The only thing shaken in that opportunity was the head of the combatants who went to the canvas by knock-down and shook their head to stop the dizziness and return to the action. A Look Back: Copa Castelo das Pedras de Muay Thai 2 – MMA experts meet Muay Thai fighters! Rio de Janeiro, June 7th- a night club named “Castelo das Pedras” where the Brazilian music titled “funk carioca” dictates the pace and the hot-girls (popozudas) shake their asses at the sound of the heavy beats of it; had all this action turned in the first week of June by guys punching and kicking each others in Muay Thai matches. The only thing shaken in that opportunity was the head of the combatants who went to the canvas by knock-down and shook their head to stop the dizziness and return to the action. The good point in favor of any strike’s event in the city of Rio is the fact that always these events have special guests. This time it wasn’t different when Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Gustavo “Ximu” Machado, Edson Draggo, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz and Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira were enjoying the show and coaching a few fighters during the matches that were spread between pros and amateurs. The stand-up action began with amateur fighters guided by a few Gracie Barra Combat Team members such as already mentioned Ximu; Alexandre “Baixinho” Barros, Diego Braga, Eduardo Pachu and Aloisio Barros against fighters from others Muay Thai and Kickboxing schools of Rio. The score between these challenges was very balanced and all the fights went to the distance.
My impression of a show where the level would be low turned to a high one when Gibson Silva squared-off against Anderson Luiz in the first match of pro fighters. The fight didn’t elapse more than 2 minutes in R1 when they closed the distance and kneed each other. Silva had the accuracy at his side and his knee connected perfectly with the stomach of Luiz, who dropped. The count was opened, while the corner of Luiz yelled to him: “stand-up!” The pain was an edge in the front of any motivation sent by the corner-men, and then the TKO was decreed. The second Pro Muay Thai fight of the night showed us Michel Souza mauling Fight Co’s Mauricio Machado during the three rounds of the fight. Machado is a fighter under master Anderson Franca, one of the best Muay Thai coaches of Rio de Janeiro. But it wasn’t enough to control Souza, who got to impose his good hands combos followed by low kicks and conquer a unanimous decision. Machado’s teammate Marlon Moraes, displayed a perfect high-kick game to conquer a unfair split decision (it was unanimous, no doubt) over one of the three Gracie Barra Combat Team guys who were on the card. Moraes was the short guy on this duel, however the reach of his right-leg was good enough to hit the head of Carlos Eduardo twice with accuracy, and the result of this was Eduardo shaking his head twice to comeback to the action after seeing himself on the ground. Eduardo was steady and plodding in his approach, because even he was tallest fighter, he had to clinch due to the high and dangerous kicks of Moraes. This pace was constant during whole 3 rounds of fight, and Moraes was the winner by split decision.
When this fight finished, I stayed tuned on seeing what I came for- MMA fighters performing in a stand-up competition. This situation would happen three times on the follow matches. However; only in two of these matches we’d watch guys with submission backgrounds in a stand-up battlefield. My main attention was in Club DEEP: MB3z Impact’s winner Luiz “Beicao” Ramos, a ground and pound fighter.
The first MMA fighter was Ademir “Mineiro” Radael, and he was the first to prove the troubles of trading punches on the feet against a Muay Thai expert, the R1 was dominated by Rafael Saul with good jabs, and kicks. Mineiro clinched all ways possible to not get KO’d- just enough to survive rounds and not leaving much to talk about. The follow rounds were similar, and Mineiro had small gaps to insert his shy game on this with right-crosses. Saul had his polished game blocked by the clinches (nearly takedowns) of Mineiro. End of the history, and Mineiro took a split decision in his favor what resulted in a huge boo of the crowd. Co main-event featured the undefeated MMA fighter and training partner of Rogerio Minotouro and Rodrigo Minotauro, Will Ribeiro against young David “Indio” Alves. Ribeiro is very-well known in Brazilian territory by his furious knock-outs on the MMA fights and Olympic Boxing matches. So I didn’t expect any other result than a KO on this too. Soon, in the face-to-face situation when the referee calls the fighters to the center of the ring to the rules’ instructions, Indio didn’t show confidence when put his head up to not have eye-to-eye with Ribeiro, who looked furious.
The fight started with Ribeiro hungry for a fast KO, he went ahead of Indio and punched and spinning-kicked. Indio walked back during whole R1 and avoided the best “dance” of Ribeiro. At R2, Indio connected a right-cross and Ribeiro began clinching and slowing the pace. Sometimes in this fight the excess of confidence of Ribeiro opened gaps to Indio punch him and score points. The R3 saw Ribeiro still with stamina to land body blows on Indio who felt many of them and once again walked back. On the end of the match, the more experience and versatile game of Ribeiro prevailed and he got the nod by decision. Main-event was what I expected for; when a still fresh of his MMA Japanese victorious debut in Club DEEP: MB3z Impact at May 21th, Luis “Beicao” Ramos met Marlon Souza of Team Vander Valverde. Beicao is known by his ground and pound game in MMA, and I was curious to see how he’d perform in a pure on the feet competition. The usual troubles of turning – in less than one month – the pace of the trainings from MMA to Muay Thai was felt by Beicao. And he didn’t find himself in good position in the first minutes of the fight. I don’t know if Souza didn’t believe in himself in these first minutes, because he could’ve to go furious to finish the fight than he did in R1. Step-by-step Beicao was finding his way at circling and throwing his main weapon, his left-hand. The clinches were where Souza could hurt the Beicao’s stomach a little with knees. But the better punches scored by Beicao blocked the Souza’s intention of unleashing his bombs. The crowd witnessed R3 with two combatants a little tired and abusing of the clinches, but still with an ultimate rush for Souza land his knees and Beicao counter attack with jabs and straights. Beicao took all the initiative after the first minutes of duel, and didn’t eat any dangerous punch or kick, so with enough of holding, Beicao got the decision. “This is very funny, people is here to see how I’d fight Muay Thai, because I’m known like GnP fighter, however I started my Martial Arts’ career in Muay Thai. I had to change it a little when I started on MMA, but my first connection with Martial Arts was through Muay Thai” said Gracie Barra Combat team’s Beicao.
Professional results: Gibson Silva TKO’d Anderson Luiz Michel Souza def. Mauricio Macedo by decision Marlon Moares def. Carlos Eduardo by decision Ademir “Mineiro” Radael def. Rafael Saul by decision Will Ribeiro def. David “Indio” Alves by decision Luis “Beicao” Ramos def. Marlon de Souza by decision