Kickboxers delivered a knockout night of entertainment Saturday as Lillie’s nightclub was transformed into an arena for the Rumble on the Rock.
The Cayman Fight Factory relocated its ring to the dance floor of the popular club on West Bay Road, staging a six-fight card of kickboxing bouts in front of a sold-out crowd.
Roped off ringside seating, scantily clad ring girls and an announcer in a tuxedo gave the club the authentic atmosphere of an old-school boxing venue.
For the fighters, the tension and adrenaline were palpable.
“Your heart rate is up before you even get in the ring,” said Jesse Livingston, the coach of many of the fighters and organizer of the event, who got in the ring himself for an exhibition bout.
“Once you are talking to the referee and the fight gets under way, the crowd just fades away and it is just you and your opponent.”
First in the ring Saturday were Kial Whorms and Anthony Fernandes. Whorms shaded an energetic bout in a points decision after three rounds.
Next up were Celine Bisiaux and Ioana Popescu, who traded blows in an entertaining contest, which Bisiaux won on points.
Logan Chinoy got the first knockdown of the night, putting his opponent Errel Villanueva on the deck with some impressive combinations, before the ref stopped the fight.
There were more thrills in the fourth fight of the night as TJ Hucker and Bennard Ebanks went all out. Despite putting his opponent on the canvas on a couple of occasions, Hucker was not quite able to land the killer blow and had to settle for a points win.
Livingston and fellow coach Rohann Exctain aimed to raise money for the Humane Society. The charity stopped there, though, with Livingston knocking out his business partner in spectacular style after some impressive skills from both fighters.
Another coach at the Fight Factory gym, Flloyd Moxam, also stepped up for the final fight of the night, triumphing in a split points decision over Tim Coulson.
Livingston said the event was a “huge success.”
“I was very impressed with all the fighters and the quality and skill on show. I think everyone had a really great night,” he said.
Cash collections from the crowd raised $553 for the Humane Society, which was matched by Frank Packer of Titan Development, one of the main sponsors and the provider of the platform for the ring.