On Dec 5th 2015, Crazy 88 sent three Muay Thai competitors, Nadir Brockington, Milton Cerezo and Keemaan Diop to the American Muay Thai League (AMTL) to compete in the premiere Muay Thai promotion in the East Coast. We had mixed outcomes from the fights but it gave us great insights on what we need to work on in the future.
Nadir Brockington (19) two weeks prior to this fight did his first IBJJF tournament and medaled in the New York Pro. Knowing that he was in tremendous shape, his coaches instructed him, “to out-hustle” his opponent. And that is exactly what he did, he went 100 miles an hour for three rounds never slowing down. He was able to barrage punches when his opponent kicked, clinch when punched and blast kicks when separated. Although he said “I felt sloppy”, Nadir pressured and outworked his opponent and won via unanimous decision, improving his striking record to 2-0.
Milton Cerezo (27) was the second fight of the night. Milton, who comes from a Karate background, landed effective kicks from the outside and was able to close the distance with his punches. During the later rounds, Milton slowed down from throwing too many ineffective shots from the clinch and his opponent was able to pressure him until the end of the fight. However, Milton did control the offense of the bout and landed the more effective punches and kicks. The end result of the match was a draw and it baffled the audience and many of the coaches. One coach came to us after the fight and confessed, “I don’t know how this is a draw, he (Milton) clearly won.” Milton record is now 1-0-1.
The last fight was between Keemaan Diop (22) and George Jefferies from Forge Muay Thai for the AMTL 155 title. The bout was sanctioned by the USMTA (US Muay Thai Association) and would be no gear, with elbows and full clinching allowed.
For five rounds it was a very back and forth fight between the two Muay Thai practitioners. They displayed their abilities to effectively use their kicks, punches, knees and elbows. Keemaan was able to land effect spinning elbows, kicks, and punches against his opponent. George had good defense, controlled the distance, and pressed the action non-stop until the ending bell. During the fight, there were numerous rule infractions which the Crazy 88 coaches took exception to, including low blows and reaping leg takedowns. Both fighters gave their all during the fight and had the crowd roaring. Ultimately, the winner of the bout was up to the judges and Keemaan lost via decision which dropped his record to 9-3.
Many attendees remarked that this fight between these two amateur Muay Thai fighters looked like the Pro Fight, and the Pro bout that took place afterwards, looked like the Amateur one.
All three athletes fought hard from the start to the end. This is a testament to the hard work the athletes put in class however the results that night was not the expected 3-0. As an amateur competitor, you want to use competition as a tool to assess and improve your game. So when you fight hard and to the best of your abilities; win, lose or draw instead of letting it emotionally toll you, it should be a reflection of your work. As a team, our goal is to work towards fixing the errors made and to improve our strengths. The Crazy 88 team embraces this challenge and will make necessary adjustments in training and we welcome future competitions. We look forward to making these improvements before our next fights.