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RASHAD EVANS Too hot for ‘The Iceman’!

COUTURE vs LESNAR Randy’s back in the UFC!

BISPING vs LEBEN UFC 89 Birmingham UK Who will have the edge?

KHANAGE... Can Amir fight his way back? OCTOBER 2008 £3.50 10 9 770260 496080

INSIDE: kerry-louise takes wako pro world title




CONTENTS EDITORIAL Darren Phillips’ open letter to all Muay Thai practitioners (see p58) got me thinking. Darren is unhappy about the state of Muay Thai in the UK; not the fights or fighters themselves per se but the way in which we go about refereeing and judging our bouts and the lack of respect that some show, he believes, to the traditions of this wonderful sport. Darren finishes his letter by complaining that most industry head honchos are rarely on speaking terms with each other; that they have self interest at heart and are unwilling to ever come together for the greater good, not only for the sport, but also for themselves. This is not an uncommon view, believe me! The funny thing is that the bulk of Darren’s letter could have been replicated on the next page with the words Muay Thai deleted and the word Kickboxing put in its place, such are the divisions that have ravaged both of these noble arts. I’ve heard it all before, many times over the years, yet still neither sport is any closer to sorting out its differences and getting on with things. As a result, it is fair to say that both have regressed since inception in the UK in the 80s. So why don’t we see this nonsense in MMA circles? Or boxing? Many say that because neither KB nor MT has a proper, UK Sports Council affiliated, governing body, this is the chief reason. Without this, it leaves all the feudal ring sport chiefs fighting it out like medieval princes over a crown that they would simply, for either political or reasons of strength, not be capable of holding onto. It seems to me that the Kingmaker model will never succeed (people who won’t even speak to each other on the telephone are unlikely to choose a prince from among themselves). We need a Genghis Khan, someone who unites the warring factions by diplomacy or crushes them if they don’t fall in line. A diplomat and a warrior rolled into one is what we require, who will ride from the plains to sort out the mess both sports find themselves in. Despite the obvious attraction to most observers, the idea of all the big players in both sports having a battle to the death seems unlikely in this day and age; instead of men, horses, shields, armour and weapons, this MT/KB prince of the 21st century must simply have huge sacks of gold to dominate and exile the rebels. Sadly, UFC style dominance is needed to get both games back off the ground, despite the obvious future problems with competition. The unfortunate thing about the whole topic here is that I truly do not believe that the majority of the players involved actually want either sport to move forward. They would rather be the big boss of nothing than a small part of something. Ego ego ego. Nothing changes. All the progressive, forward looking coaches in both sports are slowly moving away from stand up fighting to MMA as well. Great; eventually all we’ll be left with is the dross, still battling it out amongst one another till one day they realise there’s nothing left to quarrel over. Marcus’ first rule states that the level of infighting within a fight sport entity is inversely proportional to its importance in the wider world. I wish you’d all prove me wrong....... Marcus


NEWS ROUND-UP Domestic & International




IMPROVING POWER How supplements can increase power


KHANAGE... Boxing column with Joe Holroyd


STAND UP & BE COUNTED Catching up with Telford kickboxer Lee Whitfield & his epic struggle to open his own martial arts centre


EVANS THE INIGMA Too hot for ‘The Iceman’


ANDY HOWSON You have to make sacrifices, if you want to be a top level fighter


RANDY COUTURE VS BROCK LESNAR UFC 91 Heavyweight super fight


FIGHTING DOES HURT! An interview with DKK’s Dyson Roberts


SHOWDOWN 4 Sheffield plays host to international fight card


FIGHTING FIT The Padbox team put’s leading Light-Welterweight boxer Lenny Daws through his paces


MAX YOUNG GUNS! Chris ‘menace to society’ Stringer


MUAY THAI RULES & SCORING Are we cheating & can we sort it?


PREPARING TO FIGHT Equipment review - Part 1


ALRIGHT FOR A GIRL An interview with Danielle West




KARLOS VERMOLA The next Heavyweight star of the future?


TOP MMA COACH JON ROBERTS The secret of his success












CONTRIBUTORS THAI / KICKBOXING Tony Myers, Paul Hennessy, Shaun Boland, Neil Holden, Carl Sams, Colin Payne, Rob Cox, Charlie Joseph, Dawn Whillock HOW TO GET WORK PUBLISHED Drop us an email at or give the editorial team a call on 0121 344 3737 NEWS ITEMS For all news related items, simply mark your envelope “FIGHTERS NEWSLINE” and together with a photograph (if required) and a covering letter, send it to: FIGHTERS, Head Office or E-Mail: COVER Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC HEAD OFFICE: FIGHTERS, 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham. B42 2ET. Tel: 0121 344 3737 Fax: 0121 356 7300 E-Mail: ADVERTISING DETAILS If you would like to advertise in FIGHTERS email us at to obtain details, deadline dates and costs. DISCLAIMER FIGHTERS is published by Martial Arts Publications Ltd, Regent House, 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2ET. The publishers reserve the right to reject editorial and/or advertising material as they see fit. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. However, the Publishers will endeavour to return such matter providing that it is accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. Any material accepted by the Publishers shall be revised or altered should the Publisher deem it necessary to do so. The act of submitting manuscripts and/or materials shall be considered an express warranty that such material is original and in no way infringes upon the rights of others. It is expressly forbidden for any part of the magazine to be reported whatsoever without the permission of Editor / Publishers. The views or comments expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of the editor or Publisher. Distribution by COMAG, Tavistock Works, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7QE. No part of this magazine may be produced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior permission. Fighters, may not be sold at more than the recomended retail price shown on the cover.

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SUBSCRIPTION RATES To take out a subscription to Fighters, just send your cheque for the correct amount made payable to Martial Arts Publications ltd. to: Subscription Dept. 135 Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2ET. or telephone: 0121-344 3737 12 issues = UK @ £38.95 EUROPE @ £70 (Airmail) REST OF WORLD @ £85 (Airmail)

Page 14 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008



v UFC 89 n the middleweight division there are a bunch of fighters clawing their way up to get a title shot. One or two big wins can land a promising chance to get a shot at the gold; and that’s exactly what’s on the mind of Chris Leben and Michael Bisping as they square off in October in Birmingham for the UFC 89 main event. North Americans will watch with glee on free TV as the American Leben enters into the home cage of Bisping to try and spoil his night in front of the NIA crowd.


