Gut Check Championship Series Returns With Their Best Card Yet!

Two champions embrace each other after a competitive contest for the 147 lb. RWCSA title.

Two champions embrace each other after a competitive contest for the 147 lb. RWCSA title.

I.B.F Promotions returned to a friendly venue; The Boys and Girls Club on October 4th for Gut Check Championship Series. I.B.F Promotions took the step up to fly some talent in from Canada, as well as have a world champion take the trip from Tennessee to take home some hardware with them. Also featured were two junior champions battling for fight of the night. Fans haven’t stopped buzzing and neither has I.B.F about this recent card!

D.J. Miller came from Tennessee to test the self proclaimed “I.B.F. Champion” and proved to be successful to capture the 159 lb. RWCSA K1 strap! D.J. seemed to frustrate Brima throughout the entire bout as he worked through adversary to collect himself and clean up his game and capture a unanimous decision through a back and forth battle for the belt! Both fighters showed up, but only one could leave with the nod as the self proclaimed “King of IBF” as taken by Tennessee’s own DJ Miller.

Miller was determined in defeating Kamara stating “The fight played through my head with me chasing him ALOT. I started to feel intense. My frustration was my opponent would not stay still and fight so we could give the crowd what they want to see. When the last bell hit, I knew I won, but I also felt relief. I couldn’t stand to do another round because the fight was so annoying.”

D.J followed with some comments about his foe and some words of wisdom for the future stating, “Brima presented a major problem, not skill wise, but me trying to get my hands on him. Brima fought like he was desperate for a W, as I fought for the sole purpose of entertaining the crowd, like I always do. It was a very disappointing fight, in my opinion, definitely was NOT main event caliber. I did exactly what I said I’d do in the first interview. That being said, I believe Brima is the WORST opponent I have ever faced, as far as showmanship and competition goes. Way too much ego and not enough passion.”

Canadian fighter Amin Almelik came to the States to capture a belt, and returned to Canada with just that. He flew in and Master Rami Ibrahim was trusted to corner Amin whom faced Namron Bibbons for the 147 lb. RWCSA Muay Thai International Title.

Both fighters being a champion in different promotions, Bibbons, and Almelik met in the center of the ring and didn’t stop until the final bell. Both fighters, although friendly at weigh in’s and during stare-down photos, wasted no time getting into it from the gate. Both fighters wanted to prove their worth to claim their strap. However, on night it was Amin Almelik who came in to dictate the fight; able to get in and out with his slick and precise striking. Bibbons proved to be a worthy opponent on the night, however didn’t come up victorious. ?????to be the better fighter on the night and take back a new piece of hardware to Canada.

Almelik followed up after his contest by stating, “To go into enemy territory and capture an international title in the fashion that I did felt absolutely amazing. It felt almost like I hit a game winning buzzer beater shot in the NBA finals haha. I just finished soaking in my victory on Monday, as it was back to training camp for my next fight.”

“I just felt really good in the ring. My technique felt really on point, thanks to God for giving me the ability to win this fight and my coach Zubair Khan for teaching me all I know. In the fight I felt like I was always two or three steps ahead of Namron, which kept me sharp and alert.”

Touching on fighting an I.B.F seasoned vet, Almelik respectively said, “To be completely honest, no disrespect to Namron but he didn’t hurt me at any point in the fight. Thankfully I have tight defense which kept my face safe! (laughs)

Elias Melendez vs Shawn Keys Jr. clearly brought us “Fight of the Night”. Two Junior fighters put all they had on the line for the 115 lb. RWCSA title. These two fighters set the stage for the show by putting it all on the line from the opening bell to the closing. It was a back and forth battle between the junior title contenders with Keys coming straight forward from the opening bell landing vicious punch combos, that Melendez seemed to have a bit of a rough time adjusting to at first.

Melendez got his composure from the start of round 2 and was able to keep Keys at bay for the most part with his punch/kick combos. Both fighters ate a lot of clean shots, but never gave up the will or passion to keep pressing the action as they both clearly wanted to lay claim to that belt. Both fighters put on a phenomenal performance and the fans were chanting for a rematch. Melendez definitely won the first bout against an extremely game Shawn Keys. However, Keys did enough to warrant a rematch. Only time will tell.

