For those that couldn’t wait for the Canada fire works, they got their fill in Saturday’s main event at Superfights 17 Kickboxing and Muay Thai Championships at the Westerner Stockman’s Pavilion.
The bout featured Western Canadian Modified Muay Thai Heavyweight Champion Chris Lafantasie of Red Deer’s Black Dragon Martial Arts versus Kenneth Schaefer of Dawson Creek in a non-title affair, and the two 240 pound plus fighters started throwing leather and legs from the opening round at lightweight pace with heavyweight power, that had the 400 plus fans in attendance standing on their feet cheering them on.
“I just went with what my opponent was doing,” said the champion. “If he wants to throw I will throw more.”
In the opening few seconds of the bout Lafantasie himself quickly set the pace and had Schaefer in trouble. About halfway through the round Lafantasie drove the Dawson Creek fighter into the canvas with a five punch combination. But just when it seemed like Schaefer was ready to go he landed a huge right hand that stunned the champion. Schaefer tried to capitalize, but Lafantasie quickly recovered and once again had his opponent in trouble. But with 15 second lefts in the round the Dawson Creek fighter once again came back and landed a huge left hook from the ropes that appeared to have Lafantasie in trouble, but again the champion quickly recovered control of the action for the last few seconds of the round.
“I felt them (the right hand and the left hook),” said Lafantasie.
“But I just dealt with them.”
In the second frame Lafantasie again came out on fire, Schaefer tried to counter with another big left hook but this time the Black Dragon fighter walked through it and dropped his opponent with a half hook, half jab. Schaefer got up but a second left hook dropped him again and the referee stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:08 of the round.
Cheney Karate’s Travis Osmond made his first ring fight a little more interesting than he would have liked as he had to come back from a second round knockdown to post a split-decision win over Alex Santizo of Edmonton.
The first frame of their lightweight battle saw Osmond of Red Deer winning the outside battles and Santizo getting the better when the battle moved inside.
In the second round Osmond was again dominating from the outside when he landed a right round house kick followed by a one-two that appeared to hurt the Edmonton fighter but as Osmond looked to follow-up he got caught by a right hand from Santizo that dropped him to the canvas. Osmond was obviously hurt, but within 30 seconds had recovered enough to once again take control of the round.
“I didn’t even actually see (the right hand),” said Osmond. “All I know is that he hooked me and I went down for a second. Luckily I didn’t go completely out, regained my breath and came back out and started winning.”
In the third round Osmond returned the favour as he dropped the Edmonton fighter with a knee. Osmond continued to rock his opponent from outside with one-twos to take the last round.
Sean Enright (3-1), of Arashi-do Red Deer, used physical strength and fast hands to dominate a more experienced Danny Rodriguez (6-2) of Lethbridge and post a unanimous decision win. The 140 pound fight was a big step up for Enright and he passed the test in impressive fashion. Enright was able to control the Lethbridge fighter in the clinch taking his opponent to the canvas on six occasions. In the second round Enright stunned Rodriguez with a jab followed by a straight right.
In a welterweight bout Will Quijada of Red Deer Seven Stars Preying Mantis used excellent clinch work and knees to score a unanimous decision victory over Bruce Tran of Edmonton. Quijada took the Edmonton fighter down three times and never allowed Tran to use his hands or get any sort of rhythm for the entire three round fight.
The opening fight of the evening was a war as Red Deer’s Josh Crump from Black Dragon Martial Arts and Regina’s Jordan Rithaler left everything in the ring with both fighters exchanging through the entire six minutes of the three round bout. In the end Rithaler was awarded the unanimous decision for landing the harder, cleaner, shots.
In other action involving Red Deer fighters Jeff Dent of Cheney Karate came from behind to win the third round but it was a little to late as Kyle Watts of Edmonton took the first two rounds to post the unanimous decision win. Scott Allen of Seven Stars Preying Mantis lost by unanimous decision to Dwain Soon of Medicine Hat. Cheney Karate’s T.J. Dubas lost a unanimous decision to Steve Allen of Edmonton. In the super-middleweight division Tim Bobyk of Cheney Karate lost by unanimous decision to Brian Kong of Edmonton.