Vegas Muay Thai show to feature four San Diego fighters

School, work, then workout - this demanding routine will soon lighten up as Tiffany Van Soest graduates from college in June. On Saturday, she'll be competing in a Muay Thai fight in Las Vegas and hoping she won't get that marked up so it will ruin her graduation photos. The ones her parents so desperately want.

On May 12, 2012, a star-studded, 12-bout Lion Fight Muay Thai VI show will be showcased at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show will feature four of San Diego’s best fighters from the Black House Team Nogueira Gym on Miramar Road. Nils Widlund (34-1, 12 KO’s), Tiffany Van Soest (2-0), Artem Sharoshkin (3-1) and the youngster, Guilherme Bertholdo are all penciled in.

Muay Thai fighter Nils Widlund of San Diego by way of Stockholm, Sweden.

You have to add “penciled in” because these fight cards, whether Boxing, MMA or Muay Thai have a history of changing at the last minute. This afternoon, May 7, the young Mr. Widlund got a bit rambunctious in training. But instead of hurting himself, he broke his instructor’s nose. The former World Muay Thai Champion from Stockholm, Sweden, unleashed a hard knee to break Kru Alex Palma’s nose.

Palma, a former fighter himself, explains: “Oh, what a night! I’m holding pads for a student (Widlund). He missed and his knee smashed my nose, broke it. So I look at the clock. I have exactly 15 minutes of free time before I have to start teaching my evening class. Blood is running down my throat at this point and I’m doing everything I can not to give in to the thought of blowing my nose to clear the blood out. I know, gross. So I ice it. The swelling goes down, but the pain is excruciating. I suck it up and proceed to run my evening class. Half way through that class, I’m holding focus mitts for one of the students, who is 6’8″ tall and weighs around 280 pounds. To make the long story short, he misses his target and launches a push kick that lands directly across the bridge of my already broken nose. What a night!”

It’s painful just thinking about such an occurrence and to think it happened just five days before his fighters have to do battle at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. Palma is certainly a dedicated teacher.

Getting back to Widlund, his opponent on Saturday is Matt Embree (20-3, 9 KO’s) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada who is fresh off his rubber match victory over “Coke” Chunhawat.

Tiffany Van Soest and her coach, Kru Alex Palma, are photographed looking sternly across the ring at one of Tiffany's opponents. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Undefeated rising star Tiffany “Time Bomb” Van Soest (2-0) of San Diego, is set to face fellow featherweight, Heidi Otterbein (3-1, 1 KO) of Las Vegas via Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Van Soest, who is just days away from receiving her college degree, has fought professionally in both Muay Thai and MMA.

Artem Sharoshkin (3-1) is photographed after yet another victory.

Next we have Artem Sharoshkin (3-1) of the same Black House Team Nogueira Team. He’s a welterweight who, with the help of his sister, Irena Boostani, emigrated to the U. S. from Penza, Russia. His opponent will be Scotty Leffler (5-2, 3 KO’s) of Las Vegas, Nevada.

And rounding out the Black House Team we have welterweight Guilherme Bertholdo of San Diego taking on Chris Lazaro of Las Vegas, NV. Since the name Bertholdo is uncommon in these parts, you got to figure he’s a transplant as well. The youngster, who just recently had his nineteenth birthday on May 2nd, is from Brazil.

Bertholdo (6-0) is looking to extend his perfect run in the Muay Thai amateur ranks and move one step closer to turning professional.

“I’m excited to finally test my skills against top level amateur opponents,” said Bertholdo, a member of Black House Team Nogueira, the famed training camp that’s also home to Silva and headed by MMA legends and twin brothers Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.”

Guilherme Bertholdo at the Black House Team Nogueira Gym

In Brazil, Bertholdo took up Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at an early age before relocating to San Diego with his family. While his father schooled him in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and helped him attain the rank of purple belt in the submission fighting discipline, Bertholdo has gravitated to the sport of Muay Thai due to his love for kicking and punching.

“Striking is my passion,” he said. “My Kru (trainer) has really taught me to use my hands and angles and, because of this, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of Muay Thai.  MMA is the sport I eventually will focus on in the future, but for now, I want to sharpen my striking and compete in an all-striking sport.”

Bertholdo said he is knocking on the door of gaining his United States citizenship and would eventually like to represent the U. S. as a member of their National Muay Thai Team.

“I am learning from my senior (training partners) how to conduct myself and perform like a true fighter, I am not attending college. Black House Team Nogueira is my college.”

Bertholdo’s opponent, Lazaro, is a 24-year-old member of Hard Knocks Muay Thai gym and student of Renzo Asparria, whom Lazaro has been training with for the last two years.  The matchup with Bertholdo will be Lazaro’s first since he sustained a broken thumb during training last year.

The WBC full-rules Muay Thai event has their Interim Light Heavyweight Champ Joe “Stitch’em up” Schilling (12-2, 10 KO’s) of Los Angeles, CA. facing undefeated top contender, Simon Marcus (23-0, 18 KO’s) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This will be the first meeting between Schilling and Marcus since their bout on February 25, a bout that ended in a controversial and brutal first-round TKO.

In the Co-main event, Filipino-American sensation Romie Adanza (16-3, 7 KO’s) of Irvine, CA will face Thanit “Boom” Watthanaya (45-12, 12 KO’s) of Vancouver, BC Canada by way of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, in a super flyweight bout.

Also, Thai superstar Mongkon “Malaipet” Wiwasuk (138-27-5, 26 KO’s), fighting out of Fresno, CA will put his WBC national welterweight title on the line against Justin Greskiewicz (17-8, 3 KO’s) of Philadelphia, Pa.

And finally, there’s a 170 pound match between Javier Torres and Michael Madrid. That should be a good one. Both are experienced mixed martial artists who are testing their Muay Thai skills in the ring for the first time.

The show will stream live, in its entirety, on or from The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino beginning at 5 p.m. PT and can be purchased for a one-time charge of $14.99.

The main card will be preceded by a five-bout, amateur undercard sanctioned by the U.S. Muay Thai Association (USMTA). On that fight card, they have: Jason Andrada (Las Vegas, NV) vs. Jessie Magusen (Fontana, CA) – 125 lbs. Josh Shepard (Las Vegas, NV) vs. Amir K. Ansari (Shreveport, LA) – 160 lbs. Genesis Bravo (Las Vegas, NV) vs. Marie Choi (Irvine, CA) – 112 lbs. Brandon Ebert (Las Vegas, NV)  vs. William Briones (Van Nuys, CA) – 135 lbs.



Check out The Arena Gym to learn more about San Diego muay thai training.

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