Pride Gym fighter Charles “Valhalla” Bisset didn’t leave anything to the judges this time, winning the IKKC Muay Thai title by knockout on Dec. 1 at the Cali 31 Full Rules Muay Thai – Mass Destruction 2 at the Marriat Hotel in Burbank, Calif.
The 31-year-old Retallack native knocked out 29-year-old Iggy ‘the Bull’ Zambrano in Round 2 of a five-round full Muay Thai rules fight to win his second IKKC Muay Thai belt and improve his record to 29-8.
“He wasn’t able to touch me,” said Bisset. “I wrecked his legs, wrecked his body, my jab was on point, I elbowed him in the face, I rocked him the first round. And in the second round, I nailed him with two elbows in a row, and put a combo together, then knocked him out with a head kick.
“It was a dominating performance.”
Bisset lost his WBC Muay Thai title to Andy ‘Merciless’ Murad on Sept. 29 in a controversial split decision, so the ACB North American champion went into the IKKC fight against Zambrano with a new trainer and a more aggressive plan.
“My last fight, I won that fight, even though it was bad judging, but I would have won it easy if I would have fought like this,” said Bisset.
Bisset was quietly confident and composed after undergoing a rigorous but effective month of preparation for the bout. He is an impeccable technical fighter, but often allowed his opponents time and space to recover, relying too much on his counter attack. This time, the team concentrated on his attack and movement in the ring, with a focus of staying off the ropes, being aggressive and forcing his opponent.
“The whole team, the strength training, I couldn’t be happier,” said Bisset. “Very different approach, everyone was mellow, and calm, but we busted our ass in training camp and really built up the confidence.”
Zambrano and Bisset had battled before in February, 2016, and the Pride Gym fighter came away with a TKO after the fight was stopped because of a cut to Zambrano’s head. Like the previous bout, the Bull came into the fight over his proscribed weight, yet Bisset agreed to go on. Zambrano was 207 at the weigh in, but on fight night he came in at over 220, while Bisset weighed in at 198 pounds for the 200-pound welter-weight bout.
“I think he thought the weight would make a difference,” said Bisset. “The last time we fought, he was being aggressive, and I was still picking him off but it was a more competitive fight. This one was complete and utter domination.”
Bisset has enjoyed a flurry of fights since winning the WBC Muay Thai title on July 20, and is now in line for a shot at the WCK World title in the New Year and is up for the IKCC World title bout as well.
“It’s going to be a good year,” said Bisset. “There’s good things happening.”
Bisset dedicated the fight to his grandfather and his friend Sterling, both passed away in the days preceding his bout.
Bisset began his career at Pride Gym in Trail as a teenager, and was trained by owner Glen Kalesniko, who has produced more than 20 kickboxing champions.
Pride Gym’s programs for all ages continue today. Visit pridegym.ca for more information.