War of the Heroes III Results

17 Jun

by Jon Swensen, http://www.sharkspage.com (2009-06-17)

The United States Muaythai Federation and Xfight brought the War of the Heroes III Muaythai Kickboxing Championships to the Santa Clara Convention Center on Saturday June 13th, 2009.

A stacked 16-fight card featured 2 pro superfights with K-1 veteran Marfio “The Warrior Tiger” Canoletti facing M. Toddy trained Chaz Mulkey, and a Brazil vs Japan showdown with an imposing Gilmar China Sales vs Baba Shingeyasu. Two USMF National Kickboxing titles were on the line, and the WOTH III main event featured pro Muaythai fight of Fairtex’s Nathan Willet vs Jose Palacios with Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson in his corner.

The fight of the night had to be awarded to Marfio Canoletti and Chaz Mulkey based on the sheer amount of damage each fighter inflicted during the 5-round full thai rules contest. Chaz Mulkey began the first with an explosive display of striking punctuated by a dangerous counter hook and high kick combination. Chaz Mulkey poured it on with a series of flurries and elbows to end the first round.

The momentum carried with Mulkey as he dictated action at the start of the second. 2002 K-1 Brazil World MAX Champion Marfio Canoletti tried to overload the right hand and land kicks from a distance. Chaz spun Marfio into the corner and finished with a series of knee strikes in the clinch.

Marfio chopped one leg out from under Chaz Mulkey at the start of the third, and he responded with several short elbows and hard knees in tight. The Sao Paulo born Canoletti nearly fell through the ropes trying to circle away from an attack in the corner to a roar from the crowd. Canoletti landed a hard hook which knocked Mulkey back into the ropes, and was blocked to the mat on a flying front kick attempt.

A large cut was opened up over the eye of Marfio in a very bloody fourth round. Chaz stalked him around the ring with a series of hard low kicks and finished with mutiple body shots and elbows up against the ropes. During the break Mulkey’s trainers worked hard on the cut and wiped the blood off of him, the corner, and the mat, but they missed the press table. With a high pace at the start of the fifth, an elbow connected to open a deeper cut over the eye of Chaz Mulkey. He could not continue giving Marfio Canoletti the come-from-behind TKO 52 seconds into the fifth round.

In the other professional superfight held under K-1 rules, Fairtex Brazil’s imposing K-1 veteran Gilmar China Sales broke down Fairtex Japan’s Baba Shigeyasu and earned a first round TKO. The first three low kicks by Sales connected with the loudest sounds of the night. He went back to work on the lower leg and added several hard hooks up top. Baba Shigeyasu tried several push kicks to create distance for combinations, but eventually his corner stopped the fight when Shigeyasu had problems defending himself.

The fighter of the night award may have to be given to Fairtex’s Nathan Willet after a strong 5-round unanimous decision win over a technical Jose Palacios. Muaythai kickboxing is the science of 8 limbs (elbow, knee, feet fist), and Willet’s 8 limbs displayed a full range of strikes that slowed down and punished a quicker, unbeaten Palacios. Nathan Willet threw short elbows in close with bad intentions, and finished the 5th round with a pair of heavy knee strikes caught on the highlight video.

Two United States Muaythai Federation Amateur National Titles were on the line Saturday. In the first title fight at 112 pounds, Jill Guido (TNT) earned a 3-round decision over former model Florina Petcu (Renzo Gracie from NYC). With the win, Guido earned a spot on the USMF National Muaythai Team that will compete at November’s IFMA World Cup in Thailand. Guido showed excellent movement and technical ability against a taller Petcu, but her strength is an aggressive defense. As Florina would start to throw a punch or a kick, Jill Guido was blocking the strike while at the same time initiating one of her own.

In the other USMF National Title fight at 155 pounds, an evenly matched Dino Pagtakhan (Fairtex) won a tight 5-round decision over Eric Faria (Art of War). Faria strutted into the ring loose and dancing to his entrance music. Eric caught an early high kick, and tripped Dino to the mat illiciting a large cheer from his fans early in the first round. Several toe-to-toe exchanges punctuated the second round. Dino gained the edge with several power punches and high kicks connecting. Eric Faria was able to launch knee strikes or shut the fight down in the clinch. The third round was a series of collision then clinch, collision then clinch, collision then clinch, which favored the Art of War’s Faria.

At this point the fight could have been scored even with the first split, the second going to Dino, and the third to Faria. In one sequence in the fourth round, Dino trapped Faria in the corner and landed a flurry of punches and knees that seemed to slow him down and sap some of his energy. In the fifth and final round Dino Pagtakhan showcased his footwork before Faria again brought him into the clinch. Pagtakhan landed a combination, and long left hand and right hook that backed Faria off. A short counter left hook as Eric Faria came forward drew a large reaction from the crowd and put Dino Pagtakhan over the top for one of the most entertaining fights of the night.

The winners of the USMF National Muaythai Title will go on to represent the USMF National Muaythai Team at the IFMA World Cup 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand this November 27th to December 5th, 2009 in honor of the Authority King of Thailand’s Birthday.There will be over 120 country teams competing under the International Olympic Committee (IOC), GAISF, and WADA recognition.

On the undercard, the American Kickboxing Academy’s Eric Luna, Unlimited Kickboxing’s Hector Cortes, and AKA’s Alexander Namuski looked impressive en route to early stoppage wins. TNT’s Ryan Ratcliff apparently knocked out Jason Andrada on a trip at the start of the second round. Andrada’s head hit the mat while his legs were suspended above him in the ropes. Andres Salas, Katie Toliao, TJ Arcangel, Reggie Queja, Tal Segev, Troy Taylor and Agualuna Romeo all earned wins.

FEG’s Mike Kogan (Japan’s K-1 Max and Dreams) was on hand to scout the kickboxers. According to a press release, there is a possibility WOTH could be used as a feeder program for K-1 Max.Mr. Scott Coker, ISKA Strikeforce Promoter, and Ricardo Santana, WBC Brazil Promoter, were also in attendance enjoying the action packed bouts.

War of the Heroes IV will return to the Santa Clara Convention Center on October 10th, 2009 with a mix of professional MMA and Muaythai bouts along with amateur Muaythai undercards. For more information, tickets or sponsorship opportunity, please contact Nissa Zbiczak at nissa@fairtex.com.

Story and photos by Jon Swenson

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