June 14, 2017 10:34 am

Triumph Kombat 3 Recap

Triumph MSG Fight 18 logo (18 of 62)


Triumph Kombat made their long-awaited return to Madison Square Garden this past weekend, and the event did not disappoint. The Muay Thai and MMA card started right on the dot at 6 pm and ran efficiently with no delays–each fighter was brought out immediately after the previous bout ended and the fights transitioned smoothly. The energy of the night was electric, as the starry lights that cover the ceiling of The Theater twinkled above fighters and fans alike. With stunning knock-outs and extraordinary technique on display, it was truly a battle for triumph as each fighter proved why they deserved to fight in The Garden. New York Fighting was on the scene with journalist Pari Aryafar (@pariunderthesea) taking notes next to color-commentators Phoenix Carnevale and UFC fighter David Branch, while photographer Josh Brandenburg (@drinkandsmilenow) captured every instance of glory or defeat. You can catch a replay of the prelims for free here and pay for the PPV main event here.

Triumph Kombat Pro Lightweight World Title at 139 lbs

Tum Sityodtong–Winner Muay Thai (77-22-3) vs. Ognjen Topic–North Jersey Muay Thai (28-12-2)

Topic teeped Sityodtong lead leg, then pressured forward with a body kick. Sityodtong stepped back but retaliated with a body kick of his own. Topic continued to keep pressure forward sporadically with a repetition of jabs and then finish with a body kick. Sityodtong continued to stand his ground, answering only with body kicks and then a jab. Both men kept their stance close together as they traded leg kicks before the bell sounded. In R2 Topic faked but Sityodtong landed a body kick. He kicked once more and Topic caught it and attempted to sweep him, before Sityodtong fell on top of him. He managed to catch Topic’s kick and land several jabs. Topic caught Sityodtong leg once more and pulled him to the corner by trying to sweep him, but the two men fell once again. The two men traded powerful knees in the clinch but continued to catch each other’s kicks. Topic caught him in a clinch and pressured him in the corner, but Sityodtong climbed on Topic’s body like a front backpack, supported by the ropes. He did so once more in clinch, using the ropes to hoist himself up before the round ended. In R3 Topic came in aggressively with his punches before Sityodtong managed to sweep him. He continued to pressure him forward but Sityodtong landed several low kicks while Topic was kicking. He was able to sweep him in the clinch once more. Topic took Sityodtong to the ropes and fought for control, kneeing him in his center. Sityodtong would get in close distance and then push kick, pushing Topic off to the side. Going for knockout punches near the end, Topic threw two hooks to other side of Sityodtong head. The two exchanged in clinch as Sityodtong was able to sweep him once more before the bell sounded.

Winner: Tum Sityodtong by Unanimous Decision

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USMTA & Triumph Kombat 140 lbs Full Rules Unification Title Bout

Dillion Joucoo–Five Points Academy (9-4-1) vs. Mark Marrero–Renzo Gracie Muay Thai (10-4-1)

Marrero went in for a kick that missed but immediately went to sweep Joucoo afterwards. Joucoo landed a hook that dropped Marrero to the canvas, but Marrero was able to get up quickly and pressured Joucoo into a corner. Both men exchanged punches before Joucoo landed a cross that dropped Marrero once more, stunning him. As Marrero attempted to get up, Joucoo appeared to answer with an accidental illegal knee while Marrero was still grounded, causing the fight to be called a no-contest.


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USMTA 155 lbs Kickboxing Title

Dante Goldsmith–Muay Thai Nation (7-3) vs. Joe Colon–LAW MMA (8-1-1)

Colon entered clinch immediately, as he utilized his boxing right away. Without giving Goldsmith much opportunity to retaliate, Colon landed an overhand hook before coming with a straight ring, continuously punching Goldsmith before he was knocked down against the ropes. Within the very first seconds of the round, Colon won by TKO.