Pictures courtesy

After dropping a razor close decision to Rashad Evans in November last year, Bisping saw some more potential in dropping down a weight class and pursuing the title at 185. The middleweight division has been a prosperous one for Bisping, stopping both of his opponents in the first round. In April he hammered out a win against Charles McCarthy in Montreal, Canada, and two months later relentlessly pounded Jason Day in London in under 4 minutes. Leben dropped two fights in late 2006 and early 2007, but has rebounded very nicely in late ‘07 and early ‘08. Two knockouts, over Terry Martin and Alessio Sakara have kept “The Crippler” a strong threat at middleweight. With a win over Bisping he could be catapulted high up the 185 pound ladder and secure a potential title shot. The way these fighters fight, an aggressive fast paced style with loads of striking involving, this bout promises to be a crowd pleaser. While being closely matched in a lot of areas and very creative and dynamic in the Octagon, here’s some of the factors that might come into play when predicting the outcome of this battle.

STRIKING TECHNIQUE Chris Leben has technique, but has done very well with using his brawling capabilities. He has a Muay Thai acumen under his






belt, but has often done a great job by engaging in fast paced exchanges and letting the best man win in when those fists fly. Aside from being clipped by Anderson Silva several times and being KO’d as a result, Leben hasn’t had an aggressive brawling style of striking catch up to him. Bisping could possibly be another fighter take advantage of a technical edge he possesses in the standup game. He is more than willing to get into a slugfest, but Bisping has a more seasoned and technical approach to his striking. He will tee off on your head feverishly with fists, knees, kicks and whatever else is legal to attack with within the UFC rules, but hyper aggressive appendages are all thrown with an undercurrent of fluidity and technique.


Both fighters as noted earlier, can deliver a punch, but they certainly can take one as well. Bisping has never been knocked out and hasn’t gotten into too much serious trouble on the feet either. Against Elvis Sinosic in England, he was caught and dropped with a shot, but he was not out and was able to hang on and collect himself. He came back strong to stop the Australian. Leben is fearless when it comes to getting into battles on the feet. He’ll exchange with anyone and has been able to display a granite jaw when it comes to absorbing fists which connect on his chin. Only Anderson Silva was able to penetrate that shield and take out Leben, but other than that knockout resulting from a barrage of strikes, Leben has shown a tough chin. This was most evident against Patrick Cote, whom Leben exchange numerous power punches with in their closely contested fight in the UFC. Just based on how much we have seen Leben absorb and keep going we will have to give an edge to in this category.







Leben vs Sakara @ UFC 82

Both fighters can finish you on the feet and do it in brutal fashion. But the method being the brutality is different. Bisping will dismantle an opponent with an overwhelming style and wide array of strikes. He will with his aggression just pounce on an injured victim and eventually either put him to sleep or have the referee rescue the fighter. Josh Haynes, Jason Day, Elvis Sinosic, Eric Schafer and Charles McCarhty have all been put away in such a fashion. That rounds up every win Bisping has scored in the UFC, aside from his decision win over Matt Hamill. He’s definitely a fighter who goes for and gets the finish almost every time. Leben’s style, while can be overwhelming, often consists of the big power shot. He might be in an exchange and then all of a sudden a huge fist of the American connects on his opponents and they hit the ground. They’re either out cold or one shot away from night time. Jorge Rivera was dropped in similar way against Leben. Against Terry Martin and Jorge Santiago, it was a big one windup power punch that was able to turn things around for Leben and end the night for his foes. Leben is more prone to scoring knockout power punches based on his body of work thus far in MMA.


Both these fighters have 4 submission wins in their career, but don’t really look for sub-

mission as their first priority. Most exciting about finishing on the feet, submission attempts are more of a plan B in most cases for Leben and Bisping. They can hold their own on the ground, but neither possesses a clear advantage in this area. They will likely nullify each other if the fight hits the ground.


Leben is a former Team Quest alumni, which means he had the luxury of training with some solid wrestlers such as Randy Couture and Matt Lindland. Wrestling has been a strong part of Leben’s game when he needs to take fights to the mat. Usually it’s

the striking on the feet which he is going for, but Leben has wrestling tools should he want to go to the ground. Bisping also can work opponents to the mat if he wishes, but Leben may have a slight edge in this area based on his background training with some top level wrestlers for an extended period of time. Although in this fight it will be hard for either fighter to take each other down. Leben has some savvy wrestling skills, but Bisping is pretty slick with his takedown defense. Both fighters like to strike and will have trouble taking one another down, so this will likely be a fight stay up mostly on the feet.


Bisping vs McCarthy @ UFC 83

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Page 20 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008



In this series of articles we are taking a close look at the significant relationship between sports supplements and physical performance. In our last article we looked at the key supplements that can be used to help improve physical endurance; covering products such as carbohydrate drinks, protein shakes and caffeine. The second training goal we will discuss is power. As a component of fitness, power is often defined as the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movement. In terms of martial arts this relates to the ability of a fighter to effectively strike, throw, or even hold an opponent. Powerful strikes and throws can cause devastating results bringing competitive fights to a speedy conclusion. official sponsor to Dan Hardy, one of the latest UK fighters to be signed up by the UFC, highlights the importance of power in MMA:“Having New UFC fighter Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy (r)

superior levels of power is vital in MMA. The ability to knock an opponent down or even knock them out is one that every MMA fighter trains for. Through the eyes of any professional fighter, the quicker you can win the better. The less time you spend in the ring, the less chance you have of being hurt yourself, so aim to beat your opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible. I find the supplements I use from help improve my training and boost my overall power and strength.” Training sessions involving power are guaranteed to be high intensity and exhausting, therefore it is crucial that dur-

ing these sessions your body is supplied with the correct type of fuel and plenty of it! Your body uses ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) as its primary source of energy for explosive movements; much like the ignition spark to start a car. Unfortunately, ATP levels deplete rapidly and it can take a considerable amount of time for them to replenish fully. Therefore, the introduction of a nutritional supplement, specifically designed to improve ATP levels, could lead to dramatic improvements in power whilst enhancing your overall ability as a martial artist.

