Let’s start this recap with a salute to a great manager: Andy McKenzie (101467). He successfully founded and made the kickboxing branch of GAMMA: the Global Association of Muay Thai what it is today and let’s not forget that he was also the fourth poster designer for GAMMA. It’s sad to see him taking a break from the game but we wish him well and hope to see him again!
GAMMA#632 Bryant v Curry – May 6
170 title - Ilya Mstislav Volkov (c) Vs Nakki Fakiiri
Fresh off an impressive first round finish in a superfight for the ages, Ilya Mstislav Volkov came back to defend his welterweight title and the much anticipated challenger - Nakki Fakiiri – was ready to throw down! Both of them laid it all on the line as both men traded blows as if their lives depended on it. Neither backed down from the fight and after the referee called for the bell, they had the judges scratching their heads in total confusion. They could have drawn straws to pick the winner as they both took the fans on a ride they will not soon forget. While the challenger proved to be the more accurate striker, his preoccupation with closing the distance opened up opportunities for the champion and he did not fail to abuse them.
265+ title - Gerbert Bryant (c) Vs Arthur Curry
While the unfortunate superfight loss against now retired legend Gymer Alexandersson could have been a major setback, it turned out to be just a small bump in the road on Gerbert Bryant’s path of destruction. Now on a two fight winning streak, he is looking stronger than ever. Standing in his way of reaching a three fight winning streak is the challenger, knockout specialist Arthur Curry. Curry was headstrong in his offence, he didn’t get flustered when he was taken down and went toe to toe with the champion. He definitely made his case for the judges but the judge, jury and executioner of this fight turned out to be the champion, Gerbert Bryant.
Winner: Gerbert Bryant by TKO (strikes) after 4 minutes and 45 seconds in the fourth round.
EVO 05102017 – May 10
185 Superfight and EVO 185 title - Karim Bashorov (EVOLUTION) Vs Steve Belliveau (GAMMA)
Time to get serious as the greatest fighter of our generation and EVO middleweight and light heavyweight champion Karim Bashorov puts his middleweight belt, his number one pound for pound ranking, his pride and his legacy on the line against GAMMA middleweight champion Steve Belliveau. Karim Bashorov has dominated the pound for pound rankings for so long that it seems like any fight he partakes in is an instant classic. With a challenger invading from a rival company as a knight in shining armor to slay the mighty dragon that has roamed the land for so long, one can’t help but be excited for this one! The stakes could not be higher and the tension could be cut with a knife as these two icons entered the cage.
Steve Belliveau did a good job of keeping up with the champion and kept mixing up his strikes to throw the champion off his game. Karim Bashorov on the other hand used his trademark boxing to score some points in the stand-up. But neither planned to stand and trade for the full five rounds. Karim Bashorov never threw caution to the wind while trying to take the challenger down to the ground but taking the fight to the ground was definitely his intention as he was always on the lookout for an opportunity to shoot. Karim Bashorov put Belliveau’s takedown defense to the test as Bashorov was looking to drag his foe to the gloomiest depths of despair. Bashorov however had a hard time in doing so and when he did, the challenger was quick to stand up but when Belliveau’s back hit the canvas he looked like a fish out of water. Belliveau on the other hand wanted to take the fight to the clinch and he made sure to do some major damage when he put the champion against the fence. A clash of epic proportions where both men left their mark and neither was able to conquer the other, thus it was up to the judges to declare the victor. Steve Belliveau was awarded a major upset victory for the ages and was rewarded with fame and glory in GAMMA and MMATycoon lore.
The dragon roared and thrashed about but when the knight closed the distance, the dragon was unable to slash its talons about and rip the knight to shreds. The knight stabbed and stabbed but the dragon’s scales proved too hard to penetrate and the dragon flew away to fight another day.
Winner: Steve Belliveau by unanimous decision.
Syn 524 – Mayhem – May 12
145 Superfight - Takeshi Yuudai (Synchronicity) Vs Lukasz Wolek (GAMMA)
In his quest to conquer the whole wide world, Lukasz "Wally" Wolek has now made his way to Synchronicity. Set to face him in his promotional debut is Takeshi "Turbo" Yuudai, who’s never worn any gold around his waist but was on a five fight winning streak.
While the difference between these two is big on paper, anything can happen when the cage door is shut. The upset the Japanese superstar was looking for didn’t materialize but Yuudai never seemed to be in any real danger so he can lift his head up high and be proud of the fact that he never backed down from the fight with the GAMMA featherweight champion and is still able to talk about it. Wolek didn’t want to rush anything and simply kept his cool striking from a distance and stuck to his strategy of closing the distance whenever his opponent started to gain some momentum en route to a clear decision victory.
Winner: Lukasz Wolek by unanimous decision.
