It’s 1:27 on the East Coast and honestly I would love nothing more than to go straight to bed and get some much needed sleep. But I love all of you Muay Thai crazed lunatics and am pretty much convinced that you cannot find any semblance of peaceful rest until you find out the results of the Warriors Cup XII event. So fear not for I bring you those results as well as the promise of good restful sleep!
Warriors Cup XII was an exciting event that started off by showcasing some of New Jersey’s promising amateur talent, facing off against fighters from the neighboring Big Apple. Although many of these fighters were pretty green and new to the Muay Thai game, they showed a ton of talent and put on some really exciting fights. Some amateur fights that stood out to me were the fights between Chantal Perry and Giovanna Scano, Flavio Brita and Justin Corbalis, and The Warriors Cup amateur lightweight title fight between Rodolphe Felix and Junaid Hamid.
A lot of these amateurs really demonstrated skill and poise that left me excited about the future of Muay Thai in America. I feel it is important that we recognize the skill and sacrifice of these talented amateurs as they move up through the ranks. Even if they don’t ever venture on and enter the pro ranks, the fact that they entered the ring and fought the good fight and represented Muay Thai is a feat worth recognizing.
With that said below is the recap of the nights Full Muay Thai rules pro bouts
Tony Manoharan vs. Ognjen Topic
The pro portion of the evening began with the Muay Thai debut of Canada’s Tony Manoharan versus North Jersey Muay Thai’s Ognjen Topic. In Round 1, both fighters came out in traditional Thai fashion; slowly feeling each other out and throwing jabs and low kicks, trying to find kinks in each others armor. Manoharan and Topic exchanged some good jabs and hard low kicks and Topic kept Manoharan back with some very nice teeps.
In Round 2, Manoharan came out throwing some combinations and low kicks. Topic responded with some body kicks and low kicks of his own. At the closing of the round, Topic threw the first elbow of the night that just grazed Manoharan.
When Round 3 began, both fighters came out looking to cause some damage. Manoharan threw a spinning elbow that slightly connected but had very little on it. As the two fighters tied up in the clinch, Topic started finding Manoharan’s body with some vicious left knees. A well placed knee to the body dropped Manoharan prompting the referee to give him a standing 8 count. Manoharan looked to recover some points but Topic’s onslaught continued. Topic lands a crushing horizontal elbow that drops Manoharan and cuts him above the eye. The doctor steps in and stops the fight.
Brett Hlavacek vs Marcus Fisher
The fight between Hlavacek and Fisher was a closely contested match that saw both fighters exchanging some hard low kicks and Muay Thai throws through Round 3. Both fighters exchanged Muay Thai dumps (throws) and sweeps, dropping each other to the canvas on more than one occasion. Fisher seemed to be landing a few more knees in the clinch, but the fight was still very close.
In Round 4, Hlavacek landed a hard elbow in the clinch along with a few hard knees that seemed to have hurt Fisher. Round 5 saw more of the same, an evenly matched fight being decided in the clinch with both fighters trying to jostle for position and land hard knees or drop each other to the mat. In the end, The Wat’s Brett Hlavacek took a majority decision over Pittsburgh Muay Thai’s Marcus Fisher when one judge scored the fight a draw and the other two judges sided with Hlavacek. This was a good technical fight.
Mark Deluca vs Rami Ibrahim
In my opinion, this was the fight of the night! From Round 1 both fighters came out to score points. Deluca went to work with great hard kicks to the body, while Ibrahim responded with hard leg kicks in return. Deluca, who was the taller fighter, looked to keep Ibrahim at the end of his teep kick. In Round 2 it was more of the same as both fighters went tit for tat with Mark Deluca scoring with body kicks and Ibrahim finding a home for his low kick. Both fighters also started to soften each other up with knees in the clinch. As the round came to a close, Ibrahim began to open up with punches.
