Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Muay Thai Authority Awards

2013 was another big year for Muay Thai and Kickboxing in North America. With the final events of the year officially over it’s time for the 2013 Muay Thai Authority Awards. In our effort to continue to push Muay Thai and Kickboxing in North America, we have decided to once again recognize the North American Fighter of the Year (male and female), Breakthrough Fighter of the Year, Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Trainer of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.

The criteria for the awards are as follows: Recipients of Fighter of the Year, Breakthrough Fighter of the year, and Rookie of the Year, must be based in North America. To be eligible for Rookie of the Year, the fighter must not have had a pro fight before November 1st, 2012 (the time frame for the award is 14 months). For the Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year, the fights needed to have taken place on North American soil (a North American fighter scoring a KO in Thailand doesn’t count).

Here are the 2013 Muay Thai Authority Award winners:

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Male Fighter of the Year: Simon Marcus
Repeating as the Male Fighter of the Year, 2013 was another big year for Simon Marcus. He continued his busy pace with eight fights on the year, two more than 2012. His biggest win of the year came against Artem Levin at Lion Fight 9; the win cemented Simon as the number one light heavyweight in the world. He added big wins over Dmitry Valent, Damian Bujan, and Suriya Prasarthinphimai. He ended the year 7-0-1 with the draw being very controversial in a fight many believe Simon won. His clinch game is as good as they come and he has made habit of exposing his opponents short comings in the clinch, in addition he has a never back down attitude and is willing to slug it out when necessary.

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Female Fighter of the Year: Tiffany Van Soest
Van Soest is easily the most recognized female striker in North America. She went 4-0 in 2013 and passed every test put in front of her which has led to criticism from fans that they want to see her face stiffer opposition. The fact is Van Soest scored some wins over solid names in the female striking scene. Alexis Rufus was set to be a difficult fight to start the year and Van Soest knocked her out, then Lucy Payne was supposed to be the one to dethrone the “Time Bomb” and Van Soest knocked her out too. Yea she had a pair of fights where she was clearly on a completely different level than her opponents, but in the fights where she was supposed to finally lose and be exposed she didn’t just come away with wins she came away with dominant wins letting anyone with doubts about her skills know she is the real deal.

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Joseph Valtellini
Fight fans began to get a glimpse of Valtellini late in 2012, but it wasn’t until signing with Glory in early 2013 that the world got to see exactly what “Bazooka” could do. He quickly became a fan favorite because of his exciting style. Great combos, thudding leg kicks, and stoppages galore Valtellini made his presence felt. His year might not have ended as he had planned after losing to Nieky Holzken in the Glory Welterweight Tournament Final, but after going 4-1 on the year it is safe to say Joseph Valtellini has arrived.

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American KO of the Year: Jason Andrada
Elbow knockouts are as exciting as they come. Countering your opponent with a perfectly timed elbow in the middle of a flurry of punches he is throwing is even more exciting and that is exactly what Jason Andrada did at Lion Fight 12. In the final round of his bout with Mohammed Lemjerdine he was backed against the ropes and as Mohammed began to unleash a flurry of punches Jason countered perfectly with the fight ending elbow. Mohammed went crashing to the canvas and it was over. It is safe to say that Jason’s power levels were over 9,000 (if you are a Jason Andrada fan you will get that statement).

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Fight of the Year: Liam Tarrant vs. Deshawn Robinson
One fighter coming in to knock his opponents head off and the other fighter having the heart and determination to survive and continue to fight are the perfect ingredients for fight of the year. Liam Tarrant and Deshawn Robinson met at the Friday Night Fights 2013 Season Opener in January of 2013 in a fight that was a roller coaster ride. Tarrant survived two knockdowns in the opening fame to fight his way back and take a majority decision on the judges’ score cards. Unfortunately most fight fans were unable to see the fight, but it was as crazy as they come. Tarrant stood victorious and in addition of surviving the two early knockdowns Tarrant had a dent the size of a baseball on his forehead. It was definitely a sight to behold as a he fought his way through the adversity and came out on top.

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Trainer of the Year: Alex Palma
Alex Palma might not be known by many outside his circle, but he is the man who trains Tiffany Van Soest. Not one looking for attention he simply gets the job done and he does it well. Representing Blue Ocean Muay Thai in San Diego he has built a solid program out there and continues to train Van Soest to reach the top. His game plans, his in fight adjustments and his everyday coaching are the perfect complement to Van Soest’s skill and athleticism.

2013 Muay Thai Authority North American Rookie of the Year: Jason Andrada
Andrada has gone 4-0 since turning pro this year. Three of his four wins have come via stoppage and his exciting fight style has made him a fan favorite. It doesn’t seem Andrada seems to know how to move backwards because all he does is push forward and engage, so far it has paid off for him. His biggest win of the year easily came when he knocked out Mohammed Lemjerdine at Lion Fight 12 with a beautifully timed elbow. Lemjerdine has been considered one of the east coast’s top fighters for quite some time and Andrada looked great in their bout. It will definitely be exciting to see what Andrada continues to do in the ring in 2014.
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