According to a May 24 report from MMA Junkie, Lion Fight's first trip to the East Coast was a massive success, as the promotion sold out the 4,000-seat Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation. Since Lion Fight was new to the state of Connecticut, it was the first live Muay Thai experience for many in the crowd. Most of the fighters on the show seemed to know that, so they came out swinging and left it all in the cage.
Lion Fight 15, which aired live on AXS TV, featured several exciting pro and amateur fights, including a headliner of Cosmo Alexandre against Mark Holst. Alexandre cruised to a unanimous decision victory, after 15 spirited minutes of action. Perhaps the best fight of the night, however, was the co-main tilt between veteran striker Kevin Ross and New York native Chris Mauceri.
Ross carved up Mauceri with a crisp elbow to the face in the opening round, and the damage got so bad by the third frame that the ringside doctor called a stop to the bout. The official stoppage came with 21 seconds left in the third frame, as blood was gushing from Mauceri's forehead. Ross came to Foxwoods to put on a show, and that's exactly what he did.
Win or lose, Ross always fights with reckless abandon. This time around, he managed to get the victory. Ross wasn't interested in clinching and holding on to eek out a victory. He came to finish. In the swing fight of the Lion Fight 15 main card, California standout Tiffany Van Soest delivered a majestic performance against Lucy Payne.
Van Soest had already defeated Payne once, but she took a more methodical approach in the rematch. Van Soest won via unanimous decision. The original announcement was that it was a split-decision, but that was apparently an error on the judges' scorecards. It was scored in favor of Van Soest, across the board.
Earlier on the Lion Fight 15 main card, Mohammed Lemjerdine defeated Jason Andrada via unanimous decision and Pedro Gonzalez finished Nick Chasteen by technical knockout. Elsewhere, Tim Amorim defeated Tom Evans via technical knockout. Evans retired on the stool following the second round.
No word yet on when Lion Fight will be back on the East Coast, but promotion president Scott Kent was excited about the event's response and would like to return in the near future. The next Lion Fight event will be held on July 4 weekend in Las Vegas, as part of the UFC's "International Fight Week."