Lion Fight 27: Fabio Pinca Retains Title, Tiffany Van Soest Adds Second Crown
By Press Release
Fabio Pinca kept a strong hold on his Lion Fight welterweight title while Tiffany Van Soest became a two-division champion at Lion Fight 27.
The Frenchman Pinca (93-33-4) cruised to victory over England’s Charlie Peters in the main event Friday night live on AXS TV Fights from Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. Pinca dropped Peters (35-14) to the mat in the fourth round with a body shot which put him comfortably out ahead on the judges’ scorecards. The fighters finished the bout with a furious exchanges of strikes, but Pinca’s dominant form stood tall as he took the verdict 49-44 on all three scorecards.
The main event capped a terrific action-packed lineup despite the fact that all six fights on the AXS TV Fights main card went the distance.
In the other title fight, Van Soest (16-2-1) used her superior speed and technique to capture her second Lion Fight crown. The reigning Lion Fight featherweight champion, who lives in nearby San Diego, California, added the super bantamweight belt to her collection with a convincing unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) over Canada’s Ashley Nichols (20-5).
“I’m happy I won but I would have liked to have made a bigger statement,” said Van Soest.
A featured battle on the main card resulted in a highly contentious and controversial decision rendered by the judges – one which cost rising star Gaston Bolanos his unbeaten record.
Although Bolanos seemed to carry the action, particularly over the final three rounds, the judges awarded a split-decision verdict to Kronphet Phetrachapat (48-47, 47-48, 48-47). Several ringside observers including AXS TV Fights analyst and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich scored the bout 49-46 for Bolanos.
Phetrachapat (75-18-4), who fights out of Fortuna, California, did some damage early as he targeted Bolanos’ left ribcage and peppered it with kicks and knees. After weathering that storm, Bolanos took over at the mid-way point, and then connected late in the fight with a handful of his trademark spinning back elbows. The crowd inside the Grand Ballroom, many of whom were Bolanos supporters from Dublin, California, went from shocked to outraged when the outcome was read.
A spirited rematch between hot-headed Californians Chris Culley and Brian Del Rosario lived up to its billing. The two fighters, who tussled at the official weigh-in a day earlier, kept the bad blood boiling throughout the grudge match as they exchanged strikes and taunts. In the end, Del Rosario (4-2) gained a measure of revenge for a loss at Lion Fight 18 as he defeated Culley (4-3) by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).
The Lion Fight 27 main card opened with former UFC competitor Jared Papazian making his professional Muay Thai fighting debut against fellow debuter and Chandler, Arizona, product Travis Clay. It was a sensational scrap between the pair with blazing back-and-forth action that brought the packed crowd to its feet on several occasions. Papazian, who fights out of West Hills, California, came out on the wrong end of the verdict, however, as an early body-shot knockdown via a Clay knee was much of the difference as the scores were 49-46 from all three judges.
In the other main card bout, Anvar Boynazarov (80-20-2) of Sacramento, California, overcame a nasty first-round cut to take a clear-cut unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) over Coke Chunhawat (149-31-3), who fights out of Fortuna, California.
The Lion Fight 27 crowd was dotted with several notable names including former MMA star-turned-actress Gina Carano, former WCW/WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg, Muay Thai fighter and actor R. Marcos Taylor, who portrayed Suge Knight in the movie “Straight Outta Compton”, plus current UFC fighters Sam Alvey and Lorenz Larkin.
Lion Fight 27 – Amateur Prelims
Spenser Mix def. James Gregory – unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
Bee Nguyen def. Gabi Maxwell – unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Carlos Dagieu def. JJ Madrid – TKO, 0:57 Round 2
Susan Wallace def. Monica Teran – unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lion Fight returns with Lion Fight 28 coming up on Friday, February 26th from Foxwoods Resort Casino. Again, there will be two titles at stake as Ognjen Topic defends his lightweight belt against Sergio Wielzen, and Jo Nattawut puts his super welterweight crown on the line against Kem Sitsongpeenong.