Covering the basics Creatine is the ideal supplement for improving your ability to produce powerful and explosive movements. Creatine has been proven to increase the production of ATP in the muscle which allows for more explosive energy more often whilst simultaneously delaying the onset of fatigue. Protein is the fuel used by muscles to help them grow and recover from high intensity exercise. As a result of power training the muscle will experience small tears. If these tears are allowed to repair properly the muscle will grow back much stronger. The muscle will only fully repair if it is given the correct fuel to do so, which is where protein plays such a pivotal role. So, although protein will not give you the direct energy to increase your power, it will help your muscles grow and adapt.


Improving performance Beta Alanine is an amino acid (a building block of protein) that helps your body to produce a substance called Carnosine. Carnosine helps your muscle work harder for longer by preventing the muscle from becoming acidic and painfully fatigued. When your muscles become fatigued, it generally signals the end of your session. But Beta Alanine can give you the ability to push your training further by preventing early fatigue and has been shown to be most affective for those taking part in intense, explosive sports such as martial arts. D-Ribose has been shown to be as important as Creatine in the production of ATP. D-Ribose helps our body produce ATP and increase our potential to perform explosive movements. Whilst Creatine helps our body produce more ATP, D-Ribose is essential for the initial production of ATP; without D-Ribose, energy in the muscle will not exist. Therefore, supplementing with DRibose will ensure the muscles are always able to produce that all important ATP. Your body’s ability to continually produce powerful movements is largely down to the effort and detail you implement in training. But consuming the correct supplements can enhance your ability and provide you with the confidence that you are able to produce explosive movements when you need them the most. The nature of explosive training will always lead your body to premature fatigue; often before it receives the correct stimulus to promote growth. Therefore, the use of nutritional supplementation may be the ideal way to improve your training and ultimately your performance. All of these products, and more, can be found at, Europe’s leading online sports supplement manufacturer.



KHANAGE... Boxing Column with Joe Holroyd s Britain’s young Olympian’s hopes of an imminent title fight are destroyed inside 54 seconds at Manchester’s MEN Arena. But Joe Holroyd believes that Amir Khan may come back from this defeat stronger.


So the Khan gravy train has run short. Poor old Warren... just when he was making so much money. Ah well: Khan will live to fight another day, and Warren’s not exactly short of a few quid.

But will Khan ever be a world champion? Hard to say at this stage (although I’m inclined to think he will be). He isn’t a great fighter yet, and might never be. But he’s a skilful boxer - despite his several defensive flaws and a glass-jaw. The defensive flaws can be worked on, but will never truly compensate for the weak chin. Particularly after this upset, however polished his boxing may become, Khan is always going to step into the ring with that glass-jaw at the back of his mind. While that same glass-jaw will be at the foreground of his opponent’s mind. The knockout came inside a minute at the MEN Arena in Manchester. Having previously only fought outside of his native Columbia twice previously, Breidis Prescott was nonetheless known to many boxing insiders as a very serious prospect indeed. A hardhitting and tough South American with a good knockout record, this was perhaps not the ideal opponent for Khan. Or, at least, this was not the ideal opponent for Khan’s quickest route to a title fight. In an interview shortly before the fight with Prescott, Khan reminded us of his humility and his positive attitude towards his ongoing learning as a boxer. Speaking of his new trainer, Jorge Rubio, a defector from communist Cuba, Khan said: “Learning the things that I have never done before shows me how much I was behind and how much I was thinking too far ahead. He’s taught me so much in eight weeks. In another two or three fights I’ll be untouchable.”

Words which proved to be prophetic; although perhaps not in the sense that Khan originally intended. I’m not convinced that Khan will be untouchable in two, three... even twenty or thirty fights. What his demolition at the hard hands of Prescott did, however, make abundantly clear is that the Khan camp have been thinking too far ahead. Khan is still learning his trade. He’s not ready for a title fight yet, and with a jaw like that will not be for some time. Maybe there’s even method in the Cuban trainer’s mismatching madness (the fight was suggested by Rubio; Warren just agreed to the match). Khan missed out on the extended amateur schooling that many thought he should have had before turning pro. He missed out on the inevitable knock-downs and set-backs that are part of a fighters mental and physical growth towards genuine world-class level; the amateur schooling that sets the Cubans apart from the rest of the world at the Olympics. Khan will learn from this - if his jaw is not quite perfect his attitude, at least, does seem to be. Sometimes the articulate, charming technician needs to be knocked down to build himself-up into a tougher, more credible champion... just ask David Haye. And let’s not forget Warren; if there’s money to be made in a title fight, he can make it happen, again, just ask David Haye!

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Evans the Enigma Too hot for the “Iceman” Rashad Evans never loses. At least he hasn’t yet in his MMA career. Despite the 12-0-1 record, Evans has sort of slipped under the radar and worked his way to become the number one contender for the UFC light heavyweight belt. There hadn’t been a storm of fanfare behind him, but Evans had made it through every test in the Octagon. While on The Ultimate Fighter 2 reality series, he initially was not overly impressive in the show, but showed he was the real deal as the show progressed and eventually went on to win

the crown as The Ultimate Fighter with a win over Brad Imes. A couple decision wins and a win over Jason Lambert kept things rolling for Evans in the UFC and he was headlining an UFC Fight Night card in January of 2007. After dropping the first round in that fight against Sean Salmon, things didn’t

UFC 78 vs Mike Bisping

look great for Evans, until a minute into round two were a huge head kick dropped Salmon cold. Evans’ first stand up knockout was in the bag, and it came in monster fashion. After fighting to a draw with Tito Ortiz and squeaking past Michael Bisping, Evans was once again in the top tier of the division, but did not blow anybody away with those wins. Once again it was the calm before the storm. While those two close fights against top contenders went the distance, against Chuck Liddell in September, Evans brought his A-game to the Octagon. After a first round that stayed completely on the feet, Evans didn’t change up the mode of attack in round two. The fight stayed in the stand up realm, where many felt Liddell would be able to catch Evans at some point with his patented right hand which laid out numerous victims in the past. Evans had different plans and he made them quite clear just under 2 minutes into the second round when he knocked out Liddell cold with a huge right hand which landed square on the former champ’s chin. Not more slipping under the radar for Rashad Evans. With a brutal knockout that kept Liddell unconscious for an extended period of time, Evans definitely caught the attention of everyone in the MMA world...


