Nattawutt keeps super welterweight title & Wielzen wins lightweight crown at Lion Fight 28
One championship title changed hands and one stayed put at Lion Fight 28 held Friday night before a packed house at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and live on AXS TV Fights.
In the main event, “Smokin” Jo Nattawut methodically worked his way through five rounds, picking precise moments to strike against challenger Cedric Manhoef and then putting up some stellar defense in the late going as he cruised to a unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) in retaining his super welterweight belt. Nattawut (56-5-2) is widely regarded as one of the hottest fighters in the world right now. Manhoef (51-3-1) put up a valiant effort particularly in the fifth and final round, and landed a couple of crisp strikes, but it wasn’t nearly enough to put Nattawut’s reign in danger.
The co-main event was a different story for a defending champion. Ognjen Topic put his lightweight belt on the line for the first time with the challenge coming from Dutch invader Sergio Wielzen.
Topic continually dumped Wielzen to the canvas which was wearing on the challenger, but Wielzen made a triumphant statement in the third round. Wielzen cracked Topic with a vicious elbow which opened a deep cut over the champ’s eye. Topic (17-6) was wobbled by the blow and the referee moved in shortly afterwards to have the doctor inspect the damage. The fight was waved to a halt at 50 seconds of the third with Wielzen (41-9-2), who has scored knockouts in more than half of his career victories, putting the belt around his waist.
In a super welterweight clash, Ky Hollenbeck (33-3-1) may have put himself in line for a shot at Nattawut’s title as he scored an impressive second-round knockout of Justin Greskiewicz, who previously went five rounds against Nattawut. Hollenbeck, who cracked Greskiewicz at the end of the first with a spinning backfist, put the heat on Greskiewicz (31-16-3) at the start of the second. He scored two knockdowns, one coming on a well-placed uppercut, and then ended it with a decisive elbow strike.
A featured main-card bout was an East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry that was expected to be a long and heated battle. Instead, New York product Chris Mauceri (9-2) demolished Arizona’s Nick Chasteen with a first-round knockout. Mauceri caught Chasteen (5-2) with a solid left hook and then put him on the mat for good with a pair of massive elbow strikes. The end came only 1:55 into Round 1.
Opening up the main card on AXS TV Fights was a welterweight clash that saw Asa Ten Pow win his pro debut as he registered a TKO (doctor’s stoppage) victory over Turan Hasanov at 47 seconds of the third round. The main card continued with a lightweight bout that saw Bryce Lawrence launch a devastating leg-kick attack on Yeison Berdugo and wind up scoring a first-round finish.
Lion Fight returns on Friday, May 6th with Lion Fight 29 taking place at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.