Winner: And New, Joe Colon by TKO, R1

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140 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Malcom Hill–The Institute (7-4-1) vs. George Pitsakis–Rami’s Elite (8-0)

Hill worked a combo of jab-cross-body kick and then would move, as Pitsakis struggled to get him into his clinch. Hill kept his arms hugged low around Pitsakis torso as he controlled where the two men went. He continued to knee Pitsakis legs as Pitsakis stretched his stance to break out of his clinch. Pitsakis used his elbows by attacking Hill’s shoulders and heads, but Hill was relentless and kept the clinch until the end. In R2 Hill kept the pressure by continuing his combination then catching Pitsakis leg to dump him. Pitsakis would pressure forward, to have Hill step to the side. Pitsakis came with a hard elbow that dropped Hill and caused him to need an 8-count. After he recovered, Pitsakis pressured him once more and came with a punching combination that ended with a cross that knocked Hill out on the ground.

Winner: George Pitsakis by KO, R2

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155 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Al Henderson–Level Up Boxing (5-1) vs. Remi Singh–Sitan Gym (19-7)

Henderson was determined to come in with boxing as he closed the distance. Singh circled more to grab Henderson into his clinch. Despite Henderson’s attempt at a head kick that Singh leaned back to avoid, Henderson worked to pressure Singh into the ropes. However, Singh used his skills to keep Henderson in clinch and made it difficult for him to use his punches. In R2 Henderson came in aggressively with his body kick before grabbing Singh and pressing him against the ropes once more. Singh held Henderson at an awkward angle as he kneed and attempted to sweep him. Their control in clinch varied as Singh used it as an opportunity to create an angle that he would get out of, in order to land his next move. Henderson fought with more pressure and less technicality as he attempted to land more strikes and knees to the body. In R3 Henderson pressed Singh back with a succession of jabs and then a body kick. As Singh kicked and kneed his way to exit clinch, Henderson kept him on the ropes to the point where Singh could’ve fallen out of the ring. He kept both elbows in a diamond shape against Singh’s face and forearm so that Singh would not be able to retaliate with his damaging elbows. Singh kept his cool and continued his strategy of clinching, keeping Henderson in the struggle as he tried to transition from knees in the clinch into striking the body.

Winner: Remi Singh by Unanimous Decision

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160 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Omar Soltan–Pin-Point Muay Thai (3-1) vs. Daniel Santiago–Maisonet’s Muay Thai (3-1)

Santiago fought in southpaw as Soltan circled around to attack his lead front leg. Santiago was very aggressive as he used his boxing to land a flurry of combos before he was able to bring Soltan into his clinch. Soltan would jab high but seemed to be searching for an opportunity to continue attacking, of which Santiago would then kick his low leg and then enter once more with boxing. He landed a heavy cross and elbow before bringing him into the corner to clinch. In R2 Santiago continued his aggression by immediately getting Soltan into clinch. As they broke apart, the men would gauge distance before Soltan would try to come in with an overhand punch to be pressed back once more by Santiago. Soltan was able to keep him in his clinch briefly before Santiago broke through. Soltan grabbed a hold of again before he attacked him with punches and an elbow that took away some of Santiago’s edge. In R3 Santiago was the first to strike again, landing a hook and body shot before kneeing Soltan’s body. As Soltan pressured forward, Santiago would almost lazily circle around before attacking unexpectedly. He threw low kick after low kick on both sides, causing Soltan to find himself against the ropes. An attempted sweep by Santiago didn’t complete but the two continued boxing until the bell rang.

Winner: Daniel Santiago by Unanimous Decision

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USMTA 155-160 lbs Full Rules  Muay Thai Title

Eric Jung–The Institute Muay Thai (6-5) vs. Quinn Pakdeteeva–Rebel Thaiboxing (7-1)

Jung tested the waters by throwing a few low kicks but Pakdeteeva meant business and threw two hard body kicks. He would kick and then slide backwards, allowing Jung to enter distance. The two worked the clinch against the ropes as Pakdeteeva answered Jung’s pressure with knees. Jung continually faked his punches and kicks before he went to strike, while Pakdeteeva was the opposite and would pressure forward with a single heavy kick or punch. In R2 Jung continued to fake and as Pakdeteeva tried to imitate his rhythm, he started to lose control of his strikes. Jung moved quickly but would pressure Pakdeteeva back slowly, faking a punch and then throwing a knee. He was able to move Pakdeteeva back and forth in a linear motion before he landed punches to his head. Pakdeteeva reacted in sporadic bursts of energy, pressing Jung back before he would move to the side. In R3 Jung continued to throw several alternating punches and kicks, while Pakdeteeva would answer with one or two body kicks. Pakdeteeva was able to catch Jung’s kick and then kick his remaining standing leg, sweeping him. He then landed an elbow in the clinch, emphasizing his power. Jung kept his energy efficient as he landed punch after punch before driving in for the clinch.

