On October 3rd, a cool fall evening in Astoria, New York, four students, Tafon Nchukwi (20) and Josh Turner (18) from Crazy 88 MMA Elkridge as well as Milton Cerezo (26) and Nadir Brockington (18) from Crazy 88 MMA Owings Mills, stepped into the Extreme Cage Fighting (ECF) cage and fought in their Muay Thai fights. ECF 7, titled “Total Domination” by the promoter, was a fitting name of the event. All four of the fighters came out victorious, posting a 4-0 record that fateful night.
Over the last two weekends, Crazy 88 MMA went 5-0 in two promotions; the Lion Fight, arguably the premier Muay Thai promotion in the United States, and Extreme Cage Fighting. The competition was formidable with a combined record of 11-4, a 73% winning record. Though the odds were not in their favor, our four fighters rose to the challenge of the competition.
Starting off the night and supported by a crowd of 14 people all the way from Maryland, Nadir Brockington fought Wilma Conce from Inner G (New York). The two 135 pounders fought courageously and Nadir won by Unanimous Decision. Nadir did an excellent job at following the directions from his coaches. Gleaming with excitement at the end of the second round, he came back to his corner and asked if he could perform his signature tornado kick, which involved him jumping and spinning in the air before landing the kick. While it was a risky move, it landed and was the highlight of a very impressive debut.
The next fight was the long and lanky Josh Turner, fighting a short and stocky man named Muhammad from Gladiator Sports (New Jersey). In Josh’s previous fight in March, the finals of the WKA Nationals, he fought a very muscular guy who swarmed him early in the first round and beat him via Technical Knockout. As expected, the physically strong opponent came hard at him and brawled, looking to overwhelm him with punches. Josh was able to stay composed and weather the onslaught of attacks. He came back in rounds two and three, landing more effective combinations and even an axe kick. The composure he showed during the first round shows the improvement he has made since his last competition.
The third fight from Tafon Nchukwi was in the heavyweight division. The “Cameroon Express” fought a giant of a man named Taylor Burnstein from K Dojo (New Jersey). The two heavy weights fought the most technical fight that night. The factors that gave Tafon the victory were his leg kicks and a devastating jab that dropped his opponent. This fight improves Tafon’s overall record to 4-0, but more important than the win was the marked improvement to his technique and guard. Watch Tafon’s knockdown here…
Finally, it was Milton Cerezo’s turn to fight. Wanting to continue the winning streak for the team and fighting without headgear and shin guards for the first time, pressure and nerves could have been a factor. However, Cerezo performed very well. He was very aware of his range and timing and was able to outstrike his opponent Travis Hassings (New York). Milton’s confidence grew as he was able to land his kicks and block strikes while forcing his opponent to miss. At the highlight of the fight, Milton landed his signature 360 double back kick which we called the “Puerto Rican Torpedo”. All in all, it was a great night for the Crazy 88 MMA fighters as we went 4-0 in hostile territory.
Returning from New York with the victory shows that we are on the right track, however, it is not the win that motivates us. The desire to become better at Muay Thai is what drives us to train at this high level. Win or lose, we are looking for the errors that need to be fixed for the next battle. Watch for these promising fighters in the near future to see what technical gains they have made for their next competitions.