Tonight Siam Fight Productions will present it’s Jr. Grand Prix Qualifier event at the Tempe Center for the Arts. It will be a kind of preliminary round for the second annual Siam Cup Jr. Grand Prix. It is Siam Fights fourth show, but the first to sell out. The six fights for the newly minted Siam Fights championships inducing a rematch of the finals of the inaugural Siam Cup Jr. Grand Prix.
Ruben Cruz of Siam Numero Uno gym in Yucatan Mexico returns to Tempe to fight Jon Bruer of Sitan Gym AZ in Chandler. The two fought to a decision in last years tournament finals, with Cruz leaving the victor. Bruer rededicated himself to his training, and found redemption last fall beating Josh Marshall of Canada for a USMTA title while Cruz was spending time training and competing in Thailand at the illustrious Sitsongpeenong gym. This fight provides an interested opportunity to see how much each young man has grown since their last encounter.
Cruz’ team mate Israel Lopez will also be fighting for a Siam fights title, this one in the 160 lb division. His opponent is Power MMA’s Gilbert Pimentel. Lopez is relatively unknown in the U.S. but does represent one of North America’s top Muay Thai programs, as does Pimentel.Pimentel is one of Power’s top prospects, compiling a record of 7-2-1.
Promoter Thiago Azeredo highlighted the match up between Elias Mahmoudi of Mahmoudi Gym in France and Ahmed Ibrahim of Sitan Gym PA, in Pennsylvania. The two are, as Azeredo described it, the best fighters at 110 lbs outside of Asia. Mahmoudi holds titles in the IKA and WKF, while Mahmoudi is a world title holder with an astounding record of 87-0. His team mate, Josephe Tafari, takes on Marco Santiago of Monster Fitness in Flagstaff. The two represent the first Europeans fighters to compete under the Siam Fights banner.
The co-main event of the evening features Jordan Weiland of Power MMA against Andy Tran of Southside Muay Thai in Canada. Weiland remains one of the top amateurs in North America, putting together a record of 10-2. He has received multiple invitations to compete on under card fights for Lion Fight Promotions, one of North America’s top Muay Thai promotions. However, Andy Tran has already beaten Weiland. The two met in last years TBA-SA Muay Thai Classic(MTC) tournament, where Tran won via split decision.
The main event will be David Candelaria, also of Southside Muay Thai, fighting Travis Clay of Sitan Gym AZ. Clay is a highly decorated amateur who last year added the 2013 MTC title to his collection of belts. The final victory came against Candelaria via decision. This rematch of elite fighters represents a growing, albeit friendly rivalry between U.S. and Canadian fighters.
Guests of honor for tonight’s event include UFC fighter Benson Henderson, Lion Fight Productions fighters Matt Embree, Jason Andrade and Nick Chasteen, as well as Lion Fights president Scott Kent. A total of 17 fights are scheduled. This event is sold out but online pay-per-view is available through Go Fight Live here.