True North Fights & Muaythai Ontario Make History In Timmins
By Ryan McKinnon
Saturday September 23rd, 2017
True North Fights played host to an historic evening of fast-paced and intense amateur Muaythai action on Saturday. Matt Poulin, owner of TMAC (Total Martial Arts Center) organized a great event and fight card that will be talked about by everyone who attended for a very long time. This inaugural Muaythai event certainly set the bar high for future events in northern Ontario, and gave fans a good look at how much Ontario Muaythai is growing in the right direction.
A big thanks to Muaythai Ontario (www.muaythaiontario.org) True North Fights (www.truenorthfights.ca) and Matt Poulin (www.totalmartialartscenter.com) for making this historic night of fights an event to behold.
All photos are courtesy of True North Fights, and can be found on their Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/TNFights/
Due to participating in this event in an official capacity with Muaythai Ontario, only the facts of each fight will be discussed, and not my opinion on scoring or others’ scoring of the rounds.
Bout # 4 Crystal Vitelli (Twin Dragons 3-1-0, 6 Exh) vs Brenda Vargas (Lanna MMA 3-1-0, 6 Exh)
This ‘A’ Class bout between Lanna MMA’s Brenda ‘El Gaucho’ Vargas and Crystal Vitelli was the only female fight on the card and delivered lots of action. Brenda is a standout out athlete at Lanna with great hands and killer elbows. She has had a memorable 2017 full of ups and downs. She earned the attention of the Muaythai community in March when she fought ruthlessly for a split decision win over Effie Chan at SHE Fights, but felt disappointed with her showing at the TBAs in June. She has been preparing for a title bout in New York state in October, and arrived in Timmins feeling sharp and ready to put on a show for the fans.
Crystal has been extremely active with Twin Dragon North and is constantly improving her skill set. She came into this fight facing a very tough and hungry opponent in Vargas. Right from the starting bell everyone in attendance knew exactly what Brenda’s game plan was. Vargas smothered Vitelli immediately, mixing up levels with her hands and driving in strong left kicks from her southpaw stance.
Keeping Crystal on her back foot was a smart move for a fighter like Vargas who likes to pressure her opponents. Early in the round Brenda scored her first standing 8 count against Crystal which fired up the crowd, and gave Vargas a solid few seconds to catch her breath, and begin a second assault.
When the action continued, Vargas dove right back into punching range and went to work. Crystal made the best of the situation by clinching Brenda and firing counterpunches in small bursts. However, her counter attacks didn’t do enough to back up Vargas, who went on to score a second standing 8 count against Vitelli. After referee Darryl Marin finished his count, he waved off the fight.
Bout # 5 Dean Soon (Gorilla MMA 1-2-0, 2 Exh) vs Alexis Liberte (APEX MMA 3-1-0, 3 Exh, 1-1 Boxing)
The fight between Dean Soon and Alexis Liberte had big shoes to fill after Vargas vs Vitelli. Once the bell rang both men engaged in a good battle consisting of heavy kicks from Liberte, and counter punches from Soon. Liberte recently won the championship in his ‘B’ Class Division at the TBAs in Iowa this past June, and showed improvement in his striking. He managed his range well by keeping Soon at the end of his kicks.
At the end of the round it was Liberte who had done the most damage. During the 1 minute break between rounds it was discovered that Dean Soon’s left arm had been broken while defending one of Liberte’s powerful rear swing kicks. Referee Michael Reid called in the ringside doctor to inspect the arm and the fight was ended.
This fight was a true testament to the toughness and heart displayed by Dean Soon, who may have had his arm broken very early in round 1. He fought like a true warrior. We wish him a fast and healthy recovery, and look forward to seeing his return to the ring.
Bout # 6 James Desrocher (Sudbury MMA 0-1-1, 0 Exh) vs Victor Nguyen (Lanna MMA 0-0-0, 3 Exh)
The sixth bout of the night saw another Lanna MMA fighter, Victor Nguyen make his return to the ring after a long break versus a tough opponent in James Desrocher. Both athletes had fire in their eyes during their walkout to the ring, and brought the heat to ‘The Mac’ arena.
Victor demonstrated good Muaythai IQ in this fight against a stronger opponent with a good forward moving style. Nguyen used teeps and hands mixed with pivoting footwork to make himself a moving target, thereby adding more work for Desrochers. After a brief exchange in close quarters at the midpoint of round 1, Victor threw up a well timed and well placed left kick that found its mark on the head of Desrochers, knocking him to the mat, earning him am 8 count, and a 10-8 score in round 1.
For the remaining two rounds Desrochers fought hard to play catchup against Nguyen, knowing that he had to either win both rounds to score the bout a draw, or score an 8 count for himself. In anticipation of that, Nguyen and his corner established a new game plan to stay away from any dangerous exchanges with the powerful Desrochers, and out point him from a distance.
By the third round, both men were totally gassed, and looked to clinch up to score as many points as they could. They put on one hell of a fight for the crowd in Timmins, and received much applause for their efforts.
Unanimous Decision win declared for Victor Nguyen of Lanna MMA. Check out Sudbury MMA to follow James and his team http://www.sudburymma.com/
Stay tuned for the open class bouts coming up in part 3 of True North Fights, Round By Round. Corey Jackson vs Dave Firlotte, and Nathan Boulet vs Jeff Witzel