WOTH Muaythai-MMA FC8 recap: Phanuwat ‘Coke’ Chunhawat defeats Jose Palacios, Alex Crispim fight of the night, Petro unifies USMF and MTAA titles

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

scoring areas of the ice even strength scoring San Jose Sharks

Combat Sports Academy Bryan Petro unifies USMF MTAA welterweight muaythai kickboxing titles

War of the Heroes Muaythai MMA Fairtex Xfight Ales Crispim bjj Pure Combat bantamweight champion Chris David

Fairtex MMA Muaythai kickboxing ring girls Missy Ashley

The eighth edition of the WOTH Fighting Championship was held Saturday night at the Santa Clara Convention Center. On display was a top heavy muaythai kickboxing/mma hybrid card with 15 amateur and professional fights. Strikeforce and Palace FC veteran Alexander Crispim defeated Pure Combat FC Bantamweight champion Chris David in the most flamboyant mixed martial arts bout in the history of War of the Heroes promotion, veteran Phanuwat ‘Coke’ Chunhawat earned a split decision over Cung Le trained Jose Palacios in a professional Muaythai bout, and Bay Area native Bryan Petro unified the United States Muaythai Federation and Muaythai Association of America amateur welterweight belts to highlight a stacked night of competition.

The United States Muaythai Federation has continually pushed for Olympic recognition for the sport. Part of that campaign involves qualifying the top American Muaythai talent to compete at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships in Bangkok Thailand, held to celebrate the King of Thailand’s birthday November 27-December 5th. In the final undercard bout, current USMF and IFK North American welterweight amateur kickboxing title holder Bryan Petro (10-1, Combat Sports Academy) faced off against the MTAA welterweight titlist Roy Corona (7-2, MTS USA) for the right to represent the United States in Thailand.

Both fighters came to an immediate clinch at the start of the first round, unleashing a series of knees in tight. Petro scored a hard trip takedown that bounced Corona off the mat. After a short feeling out process, the left hook began to assert itself and back Corona into the corner. A flurry up against the ropes punctuated the round for Petro. The Muaythai School USA trained Roy Corona landed two pinpoint punches early in the second round, but Bryan Petro quickly stormed through the attack and pressed him up against the ropes. After a whithering onslaught, Corona crumpled and Petro raised his arms in celebration.

After the fight Combat Sports Academy and USMF Team USA trainer Kirian Fitzgibbons noted both of the Northern Californian and Southern Californian Muaythai association representatives ringside. After congratulating the Americans who medaled last year in Thailand, Fitzgibbons added “unity is what it is going to take to get Muaythai into the Olympics.”

The evening’s most entertaining bout came in the main-event MMA match between Strikeforce and Palace FC veteran Alexander Crispim De Almeida (5-2) and Pure FC bantamweight champion Chris ‘Dark Lotus’ David (13-8-2).

The ‘dark lotus’ entered the ring with the aura and confidence of a champion. Entering the ring to a heavy bassline by Gangstarr, Crispim had the wildman unpredictability. Alexander Crispim scored an early takedown to start the first round, but in a scramble for top position David regained his feet. A second Crispim takedown resulted in a partial guillotine choke that sank in deeper the longer Alex held on to the single leg. Eventually the Ralph Gracie BJJ black belt gained waist control, and slid around for back control with both hooks in. Crispim pounded on David from above, and worked to secure a rear naked choke. In 22 MMA matches, David has never been submitted. He escaped the choke attempt, and withstood a 30 second ground and pound to finish the round.

After an exchange early in the second round, Chris David gained top position and focused on wrist control to secure a kimura lock. David torqued on Crispim’s arm like a chicken wing, but he could not pry it free. Alex Crispim has a long history of international BJJ competition, and eventually he freed his arm and worked back to his feet. After ducking a David jab, Alex Crispim scored another takedown, then pushed him across the mat and up against the ropes. The native Brazilian worked over David in the corner alternating ground and pound and submission attempts.

The third round came as both fighters decided to trade on their feet. Chris David mixed jab and low kick combinations, before Crispim eventually drove him into the ropes and then back into the corner. David could not spin out, and eventually Crispim scored a single leg takedown. The Sacramentan made it back to his feet, but his corner shouted that he needed a knockout to win the fight. David pressed forward, but weary from long, intense groundwork, he could not fire off enough punches or kicks to turn the tide. Alex Crispim earned a 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision. Then the Brazilian executed a partially successful backflip off the turnbuckle, and unsuccessfully tried to hug a female CSAC official. After thanking his family, coaches and students, he hopped the ropes onto the scorers table and was gone.

