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 judge’s scoring of the rounds.
Fight Breakdown – Open Class Action
Bout # 7 Corey Jackson (Actions MMA 12-23-0, 10 Exh) vs (Dave Firlotte Team Tsunami – BAMA 10-20-0, 0 Exh)
The “open’ class action began with two veterans with a combined record of over 60 fights between them. Corey Jackson is 46-years-old and still moves with the energy of a 30-year-old (fun fact: Jackson fought Episode 16 guest Andy Tiet at the Ace Fighting Championships in 2016. Episode to the podcast is here https://thebloodyballet.com/episode-16-andy-tiet/). His unorthodox style makes it difficult for any fighter to figure out a game plan to score clean techniques.
Dave Firlotte out of Team Tsunami/BAMA is an MMA veteran like Jackson, and has a hard-nosed forward moving style that made for a great matchup with Jackson.
The fight began with a lot of movement and energy being used by the two 135-ers. Jackson put on a kicking showcase for the fans. He brought out axe kicks, spinning techniques, and strikes from various angles. Firlotte is a grinder, and kept marching through Jackson’s strikes to get his hands all over his opponent.
This wasn’t a Muaythai fight in it’s purest form. Both fighters brought a kickboxing/mma flavour to the ring on Saturday, and gave the fans a real show. Spinning backfists were thrown by both men, as each tried desperately to earn themselves a knockdown.
After 3 rounds of intense action, the fight went to the judge’s scorecards.
Unanimous Decision win for Corey Jackson of Actions MMA
Bout # 8 Mike Widawski (Troop MMA 8-8-0, 10 Exh) vs (Dan Kechego MAS Thaiboxing 23-8-0, 5 Exh)
In an unfortunate turn of events, it was announced at the end of the intermission that Mike Widawski would not be able to fight due to a recurring injury that flared up in his knee.
We wish Widawski a speedy rehabilitation and hope to see a future matchup between him and Kechego. Perhaps for True North Fights 2? We will see.
Bout # 9 Nathan Boulet (TMAC 7-4-0, 5 Exh, 4-2-0 MMA) vs Jeff Witzel Darkside Muay Thai 6-7-0, 10 Exh)
The ninth fight of the night featured two well-rounded strikers with lots of ring experience. Jeff Witzel from Darkside Muay Thai in Kitchener returned to the ring after his win in March at the Mitsubishi Cup over Zack Desa. He has fought top competition in the province, and brought all of his strong technique with him on Saturday.
Nathan Boulet is a serious hometown favourite. He instructs Muay Thai at the Total Martial Arts Center in Timmins, and is a former national champ after he won the WKF title in September 2016. He was making his Muaythai Ontario debut on Saturday, entering this bout with a 7-4 record with other organizations.
Both men begin scoring early in this fight, and the pace is already set quite high. Jeff is the taller fighter, and uses his reach quite well with all of his weapons. Boulet is constantly countering Witzel’s offense with very strong leg kicks. This theme would continue throughout the entire bout.
In the third round, after backing Boulet up with a wide range of Muaythai techniques, score himself two 8 counts. Instead of just sitting back and coasting through the remainder of the round, Witzel finds his last bit of gas to pile on body kicks and punching combinations until referee Michael Reid stops the contest.
A truly great performance by Witzel who improved his record to 7-7. Boulet may have felt disappointed in his showing, but he gave the fans that night a fight to remember. It was a lot of fun to watch.
Referee stops contest in the third round for the winner Jeff Witzel of Darkside Muay Thai www,darksidemuaythai.ca.
Our final instalment tomorrow will feature the co-main event and fight of the night award winner between Jesse Cronier and Stefan Dronjak, and the main event between Terry ‘Goodtimes’ Lemaire vs Kyle Vivian. A special podcast covering all of the action will be up on Friday.