265+ Superfight - Obelix De Gaul (Synchronicity) Vs Gunnar Steigelmann (GAMMA)
When opportunity comes knocking you better be there to open the door and Obelix De Gaul made everyone take notice when he made quick work of the GAMMA heavyweight champion. Obelix De Gaul looked so dominant that people could be tempted to believe he drank some magic potion before the fight, despite being forbidden to drink it. Be that as it may, Obelix De Gaul took a world class fighter to school and he did it with style so hats off to the winner.
Winner: Obelix De Gaul by TKO (strikes) after 3 minutes and 45 seconds in the first round.
The first time these two fought, the fight was ruled a very controversial draw. Underestimated Dillashaw Junior clearly outworked his opponent and probably should have won the fight but the Japanese warrior had the fans behind him and kept doing his best to get back into the fight. His spirited attempts to take control did not go unnoticed and the judges ruled it a draw.
Now the champions collided again and the rematch happed in GAMMA. It was a pretty similar fight despite the fight not going to the clinch, as the GAMMA bantamweight champion simply outworked the Synchronicity bantamweight champion Kantaro Hoshino. With his kickboxing reigning supreme over the Japanese boxer, this time Underestimated Dillashaw Junior really was awarded the victory.
Winner: Underestimated Dillashaw Junior by unanimous decision.
GAMMA#634 Defoe v Origi – May 13
205 title - Menace Defoe (c) Vs Divock Origi
As the saying goes ‘good things come to those who wait’ and Divock Origi has been waiting for what seems like an eternity. No amounts of steak frites could bring him to temptation as he kept a strict diet. No fannying about reading Kiekeboe comics, he spent all his time in the gym getting ready for his big opportunity. This was his moment to shine and nothing was going to stop him. The champion Menace Defoe hasn’t been dallying about either, he has proven himself time and time again in his short title reign as he’s faced the best management could find to face him, he never showed any fear and boldly kept moving forward, never looking back.
The bell rang and both men rushed to the center in hopes of catching their opponent by surprise, to no avail as they were both quick on their feet and sharp with their mind. Defoe threw the first punch but it was Origi who started gaining momentum early. Origi was in the zone but his reckless attacks came at a prize as he got caught by a big head kick that nearly cost him the fight. Origi wizened up after that nearly fatal blow as he finished the first round mostly clinching up with the champion to recover from the damage while also softening Defoe up a bit before the end of the round.
Round two started with Origi having found a breath of fresh air, he recovered from the big head kick and he wanted to pay the champion back in kind. While Origi was throwing bombs most of the time, Menace Defoe did an excellent job of mixing up his striking. Defoe knew he hurt the challenger with his head kick in the first round but he wasn’t just mindlessly headhunting, he kept tormenting the challenger with wood chopping leg kicks and body kicks that had Origi gasping for air. Origi occasionally threw a snapping kick back at the champion but he seemed more focused in ending the fight rather than prolonging it. That clever strategy took its toll on the champion in the second round as he got rocked by a stinging cross. Defoe did a good job of not letting it show that he was hurt but Origi definitely took the second round on the score cards.
Menace Defoe came back with a vengeance in the third round as he threw everything but the kitchen sink at Origi. He kept battering Origi with an armada of strikes coming from all possible directions. While a fight ending strike never took place in the third round, one kick in particular nearly turned the challenger into a eunuch as it landed dangerously low. Divock Origi however defended wisely and weathered the storm from an infuriated champion.
Menace Defoe was still trying to catch his breath from an exhausting assault as the fourth round started. Divock Origi knew he just lost a round and needed to get back in the game if he wanted his hands raised. Origi had the champion on the run with his quick-fire offense and he turned the fight around in exciting fashion as he nearly took Menace Defoe’s head off with a beautiful combination, knocking the champion off his feet. Just as everyone thought that the round was going to be a very lopsided round for Origi, Menace Defoe connected with a perfectly timed head kick that had Origi seeing stars, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The fifth and final round started with a loud crowd on their feet, begging for more and these two gladiators were happy to deliver. A brief striking exchange ended when Origi took the fight to the clinch but the champion did not want to stay there. Before long they went back to their brawling roots and to the crowd’s amusement, the back and forth stand-up war continued. Neither was able to gain the advantage as they knew that this could be the deciding round. They both hung on despite pain and suffering because they knew that if they could muster through it all and gain the advantage, they could win not just this round but the entire fight. And then Origi caught lightning in a bottle as a huge right hand sent Menace Defoe sprawling to the canvas. Menace Defoe, with cat-like reflexes kept his cool, rolled over backwards and managed to spring himself off the cage to land back on his feet but despite his cool acrobatic stunt, he knew he just lost the round and possibly the entire fight. What a fight that was! Fight of the year candidate for sure.