Triumphant 1 took place Friday night, September 29th at the Graton Casino & Resort in Rohnert Park, CA. This was the first time a combat sports event was held at the upscale casino located in Northern California’s wine country.
The event created a buzz in the Muay Thai community as CEO/President Geoff Quares, known locally for his successful fights under the Bay Area Challenge Banner, began his quest to build a new chapter for high level amateur and professional fighters under the Triumphant Combat Sports banner. Additionally, Triumphant 1 declared a WMC (World MuayThai Council) intercontinental champion for the first time in America in over 5 years.
The main event featured Liam Nolan [Knowlesy Academy, UK] facing off with UFC veteran Anthony Njokuani [One Kick’s Gym, Las Vegas, NV & Saeksan Janira Muay Thai] for the World Muaythai Council Intercontinental Championship at 160lbs [72.5kg]. Njokuani stepped up to the challenge with two weeks notice and put up his undefeated (22-0) record on the line, coming off a win at Lion Fight 34 in February.
Right out of the gate, the fight was technical, crisp and fast. Nolan established the pace of the fight with quick body kicks which Njokuani mostly absorbed on his arms. Njokuani seemed to take his time the first three rounds but began to find his stride in the later rounds. Njokuani connected with a snap front kick and cut Nolan’s lip in the 4th round. Despite only being 20 years old, Nolan remained composed & confident and won a split decision victory capturing the WMC Intercontinental Championship.
The co-main event featured a bit of a twisted revenge match as Charles Rodriguez (Combat Fitness, Concord, CA) faced off with Nathan Adams (Thongsai Muay Thai, Eugene, Oregon). Rodriguez was originally scheduled to fight Thongsai Muay Thai’s Adam Fugitt. Fugitt knocked out Rodriguez in an amateur bout a few years back but withdrew from the fight for undisclosed reasons (only to fight a pro MMA fight the next day). Nevertheless, Adams stepped up to take on Rodriguez for his pro debut.
In the first round of the fight, Adams showed flashes of success against the much stronger Rodriguez. Rodriguez seemed to gain steam as he began to realize that he was much stronger in the clinch. As the 2nd round began, Adams took a knee and went down but the ref did not give a count. Rodriguez worked off the clinch and caught Adams flush with a right hand but still answered the 8 count. After a few more exchanges, Rodriguez caught Adams with a few more finishing knees and he dropped to the canvas. The referee waived off the fight as Rodriguez remained undefeated with his 3rd professional win.
Sonny Singh (Smash Gyms, Milpitas, CA) took on Alex Branom (Burke Camp, Oregon City, OR) despite Branom coming in over the contract weight the day before. As the fight began, the air was taken out of the hometown crowd when Branom connected with a jab-cross combo and dropped Singh to a knee in the 1st round. Singh kept his composure and seemed to recover in the 2nd round as Branom began to slow down. As the fight entered the 3rd and final round, Singh caught Branom with an elbow and opened a cut which led the ringside Doctor to stop the fight. Singh won via TKO stoppage in the 3rd round.
The professional portion of the event began with Mark Climaco (AKA, San Jose, CA) making his pro Muay Thai debut against Gabe David (Combat Fitness, Concord, CA). It was clear from the beginning that this would be a clash of styles, matching up Climaco’s MMA movement with David’s traditional stalking Muay Thai style. Climaco seemed to score enough points in the early rounds despite David’s attempts to cut off the ring. Climaco was content with sticking and moving but slowed down a bit in the 3rd and final round. David began to come on in the 3rd but it was a little bit too late in the fight and Climaco won a unanimous decision.
Amateur Undercard Results:
Justin West defeats Nick Harling by KO in 2nd Round
Jake Haas defeats William Varner by KO in 2nd Round
Cameron Church defeats Victor Frost at end of 3rd round, corner threw in towel