Winner: And New, Eric Jung by Unanimous Decision

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125 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Niki Lorinczy–Rami’s Elite (6-4) vs. Grace Aveen–ITC (4-2)

Aveen went in immediately with her strikes to the face, and worked to get Lorinczy into clinch. Aveen worked a variety of things in the first minute, from feeling her back to closing the distance to attack Lorinczy’s face with crosses. She kept ringcraft by moving in different angles on the canvas, causing Lorinczy to have to follow her around. The fight was primarily boxing but Lorinczy was able to land low kicks that slowed Aveen down. In R2 Aveen upped her aggression even more by entering clinch right away before landing several strikes to Lorinczy’s face. Her footwork was sporadic and unpredictable, giving Lorinczy a hard time to gauge and time when she should attack. Aveen would circle around her before closing the distance and then would get her into clinch to attack the body with her knees. Lorinczy was able to land two powerful crosses that startled Aveen, and as the women entered clinch once more Lorinczy landed a few elbows. In R3 Lorinczy picked up her offense as she charged towards Aveen. Aveen still changed angles on the canvas but Lorinczy was able to follow her better. Aveen got her into a corner before kneeing her in the clinch but Lorinczy was able to circle out and started attacking with a combination of punches and elbows. She would get close to Aveen and as Aveen would drop her lead hand, would jab and then elbow.

Winner: Niki Lorinczy by Unanimous Decision

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150 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Joe Merolla–Five Points Academy (4-3) vs. Greg Melia–Muay Thai Nation (4-1)

Melia came rushing in and frantically got Merolla into a clinch. Once they were broken up, Melia came with a hook that knocked Merolla flat to the ground. Moments later, he attacked again with a combination of hooks and crosses that made Merolla to fall backwards in the ropes, causing the ref to call the fight in the first minute of the first round.

Winner: Greg Melia by TKO, R1

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132 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Josh Quintero–Rami’s Elite (5-1) vs. Arthur Dang–Rebel Thaiboxing (1-2)

Dang immediately went for a sweep, but Quintero continued to press on with a cross and then body kick. He was swept once more but used his longer legs to answer back with kicks. Dang was working quickly and would throw a low kick and then jab-cross. Dang’s confidence was on display as he entered punching distance with no fear. Quintero utilized more punches as he pressured Dang back into a corner but Dang was able to circle out. R2 was a flurry of exchanged punches as Quintero worked to land strikes on Dang. Dang continued attacking Quintero’s lead leg before jabbing the head and then landing a cross to the body. As Quintero appeared fatigued, he relied more on his kicks to land heavier damage and used his punches to pressure Dang back onto the ropes. In R3 Dang made sure to be the aggressor as he pressed Quintero forward. Quintero seemed determined to keep the center and would throw a jab and body kick before circling around. However, Dang would land several strikes before Quintero would answer. He was able to knock him down against the ropes and then land several blows to Dang’s face. Quintero would check kicks too early, leaving his leg vulnerable, but despite Dang’s attacks, was able to knock him down once more.

Winner: Josh Quintero by Unanimous Decision

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145 lbs MMA

Chris Borders–Renzo Gracie BJJ (2-4) vs. Sam Hoenig–Andreocci MMA (4-2)

