Cellar Muay Thai Fighters Compete at 2023 TBA Classic
The Cellar Gym team had an incredible weekend at the 2023 TBA Classic Muay Thai World Expo in Des Moines, Iowa! We had a huge team, broke tons of gym records, and had one of our best overall performances to date, bringing seven championship belts home to Minnesota.
A few things to celebrate:
- This was the biggest team we have ever brought to TBA (20 fighters; 15 adults and 5 youth).
- We won the Team Points trophy for the first time ever!
- We won the Honorable Mention award, in honor of Coach Chris Cichon.
- Xavier Rosenbloom won the Best Fighter award.
- We had the most youth fighters ever to compete from the Cellar.
- We broke our record of most belts ever won by our team at TBA.
- Our team had 38 total fights over 4 days.
In total, our team went 25-13 on the weekend and celebrated seven 2023 TBA champions: Xavier Rosenbloom, Majestic Henderson, Sam Bailey, December Htoo, Nick Jackson, Jess Hays, and JoJo Um.
Xavier fought three times in the tournament this year. In his first fight of the weekend, he established his superior boxing right away and pushed the pace to overcome a tough opponent. Xavier also displayed excellent boxing, fakes, and feints to win his fight in the semifinals. On championship Sunday, X started our day off right with a big win, showing high level skills, control, and adjustments to secure the TBA-SA Class B Light Welterweight Championship.
Xavier also had the incredible honor of winning one of Ajarn Chai’s Best Fighter Awards! Xavier showed amazing work ethic, focus, and development during this camp and throughout the tournament. We are so proud!
Majestic made his Muay Thai debut at TBA this year and fought four times to bring home the belt! His first fight was a crazy back-and-forth with both fighters scoring knockdowns and 8-counts; Majestic pulled ahead in the second and third rounds to advance to the quarterfinals. His second and third fights of the weekend were decisive unanimous victories, displaying great composure and timing with his left cross. In the finals, Majestic established his boxing early and stayed focused to secure the TBA-SA Class C Light Middleweight championship. Such a great weekend of growth and abilities for Majestic; congratulations!
True to form, Sam excelled in the tournament this year with spectacular performances. He fought three times, displaying incredible skill, power, and timing against high-level opponents, as well as some devastating leg kick highlight moments. Sam brought home the TBA-SA Class B Welterweight championship and improved his amateur record to 14-0. Congratulations Sam!
December had three high-level fights this weekend and really had the opportunity to showcase his skills! December has a beautiful Muay Thai style that is always fun to watch, and these fights certainly did not disappoint. He showed excellent movement, attacks, and fight IQ in all three bouts in order to secure the TBA-SA Class A Lightweight championship. Way to go December, we are so happy for you!
Nick brought his absolute best to this year’s tournament, improving his performance with each fight as the weekend went on. He scored a unanimous decision win in his first fight and got two 8-counts in his second fight. In the finals, Nick played his long range and weathered the storm against a wild and aggressive opponent, and landed some very scary elbows to win with a dominant TKO finish! Nick brings home the TBA-SA Class B Middleweight championship after an awesome weekend.
Jess fought in a tough Class B bracket this year. She utilized her strong boxing and clinch to overpower her opponent in the semifinals. In the finals, she successfully used boxing to set up decisive knee strikes, exhausting her opponent in a banger of a fight! She brings home the TBA-SA Class B Ladies’ Middleweight championship. Great work!
Star won his first fight of the weekend with a spectacular first round KO. In the semifinals, Star faced a very game opponent, losing a heart breaker of a fight after getting barely edged out in the third round. Star truly fought his hardest and left everything in the ring, great performance and two fights to be proud of!
Dru won his first fight of the weekend, looked super sharp and used great movement to set up his boxing and kicks. Although he brought an equally technical and fun performance to his second fight, it was a super close back-and-forth and he came up just a bit short on the scorecards. We are looking forward to seeing him in the ring again soon!
Travis secured a decisive win in the semifinals with a technical and controlled performance. He lost a close fight in the finals against an equally technical opponent; despite many moments of fury and violence, he was just a little short on the scorecards. Nice work Travis!
Lucy had one of the wildest wins from our team over the weekend, winning her first fight by third round KO with less than a minute left in the fight! In the semifinals, Lucy faced a tough aggressive opponent but showed some excellent skills in shutting her down. Lucy came up a bit short on the scorecards, but she had a great weekend of growth and a huge finish, nice job Lucy!
Javier Huerta won his first fight of the weekend by unanimous decision, using superior footwork and boxing. In his semifinals fight, Javier dominated all three rounds before getting caught with a head kick at the last second of the fight. A crazy way to end the fight, but Javier had an excellent performance all weekend. Nice work Javi!
Katie went to TBA to FIGHT! She went up against an aggressive opponent and matched that intensity for all three rounds. Katie came up a little short on the scorecards, but it was an awesome performance and a heck of a fight.
Kailey lost a very close fight in the finals. Kailey won the low kick game and executed beautiful elbow and knee combinations in the clinch. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to edge out her opponent on the score cards. Great fight Kailey!
Antonio Salazar Jensen
Antonio made his Muay Thai debut at TBA this year. He had a very good performance and stayed composed and technical against a bigger opponent. Unfortunately, the scorecards didn’t go the way we wanted and he lost a unanimous decision. We are proud of all the work he put in this camp, and he will be back in the ring soon!
Anteze fought in a deep bracket this year. He showed great grit after taking multiple body shots from a tough and technical opponent, and he never quit. Even though the scorecards didn’t go his way, Anteze is a better fighter from this experience.
Our Junior Fighters
Jojo controlled the distance and pace of his fight and landed some great kicks to secure the TBA-SA Boys’ NHS Pinweight championship! Awesome work Jojo!
In the finals, Liam fought his first head-contact fight against an equally skilled opponent, and it was a WAR. You cannot teach the kind of heart that Liam has. The fight was very, very close and it just barely went the other way. This fight was the best of the tournament, hands down! We could not be more proud. Liam has a bright future in this sport!
Scarlett won her first fight with an absolutely fierce performance! In the semifinals, she showed great turns and knees in the clinch but came up a little short on the scorecards after losing a point for errant strikes to the head. Awesome job Scarlett!
Our youngest fighter, Kaliy, is tough as nails! She showed incredible heart and fought hard against a taller, more aggressive opponent. She lost by decision but we are so proud of her!
Eli had a tough fight; he stepped up in competition taking on a head contact fight for the first time. He worked hard and looked great; he came up just a little short but we are so proud of Eli!
We are so proud of this team. None of this could be possible without the hard work of the fighters, the teammates from the Cellar that got them ready, and the friends and family who support them. Thank you all!!