Featuring three title fights, the MMA debut of a 20-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu prodigy, and plenty more, Triton Fights 4 brought the heat to FloCombat Friday, Sept. 8.
Here's what went down.
The first of three title fights at Triton Fights 4 was for the Triton Fights Welterweight Championship between Chris Kevlin (2-2) and Austin Wolfson (5-0).
Right out of the gate, Kevlin landed a series of beautiful punches that sent Wolfson backpedaling until his back hit the cage. Kevlin’s timing was on point, perfectly executing a couple of vicious uppercuts. Wolfson was able to survive and get the fight to the ground, however, controlling Kevlin for the remainder of the round.
The second round saw Wolfson going right back to the ground. The Bellmore Kickboxing product, Wolfson, was able to control Kevlin, in guard, for the entirety of the round. The third and final round saw more of the same, with Wolfson getting Kevlin down quickly. The two combatants made their way back to the feet, with Wolfson immediately clinching Kevlin. The two battled for the remainder of the round, with Wolfson scoring one more takedown for good measure right at the final buzzer.
In the end, Austin Wolfson showed the New York crowd exactly why he was undefeated, getting the rightful unanimous decision nod and the championship gold against a very game Chris Kevlin.
The second championship fight saw Danny Maldonado (2-2) take on Anel Dudo (1-1) for the Triton Fights Flyweight Championship. At the start of the bout, both fighters came out aggressively. Maldonado was the first to gain control, taking down Dudo early on.
The action throughout the first round consisted of Maldonado controlling Dudo on top, with Dudo landing some very solid strikes from the bottom. The second started off with Dudo coming out noticeably more aggressive, but it soon became apparent that he may have come out a little to aggressively, as Maldonado planted him on his back once again. Posturing up, Maldonado was able to have much more success than he did in the first round, landing hard blows from the top.
In what was an unfortunate sequence, Dudo hit Maldonado with a violent illegal up-kick, noticeably hurting Maldonado. The referee did indeed decide to take a point away, but Maldonado still appeared shaken up by the kick. Dudo tried to take advantage of the wounded Maldonado, hitting him with a few big strikes. Dudo’s success was short lived however, as Maldonado was able to duck under and get yet another takedown on Dudo.
The third round began, and surely with his back up against the wall, Anel Dudo made a mistake that he seemingly could not afford to make. A sloppy kick by Dudo resulted in the fourth Maldonado takedown of the night. Dudo, needing a finish, gave it his all, slipping out of a Danny Maldonado rear-naked choke attempt and ending up on top. The dominant position was again short-lived, as Maldonado transitioned and landed on top. The final bell rang, and both fighters embraced, showing an extreme amount of respect for one another.
Despite one judge seeing it for Dudo, it takes two judges to win a fight, and luckily for Maldonado, the two remaining judges gave him the nod. In what was an exciting flyweight tilt, Danny Maldonado became the new Triton Fights Flyweight Champion.
The third and final championship bout served as the night’s headliner, with the Triton Fights Women’s Bantamweight Championship on the line. Undefeated Dianna Karavas stepped into the cage with only one fighter standing between her and championship gold. Her opponent, the equally unblemished Byelka Soto, was ready to do everything in her power to ensure that the belt stayed out of Karavas’s hands.
As soon as the referee gave his signal to begin the bout, Soto came out swinging, charging Karavas, who began retreating. Karavas, staying cool, calm and collected reversed a head-and-arm throw attempt and was able to take the back of Soto, where she remained for the rest of the round. At one point, Karavas went for the rear-naked choke, but she couldn't get a tight enough grip under Soto’s chin to finish things off.
The second round bizarrely began as a mirror image of the first. Soto came out guns-a-blazing before being tied up by Karavas and executing a head-and-arm throw. The only difference from the first round was that this time Soto was able to avoid getting her back taken by Karavas. Soto used her striking to advance to side control and rain down some solid shots on Karavas prior to the end of the round.
With the fight appearing to be tied up entering the third and final round, both ladies landed some strikes before yet another head-and-arm throw attempt—this time by Karavas. Karavas’s attempt was a bit sloppy, however, and Soto took advantage, ending up in Karavas’ guard.
With only about 30 seconds left in the round and her back against the wall, Karavas went for broke, shooting up a desperation armbar to no avail. The round ended, and a new champion was crowned.
The judges' scorecards were rattled off, and Byelka Soto walked home with championship gold around her waist.
In earlier action, 20-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu prodigy Amanda Leve made her MMA debut. A YouTube sensation who has submitted men in competition and tangled with UFC contender Cat Zingano on the mats, her debut was hotly anticipated by fans and critics alike.
...She didn't disappoint. Leve found her opponent's arm early, nearly ending things with the armbar before smoothly transitioning to the triangle choke, where she earned the tapout. It was a promising start to her career and a building block for potential greatness to come.
Enjoy some highlights from the event, then catch the full event replay and individual fights, hyperlinked below.
Full Triton Fights 4 Results
Byelka Soto def. Dianna Karavas (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Danny Maldonado def. Anel Dudo by split decision (27-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Austin Wolfson def. Chris Kevlin (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Ryan Castro def. Johnny Pierro by TKO (punches) in Round 2
Timothy Ring def. Jeyquan Jackson by KO (spinning back fist) in Round 1
Tom Picciano def. Jon Potts by TKO (punches) in Round 1
McKenzie Headen def. Kareem Scott KO (punch) in Round 2
Amanda Leve def. Jada Alicea by submission (armbar) in Round 1
Emmanuel Vera def. David Dubinsky by submission (triangle choke) in Round 1
Kevin Villacis def. Mike Jardine by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)