It is a night some 30 years in the making.
That’s why Lion Fight 39 is so meaningful to Scott Kent, CEO of Lion Fight Promotions. After studying at the University of London, he longed to come back and make a big splash in city and country he grew to love after settling in from far off Montana.
With Lion Fight 39 set for the Indigo at O2 Arena in London, Kent’s has truly made a dream come true thanks in large part to his organization’s partnership with Muay Thai Grand Prix.
“It’s a historical event for Lion Fight and I’m very proud that we were able to bring it all together,” said Kent.
“When I completed my studies in London, I made a promise to myself that one day I would come back to this phenomenal city and do something big, something that I hoped the whole city would notice. With Lion Fight 39 presented by our great partners at Muay Thai Grand Prix, I am super excited to making that promise become a reality.”
The live event is Lion Fight’s first outside of the outside states, and another step in its efforts to showcase the organization’s elite talent. Fans in attendance at the Indigo at O2 Arena plus the international audience watching on various platforms (details to be announced soon) bolster Lion Fight’s already powerful broadcast partnership with AXS TV and Fight Network.
Two of Lion Fight’s best will take part in title fights in London with reigning cruiserweight world champ Chip “The Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard putting his belt on the line for the first time. On top of that, Moraza-Pollard and opponent Jordan Smith will be vying for the vacant MTGP world cruiserweight crown making their battle doubly incentivized. While Moraza-Pollard would have loved the chance to have his first defense at home in front of his fan base at Foxwoods Resort Casino, there was no way the Plymouth, Massachusetts, product was about to pass up the opportunity to take his talents to England.
“It’s definitely an honor to be headlining such an historic event with so many great fighters on the card, especially since November 18th will mark the one-year anniversary of my Lion Fight debut and first professional Muay Thai fight,” said Moraza-Pollard, who captured the title at Lion Fight 37 coming out on top against Paul Banasiak in an epic matchup.
“To have fought my way to the top of the promotion, securing the Lion Fight title, and getting the opportunity to fight in another country for the first time all in only one year makes me excited for what the future will hold.”
Hoping to follow in Moraza-Pollard’s championship footsteps is Amine Ballafrikh, who is perhaps Lion Fight’s most gregarious competitor inside the ring. A taunting smirk is something that the “Moroccan Freak” often displays to his opponents, and it has on more than one occasion given Ballafrikh a mental edge. The Sterling, Virginia, resident will hope to every edge he can find as he meets Dean James for the MTGP world featherweight title.
Ballafrikh goal to win the title and represent his promotion well.
“I’m humbled to be a part of this event. This has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Ballafrikh.
“Both Scott Kent and Scott Zerr believing in me to represent Lion Fight for this historic event means a great deal. It’s amazing to be part of an organization that is doing so much to build American Muay Thai. Hopefully this is the first of many events that Lion Fight will host overseas that will showcase American fighters. I will do my best to bring the MTGP world featherweight title back home and show the world that I’m always ready to fight the best.”
Rounding out Lion Fight’s trio of representatives is Californian Eddie Abasolo, who is certainly one of the organization’s brightest prospects. He will meet rival middleweight Jersey Pinto in London, and a win there would certainly propel him to loftier bouts.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to be on Lion Fight’s first show outside the U.S. because the world needs to see what goes on within the wall of CSA (Combat Sports Academy) when nobody is looking, and I’m blessed with the task of doing so,” noted Abasolo, whose last outing was a fifth-round finish of PJ Sweda at Lion Fight 36.
Tickets for Muay Thai Grand Prix Presents Lion Fight 39 are available at https://www.axs.com/events/342910/muay-thai-grand-prix-11-ft-lion-fight-39-tickets.