by Joshu Shane Baker- TSMMA Cherry Hill
The TSMMA crowd overtook the Hamburg Fieldhouse Saturday night to watch 3 debut fighters, 2 fighters having only their second fight, and one title shot.
First up was Bryan Felipe from Allentown taking on fellow first timer Gage Fairchild of Team Hammer. It was Felipe’s first time in the ring but you would never have noticed from the poise and ring control that he had from start to finish. He overcame an early flurry from his opponent and then took control, pushing the pace for the whole first round. He landed crisp combinations highlighted by upper cuts that landed flush over and over again. The constant pressure from Felipe was bothering his opponent who thought he made it out of the round until a strong body kick dropped him at the bell. He got up after the standing eight count but was clearly hurt.
The second round was more of the same from Felipe who continued the pressure, landing uppercuts and crosses until he fighter dropped for a third and final time 1:25 into the second. Very impressive TKO victory for the 14 year old on his debut fight. Definitely a prospect to watch in the future.
Second up was Elmwood Park’s Erin Blanchfield who was training at TSMNA HQ on Friday when she was asked to step in and fight the next night. Her opponent was Samantha Rice from Dragon Gym. She not only accepted the challenge but showed how consistent training keeps you in such great shape physically and mentally. From the opening bell she controlled the distance and pace with stiff jabs followed by powerful crosses.
Each round she would only get stronger and there was no doubt who was going to get her hand raised at the end. Erin won be unanimous decision 30-27.
Next up was Maribel Estades from TSMMA Allentown squaring off against Heather Lawson of Team Brutter, who made their way down from Canada. She started off pushing the pace with jab-cross combos. The first round was back and forth, trading blow after blow.
The second round was more of the same fight of pure will with each lady standing toe to toe trading punches. The third round mirrored the first two with each lady digging down deep with whatever they had left to show the judges who was the best this night. Two judges scored the fight a draw with the last going towards the other girl. Tough fight for Estades, but definitely one to be proud of.
After a 3 year layoff following his first fight, Joshu Tony Billings, head instructor of TSMMA Princeton, stepped back into the ring. He took on Zachary Delay of Team High Voltage. From the opening bell, Joshu Billings looked much more poised and relaxed than his previous encounter in the ring. He kept the pressure and showed his beautiful technique with combinations hitting all three levels of his opponent. Hitting low kick after low kick started taking their toll on the front leg of Delay well into the second round.
Once the start of the third round began, Billings pounced on his hurt opponent and started landing stronger crosses and hooks to the body and head that dazed his opponent and caused a standing eight count. Once the referee gave the go ahead to continue, Billings didn’t give Delay time to gain his composure. He pushed forward with sharp and devastating combinations that dropped Delay one final time.
A strong performance from the TSMMA Chalfont product winning via TKO 1:25 minutes into the third round.
The fifth Team Tiger Schulmann fighter to take the stage was first timer William Brown of TSMMA Cherry Hill going up against another Team High Voltage member, Johnnie Morgan.
The fight started with Brown having trouble closing the distance on his taller opponent’s jab. Cornerman Shihan James Simpson gave adjustments that motivated Brown to not take no for an answer and get inside and control the fight. The Cherry Hill product made the changes needed and started to put the pressure onto Morgan. He started to fight at his own range and body and head shots began to land and faze Morgan.
The fight came down to the third and final round where it would be more of a battle of attrition than anything else. Answering the question of who wanted the fight more was Brown who wouldn’t stop until his body gave in, which it never did. The result was a split decision win for William Brown showing what a win from pure will looks like.
Final competitor of the night was the veteran of the group, Nolan Wisser of TSMMA Allentown. He was going for the International Welterweight Muay Thai title verses Ben Pride of Team Siam #1 from Canada.
This was a long awaited title shot for the longtime fighter Wisser. However, the southpaw Canadian used powerful round kicks and the clinch to control most of the fight. Wisser had issues closing the distance and being able to use his quick hands.
Pride was able to withstand the late push by Wisser in the forth round to win via unanimous decision.
Following the decision, Irv Althouse, promoter of the Althouse Fight Night event immediately took the microphone and stated how much he enjoyed the even matchup and announced a rematch in the making already. Be ready to look out for Wisser to take another crack at his first title belt.
Overall, Team Tiger Schulmann and their raucous crowd owned the night and showed how hard work and dedication truly pays off.