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Rashad Evans winner of TUF 2

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Howson You have to make sacrifices, if you want to be a top level fighter Bad Company’s Andy Howson has been fighting now for 10 years and will challenge for a world title for the first time on 18th October at Leeds Town Hall. Fighters Magazine caught up with him to find out more about the show and his fight career. Andy Howson originally started training in Judo when he was 9 years old, working his way up over 5 years to black belt. He then turned his focus to semi-pro rugby for East Leeds for several years, though he did do a little amateur boxing and kickboxing as well. However it wasn’t until injuries hampered his rugby career and Desmond Claxton took him along to Bad Company in Leeds that Howson found his true calling “I enjoyed

Judo but it got a little boring. However, as soon as I tried thaiboxing, I was hooked. I introduced my cousin Liam a few months later and we’ve been there ever since.” Howson had his first fight 3 months after starting in 1998 against Nicky Webb from Sitnarong, his only fight to end in a draw. Now Howson’s current record is 37 fights, 32 wins , 1 draw and 4 losses. The major titles he

holds include the WMC Intercontinental title, WPKL Intercontinental title, WAKO-pro European title as well as previous Commonwealth, British and English titles. Howson does feel now though it’s who you fight that is most important “When I was younger and started, the belts look nice and you want them. In boxing, the European title means more but in our sport Muay Thai I’d probably say an Intercontinental title means more than a European. Now though I’ve gone past all that and just want to fight top fights, that’s the most important thing you can do as a fighter. Particularly against the top Thai’s. “ Howson’s WMC Intercontinental title fight was an exciting contest from start to finish. “Apart from when I took a silly fight at 65 kilos on 3 days notice, I had never been really rocked before or knocked out. Damien Trainor is the only fighter that has rocked me in a fight at Bantamweight when he caught me with a hard punch but I didn’t go down. In this fight though everything was okay, we were feeling each other out in the first round and then he was walking round and suddenly from nowhere landed a jumping knee. It was a real flash knockdown! I was down on my knees when I realised I was down but I took the count and felt clear and was able to continue. He was a very technical sneaky fighter but in the second I got my bearings more and hurt his leg a lit-


tle. He seemed to walk into body shots and in the third I landed a flurry of them that dropped him and he couldn’t get up. Despite his WMC title fight being his only real 8 count, Howson actually views his war with Kantipong as his hardest fight.”It was a 5 round war from start to finish. Round four was particularly crazy, we walked straight into the clinch and it was constant knee and elbow. I cut him in the fourth round and put him to the canvas by knocking him off balance. There were no eight counts but it was toe to toe from start to finish”. Howson has fought twice abroad in his career. The first time was in Italy against Simone Grenzi. “I loved Italy, we had a great time but it was a weird experience getting booed as I came in as I’m used to fighting on home turf. Not all countries do that but as in football Italy has a few ‘vibrant’ fans.” This fight was a rematch after I stopped him previously in 3 rounds to win the WPKL Intercontinental title. This time Howson made even shorter work of Grenzi “I knocked him out in 40 seconds much to the crowds dismay. But after the fight when I was in the venue many of them were nice and coming up to me and congratulating me, shaking my hand.” The other time abroad for Howson was earlier this year against Shane Cadogan in Ireland. “It was a fairly straight forward easy fight for me. He’s a good fighter and has a very nice style, teep and fast left body kick. In round 4 I start off a bit silly going back to my infamous warring style but when I went technical in the clinch I pulled him down and caught him with a nice knee, followed by an elbow which cut him. He’s rated highly in the clinch but I felt comfortable and it was an exciting fight for the crowd. I’ve become a lot more technical since switching jobs. I used to work 9 to 5 as a team lead in a call centre but now I have a new job in magazine distribution. I work some crazy hours starting at 3am but it lets me work around key training times. If you want anything top level in life you have to make sacrifices, particularly if you want to be a top level fighter!...”

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Page 52 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008

Fighting Fit The Padbox team put leading light-welterwieght boxer Lenny Daws through his paces een to get his British title back, leading Light-Welterweight Lenny Daws knows he needs to be fit before he goes back into his intense boxing training with his trainer Robert McCracken.


Working with his conditioner ex amateur boxer Ian Burbedge, Lenny’s put through his paces with a mixture of traditional boxing training alongside muscle strengthening exercises. Although wanting to gain strength Lenny has to be careful not to build too much muscle as he needs to keep to his 10 stone weight limit, therefore his strength work is mixed with quick exercises with resistance bands to work the fast twitch muscles to maintain the speed of movement as well as strength. After warming up with a five minute run and a three minute round of shadow boxing Lenny’s ready to start his circuit session which consists of the exercises listed. 1, Bench Press followed by Standing Presses with the Resistance band The 10 reps on the bench press are for strength and then combined with a set of 15 quick reps on the resistance band for the fast

twitch muscles, the core muscles also come into play on the band exercise as Lenny has to maintain his posture to get maximum benefit from the exercise. 2, For the stomach, Cycling Sit Ups, to be performed as slowly as possible without feet or shoulders touching the floor 25 repetitions. 3, Squat, Jump and Medicine Ball Throw, Making sure he powers through from the legs, jumping high and a firm two handed throw of a 3 kilo medicine ball to replicate the movements used when throwing straight punches. 4, Pull Ups, and Resistance Band Row, Lenny performs 10 Chins emphasising control both on the up and the down phases of the exercise this is followed straightaway by 15 Standing rows on the resistance band, as with the chest set, he works for strength then the fast twitch muscles as well as his core muscles used to maintain posture during the band exercises. 5, Side Plank with a Twist, The side plank is great for the core muscles the twist is added to replicate the rotation used when throwing punches.

