JNI Promotions has been a mainstay of the Australian kickboxing scene for over 20 years. They have produced over 100 kickboxing shows in that time, and Friday’s offering in Sydney titled “1 on 1” was their latest.
The promotion has evolved with the needs of the audience, as the shows are now a combination of boxing, Kickboxing and MMA. Veteran ring announcer, Michael Pedavoli, from Dynamite Productions entertained a crowd of over 300 who turned up to witness a 12 fight lineup that was reduced to 11 fights after the main event, an Australian muay thai title fight between Lachlan Steward and Joep Beereport, was cancelled when the doctor ruled Lachlan unfit to fight.
From the Hurtsville Entertainment Centre, the main event of the evening saw Nitrixx Gym’s David Hatem take on Taipan Muay Thai’s Nakharin Pakudloh. In a back and forth match, Hatem was able to land the harder punches in the early exchanges. As the fight wore on, the fighters engaged in the clinch more often and this allowed the taller Hatem to land knees to the body of his opponent. All three judges scored a unanimous decision in favour of Hatem.
The co-main event saw Jordan Kasilieris from Darkside Gym take on Lucas Blanc of the 8 Limbs Gym. Blanc worked body kicks at range while Kasilieris preferred to land knees in the clinch. The fight seemed fairly even through round one, but in the later rounds Blanc took the ascendancy as his body kicks seemed to take their toll on Kasilieris. Blanc was awarded a hard earned unanimous points decision.
In a women’s MMA flyweight bout, Jasita Yotawan from Siam MMA Gym Bangkok took on a popular crowd favourite in Australian Top Team’s Nadia Kassem. Kassem is undefeated in three appearances, winning all by knockout. The fight started quickly with the larger and taller Yotawan landing strikes from distance. Kassem pressured her and landed strikes of her own causing Yotowan to shoot for a takedown. In the ensuing scramble, Kassem landed on top in mount and didn’t take long to start raining down punches on her opponent. Yotawan was able to control Kassem’s posture for a moment but it wasn’t long before Kassem broke free and resumed landing strikes from mount. The lack of resistance from the Thai fighter gave the referee no choice but to call a halt to the action at 1:37 into Round one.
In the other MMA fight on the card, Askhan “The assassin” Mokhtarian (pictured) took on Thailand’s Kan Hamongkol. The Australian Top Team fighter made very short work of his opponent, knocking him out with a head kick less than two minutes into the first round. The bantamweight said in his post fight speech that he was in talks with the UFC, and this was potentially his last Australian fight.
The undefeated Youssef Dib took on another Thai boxer, Wachana Khianoon in a six round boxing match. Dib punished Khianoon from the opening bell and dropped him twice in round one. In the second frame, Dib stunned Khianoon with a hook before landing a barrage of body punches. The referee called an end to the fight at 1:40 into round two.
In a K1 rules kickboxing clash on the night, Josh McCulloch took on Faiz Henin from the well represented Nitrixx Gym. Henin took the initiative early, landing hard leg kicks. The fight didn’t reach any great heights with Henin dishing out leg and body kicks at range and working knees in the clinch. Both fighters tired in round three and the fight finished with Henin taking a unanimous decision over McCulloch.
A pro boxing bout between the Billy Hussein trained Dylan Emery taking on Bangkok’s Apisak Puttawong took place on the night. It was clear from the opening bell that Puttawong was out of his league. Emery’s footwork kept him out of range of the taller fighter. He was able to land at will, and was able to drop Puttawong with body shots three times in the third before the referee had seen enough, calling an end to the fight. Emery improves to 18-1.
In other bouts from the night, Michael Cremin of Nitrixx Gym defeated Riley Barker of Polletts Gym Dubbo by unanimous decision under K1 rules, while Abdul Elkabaitry from Taipan Muay Thai opened up a cut over the eye of Pollets Gym Newcastle fighter Caleb Sims that forced the ringside doctor to stop the fight 1:54 into Round one. Danny Horder, another Pollets Gym Dubbo fighter, lost a close and hard fought Muay Thai rules bout against Jordan Baki from Sitshooton Gym.
The night started with an amateur kickboxing bout. Manuele Monastirakis, who fights out of Perez Martial Arts took on Emre Akyol from the Gladiators gym. After a fairly even Round one, Monastirakis came out hard in the second and only 41 seconds into the round, he landed a jumping roundhouse kick to the head of Akyol to take the bout by KO.