LINCOLN â For Andre Soukhamthath, Thursday afternoonâs frustration at the weigh-in was dwarfed by Friday nightâs jubilation at the Twin River Event Center.
The Woonsocket bantamweight prospect delighted a strong gathering of local fans -- many of them sporting his new white âAsian Sensationâ fight t-shirt -- by notching the first knockout of his young career on the undercard of Classic Entertainment & Sports, Incâs âProving Groundsâ show.
Soukhamthath (now 2-1) spoiled the pro debut of Vinny Tisconie of Shrewsbury, Mass. by putting him away with a TKO just 2:06 into the fight.
Tisconie came out strong and threw a couple of wild haymakers in Soukhamthathâs direction, but Soukhamthath took him to the ground just 15 seconds into the fight, and thatâs where the rest of the action took place.
A minute and a half later, Soukhamthath put Tisconie in a crucifix by pinning one of his arms with his legs and the other with his left arm. Soukhamthath then rained a barrage of right elbows onto Tisconieâs head until referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and mercifully halted the fight.
âIâm very happy with the way I fought,â added Soukhamthath, who trains at the Tri-Force MMA compound in Pawtucket. âOnce I got him in the crucifix, I just started pouring elbows on him. I was surprised I didnât cut him, and Iâm actually glad I didnât.â
Soukhamthath was in obvious better spirits on Friday night than he was just 36 hours earlier at the weigh-in at the Wicked Good Bar & Grill upstairs at Twin River.
Soukhamthath had spent all morning and afternoon trying to shed some extra weight to appease the scale, but he tipped it at 137 pounds, a full pound over the maximum weight he was allowed to be. Tisconie ended up at 133.
Soukhamthath took it to heart and spent the rest of the day angry and bitter at himself. He was also fined for his action and forced to pay Tisconie $50.
âI was very disappointed and I felt really unprofessional, but CES and all my coaches told me to keep my head up,â remarked Soukhamthath. âI really did try to keep my weight down. I spent three hours in a sauna trying to lose five pounds. Usually, it doesnât happen like that, but it just wasnât my day.â
And as for paying Tisconie $50?
âHe deserved it,â acknowledged Soukhamthath. âI gave him my gloves after the fight too, just because I really appreciated him taking the fight. Heâs a really good guy, you can tell. Thatâs why Iâm glad I didnât cut him.â
After the fight was done and Soukhamthath was done thanking some of his fans along the walkway leading to the cage, an announcement came that he would appear on the next CES show that is slated for Friday, Aug. 3, back at Twin River.
But Soukhamthath said that he doesnât expect to return to action that soon. In September, he and his fiancĂ©/manager, Jamie Thompson, will be expecting a child, and he plans to solely focus on his fatherly duties.
âI got to get ready to take care of the baby,â Soukhamthath said with a smile. âFighting again in August, that will be too much. Once we have the baby, then Iâll look into another fight.â
The folks from Tri-Force MMA found another reason to stick their chests out and be proud. Pawtucketâs Keith Jeffrey, a co-owner of the gym, was also a big winner in his first career main event, as he produced a submission victory over Harley Beekman of Amsterdam, N.Y.
Jeffrey improved to 9-2-1 with his sixth career submission, as he used a nifty guillotine choke to put away Beekman (3-2, 2 KOs) at 2:30 into the second round.
Jeffrey, who is ranked eighth in the region in the welterweight division, put on 10 pounds to take on Beekman, who in turn, dropped five pounds to reach the catch weight of 180 pounds. Beekman entered the bout ranked tenth among middleweights.
In another fight of local interest, welterweight Billy Giovanella of Bellingham, Mass. won his pro debut with a three-round split decision over Gilvan Santos (1-3) of Framingham, Mass. Giovanella delivered a takedown in each round and used his wrestling prowess to top his opponent.
Also capturing his pro debut was Providence featherweight Nate Andrews, who produced a submission victory by using a rear-naked choke 3:45 into the match to dispose of Boston veteran Pedro da Silva (1-4).