Lion Fight 20 set for February 20, 2015

Lion Fight returns with Jorina Baars in the main event at Lion Fight 20 in Connecticut.

Top King World Series 3 Final 8 Match Ups

Top King World Series 3 will feature name likes Buakaw, Andrei Kulebin and more. Read the Final 8 match ups here.

Scott Kent talks 2015 Lion Fight plans

Lion Fight promoter Scott Kent talks about their successful 2014 and what is to come for 2015.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Journey Fight Series XII FULL CARD

Journey Fight Series returns to Century Casino in Calgary for Full Muay Thai Rules action between Team Canada and Team Sweden. 

Also set for the evening, CMTC-A Canadian Muay Thai Champion Chris McMillan puts his belt on the line against Hasman Sandhu.Saturday April 18, 2015 Century Casino 1010 42 Ave SE Calgary, ABDoors 6:00 pm Fights 7:00 pm

Fight Card:

Chris McMillan vs. Hasman Sandhu

Kelsey Andries (Canada) vs. Erica Bjornestrand (Sweden)
Derek Jolivette (Canada) vs. Patrik Lyzell (Sweden)
Janice MacAulay (Canada) vs. Patricia Axling (Sweden)

Tim Lo vs. Scott Judson
Javier Ortega vs. Steven Lee

Bruce Tran vs. Karlando White
Kyle Messanger vs. Kris Leal 
Stephanie Quigg vs. Bronya Gnittke
Dylan O’Toole vs. Justin Basra

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chanticleer and the Pugilist

Written by Frances Watthanaya
Photos by Robert P. Cohen 

I have yet to be to a Muay Thai gym, outside of Bangkok, that wasn’t raising and subsequently fighting cockerels. Even atop a mountain, at Kem Muay Thai Gym in Kao Yai, there were cockerels. 
Photo by Robert P. Cohen
The drive took us three hours from where I live in Buriram Province. It was another hour from Khorat City, and about 20 minutes winding up a partially paved mountain trail, no wider than my Toyota Yaris. I noticed the chickens before I noticed the fighters. Their cages were like nothing I had seen before - similar in design to what I am accustomed to in Isaan, but nicer. Made of wire, as opposed to short lived bamboo, they were more ergonomic and without a doubt more expensive.
Kem arrived shortly after we had settled ourselves in. 
Photo by Robert P. Cohen
“Is there a lot of opportunity to fight up here,” I ask.

“It isn’t like Isaan, if that’s what you mean. We mainly take our fighters to fight in Bangkok. I don’t have the time to take them to fight locally; events are few and far in-between. We train a few kids, but their parents are the ones that take them to fight.”

“What about your chickens?”

Kem started laughing,

“Oh, they get fights. There are lots of local shows for cock fighting even up here.” 

Photo by Robert P. Cohen
In fact, one could argue that cock fighting is more prominent in Thai culture than Muay Thai. It is a custom and tradition that goes back to the first ever Thai Kingdom of Sukhothai and increased in prominence during the Ayutthaya period when it became a Royal custom. With such deep roots in Thai history, cock fighting has established itself as an integral part of Thai society.
Despite having lived in Thailand on and off for nearly 10 years, I didn’t see my first cock fight until earlier this year when friend and photographer Robert P. Cohen was visiting and asked that I take him. In the villages fights take place at local hot spots; bets are placed and police look the other way. Small shows likes these rarely gather crowds of more than 20 or so people, and the competing cockerels are usually from neighbouring villages. Bigger shows with larger bets will require a gambling permit. In Prakhon Chai, Buriram Province, there is a permanent cock fighting stadium equipped with seating for 500, warm up rings, washrooms, and lighting. Even now, there is still no permanent Muay Thai stadium in Isaan, despite the overwhelming majority of all fighters coming from this region. 
Photo by Robert P. Cohen

People often compare raising gamecocks to Muay Thai fighters; you see the cockerels training, getting massages, and put on a strict sleeping and eating schedule just like fighters. But what happens in a fight and during the life cycle of cockerels differs drastically to Thai boxers.
  • Cockerels are stitched up in-between rounds, whereas Muay Thai fighters must wait until after the fight.
Photo by Robert P. Cohen

  • Blood is wiped from a fighters face with some sort of cloth, whereas blood is sucked from the cockerels face with one’s own mouth. [Yes, this is true.]
  • Muay Thai is five rounds of three minutes, whereas cockerels fight five to six twenty minute rounds.
Photo by Robert P. Cohen

  • Cockerels will fight no more than once a month and will be given adequate time to heal after fights. Muay Thai fighters often fight up to eight times per month and will more often than not will be fighting with an injury.
  • Cockerels will only fight for a few years, and will be retired after a few bad performances. Fighters can have careers spanning up to 20 years and can amass three hundred plus fights during that time. 
Photo by Robert P. Cohen

Robert P Cohen, originally from New York, is a photographer currently based in South East Asia. His current body of work is his Little Tigers Series that focuses on the young child fighters of Thailand. You can find Robert on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Check out his website here

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Road to Rebellion 4 set for Australia

Road to Rebellion is back with its 4th event set for March 20th in Balaclava, Victoria, Australia.

