After a tremendous undercard that was loaded with action and savage body assaults that would make Bas Rutten proud, all-time great Thai fighter Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam scored one of the most brutal head kick knockouts in the sport’s history.
Lerdsila was originally slated to face Sergio Wielzen for the lightweight championship in the main event of Lion Fight 36 Friday night. But when Wielzen had to withdraw just a few days out from the fight due to injury, Legacy FC MMA fighter Jacob Hebeisen stepped up and took the fight. It was a gutsy move on his part, to make his professional Muay Thai debut against someone with the world-class experience as Lerdsila, but it’s move he’s likely regretting as of this writing (online betting).
Lerdsila (184-35-5) scored his 31st career knockout with the sort of precision only a handful of men on this earth possess. A glancing left head kick floored Hebeisen halfway through the second frame and though he was in trouble when he climbed back to his feet, he continued to plug away at the multiple world Muay Thai champion. Moments later, however, Lerdsila dug a teep kick into the Atlanta fighter’s gut and then disguised a frightening left head kick behind a fake follow-up teep. As soon as Lerdsila’s shin crashed onto Hebesein’s face, he was out, igniting the Foxwoods Resort Casino crowd.
Hebeisen, who had blood pouring out of his mouth while the medics were trying to wake him up, was able to walk out of the on ring on his own. The official time of the frightening knockout came at 2:16 of the second.
In a cruiserweight co-feature that could have gone either way, it was Connecticut’s Paul Banasiak who came out on top against the more experienced Brett Hlavacek. The two traded serious leather and limbs throughout their tussle, but it was the lankier Banasiak’s power and range that prevailed. Hlavacek continuously tried to be the elusive counter striker, but Banasiak (5-0, 2 KOs) found his mark when he needed. Hlavacek (17-5) was rocked in the fourth and gave away the end of the fifth, allowing Banasiak to win a unanimous decision; the official tallies were 49-48, 49-46 and 48-47.
Brazilian middleweight contender Amadeu Cristiano was too much for D.C. Pratt to handle as he dominated him for five rounds and won a lopsided unanimous decision. Cristiano (52-16, 16 KOs) used deft counters to frustrate the Bahamian throughout and never allowed him to find a rhythm. Pratt (20-6) slowly faded down the stretch, allowing him to be easy pickings for Cristiano, who won via tallies of 50-45 (twice) and 49-46.
Former MMA fighter Chip Moraza-Pollard was impressive yet again as he trounced fellow super cruiserweight Matt Coleman within three rounds. Coleman started off the fight well enough, but “The Surgeon” eventually seized control and never looked back. Moraza-Pollard utilized precision jabs, thudding kicks to the body and beautiful counters to keep Coleman (1-2) off-balance repeatedly. Moraza-Pollard (4-0, 2 KOs) dropped the Virginian with a barrage of punches and kicks to the body late in the second and then finished him with similar punches in the following frame. A burst of hooks to the liver officially ended the beating just 30 seconds into the third when referee Tom Sconzo halted it.
Middleweight contender Eddie Abasolo was fantastic in dismantling P.J. Sweda for nearly five rounds before getting the stoppage. The Californian shredded Sweda’s legs with vicious low kicks throughout their encounter and ripped open the flesh around his left eye with an elbow; he was in control of the battle as soon as it began. Sweda (2-2) never stopped trying, but he was in way over his head against his foe. Abasolo (8-1, 2 KOs) dropped the Philadelphian early in the fifth with a series of punches to the body and then closed out the mugging with a left hook to the liver, followed by a right uppercut to the jaw. Referee Robert Scott intervened and halted the brutal beating at 1:36 of the fifth.
With bad blood brewing between the two lightweights, it was Morocco’s Amine Ballafrikh who got the better of Jonathan George via unanimous decision. George (2-1, 2 KOs) had already bested his foe previously, which caused friction between the combatants. As it turned out, Ballafrikh (8-4, 2 KOs) was too experienced and he tore the American up from start to finish and won a lopsided unanimous decision via tallies of 50-45 (twice) and 49-46.
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