Gut Check Championship Series Post Fight Review/Highlights

"The Juggernaut" takes on "The Black Dragon" for the 179 lb. strap!

“The Juggernaut” takes on “The Black Dragon” for the 179 lb. strap!

I.B.F Promotions Gut Check Championship Series returned to their home venue of the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, DE. last weekend, January 24th.  As per usual, the venue was deafening for another night of Muay Thai/K1 bouts, and another sold out the fight card the fans flooded to see.

Our main event of the evening served as the Gut Check Championship Series 179lb. Muay Thai championship bout between Dwayne “The Black Dragon” Lynch (New World MMA) facing Kenny “Juggernaut” Jones (Stay Fly Muay Thai).  This contest was clear from the height/reach difference, Lynch would be targeting the body, and Jones would utilize is reach and that’s just how the contest played out.  Although Jones was able to keep the contest on the outside for the most of the time, Lynch was non-stop with his pressure to maintain the advantage on the inside blasting Jones with some hard body shots.

The first round was the closest of this title contest, but Jones found his range toward the end of the round finishing with two head kicks that had Lynch seemingly out on his feet in which most people didn’t think he’d recover from.  Lynch proved to be the battle hardened warrior he proves to be time and time again by making it to the bell to recover.  The rest of the contest, Jones was battled, and tested at times, but with his reach, range, as well as his solid clinch game, everyone saw a new champion clearly crowned as Kenny “Juggernaut” Jones defeated Dwayne “The Black Dragon” Lynch via Unanimous Decision.

The Juggernaut went on to discuss his first championship win of his amateur career stating, “I definitely felt some pressure. This was my first time fighting for a title and I only had eleven days to prepare for it. But hey!  Fighters fight!  And I believe in not letting an opportunity pass you by. Thankfully, I try to stay ready and had just begun training for a fight scheduled for February 7th.  I was just concerned about my weight because I had just celebrated my birthday in Grand fashion!  I spent more time focusing on making weight in lieu of my usual routine, and I do feel like that affected my performance in the fight.  Overall, I’m proud of my performance but I know there’s much more work to be done before I become the fighter I envision myself to be.”

“Knockout of the Night” winner Ivey Nixon (RSMMA & Fitness) didn’t take much time in the ring to get the job done without the ref intervening. As a matter of fact, it only took a little over minute to get the knockout stoppage.  It was Nixon’s hands that were the pinnacle of his game dismantling Barry Quinn (Cowboy International) so early with his beautiful punch combinations landing on target each time.  Quinn withstood some punishment, but Nixon’s power and precision was the key to getting the early stoppage in this contest and declaring Nixon “Knockout of the Night” winner.  After the main event of the night was concluded, it was decided that Nixon would be fighting Main event winner, Kenny Jones as his first challenger for his 179lb. belt as both fighters shared words in the ring and shook hands in the ring to hype their upcoming contest and conclude the evening.

After his KO of the night performance, Nixon went on to say, “First thing I noticed were his hands were down.  I always test the situation with a left hook.  Its my signature.  I threw a cross to set up the hook, soon as I see the hit land I start going in for the kill.  Once I hit you with the hook I will go to finish. He hit me in my nose, thought it was bleeding. I tried to finish him with the hooks but he had heart.  He clinched me up. In the moment I just pushed him off, and threw the cross.  It landed.  He keeled but he wasn’t all the way down.  I heard the refs voice but my body was in the moment and threw the cross.  He went down.  I didn’t think the fight was over yet.  I got him with a flash knockout but he got back up.  I knew his heart was willing to still fight.  All respect to him.”

Touching on fighting his future opponent Kenny Johnson for the 179lb strap, Nixon says, “Same thing.  I’d like to get straight to it.  To be honest. I think Barry Quinn is better than Kenny.  I just caught Barry with his hands down.  I expect Kenny to keep his hands up but he likes to hold his hands in front instead of by his ear so his jaw is still wide open.  You can expect a lot of teeps from him.  I’m going to do what I do! You can expect me turning it into a boxing match.  That’s what I do best.  I counter everything with the boxing.  I want to prove to the world boxing is best and you can beat anybody with it if you know how to defend kicks and take downs.  Thank you for this opportunity.”

Malik “The Ripper” Joe (New World MMA) took on and narrowly defeated Brandon Dougherty (Body Arts Muay Thai) in a 155lb Muay Thai “Fight of the Night” contest. This bout was so close, after Joe was announced the winner, he went into a rage about how he didn’t think he was the winner. Not making a spectacle, but just being a true warrior in the heat of a hard fought battle expressing his apologies and respect to his defeated opponent. These two fighters mixed it up from the opening bell exchanging pin point accurate strikes, and essentially going sweep for sweep. It was back and forth from start to finish, opening bell to closing and proved so in the Majority Decision scoring. Fans are raving for a rematch for such an action packed,  close fight, but the future may hold a different outcome with Dougherty stating, I’m an amateur fighter. I do this for fun. I don’t care for the outcome of the fight.  No, I was not hurt, nor do I want a rematch.  Malik and I are friends now.  I went out and put on a show. That’s all I care about.

