On Saturday Night, 11 March, the hometown hero survived an early onslaught from two-time Philippines Kyokushin karate national champion Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales, earning a second-round TKO at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sityodtong, a former WBA Super Featherweight World Champion, was the elder statesman in tonight’s fight. With a 2-1 record, his transition to MMA after a highly decorated boxing career of 58-3-1 (47 KOs) had thus far been a modest success, but Gonzales would put that to the test.
The Filipino showed off his prestigious karate background early with an array of kicks, including one that swept Sityodtong off his feet. Although the Evolve MMA product got back up, Gonzales took him down, and for about a minute, it looked like “Little Tyson” could turn that into a guillotine choke. Gonzales, however, was able to pop his head free as Sityodtong’s arms grew tired.
The rest of the first frame favored Gonzales, as he used an effective top game to spin to side control and hunt for submissions. When Sityodtong tried to push him back to guard, Gonzales responded with a full mount. The Singaporean-based Thai then gave up his back to the strikes, and had to fight off two rear-naked choke attempts, including one that lasted right until the bell.
“Little Tyson” was in big trouble after being dominated to end the opening stanza, but one explosive punch early in the second round changed his fortune. Gonzales suddenly seemed spent from all the energy he expended going for submissions, eating furious right hands until he sat on the fence, stunned.
Referee Yuji Shimada called for the Filipino to stand when Sityodtong stood up, and he did so slowly and reluctantly. Sityodtong just continued to pour it on.
The end came as both men were exchanging strikes on their knees, with the boxing veteran landing devastating shots, then backing off to force another stand-up. Gonzales was unable to answer the referee’s call to do so, which led to an official finish via verbal submission at 3:21 in round number two.
Sityodtong improves to 3-1 with the win, while Gonzales falls to 1-2 with the loss.