It’s ages since I fought as you all know. Not from a lack of asking for fight. The gym just wants to bring me up the right way. So it has been fight, go back to the factory and add new tools, sharpen old ones then fight again.
The fight that never was
I have spent the last couple of months working on my muaythai basics with Ajarn Daeng. Then I was offered a Kickboxing fight in China which meant training longer, rapid fire combinations with Ajarn Athit. The fight was to be at 63kg so I started dieting to cut 3kg and was on weight 3 days out from the fight when I was told that the event had been cancelled. That sucked because I was really looking forward to fighting K1 rules kickboxing!
I was told 2 weeks later that I would be fighting muaythai at Bangla boxing stadium the following week. So it was back to muaythai fight prep with Ajarn Daeng.
Muaythai and Kickboxing not same,same
There is a vast difference between a muaythai and a kickboxing fight and so each requires a slightly different approach to training. For example;
- Muaythai fights are 5, 3minute rounds as opposed to the 3,3 minutes of kickboxing. So we do more pad rounds for longer durations when getting ready for a muaythai fight.
- Muaythai pad work is much more technique based whereas kickboxing pad work is more explosive and endurance focused.
- Muaythai focuses on shorter combinations and has more emphasis on the balance of the combinations and aims to be aesthetically pleasing. Kickboxing focuses more so on longer and more powerful combinations.
I had 1 week to get myself out of kickboxing mode and into muaythai mode.
Trying something new
My trainer had previously mentioned that he wanted me to fight like the Golden Era Muaythai great, Oley Kiatoneway. Highlight of this fighter can be seen below.
So not only did I have to adapt to a new style of pad work, I had to spend a lot of time studying Oley’s technique and fighting style. I find his style of fighting really intriguing and would like to make my personal style much like his.
The first day of fight prep was going smoothly until I clashed shins with one of the trainers while playfully sparring. Immediately there was swelling which meant I was unable to throw any right kicks through the duration of my training in the lead up to my fight. I worked on a lot of Southpaw strategies and techniques to compensate my Orthodox fight stance.
On arrival I was a lot more relaxed unlike my previous fights. I spent the bus ride to Bangla laughing and conversing with my friends Dave and Yasmin – who is from Scotland and was also fighting on the same card – which probably made me a little too calm. When I got to the stadium, I was told that I was the last fight on the card which meant I was in for a long wait. That being said, I wasn’t overly phased as I got to watch some brilliant performances which added to my excitement. Yasmin fought in an absolute war against a young girl from Sweden who fought out of Kaewpitak muaythai gym, she came out on top with a well deserved win.
Is that really who I’m fighting!?
As I was getting my hands wrapped my opponent was pointed out to me and all I could think was ‘what the fuck?’. The guy was easily 20kg heavier than me and looked like he hadn’t fought before in his life! I was a little upset about it because I went there thinking I’d be fighting a worthy opponent with some kind of experience. You know the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, it couldn’t have been any more perfect for that situation. Going in the ring I had definitely underestimated him. It turns out that he was a very well known fighter at Bangla and had just returned from 3 years of doing no training or taking any fights. Not to mention, he has had close to 200 fights at only 18 years old! I found this out a couple of days after the fight. I also found out that I was the underdog with the gamblers for that fight. They lost a lot of money!
When the fight began it was to my surprise that he was a southpaw, this meant that I couldn’t use a lot of the techniques I had been working on during training. Him being south pore and me being Orthodox meant that it was an open stance fight. I threw my first head kick quite lazily and without much power expecting it to land which it didn’t. He moved out of the way of the kick so easily and with little effort, as I threw another one he did the same thing. It was at that moment I realised this guy knew what he was doing and that I had to focus. I threw a low kick which was checked and I instantly felt a rush of pain from my previously hurt and still swollen shin. As much as it hurt I had to keep going, the adrenaline definitely was of benefit. I was fighting more like a Thai and trying out my new found style inspired by Oley. The first 2 rounds were fought sabai sabai, relaxed and low energy, meaning the final 3 rounds had to be harder and more upbeat. Due to me fighting this way there were a lot of things that I had to stop myself doing. There were a lot of opportunities for things like spinning hook and back kicks that I could see so clearly but had to refrain from doing as Daeng didn’t want me fighting in that style.
Personally I wasn’t overly happy with the way that I performed but I took a lot from the experience which I am happy with. I now know that I have the ability to last 5 rounds comfortably in the ring and the discipline I have in order to stay focused and on track are immaculate.
Ideally I will be fighting again in a week but if that does not happen, it will be within the next 2. Regardless of when I do fight, I will be training hard and working on everything I need to to further improve my muaythai development.
p.s. Follow my journey and adventures on twitter: @linguistmonk and Instagram: linguistmonk