Sunday July 9, 2016— Ky Hollenbeck came away looking worse for wear yet victorious from the superfight main event of Lion Fight 30 which took place on Friday night at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and live on AXS TV Fights.
After suffering a pair of accidental head butts that resulted in a doctor’s stoppage, the American Hollenbeck and middleweight Canadian rival Mark “Boots” Holst saw their encounter go to the judges who rendered a split-decision verdict in Hollenbeck’s favor. The fight was called at the 1:52 mark of the fourth round, so the judges scored just the first three rounds with Hollenbeck (34-3-1) on top of two cards (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). Holst (19-3) had been cut under the left eye earlier in the fourth although that seemed to come from an elbow strike.
In the co-main event, reigning champ Sergio Wielzen (42-9-2) of Holland held tight to his Lion Fight lightweight title, though, it wasn’t an easy task against Frenchman Arthur Meyer (28-10). Wielzen almost ended the fight in the opening moments as he stunned Meyer with two head kicks, but the challenger showed plenty of resiliency, and in fact, got the better of Wielzen in Round 2 with body shots. Meyer continued to pump shots into Wielzen’s body, but Wielzen swung momentum back in his favor in the fourth with another kick that grazed Meyer’s head. Wielzen got the nod from the judges in a split verdict (49-46, 47-48, 49-46).
The main card started off with a bang as Yeison “Yayyoo” Berdugo made good on his promise to come through on top of a must-win situation.
Newcomer Isaac Tijerina was a game competitor until late in the second round when Berdugo delivered a spinning backfist followed by a punch that put Tijerina down and clearly suffering a broken nose. Tijerina came out for the third round but Berdugo, who had gone winless in two straight, brought a screeching halt to the affair at the 23-second mark with a bullet right hand that put his foe away for the knockout win.
In lightweight action, Amine “Moroccan Boy” Ballafrikh (7-2) made a triumphant debut under the Lion Fight banner as he jumped out to a quick start against late replacement Joe Logan and carried that to a decision win. Ballafrikh, who moved to the U.S. just three years ago and now fights out of Dulles, Virginia, put Logan (5-7) on the deck with a right hand down the pipe in the first round and dominated the next two rounds. Logan showed the heart of fighter from Philadelphia as he pressured Ballafrikh in the fourth but the rally was short-lived, and Ballafrikh walked away with a sweep of the judges’ cards (49-45, 49-45, 50-44).
A much-anticipated welterweight showdown was also left in the judges’ hands as New York’s Eddie Martinez and Phoenix’s Nick Chasteen went the full five rounds. The judges had to weigh Martinez’s precision and defense against Chasteen’s volume and power. In the end, the result went Martinez’s way via a split-decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47). The win came in the promotional debut for Martinez (15-5-1), while Chasteen (5-3) lost his second in a row.
The women’s lightweight title fight between Antonina Shevchenko and Annabelle Gely never came to be as unfortunately Gely was deemed medically ineligible after failing a pre-fight examination. Shevchenko was awarded the Lion Fight belt and will defend the crown as soon as possible.
Prelim Results – Amateur Bouts
Brian Bogue vs Gary Mack – ruled no contest
Mike Triana def. Jason Davis (split-decision)
Oliver Jimenez def. Phil da Silva
Patrick Kirby def. Tommy Mashrick
Roger Corbin def. Rich Ullrich
Lion Fight Promotions returns to Foxwoods Result Casino on Friday, Sept. 2 for Lion Fight 31 with Jorina Baars defending her welterweight title at Angela Whitley plus Gaston Bolanos taking on Tum Sityodtong for the vacant super lightweight crown.
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