A more conventional 5-round professional Muaythai bout took place between veteran Thai native Phanuwat ‘Coke’ Chunhawat (141-21-1, 20KO’s, Pacific Ring Sports) and the Cung Le trained kickboxer and martial artist Jose Palacios (19-2, USH fight team). Chunhawat was announced as the WMC and WBC muaythai champion at 142 pounds. Palacios has experience in Muaythai kickboxing, San Shou kickboxing, and has competed for Strikefoce kickboxing and MMA promotions in the past. Palacios showed excellent footwork and movement early, landing from multiple angles while ‘Coke’ tried to measure up from outside. A left hand dropped Chunhawat in the first.

Palacios continued with quick hands in the second round, and scored a violent trip takedown that sent ‘Coke’ hurtling backwards. After scoring a trip takedown of his own, Chunhawat stormed forward and locked in a muaythai clinch around the neck. The move has become so dominant in K1 kickboxing that new rules were passed to allow only one hand on the neck in a clinch. Chunhawat landed a series of heavy knees to the body scoring enough points to take the round.

The fight ebbed towards Palacios in the third round, as the south bay fighter landed more punches and low kicks. ‘Coke’ Chunhawat tried to land power punches, but Palacios did not remain static in front of him. Jose finished with a flurry, landing a flashy spinning backfist and a spinning back kick in the final 10 seconds. The fourth round swung in the opposite direction. Palacios began to slow down enough that Phanuwat Chunhawat’s big knees began to land with regularity. ‘Coke’ scored with several knees to the body up against the ropes, then again in the center of the ring. In the final 10 seconds, this time it was ‘Coke’ landing two heavy hooks before the bell.

The fifth and final round came with the scorecards up in the air, legitimately this fight could have been scored down the middle. Palacios pushed the pace gaining the edge in two early flurries, but again Chunhawat drove forward landing power knees to the body. The fight finished with each fighter trading punches in the center of the ring. While Sharkspage scored the fight 48-47 Palacios, the referees awarded a 48-47, 49-46, 47-48 split decision win to Phanuwat ‘Coke’ Chunhawat.

Saturday night also featured popular Unlimited MMA fighter Tristan Arenal against NorCal FF’s Mikey Gonzalez in a pro MMA bout. Tristan blitzed Gonzalez quickly before gaining top position agains the ropes. Arenal sunk in a rear naked choke so quickly that many ringside did not see the choke attempt or the tap. In a pair of professional Muaythai kickboxing bouts, Combat Fitness fighter Brandon Banda battered Paul Brown en route to a 4th round TKO, and Fairtex SF’s Chris Aldea wore down Sheldon Gaines before stopping him with a 3rd round TKO. In amateur Muaythai action, former ISKA, former USMF, former IKF and former WSCC title holder Ryan Ratcliff (Combat Fitness) earned a unanimous decision win over Erik Alignay (Fight and Fitness). World Team USA fighter T.J. Archangle put on a striking clinic against Brett Todoroff. Archangle was able to land punches and kicks from any angle, eventually bloodying Todoroff and earning a doctor stoppage 28 seconds into the third round. AKA’s Alex Numeski earned a split decision win over Las Vegas trained Nate ‘half black, half amazing’ Chambers (30-27, 29-28, 28-29). Eisrael Verdusco earned a unanimous decision win over Jose Martinez, Chrisente Joaquin narrowly emerged from a slugfest with Graham Cruz, and Steve Tomayo scored a unanimous decision win over Gabriel David.

On hand to watch the event ringside were Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, Strikeforce competitor and Sac native Scott Smith, recently debuted UFC fighter Daniel Roberts, former K1 champion Carter Williams, and Dutch kickboxing champion Germaine de Randamie. Fairtex Mountain View’s Chris Moore had a professional MMA bout scratched due to a no show, and an advertised professional muaythai bout with massive Brazilian Gilmar China Sales was cancelled in advance.

There is no highlight video from the event, a photo gallery is available here. War of the Heroes FC9 will return February 5th, 2011. For more information on muaythai in California, visit usmf.tv or muaythaiassociationofamerica.com.

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