Primm Valley, NV — It was an action packed night of fights at the Star of the Desert Arena at Buffalo Bill’s Casino. Lion Fight Promotions “Battle in the Desert 2” featured some of the biggest names in American Muay Thai as well as some highly regarded international fighters.
In the nights main event Kevin Ross looked to defend his WBC Muay Thai Super Lightweight International Title against Mark DeLuca. The fight started out with both fighters feeling each other out, once the second round came Ross started to turn up the pressure. By the third round Ross had taken over the fight, as was able to get off first with his attacks, eventually cutting DeLuca’s lip with an elbow. Despite DeLuca hanging tough the doctor stopped the fight after the third round due to the cut on his lip.
In the nights co-main event World Team USA fighter Ky Hollenbeck faced France’s Gregory Choplin for the WBC Muay Thai Middleweight Interim World Title. From the start of the fight Hollenbeck was the aggressor as he pressed the action. Hollenbeck held nothing back as he attacked with spinning elbows, flying knees, and anything else he had in his Muay Thai repertoire. By the time the fifth and final round came Choplin seemed fatigued while Hollenbeck was still pressing the action. In the end all three judges gave Hollenbeck the victory on the cards, two with scores of 50-45, and one 49-46. The win is the second consecutive for Hollenbeck against world ranked competition, he had previously defeated Vuyisile Colossa to earn his title shot.
In a super fight Cosmo Alexandre from Brazil met Cyrus Washington. The fight was Cosmo’s first fight in the United States. From the off set it was clear that Cosmo’s reach and length were going to give Washington trouble. Cosmo used all the tools in his arsenal as he connected with elbows, flying knees, kicks, and punches at will. The highlight for Washington came in the third round when he connected with a spinning kick to the body that caught Cosmo off balance, Cosmo hit the canvas but was immediately back to this feet and back to work. When it was all said and done Cosmo had a successful American debut as he took home a unanimous decision by scores of 50-45 (2x), and 49-46.
In what was easily the fight of the night Chaz Mulkey and Ken Tran put on a show for the fans. The fight started off tightly contested but as it went on Mulkey began to pull away. In the third round Mulkey connected with an elbow that split Tran’s forehead open. Tran looked to connect with that dangerous right hand of his throughout the night but Mulkey did a good job avoiding it. Tran the ultimate showman was dancing in between rounds, cheering and and exchanging taunts with Mulkey and in the end all they did was entertain the crowd by putting on a very exciting fight. The fight went to the judges and Mulkey took home a unanimous decision by scores of 50-44 (2x), and 48-46 to take home the WBC Muay Thai Middleweight International Challenge Fight.
Jose Palacios made short work of Scotty Leffler as he connected with a right that send Leffler crashing to the canvas just twenty five seconds into the fight. The right by Palacio’s that ended the fight also broke Leffler’s jaw.
In one of the nights most anticipated fights Chris Romulo from New York met Shawn Yarborough in the nights biggest East vs. West match. The fight was very technical as both fighters picked their shots, the fighters were tied one round a piece going into the third round and then they both decided to complicate things by going tit for tat for the final three rounds which were very close. Despite not being able to throw elbows in New York, Romulo threw some nice elbows, and took some as well from Yarborough. In the end the judges awarded a split decision in favor of Shawn Yarborough. The two judges that gave the fight to Yarborough scored it 48-46, and 48-47 while the judge that gave the fight to Romulo scored it 49-46 in his favor. Despite the loss Romulo represented well and the fight could have easily gone his way, New York should be proud.
In the nights only female pro fight Jeri Sitzes picked her shots until she saw and opening and unloaded on Sally McCarthy. Near the end of the first round Sitzes hurt McCarthy and went on the attack but the round ended before she could get the finish. Sitzes started right where she left off at the end of the first round when the second round started. She worked McCarthy’s body and eventually a combination of kicks and punches sent McCarthy down for good at 1:43 of the second round.
In the nights first pro fight Anthony Castrejon won his professional debut in controversial fashion over Ognjen Topic. Castrejon seemed to have trouble all night with Topic’s length and despite making his name on the New York circuit Topic used some nicely placed elbows to cut Castrejon above his right eye. Topic pushed the pace the entire fight and when the fight was over it seemed he would be walking out of the ring with a decision, but the judges saw it a differently. All three judges scored the fight in Castrejon’s favor 48-47.
WBC Muay Thai International Super Lightweight Title
Kevin Ross def. Mark DeLuca via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at the end of Rd. 3
WBC Muay Thai Interim Middleweight World Title
Ky Hollenbeck def. Gregory Choplin via Unanimous Decision
Cosmo Alexandre def. Cyrus Washington via Unanimous Decision
WBC Muay Thai Middleweight International Challenge
Chaz Mulkey def. Ken Tran via Unanimous Decision
Jose Palacios def. Scotty Leffler via KO (Punch) at 0:25 of Rd. 1
Shawn Yarborough def. Chris Romulo via Split Decision
Jeri Sitzes def. Sally McCarthy via KO (Punches to the body) at 1:43 of Rd. 2
Anthony Castrejon def. Ognjen Topic via Unanimous Decision
USMTA Light Heavyweight Title
Jason Caldwell def. Vadim Goberman via Split Decision to win
Josh Shepard def. Josh Pickthall via (T)KO at 1:39 of Rd. 1
Genesis Bravo def. Agualuna Romero via Unanimous Decision
Johnny Parsons def. Chris Minor via (T)KO at 1:35 of Rd. 1
Justin Diggers def. Nikolai Berov via Split Decision