Murphy (25-8-1) bounced back with a solid KO of the night performance 2nd round win over Raphael Bowie at an event stacked with some of the best Light Heavyweights in the world, after losing 2 straight to the best 205 lbs fighters Syn has to offer.
To say it’s been an action packed start to the KT crossover’s Syn run would be accurate, even a slight understatement. After taking down the likes of Malietoa Feti, Mark Riccuito and this weeks opponent Evgeniy Malkin, the Undisputed Online Championship hall of fame fighter came up against former Syn LHW champ Tiago Renato and current champ Vincent Vinetto.
It was a trying time for Murphy as he dropped both fights, yet with 3 straight wins to open his Syn account and the experience of his 2 losses, he’s more than ready for the step up in competition. Before fighting in Vegas with the worlds best in MMA, the 29 year old American forged himself a 7-2 record across NY Fight Nights, Ultimate Proving Grounds and 3 fights on the independent circuit. Overall he’s a solid 11-4 with a 81% finish rate, and that’s just his latest stint as a MMA fighter.
Before putting on the gloves and entering the MMA circuit, “Pandemic” had a solid 14-4-1 career as a KT fighter. Although his career wasn’t capped with a belt, he reached the top echelons of the Light Heavyweights and had a chance against Jason Eckstein. You could say he’s made up for it though, by holding gold as the NY Fight Nights LHW champion and holds the status of being their very last 205 lbs champion before they closed up shop.
Murphy is poised to have a solid and lustrous MMA career if the 29 year old can learn as quickly as the opportunities present themselves. He’s already shown once he has what it takes to beat a former Syn champion, and he’ll be hoping history repeats itself when he steps into the cage against a familiar foe.
Malkin (34-13-5) has had some epic rivalries in his already storied career. The two biggest would be his International Team Fighting League 1-1-1 record against current Claymore Elite Combat Welterweight champion Lance Templeton, which cultivated in a win for the Russian at Syn 295. His other being against Tiago Renato in their back and forth Light Heavyweight title war. If he’s to continue the trend of going toe to toe with his rivalries, he’ll need to bounce back with a tick in the w column here.
Just like his opponent this Thursday, the Convicted Inc allied fighter hit the skids recently before finding his footing. Losses to Murphy, long time rival Renato and a title loss to Fortunado brought Malkin’s then 5 fight win streak to a halt. It may sound like a bit of a downer, but till that point the International Team Fighting League hall of famer had won 11 of 14 to break open his 2015 campaign, which included just the 1 loss.
Malkin has reached the heights of being the world #1 205 lbs fighter and has held the title with Synchronicity on 3 separate occasions. His first stint was a short taste after a win against Light Diode at Syn 307, a loss against Devin Styles next time out putting that reign to rest. His second eventuated after a rematch against Tiago Renato, and his third and longest began with yet another win against Renato at Syn 374.
Malkin will be looking to once again grab hold of the Light Heavyweight title and will no doubt hope to start this new year in as good a way as his last. The slight 3 fight hiccup shouldn’t be a worry for his many Syn City fans, as he’s gone on successful title runs thrice before. The Russian champ has every chance of kicking off his fourth, yet he will need to write a wrong in the process.
Murphy has beaten his opponent once before, and the only fighter to ever even the score was Oskars Treimanis, back in his KT days. With a solid win here, the Jersey City native will be looking at maybe one more before Syn gold. It wont be an easy road to say the least, but this fight can be the catalyst without a doubt.
We’re talking #4 versus #5 Light Heavyweight contenders when these two clash once more inside the Syn City Promotions cage. It’s redemption time for one and go time for another. Both can move a fight or two closer to a title opportunity here.
The former KT fighter is the obvious choice to pull out a stoppage out of the two, yet I just can’t deny Malkin notching one back and kick starting another rivalry. As a Syn fight fan I hope to see the latter. Malkin by split decision.