“Knockout of the Night” honors went to Bassil “Badre” Hafez who took out Dwayne Lynch in a 172 lb. contest. The two met in Bassil Hafez whom faced Dwayne Lynch in a 172 lb. In the pre-fight stare-down pictures, you could tell these two were coming to stop their contest early. Hafez had the looks to kill, and Lynch seemingly egged him on with his abundant confidence shown by his thumbs up and grin. Neither fighter wasted any time getting into a scuffle where every strike was meant to stop their foe for the night. Fans were on their feet from the opening bell as these fighters didn’t lighten up in their punch, kick, and knee combinations. It was apparent both fighters didn’t want it to go to the judges score cards. With that, they showed up for an absolute barn burner. The first round closed and Hafez seemed to be in the lead.

Round two starts with both fighters continuing where they left off exchanging brutal and thudding strike combinations. Hafez definitely caught onto Synch’s game, as his strikes began to take more of a toll. Hafez smelled blood in the water, and pressed the pressure with Lynch slowly but surely seeming more and more hurt. Finally Hafez got to his opponent for the first time. Lynch was able to make his way to his feet as Hafez immediately pursued once more on his hurt foe with a pin point accurate punch to put Lynch away, and leave him hanging on the bottom ropes.

With Lynch being a veteran in the I.B.F ring, Hafez said, “I didn’t think too much into it being enemy territory. To me it’s another fight. Just like all my other fights, I’m going in there with someone who wants to hurt me and it’s my goal to put a hurting on him just as bad if not worse.”

Hafez comments on a return to the I.B.F ring saying, “I definitely enjoyed fighting for I.B.F.  It’s a great promotion run by some great and honest guys. You might see me in (back) the I.B.F ring again soon.”

In a 143 pound contest, Jason Stephens took on Jeffery Hudson in a battle that proved to be “Performance of the Night” for Stephens from the opening bell. Watching Stephens perform with proper corner instructions made this contest similar to a pre-recorded fight. Master Greg Pritchett knew how Stephens should attack this fight, shouted his instructions, and Stephens executed flawlessly. From his start, Stephens has steadily improved and is ready to take on any up and comers to try to test or take away his momentum. No matter what was shouted from the corner, from start to finish, whether it be a leg kick, mid kick, or punch combo, Stephens executed to the utmost what was instructed. It was similar to watching a video game! From opening bell to the close, Stephens was able to keep his range against his foe, and dictate the fight he wanted to fight. Stephens listened to his coaches, performed to the best of his abilities, and it all came full circle in this bout. Jason Stephens stepped up his caliber in this fight, and with his amazing bout was rightfully awarded “Performance of the Night” honors.

Stephens commented on his fight saying, “My focus comes from my desire to win and the encouragement from my team. When I’m in the ring, I feel like my corner is in there with me in a way and it gives me the confidence to perform well. I know my coach knows what it takes to win, so with every command he yells out I try my best to execute.”

“At the start of the fight I was getting a feel for my opponent. During the second round, I started to release more of my combos and thought I got more strikes off than my opponent. The last round I really wanted a finish so I stayed on my opponent and although I couldn’t get it, I still thought I left no doubt that I won that fight.”

Other Results

K1 – 172 lbs – James McCaffery defeats Daniel Dewysockie via 1st round TKO

MT – 132 lbs – Anthony Del-Cid defeats Mike Gallagher via Unanimous Decision

MT – 147 lbs – Dejour Bailey defeats Daniel Stribling via Unanimous Decision

MT – 127 lbs – Niki Lorinczy defeats Sami Rice via Unanimous Decision

MT – 159 lbs – Daniel Champa defeats Paul Carbary via Majority Decision

MT – 153 lbs – Brian O’Halloran defeats Malik Joe via Unanimous Decision

K1 – 100 lbs – Abbe Pannucci defeats Carryn Keys via Unanimous Decision

MT – 137 lbs – Kyle Tyler defeats Luis Guillas via Unanimous Decision

MT – 179 lbs – Allen Hargrove defeats Miguel Mayorga via Unanimous Decision

K1 – Exhibition – Jobe Lee vs Tyler Lowe – Draw

K1 – 153 lbs – Jake Kelly defeats J.B. Lamb via Unanimous Decision

MT – 143 lbs – Jon Curtis defeats Jhalani Battle-Williams via Unanimous Decision



About Adam Crist