Phoenix Championship is back with what could be the biggest Muay Thai event ever when its 2nd edition hits Beirut.
Phoenix 2 takes place Saturday, April 29 at Nouhad Nawfal Stadium in Zouk, Lebanon. The event broadcasts across 200 countries around the world, and the championship can be watched on LBCI, LDC, LB2, SFR5, MBC+, FiteT.V, OSN, and Dubai Sports 1 &3. The entire spectacle will be aired live at the following times:
- SFR – the French telecommunication company – on SFR Sport 5 – The All Fights Sports Channel at 16:00 (GMT+2) Paris.
- Phoenix’s Regional Media Partner Dubai Sports 1 & 3 at 18:00 Dubai (GMT+4)
- Phoenix’s Media Partner LBCI, LBC2, LDC at 17:00 Beirut (GMT+3)
Doors of Nouhad Nawfal Stadium open at 3:30pm for all fans. The first fight is set to start at 5pm, is expected give international and national fans 5 hours incredible matches.
The event will mark the promotion’s second installment, and will feature some of the world’s most elite Muay Thai legends as well as a slew of our most favorite local MMA stars displaying their skills in an impact intense striking event.
The official line-up for Phoenix 2 includes:
- Saenchai (THA) vs Azize Hlali (FRA) 63.5kgs
- Co-Main event: Mohamad Ghorabi (LEB) vs David Willmott (ENG) 76kg
- Antonina Shevchenko (PER) vs Isa Tidblad Keskikangas (SWE) 63.5kg
- Musipon Pakorn (THA) vs Morgan Adrar (FRA) 67 kg
- Armen GriGoryan (AM) vs Xie Wei (CN) 70kg
- Ahmed Labban (LEB) vs Ahmed Ibrahim (EGY) 76kg
- Ziad Sinno (LEB) vs Mohanad Hussein (JOR) 79kg
- Kassem Daher (LEB) vs Mohammad Salama (JOR) 82 kg
- Wendell Roche (NLD) vs Steven Banks (USA) 95+ kg
- Jihad Mekdad (LEB) vs Moise Rimbon (FRA) 95+ kg
ArabsMMA.com gives you the lowdown ahead of the event, telling you hour-by-hour updates which will be posted below this section during the days leading up to the event and during fight night:
[April 29, 11:55pm] Saenchai vs Azize Hlali, the long anticipated fight is finally here!
Round 1: Hlali is here on a mission, its glaring off his face. He gets the first kick in. He returns Saenchai’s jestering with his own and then catches a kick of Saechai and trips him. Hlali manages to trip his opponent several times, its a good kick for kick round. Until Saenchai throws a combo of a punch to the stomach beautifully executed, and a kick to the liver. Hlali goes down momentarily.
Round 2: Hlali is not doing badly against the mega beast Thai. Saenchai then starts to throw his famous moves, teeps and sweeps using his opponents balance.
Hlali catches and trips his opponent in return.
The rest of the round sees Saenchai’s reflexes kicking up, applies more brute force and activates the creative techniques he is known for.
In a wonderful twist in the end of the last round, Hlali throws Saenchais infamous cartwheel kick back at him! Even though it missed and he almost fell out of the ring, what a scene.
The win goes to none other than the famous Thai; Saenchai.
[April 29, 11:10pm] Mohammad Ghorabi vs David Willmot.
Round 1: This match starts off with incredibly display of strength, accuracy and reflex by none other than Lebanons Ghorabi.
Willmot takes quite a pounding, punches, kicks and trips. He seems shocked at the stright forward professional aggression of Ghorabi.
On the sound of the bell, signalling the end of first round of the co-main event, Willmot throws a long range left hook and its all over. Ghorabi is completely out.
Willmot takes the win.
[April 29, 11pm] Armen Grigoryan vs Xie Wei:
Round 1: From the get go the Wei is light on his feet, displaying a wide range of flexibility and kick techniques.
Round 2: Wei displays his ease with all forms of sweep techniques, trips Grigoryan 3times, the Armenian gets one trip in.
Round 3: There is a clear difference of skill level between these two fighters. The Chinese is faster,lighter, with a much bigger arsenal of weapons.
All through the rest of the fight.
Flying knees, elbows, kicks, trips,you name it.
Round 4 & 5: Grigoryan stood his ground and made it through to the ground even with blood dripping from his eyebrow. But Wei has unmatched energy, and water he has become.
Xie Wei takes the win.
[April 29, 10pm] Kassem Daher vs Mohamand Salama:
Round 1: Off to a slow start, the two fighters seem to be feeling each other out. Daher lands a right kick that off sets the balance of his opponent.
Salama lunches a battle field of punches. A low kick from Daher trips Sala to the floor. Higher precision kicks from the Lebanese, higher precision punches coming from the Jordanian.
Round 2: Dominance is seen by Salama as he throws powerful aggressive combos of 1-2’s, hooks and kicks. Daher lands right kick and the Jordanian drops to one knee, twice.
Round 3: The intensity has been upped. The battle of the combos begind the round. Salama uses front kicks more, Daher few but more precise punches.
Round 4: This action packed 3minutes reflects the want of the belt. A clinch gets both to the foor, a brutal right by Daher causes high impact hit to Salamas right leg, Daher takes a left high kick to the head and drops momentarily to the floor.
Round 5: Salama’s maim weapon of choice is the high kick in this round, where as Daher seems to have slowed his paced a bit but still landing more accurate hits to his opponents face.
Winner of the WMC Middle East belt goes to Lebanon’s Kassem Daher.
[April 29, 9:15pm] Fight 6
Wendell Roche vs steven banks
Round 1 sees the beginning of the massive weight fighters go at it with combos of punches. Banks utilising massive elbows, and dominating Roche in the corner of the ring. Roche is more on the aggressive defense.