The two spent the first seconds of the round testing each other’s distance but not landing any strikes. Borders landed a few head kicks and a spinning backfist before Hoenig tried to come with a takedown. Borders, like a matador facing a charging bull, moved out of the way, and continued to land strikes. Hoenig landed a body kick but Borders continued to be cautious, going for strikes that would land efficiently. As Hoenig tried to close the distance, Borders would retaliate with punches. Hoenig managed to take Borders down and attack, but Borders switched the control and was able to land strikes to his face. In R2, the men were less cautious but Borders continued to pressure forward with his punches. Hoenig seemed to hold himself back as he looked for an opening but Borders took the opportunity to land overhands and uppercuts. Borders dropped his hands for a brief second which allowed Hoenig to land a punch to Borders face, knocking him back. Despite taking Borders down with impressive wrestling, Borders used his JiuJitsu to work out of it and caught Hoenig’s leg to go for a leglock. Hoenig continued strike Border’s side and chest to break out. In R3 both men had bruises under their eyes but still looked eager to battle. Borders landed a head kick from the southpaw position but Hoenig looked to get another takedown. Borders was defending well until Hoenig turned him on his back and entered his hooks. Borders continued to defend and tried to break out of Hoenig’s rear-naked choke. Borders was able to turn his body over into Hoenig’s guard and land strikes to Hoenig’s face for the remainder of the round.

Winner: Chris Borders by Unanimous Decision

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155 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Chris Joynt–8 Limbs Muay Thai (3-1-1) vs. Lacey Maloney–The Wat (2-2)

Maloney threw the first kick with a push kick as Joynt cut an angle to close distance. However, as he got close, Maloney landed an overhand cross that encouraged Joynt to retreat. The two men entangled in clinch as Joynt landed several knees. Maloney took control of the clinch and worked Joynt against the ropes, as Joynt pushed to regain dominance. In R2 Maloney was at the ready as when Joynt kicked, he retaliated with a body kick that dropped him. Maloney held Joynt right in clinch as he worked knees to exit. He then broke out and re-entered the clinch, this time pressuring Maloney against the corner and kneeing his body until the ref broke them up. Joynt used a jab-kick to close the distance, which Maloney took advantage of to bring him back into his clinch. In R3 Maloney took his time to strike, as he lured Joynt into his punch. Joynt got Maloney into a corner and clinched, but Maloney used his own pressure to try to land knees and an attempt at an elbow. Maloney threw a head kick that caused himself to fall backwards, but the two were back in clinch once more. Maloney controlled Joynt’s head and neck as he landed the last knees before the bell sounded.

Winner: Chris Joynt by Unanimous Decision

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185 lbs Muay Thai

Risky Drayton–Thornton Muay Thai (5-2) vs. Marlon Wiprud–Class One MMA (5-1)

Drayton immediately started working his low kicks but Wiprud grabbed him into a clinch. The two men continued to alternate dominance in the corner as they switched whose backs were against the ropes. Wiprud worked knees to the body while Drayton attempted to break out. Drayton, in the southpaw position landed a cross on Wiprud’s face. In R2, Wiprud utilized more striking before he entered the clinch. Drayton was more active on the canvas as he tried to strike and then cut angles, but Wiprud was able to follow him and answer with his own punches. He landed a clean head kick before shifting into pressing Drayton back into the corner with knees. Drayton landed a head kick back but it had no effect on Wiprud’s pressure. In R3, Drayton appeared hesitant, allowing Wiprud to close the distance several times. He worked a cross-jab-knee combination before kicking him back with a push kick. Drayton tried to uppercut, but only left him vulnerable to Wiprud’s clinch. By the end of R3, Drayton continued to drop his hands, and was stuck once more within Wiprud’s clinch.

Winner: Marlon Wiprud by Unanimous Decision

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132 lbs Full Rules Muay Thai

Miguel Cruz–Square Circle (0-1) vs. Jorge Quintanilla–Rebel Thaiboxing (1-0)

The men started aggressively as they instantly began throwing punches. Quintanilla threw a body kick and then a sweep. He had the ringcraft and came in with a flurry of elbows, cutting Cruz on the forehead within second. Quintanilla kept Cruz at a distance with teeps and then would get him with another set of elbows. In R2 Cruz tried to use his striking but Quintanilla’s pressure was so batch for him. He continually elbowed and kneed, cutting Cruz head open once more. Cruz was able to use his striking to keep Quintanilla at bay, pressing him against the ropes. Quintanilla held him in clinch and continued to throw his knees. In R3, Quintanilla threw 4 body kicks in a row, while Cruz answered with his strikes. Quintanilla pressed Cruz into a corner to clinch and worked his knees. Quintanilla would set up with a kick, jab, and then throw his elbow. Cruz had more success in R3 with landing his punches but Quintanilla pressed on, throwing crosses that knocked Cruz head back. As Quintanilla would throw an elbow, Cruz would try to counter with a punch.