Joe went on to discuss his win by saying, “The fight was great it was punch for a punch, kick for a kick, sweep for a sweep.  I tried to keep control of the center of the ring, and keep the pressure on the big guy by aggressively throwing him in my sweeps.  It always was fun have a fight when were going at it the whole fight to the last minute I declare us both winners.”

“Performance of the Night” honors was easily awarded to Fatima “The MVJ Rose” Scott (Team MVJ), who took her first fight ever and shined brighter than most experienced fighters we’ve seen on recent cards.  This pleasant young lady seemed oddly at ease from the moment she stepped into the arena to when she stepped through the ropes.  There was times of her dancing before her fight, to cracking jokes/laughing with friends. One thing was certain!  Nerves weren’t going to be much of an issue and her confidence was abundant! She flipped the switch as soon as being announced to the ring and put on a K1 clinic against a tough Amanda O’Brian (Cowboy International).  Scott was tuned in like a robot to her coach, Professor Greg Pritichett’s commands as she executed his instructions flawlessly.  Surely not looking like a rookie outing for this teen.  Scott was able to keep her range during the contest, get in and out with her strikes.  Also mixing it up with her punch to kick, and vice versa combinations. Scott pressed the action all the way until the final round finally ending the contest via TKO with her relentless pressure and never ending precise striking combinations.  This young lady looked nothing short of impressively amazing, and I.B.F Promotions looks forward to seeing “The MVJ Rose” back on the next card.

Scott discussed her debut saying,  “I was pretty excited to get into the ring!  I couldn’t wait to get in there and get out, whether if I lost or walked away with the medal.  I had a little bit of anxiety and was a bit nervous as everyone were coming and going out of the locker room.  All of that went away as soon as you called my name.  I was ready and I was focused.  My opponent had a lot of game and potential but I didnt let that throw me off, I just did what I was trained to do, and that is to win.  You can expect to see my back in the ring whenever the opportunity comes. I’ll be ready, I was born ready.”

MVP Fighter of the Night was awarded to Jason Stephens (Team MVJ). This 19 year old young man would never strike you as a fighter when you meet him, but make no mistake about it, he is as vicious in the ring, as he is a gentlemen outside of it. He has taken his limited time competitively fighting and pushed it to the next level.  He is another Team MVJ student who listens to instructions through an erupting crowd as if it didn’t exist. His coach, Professor Greg Pritchett shouts instructions, and it’s done a fraction of a second later.  This bout proved to be no different for this blossoming young man.  Stephens took on Hector Franco (Ferocious Dragon Kwan) in a 143lb K1 contest.  Stephens is rather tall for 143lbs and it’s difficult for his opponents to adjust to his size and range.  This bout proved to be no different for Franco.  From the opening to closing bell Stephens was able to utilize his range with his lengthily striking, and score the single K1 allowed knee when the distance was closed. He easily took this contest after 3 rounds via unanimous decision.  Seeing Stephens compete several times, he seemed to approach the closing rounds more aggressive than usual.  He seemed to want to inflict more damage to stop the fight than let it go to the scorecards.

Discussing his MVP Fighter of the Night honor, Stephens was quite specific detailing his performance and aggression saying, “It is sort of surreal to hear that I got the MVP fighter of the night award out of all the fighters competing. I thought my performance was a step up from my past fights, and I was happy to see I was able to pull of things that I could not have before.  That being said, I am my biggest critic and I am never satisfied with my performance, so I will definitely be working harder to improve in a lot of areas!

I’ve visualized this fight 100 times as I knew my opponent was known to be quite aggressive, so during the first round I tried to keep him in my range.  In the second round I was told I needed to catch him coming in with a knee to the body.  After I hit him he started to become less aggressive, and I was able to pressure him to the ropes.  In the third round I knew I had the fight as I could tell by his face that he was either tired or hurt, so the final round I started hitting him with power shots until the final bell.

During the last round of the fight I knew I had energy left, but I felt like I was slowing down.  I got frustrated with myself because of that reason, and sometimes you have to get angry at yourself to release that energy out of you.  I wanted to hurt my opponent, so I thought why not use up the rest of what I have as the fight ends.”

The night was roaring from start to finish.  The reception from the fans was erupting, and they left entertained.  It was yet again, another successful night for regional Muay Thai and K1 action as well as another win for the fans, fighters, and I.B.F Promotions. Our next show is planned for April 18th, 2014, and you can stay tuned to, or


Jobe Lee def. Kyle Rhea via UD

Kristina Lafferty def Kim Higgins via MD

Erin Jimenez def Mary Brulator via MD

Shylo McIntyre def Sean Suvie via TKO

Anthony Del Cid def Keith Pratt via TKO

Josh Hartman def Adam Loux via UD

Malik Joe def Brandon Dougherty via MD

Fatima Scott def Amanda O’Brian via TKO

Yohannes Habtu def James McCaffery via TKO

Jason Stephens def Hector Franco via UD

Ivey Nixon def Barry Quinn via KO

Kenneth Jones def Dwayne Lynch via UD



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