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London Varsity Series 2020: MUAY THAI

Coming into this event severely lagging behind UCL, King’s Muay Thai were fully aware of what was at stake. The night commenced with a series of non-decision fights contested by students hailing from several London-based universities. Though these bouts would not count towards the final result, our KCL stars warrant a shout out. Nabil Akhanjee set the bar from the outset for his fellow KCL compatriots with an admirable effort, while Frances Corbett, Zoe Smith and Prokop Prach maintained this level of intensity in their respective fights.  The tone was firmly set for what was to be a momentous occasion in this year’s varsity series.

Moving on to the decision fights. KCL’s very own Cyrus Fan entered the ring totally unphased by the big occasion. In peak physical condition, Cyrus had an aura of superiority about him. Maybe he knew something we didn’t. By the end of the first round, the secret was out. One couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for his opponent as Cyrus landed one knee strike after the other until his opponent had no other choice but to fall to the floor wincing in agony. The second round was a repeat of the first as Cyrus continued to inflict misery upon his helpless victim until the referee had no choice but to abruptly end the fight. 1-0 to KCL.

By this point the KCL fandom was sufficiently raucous, greeting our second fighter Justin Choo with fervent applause. The support seemed to inspire Justice from the outset; within ten seconds he caught his opponent’s leg and countered with an aggressive speer move. This impressive start was arguably short-lived, however, as his UCL counterpart regained his poise and grafted his way back into the contest. From then on, neither fighter wanted to give up too much which served to render the remaining seconds of the first round a somewhat cagey affair. We had to wait until the second round for the real heavy hitting.

A flurry of knee strikes landed from both fighters. While Justin appeared unhurt, he was noticeably tired after such an intense round of fighting. The third round was much the same. That was until the UCL fighter landed a huge kick to the jaw of Justin. Visibly shaken by this monstrous blow, Justin was now clinging on. As the final bell signalled the end of the fight one couldn’t help but think UCL has just about edged this one. Our worst fears were then realised when the referee hoisted the UCL fighter’s hand to the ceiling. A devastating loss for Justin and his KCL entourage.

Or maybe not. As everyone prepared for the third and final fight to commence the announcer hastened to halt the proceedings. what transpired was that the decision was WRONGLY awarded to UCL. There had been a mix up with the scoring. Justin was indeed the rightful winner. KCL 2-0! The crowd were in uproar at the decision. Justin was, as you’d expect, elated. So too were the KCL faithful who were very much aware that this reversal of fortunes meant that KCL were taking home the win.

With victory secured, all eyes were cast on the final fight of the evening. Could KCL substantiate their bragging rights with a three-peat? Unfortunately, not on this occasion. Houssam Zeitoun, KCL’s last fighter to compete, was up against UCL fan favourite Pedro Garcia in what would be a fiery bout. In all fairness to Garcia, the bloke was lighting quick, though perhaps to a fault. For all his speed and agility, Houssam got the better of him on multiple occasions by swiping Garcia from under his feet to leave him flattened. This seemed to do nothing but aggravate Garcia, who entered round three with one agenda. To win. And win he did. Halfway through the final round, the referee decided to call it quits following Houssam’s failure to find an answer for Garcia’s thunderous attacks.

All things considered, KCL Muay Thai made a great account of themselves this evening. An event oozing with flair and excitement, KCL end the day by securing a vital win in this varsity series.

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