Recap of Battle in the Desert 5 as reported by Muay Thai Authority:
Las Vegas, NV — Lion Fight Promotions “Battle in the Desert 5” took place at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The night’s main event had the crowd roaring as Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus competed in a winner take all fight. Marcus came out to a chorus of boos from the pro Schilling crowd which erupted in cheers when Schilling made his entrance. Marcus was unfazed by the negative fan reaction and urged the crowd to deliver more boos.
Schilling did not start the fight aggressively as fans are accustomed, instead he seemed to measure Marcus up. They clinched a few times and Schilling was able to push the head of Marcus back, but did not capitalize with any strikes. Schilling did connect with a strike that drew some blood from Marcus. In the clinch Marcus tripped Schilling and they hit the canvas, Schilling’s head slamming into the canvas. Schilling got up, but was clearly on wobbly legs. Like a shark smelling blood, Marcus went in for the kill. A left hook from Marcus sent Schilling to the canvas, but Schilling was able to answer the referee’s count. An anxious Marcus went directly at Schilling and connected with a right elbow that sent Schilling down again. Schilling was able to get back to his feet again, but the referee stopped the fight as it was clear Schilling was still on wobbly legs, giving Marcus the (T)KO victory in the first round. The win is huge for Marcus, not only for the monetary reason, but also because he defeated one of North America’s top fighters.
There has been a lot of talk after the fight that the trip was illegal and that the fall is what hurt Schilling. It was clear Schilling was affected by the fall, but as a fighter Simon did what he was supposed to do and finished the fight. If anything this just sets up an eventual re-match that will have just as much excitement surrounding it as this fight had going in.
The night’s co-main event featured Chaz Mulkey taking on Gregory Choplin. The fight started off with both fighters looking to feel each other out. Mulkey seemed to land cleaner shots early, but midway through the fight it was neck and neck. Choplin rocked Mulkey with a punch that sent him to the canvas. Mulkey was able to recover, but afterward Choplin was able to successfully counter Mulkey as he tried to press the action. Choplin used some solid leg kicks in route to a unanimous decision victory, ending Mulkey’s five fight win streak,
Matt Embree and Coke Chunhawat met in a rubber match for the interim WBC Muay Thai International Title. You couldn’t find a more technical fight as both Embree and Chunhawat showed some excellent technique from start to finish. Embree used his reach well to land strikes and was able to avoid Chunhawat’s punches throughout most of the fight. In addition Embree was able to mix in leg kicks and connect with solid knees from the clinch. The previous two bouts ended in split decisions, but Embree took home a unanimous decision to end the trilogy and win the interim WBC Muay Thai International Title.
Scotty Leffler and Sheldon Gaines put on an exciting fight from start to finish. Leffler was returning to action after recovering from a broken jaw he suffered last May. Both fighters made sure to entertain the crowed from the opening bell. Leffler scored early with a knee to the head that knocked Gaines down. Despite the knockdown, Gaines fought his way back into the fight going toe-to-toe with Leffler. Gaines opened up a nice gash over Leffler’s right eye and worked in some solid leg kicks. Leffler was able to push the pace and connect with some solid strikes of his own. The fight went the distance and Leffler took home the unanimous decision victory.
Tiffany Van Soest had an excellent sophomore performance against Vivian Leung. From the opening bell Van Soest was able to dictate the action. In the second round she opened up a cut on Leung and continued to attack with a variety of strikes. Van Soest just seemed to be a step ahead of Leung all night and the judges awarded her a unanimous decision victory.
In the night’s second pro fight Anthony Castrejon scored a stoppage victory over Francisco Barragan. The fight was fairly close in the first two rounds, but in the third round Castrejon connected with a body kick that sent Barragan down to the canvas. Barragan was unable to get back to his feet and Castrejon took home the knockout victory.
In the night’s opening pro bout Shane Oblonsky out pointed Jose Palacios in route to a unanimous decision victory. Oblonsky used his length and size to stifle Palacios attacks. He used his boxing well by attacking the body early as well as landing several solid knees to Palacios midsection from the clinch. By the fourth round Palacios seemed to have lost a step and Oblonsky continued to press the action and score. The win is a solid victory for Oblonsky and it should be interesting to see who he is paired up against next.
Simon Marcus def. Joe Schilling via (T)KO at 2:50 of Rd. 1
Gregory Choplin def. Chaz Mulkey via Unanimous Decision
Matt Embree def. Coke Chunhawat via Unanimous Decision
Scotty Leffler def. Sheldon Gaines via Unanimous Decision
Tiffany Van Soest def. Vivian Leung via Unanimous Decision
Anthony Castrejon def. Francisco Barragan via KO at 0:34 of Rd. 3
Shane Oblonsky def. Jose Palacios via Unanimous Decision
Josh Shepard def. Tariq Rahman via Unanimous Decision
Miranda Cayabyab def. Gabriella Lakoczky via Unanimous Decision
Johnny Parson def. Beto Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision
Victor Perez def. Jonathan Del Rosario via Unanimous Decision
AJ Williams def. Reuben Fairbanks via (T)KO at 0:55 of Rd. 2
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