Round 1 ends with Banks taking a right hook by Roche, which startles him slightly. Blood is seen dripping from his right eyebrow
Round 2: Roche is off to a more aggressive powerful and agile start. Straights and hooks and body shots being thrown, but Roche quickly takes a hit to the head that stuns him, a TKO.
Steven Banks, the panda of the east, has done it again and takes the win, receiving his anounced win with a leg stretch across the ring floor.
[April 29, 8:55pm] Antonina Shevchenko vs ISA Keskikangas is on! Round 1 sees Shevchenko strong on the offense, quicker reflexes, with higher precision as well as power in her strikes.
Keskikangas is tripped three times in the first round alone.
Round 2 sees an even more aggressive Shevchenko who takes Keskikangas down to the ground with swift motion, a continuous occurence through out the fight whether landing a spinning back fist, catching a kick or from a clinch.
The only difference in round 3 is the amount of force and clinch control Shevchenko displays up against the ropes, where her opponent has to be caught from falling out of the ring several times.
Round 4 sees a more powerful display of Keskikangas fighting skill emerging as she lands a heavy right hook that sounds across the ring.
Round 5 continues to see amazing techniques from both fighters with Antonina continuing to dominate.
Antonina Shevchenko wins the WMC and Phoenix Championship 63.5 KG title.
[April 29, 8:15pm] The highly professional and stylish fight between Pakorn and Adrar starts with exchange of kick. Impecible reflexes of the two, lead to blasts of power kicks.
The speed of reactions, of counters and returned strikes is unbelieveble.
Missile like straights and knees display in the first round. Round 2 sees the beginning of the extended mighty clinches, filled with powerful pinpionted knife like battle of the knees.
Pakorn displays a higher level strength of sweeps throughout the match, ending most clinches with Adrar on the ground.
Round 3, 4 and 5 also see incredible knee mayhem, and superior professional clinches.
An amazing fight to witness, the records of both these two well loved fighters is in clear recognition this evening.
The winner of both the Phoenix World Champion Belt, and the WMC world Champion belt goes to Musipon Pakorn.
[April 29, 7:30pm] Fight 3 is underway with Jihad Mekdad vs Ali Garcia.
This two round match, with a different opponent for Mekdad than had been set, finished with a towel being thrown in.
Both fighters exchanged heavy but somehow sluggish punches through out the rounds.
Mekdad ends up on the floor several times in the first round, not from knock downs but perhaps a slippery floor.
Mekdad good with his heavy right straights and hooks, Garcia with a 1-2 kick combo on repete, suddenly Mekdad was seen shouting to his corner.
Was he disagreeing with the decision to throw in the towel or was he asking for it, as Garcia’s precision amd enduranced kicked up?
Garcia takes the win before the end of round 2.
[April 29, 7:10pm]Ahmed Labban Vs. Ahmed Ibrahim match started with a display of kicks and ended so.
Labban utilises a major skill set of different kicks, knocking down the egyptian 3 times before the first round finishes.
Ibrahim is no match for Labban’s impressive kicks, spins, agility and flexibility.
Confident with reason, Labban takes the win in the first round.
Lebanese Ahmed Labban defeats Egyptian Ahmed Ibrahim via first round TKO!
[April 29, 7:00pm]Ziad Sinno had good control in returning all that Hussein had to throw at him. Hussein finishes the fight with a cut above his right eye brow, and the win goes to Sinno.
Ziad Sinno wins a close fight via Unanimous Decision.
[April 29, 6:30pm] First fight is on with Zias Sinno versus Mohanad Hussein.
[April 28, 8pm]Phoenix 2 public weigh-ins are underway!
[April 28, 12pm] Final rehearsals and instructions from COO Serge Saad as fighters visit the Phoenix 2 venue.
[April 28, 11am] Fighters head to the Nouhad Nawfal Stadium to check out the venue for the first time. All smiles after making weight and regaining energy.
[April 28, 10am] Official Phoenix 2 weigh-ins are in the books. All fighters on the card successfully made weight. Ahmed Ibrahim came in 1Kg above weight, but his opponent Ahmed El Labban happily agreed to still take the fight.
Public weigh-ins take place tonight at Country Lodge Hotel and Resort tonight 7:00pm Lebanon time.
[April 27, 4pm] The Shevchenko’s gone all oriental! Valentia Shevchenko alongside here sister Antonia to support her ahead of here WMC title fight.
[April 26, 8pm] Referee Black Grice is here!
[April 26, 5pm] Musipon Pakorn, one of the most experienced fighters at #Phoenix2 has just landed and is already eyeing the belts! He faces Morgan Adrar with two belts on the line.
[April 26, 4:37pm] “The Lion Heart” Ahmed Ibrahim lands in Beirut ahead of his fight against local favorite Ahmed Labban.
[April 27, 1am] Mohamad Salama and Mohanad Hussein land in Beirut, they will represent Jordan as they face Lebanese opponents at Phoenix 2.
[April 26, 11:30pm] David Willmot Sends A Straight Message to Mohamad Ghorabi Right off the Plane !
[April 26, 11pm] Antonina Shevchenko has landed! Antonina will be fighting for the women’s WMC belt and has her sister, UFC’s Valentina Shevchenko, by her side.
[April 26, 9pm] Steve “Kung Fu Panda” Banks arrives to Beirut and wants to take the Middle East by storm!
[April 26, 4:18pm] “The Magician” Hazize Hlali is in the house!
[April 26, 4pm] Living Muay Thai legend Saenchai Banchamek lands in Beirut!
[April 26] Ring setup in progress for Phoenix 2