open Workouts

These guys are serious and this is the fight that we've all been eagerly awaiting here in the United States; the battle between two of the top Light Heavyweights in the world of Muay Thai in Simon Marcus and Artem Levin finally doing battle. Last night Lion Fight hosted open workouts featuring the two fighters and thanks to them we can watch both fighters as they strut their stuff before the upcoming bout.

Lion Fight 9 goes down tomorrow night on AXS TV at 10PM Eastern Time and features a host of great fights featuring Joe Schilling, Tiffany Van Soest and Kevin Ross. Don't miss it.

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Photo of the Day: Worlds Collide With NIck Diaz and Kevin Ross

With Lion Fight 9 coming and coming at us fast this weekend as well as UFC 158 you won't be shocked to find out that Kevin Ross is preparing for his upcoming bout as well as Nick Diaz is preparing for his. What you probably didn't know is that Nick Diaz made a trek to the CSA Gym where Ross trains out of and both have done some training together. If you don't believe me and your mind is just blown away, I have some Instagram-level proof for you. Follow Kevin's Instagram for more cool shots as he prepares for Lion Fight 9 this Friday Night, live on AXS TV.

Ross/Diaz

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Muay Thai Weekly Recap: March 10

Quick Results

Monday, March 4
Phetsinean Payaksupan def. Lomtalay Sitzorueng by decision.
Design Rajanont def. Fonpet Chuwattana by decision.
Yardfah K.R.S. Gym def. Aiktawan Mor. Krongthepthonburi by decision.
Chotchasarn Wiwatananont def. Sakmongkon 96Penang by TKO in Round 2.

Tuesday, March 5
Rung-Ubon Zakami def. Prakaipet J.S.P. by decision.
Prakaiphet Zakami def. Yothin Sakaetongresort by decision.
Rungkiat Kiatprapat def. Jaisoo Thor. Thepsuthin by decision.

Wednesday, March 6
Nontakit Tor. Morsri def. Neungtrakarn Excidicalgym by decision.

Thursday, March 7
Phet-Utong Or. Kwanmuang def. Petmorakot Wor. Sungprapai by decision.
Trakoonphet Sor. Sommai def. Hongtonglek Chor. Fahpiansi by decision.
Denkiri Sor. Sommai def. Kongsiam Tor. Pithakchai by TKO in Round 2.
Addam Teded99 def. Lom-Esarn Sitzorueng by decision.
Pitchichai Or. Bor. Tor. Khampi def. Saknarin Sitzorueng by TKO in Round 4.

Friday, March 8
Singdam Kiatmoo9 def. Sagetdao Phetphayathai by decision.
Pongrit Chor. Chernkamon def. Lamnampong Noomjeantawana by decision.
Yokpet Sompongmataput def. Wanchalong Sitzornong by decision.
Mondam Sor. Weraphon def. Chokprecha Kor. Sakooncher by TKO in Round 3.
Rittidet Wor. Wanthavee def. Newwangjan Pagornponsurin by TKO in Round 2.
Thongchai Sitthongsak def. Damien Alamos by TKO in Round 2.
Choknamchai Sitjakong def. Superlek Wor. Sungprapai by decision.
Palangpon Por. Thairungruangkamai def. Katapet Sor. Suradej by decision.
Chamuakphet Jitmuangnont def. Khunphan Kiatjaroenchai by decision.

This week was action packed, culminating in the huge show on Friday. Not only did the show on Friday live up to its expectations and more, it was one of the best shows top to bottom that I've seen. Featuring a who's who of Muay Thai, there wasn't a bad fight on Friday.

Singdam defeated Sagetdao in the main event in a great strategical battle, with Sagetdao trying to close distance and clinch while Singdam did what he does and fired off hard right round kick after hard right round kick. Sagetdao was out of gas later on when Singdam fully took over.

For me, my favorite fight was Mondam vs. Chokprecha. Chokprecha came out guns blazing and managed to land some big shots on Mondam, with elbows, punches and low kicks. Mondam hung with him the whole time and a recurring theme in the fight was his right cross. In the third round Mondam landed a picture perfect right cross to seal the deal.

A few other stoppages happened on the card, so we'll start with Thongchai vs. Damien Alamos. Thongchai came out from the opening bell and seemed to have the mindset that Alamos had nothing for him. Thongchai destroyed Alamos and eventually got him in the corner, dropped him with an elbow and then pounded Alamos with elbows until he referee was forced to stop the bout. It was a very impressive performance from Thongchai coming up in weight.

Rittidet's stoppage of Newwangjan came via form of low kicks, and it didn't even take that many. Rittidet also came out fast, throwing a lot of punches. He managed to sneak in a few really hard low kicks so by the second round one vicious low kick put Newwangjan down and out.

Like all Wanchalong fights, Wanchalong vs. Yokpet was action packed and back and forth. Superlek and Choknamchai were also involved in a great fight, with Superlek being dropped in the fourth only to hurt Choknamchai with an elbow moments later.

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