Kawashima (45-16-1) will be looking to bounce back strong after a quick first round loss to Henrik Torhammer at Syn 409. It wasn’t his best showing, yet it does only mark the 4th TKO loss in 62 fights. Astonishing. The 2015 Syn fight of the year award recipient needs a win here to bounce back and make a run for Lil Wayne and the coveted title. As they say, third times a charm.
“Thor” had a 10-4-1 year last year and faced the best 155 lbs fighters on the planet, after a 30-11 stint at 170 lbs, and to begin his career a 10-0 run as a Lightweight. Overall his record at 155 is 16-4-1. No matter what way you look at what he’s done thus far, he’s been rock solid and a fan favorite. The Tokio born Brazilian native’s Syn record stands at 13-7-1, and he’s in desperate need to find some of his earlier form.
Grimwald (17-9) on the other hand has won 3 straight and is 5 of his last 6. The German has put together a 6-3 start with Synchronicity, after a 11-6 start to his career overall. He’s pressing into possibly the best form of his career here and a win over a household name would make that a reality.
Occupying the #5 spot as a Syn Lightweight contender, you could say he’s already on his way and if he scalps his opponent when they face off at Syn 412, he’ll be cookin’. This is make or break for the Erik Steele managed fighter though. The 31 year old needs this win to move beyond being a mediocre fighter.
It’s oldschool versus newschool, #4 versus #5. Both fighters have experience in fights going the distance, with Grimwald not yet being finished since his Syn spell. It has all the markings of a fight going the distance. Kawashima is nearing 40 and may just be starting to decline. Even so, we should never rule out a former world #2 weighted fighter.
The result will be telling, either way. “Thor” wins and I feel “Furor Teutonicus” may just not be a top tier fighter. If the result is the opposite, “Thor” should be considered a step past his prime, if he hasn’t been already. I’m a sucker for a feel good story, so Kawashima gets my vote.
Styles (37-17) is coming into this fight off a 1st round TKO stoppage of Antonio Ronaldo at Syn 408, on the Olympics finals stacked card. The Rhode Island born former world #1 ranked P4P fighter didn’t exactly have an outstanding year just past though. He went an even 7-7, including a decision loss in the first round of the Olympics.
Even though the vet is in need of some form, the 36 year old is a well known face to modern Synchronicity fans, having started his loyal run mid 2013. He’s recognized as one of the more entertaining fighters, currently sitting at equal 3rd on Synchronicity’s most KO wins list.
It would be thrilling to see Styles hit his World famous form once again. He really does need to string some wins together if he’s ever to challenge for the Light Heavyweight title for the eleventh time, and get his hand raised a 5th. To do so, he’ll have to take down a blazing opponent.
Keith (19-4) is 2 straight since choosing to fight amongst the elite Synchronicity LHW’s. His recent wins over Borden Chantry and Landon Austin has him sitting pretty at the #6 spot in the division amongst fellow 205 contenders. Add to that 3 Ascension wins and his 2015 effort was simply flawless.
The Crucible Fights: St.Petersburg hall of fame inducted fighter took a slight half year break before signing on the dotted line and inking his Syn City contract. If last year is anything to go by, this year is going to be absolutely massive for the unallied and unsponsored fighter. After having held a title with both Intense Fighting Championship and Crucible Fights, as well as currently being undefeated with two top 5 promotions, the future definitely looks bright or Kool Keith.
It’s another case of one of the older, more renowned fighters, taking on and hoping to overcome a younger in form opponent to kick start some much needed momentum. This one will be close, yet the newcomer hasn’t yet faced such formidable opposition.
Styles I feel is far from done and still has that greatness we’ve seen. Keith will be up against it, yet all great legacies need recognizable faces on the wins sheet. A win here for the 32 year old and I’ll be a keen follower.
Overall though, Styles is my pick in this one. Bring on Styles and another title run in 2016.
Fighter of the year :
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