Andre Soukhamthath couldn’t have scripted a better start to his second full year as a pro fighter.
The Woonsocket bantamweight electrified a large, energetic gathering at the Twin River Event Center late Friday night by delivering a second-round TKO over a talented prospect that easily earned the 24-year-old Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc.’s’ “Knockout of the Night” honors.
Soukhamthath improved his young record to 4-1, three of the wins by knockout, by putting away Kurt Chase-Patrick (1-1) of Seymour, Conn. 45 seconds into the round with a punishing liver shot via a short, left hook that sent Chase-Patrick reeling to the canvas.
With the crowd on its feet and eagerly cheering for a stoppage, Soukhamthath jumped on top of Chase-Patrick and delivered a series of unanswered blows that forced the referee to jump between the two fighters and declare Soukhamthath the winner.
“In the second round, he came out and threw a high kick at my head, but I blocked it,” Soukhamthath recalled early Saturday while relaxing at home. “Then I grabbed him and went against the cage. I remember (between the first and second rounds) my coaches telling me, ‘Try to keep him standing up and just separate when you guys grab.’ So that’s what I did. I separated, threw some punches, threw a body shot with my right hand, and then I went back upstairs, and that set the liver shot up.
“Once I got him on the ground, I knew he was done, so I just didn’t stop punching until the ref pulled me off.”
Soukhamthath was coming off a wild opening round with Chase-Patrick that saw the Connecticut prospect take him down to the canvas on three different occasions, only to see Soukhamthath rise back to his feet each time. Soukhamthath also dropped him twice with a flying knee to his chest and a combination of punches.
“The first round was pretty crazy,” added Soukhamthath, who praised all of his coaches for the work they put in with him during his training camp. “It was really high-paced, and his ground game was so good. When we were wrestling and he was on top of me, he was really slick, and I knew I had to stay away from that.
“There were a couple of times I could have slammed him -- and I love slamming people, that’s my favorite thing to do -- but I didn’t do it with him because I didn’t want to be on the ground with him.”
Last year, Chase-Patrick was regarded around the region as one of the best amateur fighters at 135 pounds before he turned pro later in the year, and he sported an impressive jiu-jitsu and wrestling background that added to his credentials and was clearly in the back of Soukhamthath’s mind.
“He’s a stud,” Soukhamthath said of Chase-Patrick. “I think he’s going to beat a lot of people in this weight class, and I’m glad I got by him now. He’s got a great future ahead of him, so don’t count him out.”
Soukhamthath’s victory was one of the true highlights of CES’s “Undisputed II” card, which was capped by an action-packed main event that saw one of Soukhamthath’s stablemates at Pawtucket’s Tri-Force MMA, Providence’s Mike Campbell, capture the CES MMA lightweight championship with a unanimous-decision victory over Brazilian veteran Abner Lloveras. Campbell improved to 13-4 by beating Lloveras (15-7-1) by scores of 50-44, 48-47, and 49-48.