Cold Warz III
Avani Event Center, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
March 2nd, 2019
Sanctioned by Muaythai Ontario
Cold Warz III: Lanna MMA’s New Stars Were on Fire
A Trilogy That Doesn’t Suck
Once again Cold Warz continued to live up to its reputation as one of the premier promotions in the province of Ontario when it hosted its third installment at the Avani Event Center in Vaughan, Ontario last Saturday, March 2nd. Known for its great matchmaking and exciting bouts, Cold Warz III was no exception. Every fight brought its own unique level of action and excitement to the show, prompting cheers and screams from fans throughout the entire event. Athletes, coaches, and fighters from local Muay Thai clubs who attended to support their fighters added an extra degree of energy to the event that seemed to elevate the performances of the athletes. While the event as a whole was a huge success, the real story that evening was the success a few Lanna athletes had competing for their first time in front of a sold out crowd, amongst family, friends, teammates and supporters.
Patrick Canuto is the perfect example of a Lanna athlete who made a significant impression on the Muay Thai community, performing beautifully during his ‘C’ class debut at 132 lbs against a very game opponent in Leor Gerber of York Muay Thai. Patrick’s very first experience in the ring was a jarring rear teep to the face from Gerber immediately after they touched gloves. The teep was a total shock to everyone, especially Patrick. Instead of getting rattled by the unexpected strike, Patrick handled himself like an experienced fighter. He didn’t get emotional or let it affect him. He shook it off, and began enacting his game plan.
There wasn’t a moment in the fight where Patrick wasn’t in control. He trusted in his fundamentals and listened to his cornermen, Kru Dave and coach Christian. According to coach Jordan, Patrick was just the right amount of aggressive, and threw good combinations that finished with leg kicks. All in all, Patrick showed tons of promise and potential. We are really looking forward to seeing a more developed and polished version of Patrick in his next bout.
At 42 years of age, Mike Mora was the oldest competitor on the Cold Warz bout list, however he is no stranger to Lanna’s brand of Muay Thai. Mike has been training at Lanna for over 4 years, spending countless hours doing his part in sparring and drills class to help his teammates before fights. Mike has always been a positive example in the gym. He works hard and gives his time generously to help wherever he can. He made his much anticipated debut against a young and aggressive Paolo Deluca from TKMT at 178lbs. Mike’s performance was exceptional as he outwitted the younger, more intense fighter.
When the opening bell rang, Deluca attempted to engage with powerful strikes. Recognizing that his opponent intended on landing a big knockout punch, Mike used his Muay Thai IQ and started clinching. Mike dominated in the clinch for two rounds, throwing and sweeping Deluca to the mat multiple times. There was a moment near the end of the fight when it appeared that Mike had demoralized his opponent by totally shutting down his offense. It was a phenomenal performance from a true Lanna veteran. Good job Mike!!
Another exciting standout from the Lanna squad is Billy Sawyer, who debuted at 160lbs against Tiernan Lennox from TKO Fighting Arts, a school known to produce quality athletes at every level of the amateur system. Those at Lanna that train with Billy know that he has freakish strength in his teeps and knees, and continues to improve at a rapid pace. He showed a lot of confidence and potential in his ‘C’ class debut.
Billy demonstrated that he was well prepared for his bout against Lennox. He came into the fight in great condition, and exhibited a level of confidence in his striking that you don’t always see in ‘C’ class athletes. The one thing Billy did really well, was continue punching through his combinations. Even if his first two strikes were blocked by his opponent, Billy kept putting together various combos. A couple of his teeps even backed his opponent up to the other side of the ring.
Unfortunately Sawyer didn’t get the bout he was hoping for. As the pair clinched close to the ropes of the blue corner, they fell awkwardly, with Lennox on top. The fall dislocated the shoulder of the TKO fighter, causing the referee to stop the bout. After the fight, Billy said that he was ambivalent about competing in more amateur Muay Thai matches in the future, but because of the way his fight ended, he’s decided to take at least one more fight. We couldn’t be more excited to receive that news.
While Lanna’s debut stars shined at Cold Warz III, our veterans had a much more challenging evening. Both Brenda Vargas and Kevon Singh lost their ‘A’ class bouts by unanimous decisions to opponents that came to the event determined to win their bouts on enemy territory, and potentially earn the respect of the home team’s fans for their efforts.
Brenda Vargas took on a seasoned veteran in Caroline Jankowski of Lotus Thai Boxing at 129lbs, a weight class that is slightly heavier than Vargas is used to competing at. Caroline has fought the best athletes in her division throughout her amateur career. There isn’t any opponent she hasn’t seen. She came into the fight with a solid game plan that took away some of Brenda’s best weapons, leaving her with only a few tools to work with. The bout had ‘Fight of The Night’ written all over it, as these two outstanding athletes went to war for 3 rounds.
Caroline fought relentlessly for every single point in her unanimous decision win over a rising star in amateur Muay Thai. At 20 years old, Brenda still has a lot of miles to travel in her career. Taking on a challenge such as Caroline was something that will surely ignite the internal flame that motivates Brenda to be the very best fighter in the game. We at Lanna are so proud of how far Brenda has come, and know that she is on her way to achieving greatness in this sport.
Lanna’s most experienced fighter, Kevon Singh took on Brennan Picard of Kalsamrit, a gym known for producing high quality fighters. Brennan is a grinder who doesn’t shy away from an opportunity to exchange weapons with his opponents. Last year, the two met in a demo that was so exciting, it was a no-brainer for Jordan to include this ‘A’ class bout at 125lbs in the already stacked Cold Warz III card.
The rematch had the crowd fully invested in the action, especially the Lanna fans, who all share in a collective admiration for Kevon because of how much time and energy he dedicates to the school, and the sport of Muay Thai. Kevon came out slower than usual in the first round. He is typically a pressure fighter who will walk through a barrage of strikes to impose his will on his opponents. This time Kevon was a little more selective in his striking, which may have cost him the first round.
Rounds 2 and 3 were much better for Kevon, but Brennan was able to land those extra techniques to earn favour with the Muaythai Ontario judges. Both athletes gave it their all, literally sacrificing their shins in the process (Brennan would leave after the fight to get x-rays). After 3 rounds of Main Event-quality Muay Thai, the young Kalsamrit fighter would walk away with the unanimous decision victory.
There is no honour lost with Kevon. He accepted his defeat graciously, recognizing where he could have done things differently. After the loss, he has his sights set on defeating all-comers at the Muaythai Ontario Provincial Championships this May. There is nothing but love and respect for Kevon who continues to serve as role model at Lanna for the younger generation of athlete, who wouldn’t have enjoyed such success at Cold Warz III without the example he has set.
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Written by Ryan McKinnon, Lanna MMA Team Member and host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast, a weekly Muay Thai show that can be found at The Bloody Ballet