Rhys vs. Nikolai – Hathian Fight Night

Close and brutal fight, find out who won below...

15 mins read
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How Fit Box advertised the fight

by Girl Behind the Lens – Daiyu Tang

Fight Preparation

Daiyu Tang, Girl-Behind-The-Lens here, reporting post the Hathian Fight Night from the 30th October 2022 when two heavyweights took to the ring to find out which of them was going to be crowned the Fit Box Champion.

This was a mixed martial arts style fight without gloves, just fists, elbows, heads and knees. Your reporter here was a little unsure of this format and as some of the injuries appeared to mount found it quite hard to watch, but compared to some of the violence in Hathian it wasn’t so bad and there were some good fighting tips to pickup for those that watched closely.

The two fighters, Rhys Pentewyn and Nikolai Niekerk had been listed over Twitter and posters around Hathian and there was a good turnout of Hathian citizens to come witness the fight. I brought the video-camera and setup and then used some of the time before the fight to get some photos of everything and everyone getting ready.

I’d like to call the attention of all my readers’ to the Fight Night video put together by Em Bundy with cuts from our filming that encapsulates the amazing atmosphere. Em, you sure you’re not up for a second job on the Observer team? When watching, be sure to have your sound turned on!

So, let’s look at our two fighters:

Rhys Pentewyn

Rhys, aged around 24 is known to be an amateur fighter within Hathian who, at least according to various Twitter conversations has been receiving more formal training recently from his sister Eleri Pentewyn, the owner of Fit Box.

Covered in Tattoos and what appear to be burn scars and is that a damaged right hand, Rhys cuts an imposing figure in the ring and from past experience he is an angry bundle of testosterone, more than happy to raise a fist to a challenge, or even a reporter just doing her job. Yes, full disclosure, in this reporter’s view if she was allowed to bet, she would have bet against Rhys just on the principle of it although based on a review of the fighters, the odds looked maybe about even? It is however fair to note that the crowd was mostly on Rhys’ side; his facial good looks still apparent after nearly a year since the defund HPD demonstrations perhaps playing a part.

Sadly Rhys didn’t want to give a pre-fight quote and perhaps I was a bit nervous to press it. Anyway, Hathian here’s a picture of Rhys before the fight started!

Rhys before the fight
Rhys Pentewyn

Nikolai Niekerk

Our second fighter, Nikolai Niekerk disclosed that he was around 44 years old. He also told the Observer that his preferred style of fighting was bare knuckle boxing, which should serve him well in this fight! Before the fight he told me, “The young one challenged me to a fight. I ain’t about to turn down a challenge.”

So, I’d not met him before, but he came across well and looked just as beefy as Rhys. I’m sure some of the audience were quite happy with the eye candy on display!

Nikolai before the fight
Nikolai Niekerk

The Fight

So, with our two fighters introduced it’s time for a recap of the fight. I’m not an expert here, so along with my notes, video and photos I’ve tried to reproduce the best bits for you to enjoy.

Nikolai tried to pscye out Rhys staring at him, pacing, perhaps trying to intimidate him. But after a little both fighters adopted a ready pose and with a ‘ding ding’ They were off, Eleri was there as the owner and announcer, but once the fighters connected, she was also watching in rapt attention as well!

  • The first blow was landed by Rhys who jabbed at the head of Nikolai!
  • Nikolai countered with a slightly wild swing…
  • Rhys ducks! Anticipating the below which swings wildly over! He counters with a punch to the flank and then an upper cut blow is thrown!
  • Nikolai winces and stumbles from the body blow but he weaves out of the way of the upper cut. He retaliates with a grab for Rhys’ arm and an elbow blow to Rhys’ face…. could be painful!
  • The blow lands! Nikolai’s elbow cracks into the jaw of the man who has been taunting him and it looks for a moment that Rhys is stunned! Is the fight over already!? Rhys stumbles back into the ropes!
  • Nikolai goes in for… for a bear hug! No, it’s some kind of wrestling move, Christ he’s lifting him up and is going to slam him into the ring!

((In that moment Nikolai could see how disoriented his opponent was and without wasting time, he advanced quickly, stepping across the ring after him with his long stride, moving into a crouched position he’d try to wrap his arms around Rhys in a kind of a bear-hug, squatting down. And if his arms were around the man indeed, he would attempt to straighten up while twisting his body to throw Rhys over himself in a front-suplex, hoping to slam him to the ground behind them on his back if everything went perfectly. It was time to finish this nonsense before this kid would regain his senses.

