March Mayhem

Posted March 8, 2013 in
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Ryan Luper vs Jermaine Tisi. Photo: Rob Norbutt

 Last Saturday night, I went to March Mayhem at the Muay Thai Institute and Fitness Center in Sugarhouse. I believe it was called March Mayhem because another sporting organization already has dibs on March Madness, and March Mess-Your-Face-Up wouldn’t fit on the flyer. Either way, the actual Mayhem was strictly limited to inside the confines of the Squared Circle, which actually isn’t a circle at all, but a square, and the crowd was very polite and orderly. 

Local, amateur kickboxing does make for great entertainment on a Saturday night. Basically, the way it works is that dudes who train at gyms for MMA and whatnot fight other dudes from other gyms, so the fighters from the Muay Thai institute had the home-court advantage. This night was extra special because the title fight was an actual USMTA title fight, and that’s the first time that has ever happened in Utah. Our cute, little state is growing up and learning how to kick ass. 
I don’t date much, and I unsuccessfully tried to round up a broad to upstage the ring girls. But since I couldn’t find a female who wanted to see fighters get their faces flanked in with feet and fists, I ended up taking Mike Abu instead. 
Me and Abu showed up and ran into a small but solid crew of buddies that we could enjoy the pummeling with. We got some seats right in time for the first girl fight of the night. And I just have to say, any chick who thinks she’s tough for playing roller derby should choke on their bearings while they watch some chicks duke it out Muay Thai–style. 
Aside from the title fight, the chick fights were the most entertaining of the night.  Shelly Knell versus Kaytlin Niel made me glad I couldn’t get a date for the night, and I started strategizing the best pickup lines I could use on a kickboxing chick without getting my face pounded. This is all due to my personal fetish for a woman who can beat me up.
After the first chick fight, my buddy Cal was scheduled to fight, so me and a small crew of Cal’s friends were there to support him. “Support” can also be translated to “watching your buddy get hit in the face repeatedly.” Cal trains at the Muay Thai Institute that was hosting the fights, so he did have home-field advantage. The dude he had to square up against was Adam Easley, training out of Riven-MMA-Pit Elevated, which I guess is a gym in Provo that legendary MMA fighter Chuck Liddell is part of somehow. If you don’t know who Chuck Liddell is, he’s famous for three things: being an MMA fighter, a stupid handlebar mustache and banging legendary porno star Jenna Jameson. 
The guy that Cal had to fight looked like the newest Batman with his facemask off. We were all hoping for Cal to go Bane on his ass, but seriously, this guy had at least 30 pounds on our buddy. Cal lost, but went toes all three rounds with Batman, and then asked us for our whiskey flask right after the fight—a true champion of my heart. 
The only knockout of the night came in the first round of the title fight, where Billy Marten got kicked in the head by Anthony Ford and dropped faster than a call on an AT&T wireless network. The dude was out cold for a bit and then got up and addressed the crowd. He apologized for not fighting longer and not being entertaining enough, but that was far from the case.
Overall, The Muay Thai Institute of Utah put on a tremendous show. They do these events twice a year, once in March and then again later on in the year.
Ryan Luper vs Jermaine Tisi. Photo: Rob Norbutt Mike Flint vs Adam Easley. Photo: Rob Norbutt James Gagnon vs Ceasar Barroso. Photo: Rob Norbutt Nick McGinnis vs Diego Torres. Photo: Rob Norbutt Brittany Cahoon vs Annie Singer. Photo: Rob Norbutt