Rip: Alex Gong
RIP: ALEX GONG
By Michael Afromowitz – firstname.lastname@example.org
The martial arts world was hit with sudden tragedy of immense proportions when world Muay Thai champion Alex "F14" Gong was shot and killed on Friday, August 1st down the street from the Fairtex Muay Thai camp that that he started and built into the most popular Muay Thai training center in America. The sudden events have left the entire kickboxing world in shock as one of its finest champions is gone.
The details of what occurred are still being pieced together, but what is understood thus far is: At approximately 4:25 PM Pacific Standard Time, Gong’s Jeep Cherokee parked outside of his Fairtex center was sideswiped by another Jeep Cherokee driving down the street. The driver of the vehicle that did the damage continued to drive without stopping. Someone rushed into the gym to tell an unaware Gong, who was in the middle of a training session, what happened to his vehicle. While wearing his boxing gloves and Thai kickboxing shorts without a shirt, Gong chased the vehicle until he caught up with it when it was forced to stop at a traffic light. At that point, an argument between the driver and Gong ensued. The dispute turned deadly when the driver pulled out a gun and shot him once in the chest before driving away.
As of Saturday afternoon, San Francisco police were still searching for the assailant after they found the vehicle abandoned at a gas station. A student who witnessed the encounter recorded the license plate number of the Jeep Cherokee and immediately reported it. Police, however, soon discovered that the vehicle had been stolen from its owner earlier this year. The plate was also reportedly stolen from another vehicle.
At 33 years of age, Gong was, in many ways, the leading voice and pioneer of Muay Thai kickboxing in America. From an appearance on Chuck Norris’ "Walker, Texas Ranger" television drama to a recent interview during a Discovery Channel feature on martial arts, he utilized every opportunity that came his way to promote the sport that was his passion.
A standout student of the original Fairtex Muay Thai Camp in Arizona, Gong ascended the professional ranks of the sport at an astonishingly quick rate and captured his first world title, the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) Junior Middleweight Muay Thai Championship in 1999. ESPN 2 regularly broadcast his bouts that came on high-profile K-1 USA and Strikeforce kickboxing fight cards. His accomplishments were recognized by every major martial arts media outlet from Black Belt magazine, which featured him on a 2001 cover, to Full Contact Fighter, which presented his story in a two-page feature two years ago.
Gong leaves behind a student body that amounts to nearly 1,000 between the two San Francisco Fairtex gyms that he operated.
More to come on this shocking story…
Kentucky Fighting Challenge Results
By Joe Hall
LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 2 — The hallowed halls of Rupp Arena have hosted everything from hockey to heavy metal, from arena football to, most importantly, University of Kentucky basketball.
On Saturday the sports complex’s Heritage Hall housed its first mixed martial arts event, the Kentucky Fighting Challenge. Although local media preferred titling the event the catchall misnomer, "The Ultimate Fighting Championship," and sterile-humored Internet fans chuckled like Beavis and Butthead at the abbreviated "KFC," the amateur show ran smoothly and provided an entertaining evening.
In the main event, Chris "The Funk" Griffin continued to build his name as one of the more eccentric and entertaining fighters in the Midwest. He danced to the ring, then delivered inside it, defeating Kuang Huang with an armbar in the second round.
Billy Bob Westfall, a 300-pound not-so-gentle giant, ran his record to 4-0 by stopping Charles Lewis.
Talented wrestler David Sachs won twice, stopping Kaushik Sen and submitting Mike Johnson.
Lexington products Derek Ruiz, Brian Jones and Jason Keaton all scored impressive first round wins.
Bobby Strouth won a decision over Josh Souder in a competitive match.
Alan Fenn consistently took down Gary Ferrill before eventually forcing him to tap out from strikes.
Jason Coomer ate a punch early, but submitted Scott Hope with an armbar in the first round.
Justin Shemanski fended off numerous submission attempts before stopping Brad Crawford in the second round.
From Koichi "Booker K" Kawasaki:
Announced Pancrase Line-up
For August 31 10th Anniversary Show:
PANCRASE 2003 HYBRID TOUR
AUGUST 31, 2003
-10th Anniversary –
Place: Ryogoku Kokugikan (Tokyo, JAPAN)
Open: 3:00PM Start: 4:00PM
This is to announce that the K.O.P. Committee reconsidered the current ranking system and super heavyweight division was added. Following is the latest new weight divisions and rankings.
Latest Official PANCRASE Rankings (as of 7/31/2003)
[Super heavyweight(221lbs. and over)] *NEW!
[Heavyweight(199lbs. – under 221lbs.)]
[Light heavyweight(181lbs. – under 199lbs.)]
[Middleweight(165.7lbs. – under 181lbs.)]
[Welterweight(152.5lbs. – under 165.7lbs.)]
[Lightweight(141.4lbs. – under 152.5lbs.)] VACANT
[Featherweight(under 141.4lbs.)] VACANT