Lion Fight Promotions, the worldwide leader in Muay Thai combat, returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on Friday, July 28th with a loaded main topped by a pair of world title bouts.
Headlining the card is superstar two-division champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut as he defends his world super welterweight crown against iconic Thai competitor Petchtanong Banchamek, with the co-main event pitting undefeated American stars Paul “The Reaper” Banasiak and Chip “The Surgeon” Moraza-Pollard in a showdown for the vacant world cruiserweight title.
Tickets for Lion Fight 37 go on sale this Friday at www.foxwoods.com.
Lion Fight 37 will air live on AXS TV Fights in the United States as well as on Fight Network throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Jo Nattawut vs. Petchtanong Banchamek
Holding two Lion Fight world titles is no easy task yet Nattawut (58-7-2) continues to dominant his opposition. The Atlanta, Georgia, product is coming off a hat trick of super welterweight title defenses, cruising past both Cedric Manhoef and Hasan Toy, and then chopping down Kengsiam Nor Srupeung with a vicious knockout via leg strikes. Nattawut also holds the Lion Fight middleweight title, a belt he earned with a decision win over Malaipet Sasiprapra in a fight he took on just three days’ notice.
But Nattawut faces perhaps the most challenging of any title opponents in Petchtanong, whose resume is highlighted by an astonishing 345 career victories. Petchtanong, who has participated in 400 professional bouts, will be making North American debut though he has traveled extensively throughout his career while claiming multiple championships including WBC and WMC titles.
Paul Banasiak vs. Chip Moraza-Pollard
Two of the very best American Muay Thai fighters will square off for the vacant cruiserweight crown when Banasiak (5-0) takes on Moraza-Pollard (4-0).
Banasiak, who fights out of New York City, made a triumphant debut inside the Lion Fight ring with narrow decision victory over Brett Hlavacek at Lion Fight 35. Meanwhile, Moraza-Pollard, who represents Plymouth, Massachusetts, has mowed through his opposition under the Lion Fight banner with three convincing wins, including a verdict over Hlavacek and a TKO victory at Lion Fight 35.
Three Other Main Card Bouts
A pair of lightweight matchups on the Lion Fight 37 will go a long way in determining the next hottest prospects in the division. In one clash, Sterling, Virginia’s Amine “Moroccan Boy” Ballafrikh (8-4), who has registered two impressive victories under the Lion Fight banner, will step in against promotional newcomer Johncy Lindor (2-0), who hails from Miami, Florida.
The other will see a rivalry come to its conclusion in a trilogy tilt as Jafar Toshev of Brooklyn, New York, meets Geoffrey Then of Danbury, Connecticut. The duo split their two encounters in the amateur ranks, and will now meet three years later both as pros with 1-0 records. Toshev’s destructive pro debut came inside the Lion Fight ring as he scored a highlight-reel knockout with a spinning backfist stoppage of Yeison Berdugo.
A potential showstealer is also slated for the main card in the welterweight ranks. Alexander Olave (4-3), a former cross-training partner of MMA standouts Holly Holm, Diego Sanchez and John Dodson who know fights out of Fairfax, Virginia, steps in against fellow promotional newcomer Eric Rocha (3-3), who makes the trip in from Toronto, Canada.
An additional bout will be added to the Lion Fight 37 main card in short order.
Pro Prelim Bouts
In an effort to prepare more fighters for the grand stage, Lion Fight Promotions will now feature professional bouts amongst its prelims.
For Lion Fight 37, the prelims will include a matchup between two debuting heavyweights as Boston fan favorite Steve Walker takes on Lewis Rumsey of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In another prelim bout, two past rivals will meet again in an all-Virginia middleweight battle as Jovan Davis (4-2) takes on Chase Walden (3-2). As well, amateur standouts Keemaan Diop and Ricardo Mixco of Silver Springs, Maryland, make their pro debuts against Trevor Ragin (Richmond, Virginia) and Michael Whaley (Columbia, South Carolina), respectively.
The Lion Fight 37 prelims will also feature amateur bouts.
Please visit LIONFIGHT.com for news, information and event updates, and follow on Twitter @LIONFIGHT and @LionFightMuayThaiPromotions on Instagram.