FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 3, 2017
Nattawut ‘smokes’ Kengsiam
to retain title at Lion Fight 35
Two-division champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut held tight to his super welterweight crown on
Friday night as he dished out a vicious third-round finish to stop challenger Kengsiam Nor
Sripueng in the main event of Lion Fight 35.
Before a packed house at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and live on
both AXS TV Fights and Fight Network, Nattawut (61-6-2) found his opponent’s weakness and
exploited it in the third round as he bashed three consecutive knee strikes onto the left thigh of
Kengsiam, which dropped the challenger to the canvas. Kengsiam (65-16-2), who is an active
member of the Thai Air Force, cringed in obvious pain and the referee waved off the contest at the
2:40 mark. A stretcher was needed to carry out Kengsiam with a ringside physician diagnosing a
suspected broken femur.
Nattawut, who fights out of Atlanta, Georgia, successfully defended his super welterweight title for
the fourth time overall and second time in less than four months.
“When I hit him with the first knee (to the thigh) in the first round, I heard him breathe really loud. I
knew he was hurt and I knew I would finish it that way,” said Nattawut, who is also the Lion Fight
“I threw the knee hard and it was done. Everything I throw is hard. I train hard and I fight hard
With his dual-title reign intact, Nattawut’s attention might seemingly turn to a long-awaited
matchup with iconic multi-time world champion Yodsaenklai Fairtex. Yet, Nattawut chose to leave
the options open for his next bout.
“To me, I’ll fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. I’m always ready,” he said. “Whoever steps in, I am
here. I’ve got no one in mind … just anybody.”
In the co-main event, former Lumpinee Stadium champion Noruepol “Mr. GQ” Fairtex (180-46-
5) returned from a lengthy layoff and went through a methodical matchup doing just enough to
edge out Amadeu Cristiano (51-16). Noruepol, who was making his North American debut,
controlled enough action along the ropes and threw in some crafty execution to take the
unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).
Lion Fight 35 opened with lightweight prospect Jafar “The Cookie Monster” Toshev working
through some initial nerves and then taking advantage of an opportunity in the third round against
Yeison “Yayyoo” Berdugo to triumphantly capture his pro debut. The Uzbekistan native, who
now lives in Brooklyn, New York, caught a kick and returned fire with a spinning backfist that
dropped Berdugo to the canvas. Although Berdugo (2-3) tried in vain to get up but the referee