In Round 3, both fighters work the clinch and continue to soften each other up with knees. Ibrahim begins to go for broke with some big hard hooks, but none really find their mark. Ibrahim continues to use his low kick nicely and Deluca’s corner is calling for him to throw elbows to open up Ibrahim.
In Round 4, both fighters pick up the pace as neither wants to lose the bout. Deluca throws body kicks and Ibrahim responds with low kicks. In the clinch Deluca is looking for the elbow but cant find the space to throw it. Ibrahim’s knees look more effective in the clinch and every time they tie up Ibrahim turns Deluca to put his back to the ropes.
Round 5 is more of the same, but Ibrahim tries to open up with hands. Deluca lands some nice solid punch combinations of his own. They continue to exchange kicks, and Deluca lands a nice right high kick to Ibrahim’s face but Ibrahim continues on. Ibrahim raises his hands and signals the crowd, confident that he has the fight won. Deluca lands a teep kick that puts Ibrahim on the canvas to close out the round. A good battle between both these fighters. The judges give the unanimous decision win to Philadelphia’s Rami Ibrahim.
Liam Harrison vs. Justin Greskiewicz
In the main event of the evening, UK’s Liam “The Hitman” Harrison began punishing Philadelphia’s Justin Greskiewicz early; landing hard low kicks to Greskiewicz’ lead leg for every body kick the Philadelphia native threw. Greskiewicz looked good with his teep kicks trying to keep Harrison at bay, but Harrison was eventually able to catch the teep and sweep Greskiewicz to the floor. As the 1st round closed, Harrison was throwing some good punch combinations following them up with a low kick to continue punishing Greskiewicz’ leg.
In Round 2, Harrison opened up with his hands while continuing to punish Greskiewicz’ leg. As Harrison continued finding a home for his low kick it was becoming apparent that Greskiewicz was feeling their effects. “The Hitman” continued his onslaught. When Greskiewicz tried to check the low kicks, Harrison would set them up with solid punch combinations and continue to land the kick, even landing two at one point in quick succession. As the round drew to a close, Philadelphia’s Greskiewicz went in for a step up knee and got caught by stiff right hook in the process. The bell rang when Greskiewicz hit the floor. The ref saw that he was still in trouble and called the fight in between rounds 2 and 3. Liam Harrison becomes the new 147 lb. WBC International Muay Thai Champion with a TKO over Justin Greskiewicz in between rounds 2 and 3.
The Warriors Cup XII marked the first time Full Muay Thai rules made its way to New Jersey, and the fighters put on very exciting fights that showcased exactly why Full Muay Thai is the most exciting and brutal fighting sports in the world. But perhaps most important of all is that even though the fighters looked to hurt each other in the ring, the honor and respect that is synonymous with Muay Thai and it’s practitioners shined through.
Below are nights full results:
Liz Welch def. Christina Ta by Unanimous Decision
Kyle Wehrhan def. Justin Frazier by Unanimous Decision
Casey Van Brookhoven def. Eric Madsen by TKO in Round 1
Chris Roeck def. Tyler Finnerty by Unanimous Decision
Giovanna Scano def. Chantal Perry by Unanimous Decision
Chad Looney def. Cassidy Huie by Unanimous Decision
Vincent Hui def. Spencer Grekoski by Split Decision
Youyoung Cho def. Ricardo Silvario by Unanimous Decision
Justin Corbalis def. Flavio Brita by Split Decision
Mike Gianone def. Bill Chiu by TKO in Round 2
Rodolphe Felix def. Junaid Hamid by Unanimous Decision to win the Warriors Cup Lightweight Amateur title
Ognjen Topic def. Tony Manoharan by TKO in Rd 3 (Elbow)
Brett Hlavacek def. Marcus Fisher by Majority Decision
Rami Ibrahim def. Mark Deluca by Unanimous Decision
Liam Harrison def. Justin Greskiewicz by TKO at the end of Round 2 to win the WBC 147 lb International Muay Thai title.