Chip “The Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard dominates Juan Cervantes to retain his cruiserweight championship at Lion Fight 51

Photo Credit: Lion Fight Promotions

It was a chilly night in Los Angeles but that did not stop the fighters and fans of Lion Fight Promotions to come out and take part in some great Muay Thai action.

Lion Fight 51 took place at the historic Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on Saturday night. The world’s leading Muay Thai organization had two title fights on the card plus several pro and amateur bouts. The night was capped off with a World Cruiserweight Championship bout between Chip “The Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard and Juan Cervantes.

Moraza-Pollard lived up to his nickname as he picked apart Cervantes for five rounds to retain his cruiserweight championship. Cervantes, to his credit, did not back down during the fight but he just could not produce any real offense against the champion.

The fight started rather ominously for Cervantes and was a sign of things to come. During the first round Cervantes went for a kick to the body but Moraza-Pollard, rather cool and calmly, caught the kick without a flinch and sweeps Cervantes to the ground. The rest of the round saw Cervantes try his best to land against Moraza-Pollard but the champion remained calm and was able to avoid any of Cervantes offense.

As the second round began, Cervantes continued to try and push the pace against the champion. Though Cervantes was the aggressor he was not reckless in his offense, Moraza-Pollard was just more calculated in his strikes. The middle rounds saw the pace of fight slow just a little as Cervantes tried to deconstruct the champion’s defense. Moraza-Pollard remained cool and calculated and really started to loosen up in the fourth and fifth rounds.

In the final round of the fight, Moraza-Pollard landed with a hard body shot that sent Cervantes down to the canvas. The referee steps in and gives Cervantes a standing eight count. At this time blood is coming from Cervantes’ nose and his legs are a bright pink from all the leg kicks he has eaten from the champion. The final bell sounds and both men are still standing but Cervantes looks the worse for wear. Despite taking a pretty bad beating for five rounds, Cervantes earned the respect of the crowd and his opponent for sticking in there the entire time.

The fight of the night went to the co-main event between Jordan Harris and. Amine Ballafrikh. Harris came into the night looking to defend his North American Lightweight championship but Ballfrikh did all he could to make sure that would not be the case.  Both men came to fight and that was made apparent by the wild first round they shared. After a wild exchange to start the round, Harris was able to back Ballafrikh to the corner but gets caught and is tossed to the canvas. Harris quickly gets back up and the two clinch, as they break apart Harris catches a kick from Ballfrikh and sweeps him to the ground. The two end the round with another wild exchange.

In the second and third round both men continued to trade kicks, punches, and sweeps. Neither man showed any inclination of backing down. Ballafrikh looked to be have the better time of the two as he would smile and nod in approval whenever Harris would land a big strike.

As the fight progressed it looked like Harris was gas tank was about to give out but somehow, he was able to dig deep and finish the fight strong. In the fifth round Harris landed a hard elbow to the side of Bellafrikh’s head and opened up a deep cut right about his left temple. Blood started to pour out of it and cover his chest. The referee halts the action and calls for the ringside doctor to exam the cut. The doctor gives the thumbs up and the fight continues. When the fight continues the two exchange blows, standing toe to toe in the center of the ring. Bellafrikh continues to smile after every hard-shot Harris lands. Harris looks tired but is still on his feet and still throwing strikes. The fight ends with the crowd erupting in cheer after what they just witnessed.

After the dust had settled the judges awarded the fight and the North American lightweight title to Bellafrikh. No one would complain if Lion Fight wanted to run that fight back one more time.

Also, on the main card Eddie Abasolo defeated Greg Rowe and Victor Saravia bested Reece Thomson. Both Abasolo and Saravia took home unanimous decision victories.

Abasolo used his technique and cool demeanor to keep Rowe at bay for the entirety of the fight. Abasolo had Rowe hurt badly in the fourth and fifth rounds bur Rowe was able to survive.

Victor Saravia showcased his raw power for five round against Thomson to earn the decision victory. Several times throughout the fight, Saravia set Thomson’s head back with his powerful punches. Thomson’s legs were also red and pink from the heavy leg kick Saravia landed at will.

Below you can see the full result from Lion Fight 51.

Main Card Results:

  • Chip Moraza-Pollard def. Juan Cervantes via unanimous decision (49-45 x2, 50-44)
  • Amine Ballafrikh def. Jordan Harris via decision (48-47 x2, 49-46)
  • Eddie Abasolo def. Greg Rowe via unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
  • Victor Saravia def. Reece Thomson via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45,49-46)

Prelim Bouts Results:

  • Super middleweight – George Jarvis def. Daniel Kim via TKO in round 3 at 1:46
  • Flyweight – Ana Flores def. Patricia Salcedo via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Featherweight – Mateo Cortes def. Hassady Keophouvong  via decision(30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Middleweight – Hussein Elsadek def. Robinson Galvez via decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Welterweight – Julio Rios def. Wilson Ha (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Lightweight – Anthony McNutt def. Eric Wilson (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Cruiserweight – Chad Kindle vs. Robert Bracken def. Chad Kindle via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
  • Super featherweight – Edgar Torres def. Danny Ngov (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Super welterweight – Ashley Smallwood def. Jocelyn Bell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Super lightweight – Brandon Spencer def. Caleb Salazar Cisneros (29-28 x3)

Article by: Alex Ramirez FiveRoundMMA- Head Writer and FightBookMMA Correspondent

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