6, Lateral Shoulder Raises and Shoulder Press, Again Lenny combines the strength on the lateral raises and the fast twitch muscles on the shoulder press, although not too quickly on the shoulder presses that quality of technique isn’t lost, both of these exercises are done with dumbells, 10 repetitions of each exercise. 7, 15 Squat Thrusts, An old favourite of an exercise, but a good one for the legs and it certainly makes the lungs work as well. 8, Arm Combination of Diamond Press Ups and Bicep Curls, both of these exercises are to be done at normal pace, 10 diamond press ups making sure Lenny keeps his elbows close to his body for good technique, then 10 bicep curls again at a controlled pace, because if done too quicky there’s a tendancy to drop the dumbells on the second phase therefore losing control and technique. Once this circuit has been completed Lenny moves onto his padwork with Ian, when in full training the boxing would always come first in a gym session and then the conditioning afterwards but because at this stage


of the training Lenny’s working on the foundation of his fitness the padwork has been held back, because after completing his circuit if he can keep his hands up and maintain his technique when punching it’ll stand him in good stead for when he goes into his full and intense training in October for his next fight in November. He’ll do three, three minute rounds and then cool down and stretch.

Lenny’s known for for having one of the best “engines” in boxing and this is because he looks after himself between fights and prepares himself prior to going back into his intense training with sessions like this. Despite the set back of losing his British title in his only defeat by a narrow points decision, Lenny’s looking to get his British title back and then look to challenge for the Commonwealth and European titles.

For such an established and popular professional Lenny still has to fit his training around a full time job only taking the two weeks off from work prior to his fights. If there are any companies that would be interested in sponsoring this exciting boxer please contact Lenny or Ian by email to Ian Burbedge along with Andy Scott runs the Padbox training course of which more information on their courses can be found at

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Muay Thai

Rules & Scoring Are we cheating and can we sort it? An open letter to all Muay Thai practitioners from Darren Phillips

At the risk of alienating myself from the vast majority of my contacts I have to write to ‘get an understanding’ of the way that you all feel. I’m sure that I know the answer, in some cases, but what the heck. Before I start I want to assure you that I am not trying to blame or point the finger at anyone, I simply want to know what people out there actually think.Is there a serious desire to formulate a set of rules or are we really happy with the way things are? I think we all know there is a massive discrepancy in rules and more so with scoring criteria in this country, for Muay Thai, which is basically ridiculous. As far as I am concerned, and I would like to think anybody serious about the progression of this sport, the scoring criteria we adopt should be that used in Thailand. The only change to the rules should be, the none use of elbows and knees to the head for none full Thai rules and no head contact at all for junior rules.

Cheating That should be the first ‘point of discussion’. Am I wrong in? People can argue all they want about why the Thai’s score it the way they do, but it is their sport, if we don’t like it fine, but don’t then call it Thai Boxing and don’t invite people to shows that are supposed to be Thai Boxing events and then use scoring criteria and rules which are not Thai Boxing. Any promoter who uses judges who do not score Muay Thai as it is in Thailand is, in my opinion, cheating. Is this too bold a statement to make? Regardless of the arguments people make about westerners not understanding (which is rubbish) etc, if we don’t score it the way it is in Thailand, then we are cheats and frauds. I was at a show recently where I was told that the referee would be making the decisions in the Thai Boxing fights. I strongly disagree with this anyway, as the referee’s job is the safety of the boxers, not scoring; it’s a different mindset. I myself have judged on a show, then got up and refereed and know from this experience alone, that it is a different job and should you try to do both then, one

will suffer. I then had a discussion with the referee, which proved to me he had no idea how to score May Thai. When asked how he would score the first words out of his mouth were, “The aggressor who is doing more will win”. WRONG! I then asked if he would favour knees and kicks over punches, and off balancing techniques over everything and he replied, “No”! He then said, “You see Thai’s who take punches and low kicks and then come back with a few body kicks and just because they are harder they think they have won”. Erh yes, that’s right!! He actually said to me “The Thai’s do it wrong!!

Fouls Later on he told fighters that when they catch a kick they can only kick once and then they have to let go, wrong. He allowed back breaking without warning anyone, he allowed people to deliberately fall on top of another fighter, and allowed people to catch kicks and plough their way across the ring landing on top of their opponent. All fouls, none picked up on, let alone warned for!!

Progress If the sport is to progress, we need one standard set of rules and scoring criteria. There is much talk about unity and the need for a governing body within the country. Yet, people cannot talk to each other, most have fallen out with one another, quite often over a decision! One set of rules would help massively to alleviate this problem. I think it has to be the starting point for a united ‘front’ in the sport. Any comments and ideas would be appreciated. I am hoping I can prompt a serious discussion amongst people and maybe start us of on the road to sorting something out. Ed. Let us know what you think


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Page 62 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008

Preparing to fight Equipment review: part 1 efore I begin this months column, I would just like to say that I have really enjoyed my work so far with fighters magazine and I hope that readers are finding these articles both helpful and informative. Please feel free to drop me a note with any suggestions or opinions you might have for this or future columns.


‘Now on to this month’s product reviews. Hopefully you bought last months fighters (if not why not!), if not don’t worry as here’s a quick recap: The categories to review are broken down as follow: gloves, training equipment, clothing, protection and sports supplements. The sections to be marked are as follows: Looks and aesthetics, build quality, practicality, down the line, value for money - all of these sections are marked on a scale of 1 - 5 (1 being poor and 5 being excellent). Finally an ultimate percentage score will be given based on the above.

