Vendetta MuayThai - Saturday 9th December 2017
Photos by Lioness photography
The inaugural Vendetta event took place on Saturday December 9th, in the Caroline Bay Hall in Timaru. After a sunny day, the crowd was sweltering in the hall, as they awaited the evening's 14 Muay Thai fights.
The night culminated in an epic 60kg battle between Queenstown Muay Thai's Fiona "Juggernaut" Sim, and R.O.A's Mel Mackey-Huriwai, for the NZMF New Zealand Female Super Lightweight title. The dogged pressure of Sim was constant, as she doubled up the jab and threw iron shins, with Mackey-Huriwai cutting angles and fighting on the back foot. Sim never took a backwards step, and kept a furious pace, while Mackey-Huriwai used swift footwork to unload accurate counterpunches. The fight was razor close, with one judge favouring Sim, and two favouring Mackey-Huriwai, who took the title via split decision.
The second title fight of the night was a clash of titans, which saw Maui Tu Moana's Ricky Esilva face Muay Thai Christchurch's Dave Bendall for the NZMF South Island Male Heavyweight title. Both men formidable, it was Bendall who pressed the action, bulling forward with jabs and looping hooks to close the distance on the taller Esilva, who favoured the rear leg front kick to keep Bendall at bay. Esilva found his timing in round 2, chopping Bendall's lead leg with hard kicks, and using slick head movement to avoid damage, while countering with his own accurate punches. Esilva used slick footwork and timing to claim his belt, with a unanimous decision win over a formidable opponent.
In easily the most violent contest of the night, Lucky Nine's Steve "Friction" Farrant took on Jackals' Case Needham at 68kg. Needham was the aggressor early, crashing kicks off the tight guard of Farrant, and displaying crisp boxing as he changed angles, setting a fast pace. Out of nowhere, Farrant cracked Needham with a hard left hook on the clinch break, wobbling him, and he clinched to recover.
Back on the offence, Needham unleashed a series of elbows, one of which split the scalp of Farrant, causing blood to streak down his forehead. As Farrant's face quickly became a crimson mask, the doctor stepped in to clean the cut. The action never waned, and as Needham renewed his assault in the second round, he got absolutely clobbered by a stone-fisted Farrant right hook, sending him crashing to the canvas, and unable to answer the 8-count.
Rymi "Monster" Sakimura (Lucky Nine) vs Sarah "Miss Princess" Jones (Lion Pit) 52kg. In a clear highlight of the night, Sakimura personified her nickname, using furious offensive pressure to force the experienced Jones into a defensive shell.
Sakimura showed great poise, sliding just out of the way of the probing kicks of her opponent, before blitzing forward with punches upstairs, leading to a pair of standing 8 counts in the 3rd round, and a flawless unanimous decision victory.
Matt Sutherland (Muay Thai Christchurch) vs Terrence "Machine Gun" Montgomery (Wild Stables) 80kg. The bout began with Sutherland pressuring Montgomery, who found effective counters from the outside, landing a punishing series of right body kicks which crumpled Sutherland in the second round. Smelling blood, Montgomery chased the finish, but Sutherland was unfazed and tough in the face of oppression, eating punishment and returning fire. It was to no avail, though, as the accuracy and footwork of Montgomery was enough to pick up the unanimous decision win.
Nikau Williams (Lucky Nine) vs Dion Manson (Pit Bull Muay Thai) 80kg. Williams was light on his feet early, working the leg kicks, with Manson stoic and returning fire with punches setting up knees. As they traded elbows in the clinch, Manson appeared the stronger fighter, but Williams would score on the break with quick punches. It was Williams who took the decision in a close fight.
Matt Rab (Muay Thai Christchurch) vs Aaron Cole (Alpha Muay Thai) 70kg. Cole attacked with ill intent from the outset, cracking Rab with several hard crosses, forcing the referee to intervene. Cole was relentless, launching forward with a lead uppercut cross combination, dropping Rab again. After the third 8-count the ref called off the contest. A deserved and dominant win for Cole, who never looked in danger.
Jess "Whiplash" Wilson, (Lucky Nine) vs Miriata Callaghan (R.O.A.) 65kg. Wilson was on the offence from the opening bell, using straight punches to disguise leg and body kicks. Callaghan proved excellent at catching the right body kick, throwing hard punches on the follow up. As the fight progressed, however, Wilson grew savvy to this, and would throw the right kick to be caught, following up with hard crosses of her own, and elbows on the inside, on her way to a unanimous decision victory.
Bex Tait (Hammerhead) vs Melissa Dykes (Martial Arts Academy) 67kg. Both fighters engaged in an orthodox stance, with Tait favouring the right low kick. The fight was neck-and-neck, but Dykes took the unanimous decision by winning a close round 2, and landing the most significant shot of the fight; blasting Tait with a heavy right cross, leaving her trying to recover amidst the ensuing barrage.
Blayne "the Bullet" Pattinson (Lucky Nine) vs Tom Dacre (Spartans) 58kg. Pattinson with great lateral movement and use of his reach advantage, largely stymying the offence of the pugnacious Dacre, who was keen to stay in the pocket and trade leather. Early in round 2, Dacre clinched and swept Pattinson, before delivering a brutal knee to the head of his downed opponent. The ref stopped the fight, awarding the win to Pattinson by disqualification due to the illegal strike.
Steely Dan Brosnahan (Lucky Nine) vs Jack Broster (Fight Science) 72kg. A huge welt appeared early on the right side of Brosnahan from the rear left kick of the southpaw Broster, and got larger as the fight wore on. It was Broster who took the split decision win, utilising hard counterpunches upstairs against the pressure and kicks of Brosnahan.
Ashlee Dolamore (Lucky Nine) vs Michelle Shortall (Rox MT) 62kg. Dolamore won a split decision, using chopping low kicks setup by an effective jab upstairs to turn back the tenacious offense of Shortall.
If the calibre of fights in this event was any indication of the future, you don't want to miss the next Vendetta.