Art of War 10
NZ Combat sport events showcase athletes to keep an eye out for that have not been so prominently represented in the local mainstream media. Events like Art of War gives you a glimpse and opportunity to catch these athletes in action, who work extremely hard to be able represent in their sport locally, nationally and internationally.
Art of War 10 took place on the 30th of November at Auckland City YMCA and 26 mixed martial artists from 14 gyms delivered entertaining performances and made the 10th Art of War event one of the most exciting fight nights to be held this year in Auckland.
Overall Gym Results
The gyms that were part of Art of War were:
City Lee Gar, with 7 fighters, 5 of which cleared the night with wins
City Kickboxing, with 3 fighters and two wins
Combat Academy, with two fighters and two wins
Dynamite Thai Boxing, with two fighters and one win
Hybrid Training, with two fighters and one win
Samsons Muay Thai, with one fighter and one win
Mayhem Boxing X City Leegar, with one fighter and one win
The Penn, with two fighters.
Beyond Fitness, Team Downs, Deep South, Jai Thai Boxing, Phoenix Rising and Team Taniwha with one fighter each.
Slav Alexeichik vs Hayden Todd North
The main event of the night was between Slav Alexeichik, from City Lee Gar, who fought the last fight of his fighting career, against Hayden Todd, from The Penn, who fought his 50th fight. Both fighters fought at 86kgs and 5x3 minute rounds for the WMC (World Muay Thai) Pro Cruiserweight Title.
First round starts with an exchange of low and mid kicks from both Slav and Hayden Todd, one of which Hayden Todd uses to nearly knock Slav off balance and down. Hayden Todd successfully and quickly caught two of Slavs kicks, knocking him down twice by the first minute. The rest of the round continues and ends with Slav and Todd trading blows and kicks.
Second round is full of spinning elbows, high, mid, low and teep kicks, accompanied with a flurry of jabs from both fighters. Round three and four had action shots of all kinds, with both fighters landing and connecting more than the first two rounds, which was already packed full of action, and had one more round to go.
The crowd at YMCA Auckland chanting Slavs name as the fifth round started, with Slav and Hayden Todd exchanging kick for kick and jab for jab. Both fighters continued and ended the rest of the round maintaining the same pace they did when they first started.
Each fighter walked back to their corner knowing they had done their part, with each being sure they had won that fight.
After a very close and difficult fight, Slav was announced as winner via a split decision win. He became the New Zealand World Muay Thai Council Cruiserweight title holder and later announced his retirement from being inside the ring, but swears to definitely will be on the other side of it, training and coaching, for as long as he can foresee.
Fau Vake vs Zak Kezo
The co-main event fight was for the NZMF North Island Light Heavyweight title. Fau Vake from City Kickboxing fought Zak Kezo From Beyond Gym, for 5x2 minute rounds. Zak did not make it easy for Fau, who worked hard, fought well and came out with a split decision win.
Round one starts off promising an entertaining title fight. It commences with Fau Vake coming out with all hands, with a few kicks from Zak that he checks. Zak replies with counter punches of his own, and a flying knee that Fau blocks.
In round two and three, there is heaps of clinching from both fighters, both landing against the ring and Zak out of the ring twice, but into the safe hands of Israel Adesanya, who was cheering Fau in his corner. Fau brings his speedy hands back, while Zak kept on delivering high kicks and ending round three with a flying roundhouse / high kick ** looks like both, I’ll send you the videos .
Both fighters continue round four where they off, getting right back into it with multiple clinches, punches, jabs and more kicks used by both fighters.
Round five is an exchange of Faus fast hands and Zak’s kicks, which he throws with so much ease. Although, it might have not been enough from Zak at the end. This was another close and hard fight for both fighters, and Fau got the job done. He was announced winner via a split decision win and became the NZMF North Island Light Heavyweight champion.
Mikey Helg vs Jared Sayer
Mikey Helg, from Hybrid, put on and put up a good fight but it wasn’t enough to secure a win against Jared Sayer from Dynamite gym.
Mickey Helg elaborated on his fight, one that could have gone either ways.
“I lost via decision but we felt a little hard done by , and thought that it should’ve been a draw to say the least, the scoring system was a bit off that night but I guess that’s the fight game, it’s not always gonna pretty.”
Mikey believes Jareds sweeps and clinches might have done the trick. “it was tough, it was close , it could’ve gone either way but due to the Muay Thai Scoring system, they felt that my opponent had just done enough with his sweeps and clinch.”
After 3x2 minute rounds, Jared was awarded a split decision win.
Rodney Laille vs Travis Schwitzer
Travis Schwitzer, from Samson Muay Thai, fought Rodney Laille, from City Kickboxing, both fighters weighing 63kgs and fighting for 3x2 minute rounds. In round one, Rodney applies pressure while Travis attempted replies with a few low kicks then in the second half of the first round chinches. Rodney regains momentum
Everything you could expect for from a fight at art of war, the first round was full of; striking, clinching, low kicks, knees, takedowns and a few high kicks from Travis.
Second half starts off with the same momentum from Rodney, who uses more low and kicks as the round progresses. Towards the second half of second round, Travis seemed to try and apply more of his clinches, knees, kicks and striking.
Third round starts with Rodney clinching and knocking Travis down early in the round with a straight right as Travis looked like he was about to attempt a left low kick.
Travis was back on his feet right away, with the rest of the round being a mini slug fest where they exchanged jabs and clinches. Travis used his knees flawlessly and managed to clip Rodney one last time before the third round ended.
Travis earned himself a split decision win after a very close fight against Rodney, with both fighters putting on one of the best fights of the night.
Art of war also turned in an impressive crowd, including UFC fighters who were cornermen and ring side for a few fights like Israel Adesanya, Brad Riddell, KaiKara France and Daniel Hooker - who had three of his fighters compete on the night as well.
All the fights reaching split decisions shows how much hard work and effort was put into the fights by all 26 fighters to make sure they did their best, while delivering their best performances. The clear winners that night were the audience for Art of War 10, as they got to witness some of the best fighters and gyms showcase their talent at one of the best fight events that is held in New Zealand.