Don’t blame yourself if you haven’t heard of Victor Ngabe.
The unheralded Australian fighter hasn’t fought on a promotion as big as MAX before (at least with winning results) but he certainly made his presence known tonight in Pattaya.
In the first round of the second four man 67kg MAX tournament, Ngabe faced the very unorthodox Rhassan Muhareb. Ngabe edged Muhareb over the course of three rounds, using his superior technique to influence the judges en route to a decision victory.
After Fabio Pinca defeated Diesellek Uodonmuong in the other semi-final bout, most members in the audience didn’t give Ngabe much of a chance against one of the greatest falang fighters in the world today. Not only did Pinca beat Diesellek, but in the third and final round he absolutely destroyed him, putting on a fantastic display of grit and endurance.
From the onset of the final match-up of the night, Ngabe quickly proved that he was no slouch. In the first round, the Australian equaled Pinca’s performance output and could have perhaps even exceeded it in the second round, where he pursued Pinca around the ring and wrestled him repeatedly into corners with the clinch. The third round rode on a razor’s edge. In the beginning, Victor stalked forward, landed hard middle kicks and pulled off a beautiful sweep that had Pinca in mid-air. As the round went on however, the momentum seemed to shift and the grizzled veteran appeared to be taking control. It was apparent that Pinca wasn’t as fresh for his encounter with Ngabe as he had been in the tournament’s opening stanza, and the results of his blitzkrieg third round against Diesellek manifested themselves in the form a signficantly slower,less sharp Pinca.
In the end though, it was Ngabe’s hand that was raised in a moment of shock for himself, Pinca, and the fans. While the result was by no means a robbery, it was certainly unexpected. Many people throughout the sphere of social media seem to be leaning towards Pinca for the win, but it’s hard to deny that the bout was close. Ngabe will join Andrei Kulebin as the second fighter to qualify for the final 4 man tournament in December.
Also on the card, Aikpracha proved why he is one of the most feared fighters at 70 kilos when he absolutely destroyed GLORY’s own Warren Stevelmans en route to a decision victory. The other Thai superstars faced similar success, although Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong had a moment of over confidence against Juri Kehl, and neaerly paid for it when he was knocked down by a well timed counter headkick. Sitthichai avoided a count however, and went on to dominate the rest of the match and eventually win by decision.
Overall, MAX provided another entertaining show full of quality performances by some of the best Thai’s and foreigners available. Compared to Thai Fight, which occured earlier in the evening, the bouts were much closer in skill level, and the outcomes were, for the most part unpredictable. Even Buakaw’s demo wasn’t so bad. In other interesting news, Superpro Gym’s Robbie Timmers announced a possible partnership between kickboxing giant GLORY and MAX, going on to say that he was at the event to “scout talent.”
The location of the next MAX event is currently unannounced. Be sure to stay right here with FSA for all your news on MAX Muay Thai and the ongoing 4 man tournament.