To help me with the reviews this month, I have one of my students, Jamie Pattison. Jamie is 17 years old and has trained with me for just over 2 years. Already he has developed into a fantastic fighter with hopes to compete soon - and when he does, I am certain that he will get to the very top. Now for the reviews, this month I will be looking at fight shorts and rash

Equipment background Fight shorts: Fight shorts are worn for both training and competition - mainly for MMA. They tend to be very light and breathable. Some styles may have a slight split on the side to facilitate kicking, unlike traditional boxing shorts. Rash vests: What a fantastic idea! A lightweight, breathable and fast drying training top that contours perfectly to your body and allows complete freedom of movement -

MMA reviewed by Jamie Pattison

Firstly Warrior Wear Domination MMA Fight shorts RRP price from £35.00 to £49.99 1. Looks/Aesthetics - 4/5 When new, the graphics on these shorts look really cool however, as with a lot of equipment that get used, some graphics have faded. These shorts come in many different colours and styles to suit many tastes, and have been seen adorning the legs of many a top fighter in MMA, Sean Sherk to name but one! These shorts make you want to wear them 24/7 to show off the warrior within! 2. Build Quality - 5/5 Warrior wear have really built these shorts with the fighter in mind. A hook and loop fastening system makes sure these shorts wont come loose during training or fighting. Splits in the lower leg of make it very

helping to keep you dry by locking the sweat out. These are used mainly for training purposes with the idea being that if you are rolling on the mat grappling, they reduce and prevent skin chafing and skin rashes - hence the name! Not everyone is aware that the rash vest and indeed the modern style of MMA short are concepts derived from the rash vests and board shorts worn by surfers. Similarly, the rash vest which was traditionally worn by the surfer, in order to reduce and prevent skin irritation from the wetsuit and also to add a layer of warmth. Surfing board shorts, were of course, by the nature of the beast, developed to be worn in the most extreme of conditions. Personally, when I train I like to use the surfing rash vest and board shorts conversely Jamie prefers to wear the MMA versions of the products - this is how we will review this months products. easy and comfortable to kick and grapple with these shorts. 3. Practicality - 4/5 They do what they were built to do! You can strike, grapple and takedown comfortably and confidently. (They look pretty cool too!) They are light, to help you move freely and allow you to stay cool and avoid overheating. 4. ‘Down the Line’- 4/5 I have worn these shorts continuously for almost 2 and a half years and I’ve never had to repair them, not once. 5. Value for Money - 4/5 These shorts can be found from any price from £35.00 to £49.99. I personally believe these shorts to be durable and dependable and good value for money. Overall - 80% These shorts not only look good, they do their job well. Comfortable, Durable and Stylish. These shorts are at home in the gym, in the ring, or even at the beach!




Caged Steel Rashguard.

RRP: £29.99 * best buy

1. Looks/Aesthetics - 4/5 This Rashguard has the caged steel logo and motto branded on all sides, with a stylish white stitching, eye catching and stylish. 2. Build Quality - 3/5 Although the rash guard is tough and robust, the exposed stitching does sometimes come loose with pieces sometimes having to be pulled off. 3. Practicality- 4/5 This product certainly was designed by fighters for fighters, tough and extremely difficult to tear, this will let you roll comfortably for hours. 4. ‘Down the Line’ - 5/5 No colour fading noticeable after a few years. None of the graphics, or letters are missing from the whole product, excellent! 5. Value for Money- 5/5 At recently noted £19.99, this vest is certainly great value for money! Overall 89% FIGHTERS HIT AWARD! This Rashguard is certainly rough and tough as its name and motto suggests. Fantastic value for money and a durable product, a winner in my gym.

1. Looks/aesthetics: what can you say? The sunrise logo on the arm really stands out and looks very cool alongside the prominent logo on the chest. The two available colours: black & red or white & red look great together. 5/5 2. Build quality: The material itself is put together to a very high standard; unfortunately the logo design is actually a transfer print making it susceptible to wearing and washing. 2/5 3. Practicality: Not the easiest garment to put on due to it’s lycra content, therefore it’s very tight, once on though this second skin is very comfortable and practical. 4/5 4. Down the line: as previously said, after a few months despite following, religiously, the care label inside the garment - the printed logo has begun to peel heavily however, the garment itself has held together very well. 2/5 5. Value for money: again, not a cheap product but one I think is worth it, do try to get a discount when you order. 3/5 Overall: 70% Good training top, shame about the problematic logo design. Next month I will be looking at “Finding the time to train even when you’re busy with work, family and other commitments. I will also be reviewing protein powders and competition boxing gloves.

SURF STYLE reviewed by James Watling Quiksilver boardshorts (red star “pandemonium” style) Retail price £49.99 *best buy:! 1. Looks/aesthetics: simple colour work & design of black and white with the addition of the red star logo really make these shorts stand out. 4/5 2. Build quality: Really well put together, high quality fabric & technical stitching gives these shorts the professional look. Also the ties for the front stand up to rigorous wear. 4/5 3. Practicality: These actually work really well for both grappling and striking practice, the only issue being the lack of a side split making it awkward to kick. 3/5 4. Down the line: actually I have used this short for over a years worth of consistent training - including the styles of boxing, Brazilian ju jitsu, MMA and Thai kickboxing. They have lasted very well with the only wear being evident in the slight fraying on the draw cord. The design features of the shorts themselves have lasted well with no colour fading at all. 4/5 5. Value for money: NOT CHEAP! At nearly £50 per pair, perhaps not for the beginner but certainly a good investment if you can afford it. 3/5 Overall: 80% FIGHTERS HIT AWARD! Overall a comfortable training short that also looks good on the beach when the sun is shining. Please note: the chance of sunshine in this country is about as likely as Amir Khan’s next opponent having a punch harder than a 9 year old boy...(sorry Amir!) or possibly fighters magazine giving me a Lamborghini Gallardo 540p to cruise around with (in black please!) Until next month - train hard, stay focused and live well. Yours in training, James Watling. Sports nutritionist, body coach, and world ranked full contact fighter. See James in action at, Contact James at

Page 64 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008


for a girl That’s what the ‘dicks’ said when I threw 11 guys in 30 seconds. An interview with Danielle West on her upcoming fight against Taja Luthje at CFC This is your first fight in a while how has your preparation been going? It’s not my first fight in a while through choice! I am the curse! I had 6 fights cancelled last year; one after the girl broke her arm so badly, training for the match, that she required 2 plates and 9 pins. Then this year Elina Nilsson broke her foot the day before the fight! Finally ‘Smack Girl’k said they would have me fight on their card in Japan and after my agreeing and getting flights sorted the show, which has been running since 2000, lost funding/ backers and has been indefinitely postponed. I am cursed. I have been training for fights almost constantly, that get cancelled, for the past years. What is your martial arts background? About 7 years ago I began taking a capoeira class. For those unfamiliar, capoeira is a Brazilian dance started a long ago by the native people, enslaved by their Portuguese invaders. Since they were not allowed to fight back or sharpen their skills they pretended to their captors that they weren’t training but merely dancing. Capoeira looks a lot like a cross between a poorly choreographed fight scene and break dancing. The class was held in the ‘Old Brewery Building, in Brick Lane, London and was taught by this guy who can best be described as a ‘Dance Nazi’. Dance Nazi was highly strung and took his discipline very seriously. I should point out that as someone who is a cage fighter, capoeira training was far more gruelling. On top of the rigorous training we had to learn the songs, which were all in Portuguese, as well as learn how to play an instrument. If you failed to get a move or lyric right, the ‘Dance Nazi’ would look at you in disgust and then go on a tirade about how you obviously weren’t committed enough to capoeira!

