The second round of the Muaythai Premier League took place yesterday in Padova, Italy. And once again, with the amount of talent the MPL has on its roster, the fights did not fail to impress. Now although we have heard some comments regarding iffy decisions on the judges part during this event, until we can actually see some of the fights and examine them more closely, we will reserve our comments on the subject. We try to be as unbiased as possible at Muay Thai is Life, even when fighters or close friends of ours lose a fight and claim the judges decisions were flawed.
With that said, the event definitely brought with it its fair share of surprises and excitement. Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was that of American Ky Hollenbeck’s win over the highly regarded and favored Jordan Watson of the UK. Although we did not see the fight, Hollenbeck dropped Watson in the first round with a spinning back fist and although Watson claims he was on his feet immediately and thus shouldn’t have been given a standing 8 count, the 8 count was given. Hollenbeck’s unorthodox style, which may not be the prettiest display of Muay Thai for some, is effective and has continually brought the American success against some very talented opposition who can’t seem to find their rhythm against his constant onslaught. It seems every fight Hollenbeck has been in as of late, is consistently labeled (even by our site) as the American’s sternest test to date, however with this win, Hollenbeck proves that he is ready for all comers.
With his win over Watson, Hollenbeck earns two points and sits at the top of his division in the league alongside Dutch sensation Nieky Holzken. Hollenbeck’s style has already seemed to give the more traditional Muay Thai stylists fits. It will be interesting to see how his style will match up against the more boxing centric Dutch kickboxing styles of the remaining opponents in his division, Marco Pique and Nieky Holzken. However, if Hollenbeck has proved anything during his career, it’s that his style of fighting and his intensity give even the most experienced of champions headaches.
While Watson and the Bad Company gym stable feel that the decision in the fight was shoddy, if Watson can get back on the winning track during his next fight against Nieky Holzken, then it will definitely be exciting to see if these two face off again later on at some point in what seems to be becoming a heated rivalry.
In what was considered by many in attendance as the fight of the night, Morocco’s Mohamed “Mootje” Khamal defeated UK standout Liam “The Hitman” Harrison by split decision. Although, Harrison was a definite favorite coming into this bout, Mohamed Khamal is not an easy fight for anyone. The talented Moroccan owns two wins over the recent Its Showtime 70 kg tournament champion, Robin Van Roosmalen. The kickboxing stylist is an exciting and aggressive fighter and seems to be in top form as of late. Khamal’s next bout will be against Michael Dicks of the U.K.
In the other anticipated match-ups of the evening, the 3 Thai fighters on the card all came away with a win. While Kaoklai Kaennorasing had some trouble en route to his decision win over Italy’s Roberto Cocco, Saiyok Pumpanmuang and Kaopen Lek had no difficulties securing wins over their opponents, Mauro Serra and Charles Francois respectively.
Below are the results of the rest of the evening.
CATEGORY -63.5KG – SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT
Ilona Wijmans (NED) def. Chantal Ughi (ITA) by Decision
Tainara Lisboa (BRA) def. Sandra Bastian (CAN) by Split Decision
CATEGORY -66.6 KG – WELTERWEIGHT
Saiyok Pumpanmuang (THA) def. Mauro Serra (ITA) by Decision
Mohammed Khamal (MOR) def. Liam Harrison (UK) by Split Decision
CATEGORY -72.5KG – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Vladimir Moravcik (SVK) vs. Rosario Presti (ITA) fight to a DRAW
Ky Hollenbeck (USA) def. Jordan Watson (UK) by Decision
CATEGORY -82.5KG – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Marc De Bonte (AUS) def. Jiri Zak (CZE) by Split Decision
Kaoklai Kaennorsing (THA) def. Roberto Cocco (ITA) by Decision
CATEGORY -95KG – HEAVYWEIGHT
Ramazan Ramazanov (RUS)def. Chris Knowles (UK) by KO
Kaopon Lek (THA) def. Charles Francois (FRA) by TKO in Round 3 (Cut)
Below are the match-ups for the 3rd leg of the MPL which is set to take place on November 6th in The Hague, Netherlands. Also a quick unconfirmed rumor is that Yodsaenklai Fairtex will make his debut in the MPL against Italy’s Rosario Presti in December.