Mick Maynard loves to give Houston the most exciting fights he can line up. On Friday June 11 at the Bar Rio on Richmond, during the second installment of Legacy Muay Thai, Mick might have outdone himself with an action packed card that had the entire crowd cheering from bell to bell.
Muay Thai may never catch up to the popularity level of MMA here in Houston, but when it comes to excitement and fast paced action, there is no doubt that the two sports are neck and neck. When you have no fear of being taken down (like you do in MMA) you can dig your heels in and swing away at your opponent. Muay Thai is generally a war of attrition with both fighters doing all they can to break the others will.
There seemed to be a buzz in the air for most of the night. Many well known names to the Houston MMA scene were on hand to witness the next step in the evolution of Houston Muay Thai. Local fighters like Rey Trujillo and Daniel Pineda (who will be facing each other at Legacy FC on July 31 for the 145lb title), Ray Blodgett, Mike Bronzoulis and many more showed up in support of their camps and the fight scene as a whole.
There where also some national names in the house, including current UFC fighters like Melvin Guillard and Mike Swick (Swick was cornering Alex Black of Bushi Ban), former UFC vet Sam Hoger, former WEC fighters Carlo Prater and Todd Moore (Moore was cornering Gracie Barra fighters Brandon Boyd and Alex Morono), Shine fighter and LFC Bantamweight champion Chad Robo, and current United States Muay Thai Federation (USMF) belt holder Daniel Kim (who along with Moore was cornering Boyd and Morono).
Perhaps the most exciting and important part of the evening was the fact that the head of the USMF and Fairtex president Anthony Lin was in the house scouting local fighters. According to a press release sent out by Legacy FC back in May, the reason for his visit was to work in conjunction with Legacy FC to evaluate fighters who could, “contend for a spot to compete at War of the Heroes FC 7 & 8 in Santa Clara, CA and possibly earn a spot to represent USA at the 2010 IFMA World Championship in Thailand.”
A few of the highlights from the card:
Akira Smith and John Laset put on a stand up battle that had the crowd cheering. Laset came out strong using his power advantage to push the smaller Akira around for the first few minutes. Halfway through the first round Akira settled into his rhythm and put on the striking display that the crowd expected from him. With vicious kicks and spinning elbows Akira took the decision win.
Alex Black and Kirk May put on a slug fest that showed the heart of both fighters. In the first round May was the aggressor abusing the legs of Black who seemed to have a hard time settling in. When the second round rolled around Black was more than comfortable in the ring and by the middle of the third had May on the defensive trying to stay on his feet. May would take the decision win in a disputed decision that the crowd did not approve of.
The final fight of the night showcased Alex Morono and Cody Phillips and they put on a fight worthy of the main event status. Morono used his length advantage to keep Phillips on the outside throughout the first round. Phillips seemed to have a hard time judging the distance against the aggressive striking Morono. At one point in the first Cody went down hard on a sweep and dislocated his shoulder. None of us knew about the injury because Cody popped it back into place and kept fighting. Cody came out as the aggressor in the 2nd round and was able to get inside Alex and cause some damage. The third round Alex had noticeably slowed but still managed to keep Cody on the outside except for a few quick bursts by Phillips. The judges deemed this fight a draw which neither fighter was happy with. While this was a close fight it showcased the need for a scoring change.
Also important to note was John Kane (Kru Pong’s Muay Thai) picking up a victory of Fairtex fighter Rommel Custodio. This victory made it a clean sweep for Houston fighters against the Muay Thai savvy fighters from Mountain View, California.
While the fights were superb, the judging left a lot to be desired and showed that Texas still uses an antiquated scoring system that only works for boxing and not other combat sports such as MMA and Muay Thai. Hopefully as the sport progresses we can see changes that will allow for half point scoring and training for the judges in all of the sports that they cover.
Legacy Muay Thai once again showcased a card full of great strikers and big hearted warriors who came to put on a show for the crowd. This event should help turn a few heads and further legitimize the Muay Thai scene here in Houston, statewide and even on the national level.
“It was a great night of Muay Thai”, Mick Maynard, President of Legacy FC said of the fights. “In my opinion, Houston is establishing itself as the number one fight town in Texas.”
Our crew awarded fight of the night to Alex Morono and Cody Phillips.
Enjoy the pics!
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