After nearly a year I was in great shape and could do handstands, sing in Portuguese and had great back muscles. However, the ‘Dance Nazi’ was still disappointed that my husband and I were not reporting to class in bright, spotless, white clothes to practice. He had never mentioned this before. Neither of us owned anything white and we were both tired of the his reign of terror, as well as paying the fiver each week for him to constantly yell at us. We swapped capoeira for judo, which I did for just over a year in Stratford and was the speed-throwing champion (11 guys thrown in 30 seconds! No one else managed more than 10 but even after I’d tap the guys they were ‘dicks’ saying, “I was okay for a girl but not that great” or that “I might have been flexible and managed to escape but that they were stronger”. Cheers! So I stopped going and then after agreeing to fight Kelli Salone I had 5 weeks of BJJ training and got my arse handed to me in a spectacular fashion. But I was then determined to have a proper go and learn. That was 5 years ago and I have been training MMA ever since. All the disciplines of MMA feel awkward on their own but when I train them altogether it just fits. Who are your biggest inspirations? Nien Cheng, Marjane Satrapi, Agent Orange the one eyed guinea pig, Domo Kun and the fight scene in ‘They Live’ inspires me. What is your daily training routine? It varies. I train at Pancrase London, in Bethnal Green, under Paul Hines and Ben Vickers, Masters Academy, in Loughton, under Matt Chappman and James Evans-Nicolle and at Concept Fitness, in Epping, under Ben Hajir and Brett Sizeland. Last month I did kettle bells twice a week then 4 days of MMA technique and sparring in 2-hour sessions. Now I am doing all fight cardio/fitness twice a week (sprints, circuits, etc) hard sparring four times week (wrestling, stand up and BJJ drills and techniques). I have also just sorted my game plan so I have begun to drill that relentlessly. Who is your favourite MMA fighter? Andersen Silva for men, Elaina Maxwell & Aisling Dailey for women What do you know about your opponent? I know that she is exactly my weight so am already thrilled. She has a background in judo and traditional jiu jitsu and has had one


amateur MMA bout. She looks quite strong and is from Shooters in Denmark. What do your family and work colleagues think about your choice of sport?

Age - 31 Job - Search Strategy Manager for Bauer Media’s EMAP titles Children - one daughter, age 13

My husband and daughter are really supportive, sometimes too supportive; at Survival FC my daughter was attempting a stare down at my opponent as we were read the rules. I scolded her explaining that I was tremendously grateful that this woman had actually agreed to fight me, trained hard and then actually showed up! They get annoyed that I have to train so much for fights but I usually take them on hols after a bout, or more often after I have had extended training periods due to bouts being cancelled! I actually have MMA listed in my CV under hobbies and interests, which is further proof that no one ever reads them, because everyone is always surprised about the MMA after I start the job. I have sometimes been tempted to add pyromania or grave robbing (not because I do them or am interested in such things!) just to see if anyone reads it. I was once given a job because the guy thought it was hilarious that I did MMA (it helped that I was actually qualified as well!). Most colleagues find it funny or interesting. What are your thoughts on British MMA? For women it’s tough finding opponents since there are so few ladies doing it. In general I have been training for 5 years and it is staggering how quickly the sports has evolved, as has the skill level. Everyone dedicates a lot more time and effort to training than they used to. It is also becoming increasingly mainstream which is good for finding opponents, classes, gyms, etc but not so great when it gets the wrong sort of sensationalised attention or when you get muppets kicking off at the events! What are your plans after this fight? Immediately after the fight I will have a Guinness or I may get a case of Leffe and chips. I had booked a trip home to Boston to see friends/family but since I’m fighting in December I will be training at SitYodTong with Mark Dellagrotte. Is there anybody you would like to fight in the future? Immediate future, I am keen to fight Elina Nilsson and once I get enough experience Elaina Maxwell and/or Marloes Coenen and as ever anyone over 70kgs so I don’t have to cut weight. The Cage fighter’s championships will have approximately 2000 fans when you walk out to fight how do you deal with it? I tend to go all ‘Manchurian Candidate’ walking out there. I shut off and the game plan that I have drilled in so often takes over and I am pretty much a robot being programmed by my team & corner. Not like a cool fire-breathing robot that can fly, alas. Grateful thanks in advance to everyone coming to watch the fights! I have random stuff on my blog about training and just random crap (like the stuff about capoeira): I am actually going to try and get a web site together this month if I can get the time.

I may get a case of Leffe & chips af ter the fight

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Page 66 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008

It’s Showtime Alkmaar

Photos by Sabena Bibi t’s Showtime, the top fight sports promotion in Europe, held another fantastic event on 6th September in Alkmaar Holland featuring a host of top names such as Shakuta, Drago, Kaas etc on a truly international card featuring fighters from more than 10 different countries.


There was a B and C class undercard but all the main fights were held under 3x3 minutes Showtime rules with the exception of the It’s Showtime World Title which was 5 x 3 minutes.

