Lion Fight Promotions, the worldwide leader in Muay Thai combat, makes a spectacular entrance into 2017 with Lion Fight 34 slated for Friday, February 3rd at Tropicana Las Vegas on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
Lion Fight’s 2017 calendar will include multiple live events in Las Vegas along with frequent visits to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and an expected return to California later in the year.
“We are very excited about what’s to come in 2017, and we are really kicking it off with a massive international card on February 3rd in Las Vegas,” said Lion Fight CEO Scott Kent.
“When you can put champions like Regian Eersel and Iman Barlow on the same card alongside rising stars like Gabriel Mazzetti and Diego Llamas, it is already a stellar lineup. Then you add global sensations like Samy Sana and Chris Harrington, and that raises the bar even higher.
“We strongly believe that 2017 will be the best year ever for Lion Fight and we are absolutely starting the year in terrific fashion. Lion Fight 34 is the type of event that our long-standing fans and those fans new to our world-class product will be anticipating in a big way.”
The main event of Lion Fight 34 will mark the first defense for newly crowned super middleweight champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel as he will take on 2014 Best of Siam champion Samy Sana.
Eersel (44-4) debuted in style at Lion Fight 29 when he registered a colossal head-kick knockout of Jo Nattawut in the fourth round of a non-title bout. After a follow-up victory in China, Eersel moved into the super middleweight title bout at Lion Fight 33 and promptly destroyed England’s Jake Purdy. Born in Suriname and now fighting out of Amsterdam, Holland, Eersel dropped Purdy twice in the second round with crushing uppercuts and then finished the bout in highlight-reel form with a high knee strike that put Purdy face first into the canvas.
The Algerian-born Sana (86-3) has earned two wins and a draw in his last three outings, notably earning the Best of Siam crown and WBC super middleweight title with a knockout victory in Bangkok. Since losing the Thai Fight tournament semi-final to Muay Thai icon Yodsanklai Fairtex, the 28-year-old, who now fights out of Paris, France, won both the A1 and Wicked One Tournament middleweight titles, and holds a noteworthy knockout win over Armin Pumpanmuang.
Lion Fight 34 will also feature a title fight in the co-main event as reigning women’s super bantamweight champion Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow (84-5-3) puts her belt on the line against Meryum “Mergen” Uslu (39-9-1).
Representing Leicester, England, Barlow claimed the Lion Fight title back in September when she used a steady barrage of strikes to the body to take a unanimous decision against Jeri Sitzes. Barlow will look to go 2-0 against Uslu after beating her via decision in 2011. Uslu, who fights out of Hamburg, Germany, has won five of her last six bouts, including the WKF super bantamweight belt.
Mazzetti vs. Chasteen highlights main card battles
A major middleweight bout has also been signed for Lion Fight 34 as breakout sensation Gabriel “El Nino” Mazzetti will square off against Nick “Golden Boy” Chasteen.
Mazzetti (13-2) made his organizational debut at the Tropicana back in October and torched James Shepard, finishing the fight in the second round with a convincing knockout. The 18-year-old phenom from Peru, who just signed a multi-fight contract extension with Lion Fight, recently added to his trophy case with a gold medal at the 2016 IFMA Pan Am Championships.
Hoping a trip to Thailand will get him back on track, Chasteen (6-3) had a rocky 2016 campaign inside the Lion Fight ring as the onetime top American prospect suffered a first-round knockout loss to Chris Mauceri and then dropped a split-decision verdict to Eddie Martinez.
Njokuani & Llamas amongst big names on LF 34 card
A crew of Lion Fight’s best competitors have already been added to the Lion Fight 34 lineup along with a very recognizable name from the mixed martial arts ranks.
Las Vegas’ own Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani returns to his stand-up fighting roots after a long journey in MMA that included stints in the UFC and WEC. Holding a stellar 22-0 record, the former World Combat League member earned three Knockout of the Night honors while under the WEC flag, featuring a brutal head-kick stoppage of Chris Horodecki. The 36-year-old Njokuani has tangled with a number of big names in MMA including former UFC champions Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos, as well as Donald Cerrone and Andre Winner.
Njokuani will tangle with Australian invader Chris “The Butcher” Harrington, a product of Lion Fight’s talent exchange partnership with the Warriors Way promotion. Harrington is coming off a significant win in November when he took a split-decision over John McKenna in the semi-final of the WMC super middleweight title tournament.
Returning to the Lion Fight ring are fan favorite Diego Llamas and veteran Kronphet Phetrachapat.
Llamas (8-2), a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, who fights out of Dublin, California, made a spectacular debut at Lion Fight 29 when blasted PJ Sweda with a one-punch knockout in the second round of their clash at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Llamas will have to contend with Australia’s River Daz, the Warriors Way welterweight champion, who defended his title in November with a fourth-round knockout of Albert Xavier.
Phetrachapat (74-19-4) was last in the Lion Fight ring back in January when he took a controversial decision over Gaston Bolanos that was later reversed by the IKF. Phetrachapat gets to tangle with another young sensation as he meets 21-year-old German Kevin Burmester (59-6). The Hamburg native captured the WKN Intercontinental title in April.
Lion Fight 34 will air live on AXS TV Fights with a start time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. with commentary from renowned duo “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich.
Please visit LIONFIGHT.com for news, information and event updates, and follow on Twitter @LIONFIGHT and @LionFightOfficial on Instagram.
About Tropicana Las Vegas
Set on the famed Four Corners with commanding views of the Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana Las Vegas – a DoubleTree by Hilton is a Penn National Gaming destination and boasts stylish rooms, suites and luxury villas, complete with acclaimed restaurants, premier entertainment options and a 50,000-square-foot casino. The resort redefines the expectations of today’s global travelers by providing a casually elegant experience on The Strip, all with a South Beach rhythm and vibe. The property also features Glow® a Mandara Spa and fitness center, Laugh Factory Comedy Club, Sky Beach Club, and restaurants such as Bacio Italian Cuisine, Biscayne, Beach Café, and Barista Café and South Beach Food Court. For more information, visit www.troplv.com.