True North Fights poster

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.

Fight Breakdowns

Bout # 1 Curtis Westcott (TMAC 1-2-0, Exh) vs Phil Holzgang (APEX MMA 0-4-0, Exh, 1-0 MMA)
True North Fights. Westcott backs up Hozgang with a knee
True North Fights. Westcott backs up Hozgang with a knee

This exciting Class ‘B’ fight between Holzgang and Westcott was a great way to begin the pace of what would follow throughout the night. Both fighters are big, tough, and throw heavy.

The action went back and forth, but favoured Holzgang, who had Westcott backing up throughout the fight. Westcott managed to find openings to counter Holzgang throughout the first two rounds, but didn’t have enough weapons in his toolbox to scare Phil off.

By the third round, Holzgang had secured a strong lead by mixing up techniques and controlling the clinch battles, but he pushed himself to try and finish the fight, eventually scoring a standing 8 count by overwhelming Westcott with punches.

Both men came into this fight ready to make their mark in Timmins. After 3 rounds, both athletes were recognized for the efforts by the fans. A very good fight to start the night.

Due to this being an Exhibition Bout, a draw was declared.

Visit http://www.apex-martial-arts.com/ and http://www.totalmartialartscenter.com/

Bout # 2 Alex Drouin (Drouin’s Martial Arts 0-0-0, 2 Exh) vs Paul Nicol (Actions MMA 0-0-0, 1 Exh)
True North Fights. Drouin keeps Nicol at range
True North Fights. Drouin keeps Nicol at range

The second bout of the night featured a young Alex Drouin facing Paul Nicol in their first sanctioned bout. Not much is known about either of these two young athletes, but they left an impression on the fans.

Alex Drouin is 17-years-old, but fights like a seasoned vet. He came into this fight very well prepared. His hands looked sharp right from the get go, and found their range early in the round. Once Drouin got more comfortable, he saw a target worth going for, and went after Nicol, scoring a knockdown.

In round 2, Drouin shocks Nicol with another big punch that looks like a ‘half knockdown, half slip’ kind of punch. Nicol bounces right back up, shakes it off, and continues to find a way to earn Drouin’s respect.

By the third round, Drouin had done enough to slow down Nicol and basically shut down his offense. It was a great showing by both athletes. It might be too early to say, but Alex Drouin is a young fighter with a great foundation to build upon. He fought with confidence and IQ throughout his debut.

Unanimous Decision win for Alex Drouin of Drouin’s Martial Arts

Visit https://www.facebook.com/pierre.drouinsmartialarts to follow young Alex’s career and

Bout #3 Naim Diaz (TMAC 0-0-0, 1 Exh) vs Besmir Kraniqi (Florins MMA 0-0-0, 0 Exh)
True North Fights Diaz vs Krasniqi
True North Fights Diaz vs Krasniqi

The third bout of the night featured another pair of athletes making their Muaythai Ontario debut. Naim Diaz, a tough young man with a Capoeira background met Besmir Kraniqi. Both fighters brought a ton of energy and fire to the ring for their 3 round battle.

The action went both ways throughout the fight. Kraniqi would score big techniques, then Diaz would answer back with a counter combination of his own. This was mainly the theme throughout the fight, with both athletes trading blows until neither could raise their arms over their heads.

By the third round, both Kraniqi and Diaz had given their all. They would clinch just to earn a few seconds rest. After being separated, it was Kraniqi who poured on the offense, doing his best to take a round from Diaz. This was an extremely close fight with a lot of fireworks.

Stay tuned for bouts 4-6 tomorrow. They were featured wins by Brenda Vargas and Victor Nguyen of Lanna MMA, and a surprise finish by Alexis Liberty of Apex MMA.

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