Nikolai Niekerk))
  • That blow to the face has really knocked Rhys into cuckoo land!
  • He’s been lifted and thrown! That was a huge thud, almost a crack… he’s on his back? Will he move!?
  • Nikolai is going to try and straddle Rhys… he’s going to unleash those fists onto the man’s face… this could be bloody… What’s that? He’s taunting Rhys, “Not even close kid, you’ve got a lot to learn!”
  • Oh! Rhys moved his head to miss the first blow and is now trying some kind of reverse throw… maybe a roll! He’s got a second wind, his sister screaming at him and the adrenalin is flowing!
  • They’ve rolled together, now they’re both on their feet again! Defensive stances from both…
  • Nikolai is on the offensive, a jab… the other hand raised defensively…
  • Rhys throws a counter after sidestepping and goes for a jab and a right first towards Nikolai’s jaw…
  • The jaw punch is a glancing blow but the jab to Nikolai’s gut landed… not that painful it seems as he’s just thrown a massive right hook and then a haymaker with the left!

((He tucked his left arm against his side to protect his flank from Nikolai’s right hook and felt Nikolai’s fist colliding with his muscular arm as he anticipated that Nikolai would do that, however, the haymaker was entirely unexpected and Rhys let out a strangled grunt as Nikolai’s fist collided powerfully with his ribs and the familiar pain of a crack rib flooded him. He had to not let the pain overwhelm him but he knew that if he did not do something significant now that it would be over for him.

Rhys Pentewyn))
  • That was a hard blow! How is Rhys standing, but he’s thrown in a trick, a fake right, but instead he’s gone for a kick… aiming for Nikolai’s knee and oh, here comes an uppercut to follow!
  • Oh that kick hurt, right in the knee and the uppercut! Rhys lands it….
  • Nikolai is stumbling back into the ropes! Can he get himself up? He seems to be back…. confused maybe? Can Rhys follow-up?!
  • Rhys advances and goes for a left and right….
  • Oh, one is blocked… but the other…. Nikolai is down! He’s on the mat! Rhys has done it!? He’s come back from two huge hits to land a knockdown blow!?

((He shifted immediately as he saw Rhys duck, dropping his guard to block the punch to the torso with his right hand, before twisting his body to counter punch, aiming for his head. Unfortunately he didn’t see the overhead hook coming and moved right into it and as it slammed into his head, he just kind of spun around with his momentum, falling onto his side on the ring before rolling onto his back. He wasn’t quite sure what had just happened, just that his head hurt and he was lying there with the ceiling spinning wildly and his arms and legs for the moment refusing to co-operate. He wasn’t going to get up off the floor any time soon, just breathing and trying to recover his senses while lying flat on his back.

Nikolai Niekerk))
  • And that was that! Rhys stumbled to the ropes and mouthed something like “That close enough for you asshole!” and he was done, the victor… the champion of the ring…
Nikolai knocked down and out
Nikolai knocked down, ending the fight

And so it concludes…

With the fight over, it came to Eleri to congratulate her brother, dispel rumours of any fix related to her brother’s Gang affiliation with the Rejects and then likely arrange ambulance transportation for Rhys to HGH for that body blow and jaw punch earlier… I suspect she changed her costume first though readers!

Eleri in costume
Eleri Pentwyn – owner of Fit Box and the Fight Promoter

So, what did I make of all this? Well, sure, I’d have wanted Rhys to lose, but well… he fought a good fight and managed to fight through more pain than his opponent who went down with one really well-placed blow. It was well run, and I caught up with Eleri afterwards to get her take on it:

Daiyu Tang: “So Eleri, care to give us a comment on the fight and can you also let us know who won the best dressed competition? I understand they won a prize of membership if they wish…”

Eleri: “So for the costume… I’m thinkin’ it’ll be Max. She’s had a real nice costume!”

Reader, I’ve got a photo of Max for you below so you can see the winning design, meanwhile Eleri continued with her thought about the fight:

Eleri: “You know, I trained Rhys for the fight specifically. I knew he was fighting a bigger, stronger but slower opponent. I just told him to keep moving and keep harassing him. No matter what. And never let the fight go on the ground!”

Daiyu: “They really went at it though, Rhys was injured right?”

Eleri: “Yes… Adrenaline pushes fighters through injuries… Seen people shatter their jaws and keep fightin’ before… Though Rhys did need hospital treatment after… I’d have hoped he’d done a bit better with the parryin’ and dodging… It was hard to watch…. But I’m glad he won and glad it’s over.”

After the fight I also caught up with Nikolai as he was leaving having recovered enough… I asked him for any closing thought and he was very magnanimous in defeat. Unfortunately, Rhys didn’t want to leave a comment at all, but I guess I didn’t expect much.

Nikolai: “Well, he was better prepared for the fight, serves me right for under-estimating his preparation”

So overall? An enjoyable night! Well done to everyone involved and hope to see more such events in Hathian in due course!

Max Hopper winning costume
Max Hopper
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