Brazilian promotion WGP Kickboxing began its 2019 season with a championship tripleheader Saturday in Sao Paulo state.
Paulo Tobar turned back the challenge of Jordan Kranio, while Bruno Gazani seemed fortunate in the decision against Petros Cabelinho.
-60 kg (Lightweight): Wellington Lopes def. Robson Bull Terrier-Decision
Lopes (10-1, 3 KOs) controlled the action and landed some good punches on the tough Bull Terrier (12-5, 3 KOs) in the opening match up. Bull Terrier took more chances as the bout wore on, but couldn’t connect with a big shot to turn the tide.
-60 kg: Nichollas Pestilli def. Paulo Sergipe-Unanimous Decision
Pestilli (3-1, 1 KO) pressured Sergipe (4-3, 1 KO) and got the better of the action to pick up the decision in a hard-fought bout.
-60 kg: Leo ‘Bahia” Pereira def. Luan Santos-Unanimous Decision
Unbeaten prospect Pereira (18-0, 5 KOs) kept his perfect record, but was challenged by southpaw Santos (7-3, 2 KOs).
Santos hurt Pereira with a body kick in round one, and had an answer for the local favorite’s pressure, firing back with punches and looking for knees to the body. Pereira seemed more active, but the more telling blows were scored by Santos.
-78.1 kg (Super Middleweight): Vitor Aquino (Brazil) def. Roberto Gonzalez (Chile) -TKO Round 3
The 20-year-old Aquino improved to 19-2 (10 KOs) with a third-round stoppage of tough Gonzalez. Aquino landed some sharp punches and low kicks on Gonzalez. In round three, he connected with a high kick that dropped the Chilean. Aquno followed up with a jump knee and punches, and the referee intervened to protect the stunned Gonzalez (14-7, 9 KOs).
-60 kg: Leo Corrales (Argentina) def. Renzo Martinez (Bolivia)-Unanimous Decision
Corrales (10-1, 4 KOs) earned a position for a title challenge with a victory over tough Bolivian Martinez (8-5, 2 KOs).
-71.8 kg (Middleweight): Robson Minotinho (Brazil) def. Sebastian Martino (Argentina)-TKO Round 2 (Punches)
The hard-hitting Minotinho scored with some hard punches and a couple of good low kicks in round one. In round two, he dropped Martino with a left hook early in the round. Martino (36-9, 17 KOs) got up, but was felled by another left hook. He beat the count but was bleeding from the nose, and the referee stopped the fight.
-78.1 kg: Jonas Salsicha (Brazil) def. Diego Gaucho (Brazil)-Unanimous Decision (Jonas Salsicha Wins WGP Super Middleweight Title)
Salsicha (18-3, 6 KOs) used distance and movement effectively in lifting the WGP Super Middleweight Title from the rugged Gaucho (76-9, 33 KOs). The challenger connected often with left jabs and straight right down the middle, and cut Gaucho and caused a swelling under the champ’s right eye. Gaucho tired later in the fight, but kept coming forward. There were no knockdowns.
-64.5 kg: Paulo Tobar (Brazil) def. Jordan Kranio (Brazil)-Unanimous Decision (Tobar Retains WGP Super Lightweight Title)
Tobar (36-8, 21 KO) retained his title with a unanimous decision victory over Kunlun veteran Kranio. The southpaw dropped Kranio (16-3, 9 KOs) with a punch in the second round.
-71.8 kg: Bruno Gazani (Brazil) def. Petros Cabelinho (Brazil)-Unanimous Decision (Gazani Retains WGP Middleweight Title)
Gazani retained his title by questionable decision in the final bout of the evening. The champion (61-6 30 KOs) is 14 centimeters (5 ½ inches) shorter than Cabelinho, and ate some solid punches as he closed the distance.
Cabelinho used push kicks to the midsection to measure distance, and circled to his right. Gazani pressed the action, but the better and more frequent blows seemed to be landed by Cabelinho (14-4, 7 KOs). Cabelinho’s cornerman shook his head after the bout, and the challenger quickly left the ring.
WGP 53 was broadcast on Fox Sports in Latin America and Canal Combate in Brazil. The international broadcast was streamed in English on Fite TV.