Marius Al-Ani vs Timothy Thatcher
AMBITION 8 First Round
Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
(reviewed 03/16/2017) I was only vaguely aware of Al-Ani’s shoot background before this match and was interested to see how he’d fair against the likes of Thatcher. Surprisingly, he does very well, matching the American hold for hold, showing off a number of impressive counters and transitions. Thatcher, though, has him beat in the striking game, making good use of a few body blows and stomps. When Thatcher starts laying in some grounded forearms, Al-Ani frees himself and connects with a high roundhouse, shooting in for a takedown afterwards. Thatcher sees it coming, though, and traps the German in a standing chancery for the win. Awesome match here, the highlight of the tournament so far.