Sahin “Kaas” Yakut (Turkey) vs Lucasz Rambalski (Poland) Local favourite, and previous ‘It’s Showtime’ Trophy 40,000 Euro Champion, Kaas went up against Polish Champion Rambalski. Rambalski is a typical mentally and physically strong Polish fighter that will never go down. Unfortunately, the fight was over almost as soon as it had begun! Kaas started fast and furious with a barrage of punches, and though some landed Rambalski appeared unfazed. Another combination thrown by Kaas was followed up with a fantastic knee to the head resulting in a horrible cut across Rambalski’s forehead and nose, ending the contest. 1st round TKO win to Kaas

Warren “Shakazulu” Stevelmans (S. Africa) vs Shane Campbell (Canada) Both K-1 Max Holland winner, Warren Stevelmans, and Canadian number one, Shane Campbell, had some serious scalps on their CVs, Stevelmans having beaten Marco Pique and Joeri Mes, Campbell having beaten Chris Ngimbi, and this looked to be an interesting contest with Stevelmans the harder hitter but Campbell having the bigger range. Stevelmans started the better in the first round throwing strong punching combinations and pressuring Campbell to dictate the pace. Come the second round Campbell came into the fight more; Stevelmans continued to press forward but couldn’t keep up the relentless pace of the first round and Campbell used his timing well to counter with low kicks and teeps. Stevelmans continued to press and landed a right punch, left kick combination that resulted in an eight count for Campbell. Having beaten the count he was able to last out the round. Throughout the third Stevelmans went looking for a KO but Campbell has a strong chin and is a clever fighter. He stood toe to toe with Stevelmans in a round that saw both fighters throwing jumping knees and fast hard combinations.

Come the final bell, Stevelmans of course took the decision thanks to the eight count but Campbell gave a great account of himself and this was one of the fights of the night. Win on points to Stevelmans

Rick Barnhill (England) vs Chris “African Warrior” Ngimbi (Congo) This was a fantastic opportunity for Barnhill to compete on such a huge event while WKA world champion Ngimbi has made a great name for himself, in Holland recently, having beaten the likes of Ray Staring, Shane Campbell (1 win each), Chalid El Hadj. Right from the opening bell Barnhill didn’t allow Ngimbi to sit still and put it right on him not letting him move. Ngimbi had to box extremely cleverly and it was only after he landed a hard right hand that he was able to push Barnhill back. Barnhill recovered and both fighters upped the tempo even further with super-fast combinations, until a body shot from Barnhill rocked Ngimbi. Ngimbi started the second well until Barnhill landed some good shots on Ngimbi’s chin but didn’t drop him. Ngimbi continued to defended well before coming back with some fast combos and nice jumping knees. Continual pressure and good hands from Ngimbi resulted in him landing a hardshot on Barnhill’s nose which began to bleed profusely. The doctor tried to stop the bleeding and the contest continued for a few seconds but unfortunately the blood would not stop flowing and as Barnhill was losing a lot of blood the referee had no option but to stop the contest despite Barnhill’s protests. Barnhill has the heart of a lion and we know he will be back stronger and better. Win by medical TKO 2nd round to Chris Ngimbi.

Ondrej “Spejbl” Hutnick (Czech Republic) vs Tarik “The Hammer” Charkaoui (Morrocco)

Hutnick vs Charkaoui

The first round was initially tentative with both fighters throwing a mix of techniques to check out their opponent. Hutnick then began to find his range and started to hard body kick Charkaoui around the ring...


Stevelmans vs Campbell

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Page 74 WWW.FIGHTERSMAG.CO.UK October 2008

International Kickboxing

at the Circus Tavern ickboxing at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet, Essex sanctioned by the ISKA and promoted by Kickin Promotions. Another night of top class Full Contact Kickboxing action including International contests.


The Main event was an International contest between Jason Vassallo (Aveley KB) and Tamas Bitman from (Hungary) over 7 rounds. A very good start from Vassallo using his hands and legs well. Bitman was prepared to stand and trade. Round two another good round for Vassallo showing good ringcraft and nice technical kicks, Bitman taking the shots well, in round three Vassallo started fast again forcing Bitman back with a good variety of kick punch combinations. Bitman was just starting to feel this fast pace. Round four Vassallo now firing on all cylinders again stepped up the pace with good boxing and nice kick punch

Vassallo vs Bitman

combinations again putting Bitman on the back foot. Well into the round Vassallo caught Bitman with two spinning hook kicks to the head and on the second of them Bitman signalled he was hurt and retired himself. The winner and classy performance by TKO Jason Vassallo.

HEAVY SHOTS Another International contest, a ladies match between Tracy Reno (Heathrow KB) and Zsofia Bedo (Hungary) over 5 rounds. Good start from Reno with good use of the ring. Round two again Reno working well with good kick punch combinations. In the third the Hungarian tried to raise her game, but Reno forced a stoppage half way through the round with good heavy shots.

UPPERCUT The supporting bouts were fast paced and entertaining Ollie Green (Aveley KB) faced Andrew Tate (Storm gym).

Good solid start from both fighters, good strong kicking from Green. Round two was a good even round, the better kicking coming from Green. By the third Tate was starting to find his range, and using his hands well, both fighters landing heavy shots. In the fourth more good work from both fighters and half way through the round Tate countered a heavy looking right from Green with an uppercut forcing Green to the canvas. The referee waived the fight off and winner by TKO Andrew Tate. Richard Hines (Aveley KB) faced Mick Dunford (Scorpions gym).First round was very fast with lots of nice combination work from both fighters. Round two was an even round for both fighters, both using the ring well. The third was all action both showing good skills and ring craft. A well matched fight. The winner by unanimous decision Richard Hines. Green vs Tate

Bennett vs Brennan


Rowell vs Vaughn

Chris O’Connor (Basildon KB) was up against Nathan Leason (Rough & Ready). Good start from both fighters, with Leason receiving a cut to the left eye. Round two a more even round with both fighters landing good shots. A better third round for Leason with some nice kicks. The decision after three hard rounds, a majority points win for Chris O’Connor.

Quinn vs Barford

Gamble vs Church

UNANIMOUS A ladies contest between Jodie Whittaker (Basildon KB) up against Louise Wilson (Scorpion Gym). Good opening round from both girls and nice technical work. Much the same in round two as the first pretty even. They stepped up in the third toe to toe action from both fighters right to the final bell, the winner by majority decision Louise Wilson.

Shane Bennett (Wiffen Academy) faced Garry Brennan (Basildon KB). Round one both fighters using the ring well showing nice skills in the opening rounds. Late in the third Bennett forced a stoppage with a good body shot to win by TKO...

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