On Saturday, 26 January, nearly 5000 fight fans from Italy and around the region convened at the PalaRuffini arena for YOKKAO 35 - 36. The sold-out event saw the crowning of three new champions in an evening of non-stop Muay Thai action.
YOKKAO 35 - 36 will go down as one of the most dramatic and memorable nights in the history of our promotion. With a few skin-splitting stoppages, some amazing comebacks and an unexpected twist of fate, almost every fight kept our audience at the edge of the seats.
After a rousing start with nine exciting bouts on the undercard, YOKKAO 35 got the night going with the heavyweight bout between Michele Mastromatteo and Tony Rubio. The 91kg rumble was quickly brought to a stop in round 2 when Mastromatteo's big punches and a hard knee left Rubio incapable of continuing the fight. YOKKAO Hong Kong team's Ng King Chung revved up the intensity, winning via an unanimous decision and setting the pace that led to the first 2 title matches.
WBC Intercontinental Title Fight:
Yodchai vs Jonathan Astarita
With the WBC Lightweight Intercontinental Title on the line, both Yodchai and Astarita left nothing in the tank from the start. Yodchai began showing more dominance in round 2, delivering a loud rib-cracking kick that could be felt as far as the spectator stands. Astarita's left ribs were severely bruised up by the end of the round, and his performance visibly affected. He was unable to continue after the third round and Yodchai was justifiably awarded the WBC title.
WBC European Title Fight:
Spencer Brown vs Luca Roma
This was one of the most anticipated clashes of the event with tension mounting right from the weigh-in. Roma started off on the right foot, outscoring the first two rounds and proved to be more than Spencer bargained for. Even though he got off to a rocky start, Spencer soon found his momentum and domination in the clinch. He picked up the judges favor for the remaining rounds, with his hand raised in an emotional moment, and going home with the WBC European Super-Lightweight title.
Fight of the Night:
Singdam vs Jeremy Payet
In what was one of the most thrilling clashes of the night, Singdam took on the spirited Payet for a roller-coaster ride of a fight. Payet shocked the arena with a clear dominance over the Thai legend in the first round. The Frenchman went into the round all-in, with a handful of hard knocks that rocked Singdam, and stumbling onto the canvas. Payet could have made the headlines but experience showed and Singdam made a spectacularly dramatic comeback in the second round. The multitime Lumpinee champion retaliated with a barrage of knees and infamous right kicks, literally knocking the wind out of Payet. The win was awarded to Singdam via referee stoppage right on the dot of the end of the round. The Black Lion showed immense heart in the comeback - demonstrating what it means to be a champion and lionheart.
Two YOKKAO Kids bouts filled the intermission before the main card returned with YOKKAO 36. Fans were treated to three back-to-back Italian match-offs featuring local favorites like Viorel Vyntu, Filippo Solheid and Christian Zahe. Sudsakorn took to the stage at bout number four, demolishing Luca Tagliarino with low kicks, along with a few hilarious antics to entertain the crowd. It was a tough act to follow but the subsequent fights did not disappoint.
Fight of the Night:
Liam Harrison vs Ivan Naccari
UK legend, Liam Harrison made his return to the YOKKAO stage in spectacular fashion against Ivan Naccari. The two KO specialists traded blow for blow in 3 rounds of high-octane action. Naccari did not back away at any point and fought tooth and nail to go the distance. Harrison experience and power edged out, almost finishing the fight with his signature low kicks in round 3. The UK fighter received the unanimous vote from judges to mark his return with a well-deserved victory.
WMC Intercontinental Title Fight:
Manachai vs Luca Falco
Over a hundred fans of Falco made the trip from Naples to show support for the title bout against Manachai. By all accounts, Manachai had dominated in every round and on track to finish off with the WMC belt. An unexpected turn of events led to the biggest upset of the night. In the midst of the heated exchange in round 4, Manachai suddenly crumbled onto the canvas without any contact and writhing in pain. He had actually landed badly after a jump kick, leaving him with a twisted left ankle and incapable of continuing. Falco walked away with the victory, bringing home the WBC Intercontinental belt to the delight of his fans and corner.
Saenchai vs Cristian Faustino
The atmosphere reached a climax with the final and main event of the night. Living legend, Saenchai made a grand entrance into the ring to face Italian fighter, Cristian Faustino. The Muay Thai icon put on a clinic, displaying unparalleled precision with complete control of the match. Despite Faustino's efforts, Saenchai outscored every round to be awarded an undisputable victory and once again, extending his 4-year winning streak.
YOKKAO 35 - 36 was a true Muay Thai extravaganza for fans of the sport and there is no doubt that we will be back in Turin again. For now, our organizing team is on track in preparation for the next show on 23 March. YOKKAO 37 - 38 will return to Bolton featuring top Muay Thai athletes from UK and Thailand. Liam Harrison, Craig Coakley, Nathan Bendon, Paul Karpowicz and Thai star, Superbank are already confirmed for the card. Look out for more details to follow.
YOKKAO 35 Results
YOKKAO Team vs France -66kg
Singdam YokkaoSaenchaigym won by TKO round 2 vs Jeremy Payet
WBC Super-Lightweight European Title
YOKKAO Team vs Italy 63.5kg
Spencer YokkaoSaenchaigym won by points vs Luca Roma
WBC Lightweight Intercontinental Title
YOKKAO Team vs Italy -62kg
Yodchai YokkaoSaenchaigym won by TKO round 3 vs Jonathan Astarita
Thailand vs Italy 61kg
Thongchai Petchrungruang won by points vs Matteo Deluca
Italy vs Romania 72.5kg
Francesco Laquale lost by TKO round 1 Vs Manolea Doru
Italy vs France 71kg
Yao Agbetiafa lost by points vs Damien Cazambo
YOKKAO Team Hong Kong vs Italy 60kg
Ng King Chung won by points vs Rustam Vyntu
Italy vs Italy 91kg
Michele Mastromatteo won by TKO round 2 vs Tony Rubio
YOKKAO 36 Results
YOKKAO Team vs Italy 65kg
Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym won by points vs Cristian Faustino
WMC Intercontinental Title 65kg
YOKKAO Team vs Italy
Manachai YokkaoSaenchaigym lost by injury round 4 vs Luca Falco
YOKKAO Team vs Italy 66kg
Liam Harrison won by points vs Ivan Naccari
YOKKAO Team vs Italy 74kg
Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee won by TKO round 2 vs Luca Tagliarino
Italy vs Italy 67kg
Christian Zahe won by points vs Cristian Marzullo
Italy vs Italy 60kg
Alessandro Sara lost by points vs Viorel Vyntu
Italy vs Italy 70kg
Filippo Solheid won by points vs Claudio Ivaldi