Muay Thai Demo Fight Night at Lanna MMA: Snow Couldnʼt Stop The Show
By Ryan McKinnon
Things got a little worrisome on Friday February 10th, 2017 when a sudden and
heavy blast of snow hit North York, threatening to put a damper on Lanna MMAʼs first
Muay Thai demonstration event of the year. As the snow continued to fall only an hour
before showtime, gyms, coaches, and fighters slowly began to trickle in, giving hope
that the event would still be successful.
Jordan and the Lanna staff had to work quickly to conduct weigh-ins, get the
crowd settled, and host the pre-fight fighterʼs meeting. Out of the 11 gyms invited to be a
part of the event, only 2 schools were forced to cancel. Perhaps the biggest
commitment to the eveningʼs event came from Loyalist MMA who made the trek all the
way from Belleville to showcase two of their female fighters. At just after 8 pm, the show
began, with 150 attendees from around the GTA gathering under the bright lights of
Lanna MMA to watch some of Ontarioʼs up-and-comers throw down.
Team Lanna had 6 fighters that participated in the event. Brenda Vargas took on
Carly “The Mayor of Munchkin Town” Rutter from Loyalist in a 3 round battle
showcasing some very slick Muay Thai. Carly showed true heart and gameness by
standing in front of Brenda and landing some nice combinations with her hands.
Brenda, who fought only two weeks prior in an event at Ayothaya Muay Thai, made
significant improvements in her southpaw Muay Thai game by creating more distance
and using her rear kick-cross combination with more precision.
Tyson made his ring debut that evening when he took on Tristan from TKMT.
Tysonʼs completion of a full Ram Muay Wai Kru before his demo fight both shocked and
pumped up everyone in attendance. He showed real heart and aggression, impressing
everyone with his willingness to stand right in front of Tristan, who did a great job
countering Tysonʼs hands with his lead hook.
Omid also made his ring debut when he took on fellow training partner Alex,
who has 1 demo fight with Lanna. Both fighters did an excellent job showcasing their
developing Muay Thai skills, and fought with excellent composure, which is something
that isnʼt normally characteristic of beginner athletes. These two young men really
impressed the crowd and their coaches by sticking to their Muay Thai, and fighting
intelligently. Alex did a great job by using the ropes and his lead teep to counter the
forward moving style of Omid, who used the entire ring to set up a variety of different
Leon and Alberto both had their work cut out for them on Friday. Justin from
Toronto Savate stayed right in front of Leon for the entire demo fight, timing his hands, and
throwing counters and sweeps when the opportunities presented themselves. Leon,
who is always exciting to watch, didnʼt back down from his challenge and fought with
real determination. Alberto took on a very athletic fighter in Mamadou from TKMT,
proving to be a real challenge for him. A sweep and an accidental foul early in the first
round didnʼt discourage Alberto from rising to the occasion, earning Mamadouʼs respect
for his power. An unfortunate TKO to Alberto cut his night short, but not without earning
the admiration of his teammates, and especially the crowd and other athletes in
attendance. We look forward to seeing Alberto bounce back from this learning
experience, and continue to evolve at Lanna.
Perhaps fight of the night honours can be awarded to Allan from Southside and
Charles from TKMT. Southside is well respected for their stable of well conditioned
fighters, who always fight with excellent technique and true heart, while TKMT has 3
locations in the city to draw some exceptional talent from. Allan did everything he could
to keep Charles from getting inside with his strong clinch and attacks to the body. Allan
hit the mat a few times in his fight, but got up with the heart of a champion and scored
some longer range weapons against Charles during 6 minutes of nonstop action.
Given that the night began with everyone being on edge due to the weather,
everything worked itself out. The night couldnʼt have been a success without the
participation of all of the schools and competitors that braved the inclement conditions
to be a part of the show. A huge thanks goes out to TKMT, Ayothaya, Southside, TKMT,
York MT, Toronto Savate, Loyalist, Kombat Arts, and Olympia MMA for their gigantic
contribution to the eveningʼs success. And a big thank you especially goes to the entire
Lanna MMA staff and students for doing their part to keep the night going smoothly and
representing the school in a positive light, which has always been the standard.
All of the upcoming amateur events in the province can be found on Muay Thai
Ontarioʼs homepage at www.muaythaiontario.org. We look forward to seeing everyone
at future events and the rest of Lanna MMAʼs demonstrations for the rest of 2017. This
event certainly set a great pace.