Lộc triumphs in trilogy bout, defends 70kg belt

June 04, 2023 - 08:58
This clash of titans marked the culmination of a long-awaited trilogy.


Trần Quang Lộc (red) won a judges’ decision over Kamil Michal Nguyễn Văn to retain his 70kg Lion Championship belt. Photo courtesy of VMMAF

Sean Nolan

HÀ NỘI — Trần Quang Lộc of Liên Phong once again got the best of Kamil Michal Nguyễn Văn from Vietnam Top Team, securing a thrilling points victory in the highly anticipated main event at the Lion Championship 6 in Hà Nội on June 3.

This clash of titans marked the culmination of a long-awaited trilogy, with their initial encounter taking place five years ago at the Mekong Fighting Championship. Lộc emerged triumphant in last year's final as well, albeit thanks to a controversial judges’ decision.

Right from the opening bell, both fighters wasted no time engaging each other with a flurry of strikes. Kamil mixed up his striking, throwing his hands and whipping in low kicks, while Lộc displayed his diverse skills as a well-rounded mixed martial artist.

In the second round, Kamil managed to open a cut on the champion's nose, but found himself on his back soon after. However, Lộc, in a momentary lapse, unleashed an illegal elbow to Kamil's face, earning a foul as per this year's championship rules.

As the bout progressed into the third and fourth rounds, Lộc employed his lead side and front kicks to maintain distance and dictate the tempo of the fight, keeping Kamil at a distance. 

However, Kamil relentlessly marched him down, determined to close the gap. Lộc read his movements well though, landing a powerful teep that sent Kamil crashing to the canvas on one occasion and catching Kamil with a spinning elbow when attempting to close the distance on another.

In the final round, Lộc continued to dominate with well-timed strikes and several kicks, while Kamil continued to try and close the distance.

The judges' scorecards, 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46, gave the bout to Lộc unanimously as successfully defended his 70kg championship belt.

The champion’s precise kicks and impeccable timing played a pivotal role in securing the hard-fought win, leaving no doubt about his standing in the division.

With three fiercely contested battles against the reigning champion, Kamil can hold his head high, knowing that he has proven himself among the division's elite. 

Perhaps he will now embrace the role of gatekeeper, challenging aspiring contenders eyeing the 70kg championship throne. — VNS