Winner: Jorge Quintanilla by Unanimous Decision

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128 lbs Muay Thai

Hangzhang Fang–201 Muay Thai (0-1) vs. Heather Leon–Rami’s Elite (2-4)

Fang began the bout with a lot of forward pressure, closing the distance and attacking Leon’s face. Leon answered with a jab-cross combo and then would enter the clinch, pressing Fang against the ropes. As Fang worked backwards, Leon would press on by jabbing and then throwing a low kick. In R2 Fang circled more as she would throw a combination and move, making Leon work to follow after her. She kept her distance and then used a teep to push Leon to the ground. Leon continued to pressure forward and alternate attacks to her back leg with low kicks and jabs to her face. R3 Leon became a firestorm, coming in heavy with her hands to attack Fang. Fang caught her in clinch and keep the pressure on her arms heavy, yanking Leon’s neck in the direction she wanted her to move. Leon’s heart was evident as she pressured her forward and continued to strike Fang’s face. Both women didn’t stop punching until the bell rang, in determination to win the round.

Winner: Heather Leon by Unanimous Decision

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107 lbs Muay Thai

Alma Vicencio–Five Points Academy (2-1) vs. Hazelle Dongui-Is–Girl Fight MMA (3-2)

R1 Vicencio came in aggressively and caught Dongui-Is in a clinch. Dongui-Is, wary of Vicencio’s length, tried to utilize her footwork to keep her distance. However, Vicencio was able to close the distance to capture in clinch again. When Vicencio would pressure forward, Dongui-Is would answer with a jab. In R2, Dongui-Is moved around the canvas much more and landed servers more punches to the face. She was able to catch Vicencio’s kick and punch her, drawing a cheer from the crowd. Dongui-Is used her footwork to circle around Vicencio, as Vicencio became more hesitant and kept a further distance. Dongui-Is became more aggressive in R3 and continued to gauge her distance in between her punches. Vicencio caught her in clinch to maintain control, giving Dongui-Is a hard time to break out of it.

Winner: Alma Vicencio by Split Decision

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155 lbs MMA

Hector Santana–NY Combat Sambo (1-0) vs. Steve Lee–Law MMA (1-1)

Santana pressured forward and came in with a low kick. He got him in clinch before Lee caught his leg and brought him for a takedown. Lee went for a head kick and focused on staying out of range. Santana pressured forward once more with a strike and landed a knee to his face. Lee got Santana in his guard, transitioning to a guillotine before Santana was able to break out. In R2 Lee came in more aggressively but Santana used his striking and knees to wear him out. He dropped Lee to the ground but didn’t work much ground game, allowing Lee to work out of it. Santana was able to complete another throw but Lee kept his leg crossed over his knee so that Santana couldn’t get full mount. Lee landed a strike that dropped Santana, but despite getting the guillotine, he wasn’t able to complete the submission. With a burst of energy in R3, Lee came in with punches and knees, but Santana continued his game of sweeping him to the ground. He was unable to pass Lee’s guard and focused on striking Lee’s body with his fists.

Winner: Hector Santana by Unanimous Decision

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135 lbs Muay Thai

Eva Kunkera–Five Points Academy (0-1) vs. Hannah Edmunds–Coban’s Muay Thai (1-0)

In R1 Kunkera kept the pressure on, despite Edmunds utilizing her striking. The first round was a toss-up between the two, but Kunkera was strong with her leg kicks. R2 showed Edmunds coming in with more ring control at the beginning and end of the round, making Kunkera work her defense. By R3 Edmunds had the upper hand as Kunkera was clearly exhausted. The two appeared much more tired than they had been at the beginning of R3, but both continued striking one another until the end.

Winner: Hannah Edmunds by Unanimous Decision

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Writer: Pari Aryafar (@pariunderthesea)

Photos: Josh Brandenburg (@drinkandsmilenow)

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