Featured fighters include Roy Wills, Chadd Collins, Richard Fanous, Ramesh Habib, Cain Brunton, Alex Illijoski, and many more.

View the full Road to Rebellion 4 card below:

The Return of Ryan Roy

Ryan Roy is on the comeback trail. The Northern California fighter was a constant on the American Muay Thai scene until 2010 when injuries sidetracked his career. He was last in action in September of 2010 when he fought the current Glory middleweight contender Joe Schilling under the Push Kick Promotions banner. He went toe-to-toe with Schilling for 3 rounds before the fight was stopped due to a cut.

After a year of inactivity with a few fights falling through he began to notice a hip pain that eventually would sideline him after discovering the cartilage in one of his hip joints was completely gone. After seeing several specialists he went under the knife in 2013, after which, was told he might not be able to fight again. For the first time since, he is now ready to step back in to the ring.

We were able to talk to Ryan about his comeback and what we can expect from him in the future.

MTA: You haven't fought since 2010 Ryan. Can you tell us why?
Ryan: I haven't fought since September of 2010 because I had to overcome a major obstacle that's ever been in my way. I was going to fight at the War of the Heroes Promotion in Santa Clara, CA. about 6 months after I fought Joe Schilling, but the event got canceled at the last minute. I was also offered to fight on one of Lion Fight's first promotions but was already scheduled for the War of The Heroes so I missed out on both opportunities.

During 2011 I was waiting for an opportunity to fight, but nothing materialized. In January of 2012 I started noticing unusual hip pain that I had never felt before. I have been training Muay Thai since I was 17 and never took time off. I was always sore somewhere, so having a sore hip didn't worry me at the beginning.

Five to six months later the pain intensified to the point where it was preventing me from sleeping and making day-to-day life as a Muay Thai teacher extremely difficult. I ended up getting and X-ray in August of 2012 and discovered the cartilage in one of my joints was completely gone. I had bone rubbing on bone which was why I couldn't sleep and had severe pain. Over the span of 6 months I saw 5-6 hip specialists who all said my joint was shot and I needed a full hip replacement at 32 years old. I refused to except the possibility that I could never kick a bag or run on the concrete ever again. I learned of a hip surgery that was performed over in Europe, India, and Asia. Only a small portion of U.S. Orthopedists perform Hip Resurfacing.

A large portion of the femur bone is cut off and a metal shaft if placed in the remaining bone, during a full hip replacement. A Hip Resurfacing procedure preserves the majority of the bone and a titanium joint is implanted. My surgery was performed on March 5th 2013. I was able to start light Muay Thai training about 5 months post-op. Rehab was extremely painful but now my operated leg has more flexibility and strength than it did 10 years ago. I waited one year and a day to kick with my operated leg to let the implant be as strong as possible.

MTA: During your time away from the ring did you know you would be making a comeback at some point?

Ryan: There was never a doubt in my mind I would come back. I had no idea that would take over a year and half to feel 100%, but for the last 6 months I have felt great.
MTA: Were you completely away from Muay Thai or were you still involved in other ways besides fighting?
Ryan: I have never been away from Muay Thai since I started training in 1999. After fights I would take a week off at most and go right back into training. I teach 6 days a week and kept up my schedule even with the arthritic pain I had for over a year.
MTA: Now that you are making your return what is the main goal you would like to accomplish?
Ryan: I am grateful that after joint replacement surgery I am able to get back to the ring. A couple years ago I was looking at potentially never doing impact sports ever again. My goal and ambition is to fight as much as my body lets me. I feel like the last 4 years were stolen from me and I am getting a chance to make up for it. My career hasn't gone the way I planned but as long as I can get some more opportunities I can find peace in that.

MTA: Being that you have not fought in roughly 3 years, do you feel those years of not taking damage will add some time to your career?

Ryan: Yes, I feel extremely confident that not fighting for last three years will lengthen my career. I have been training Muay Thai since I was 18 but have never taken any serious damage in a fight. The worst injures I've had over the years always occurred in the gym. The year I had to take off after surgery gave my body a much needed rest from heavy impact.

MTA: If you could pick your comeback fight against anyone who would it be?

Ryan: I don't have my eyes on anyone in particular, but I've also never turned down a fight. I just want I get back into the ring.

MTA: Do you already have a fight set up or are you still trying to get it booked?

Ryan: Yes I am fighting at Taichi Palace on April 16th in Lemoore, CA.

MTA: For fight fans not familiar with you Ryan can you give us a little bit of background on how you got started in Muay Thai?

Ryan: I started training Muay Thai with the Fairtex gym in SF under Alex "F14" Gong in 1999. There has never been a gym like it in the USA. At one point there were 5 reigning ISKA / IKF world champions, including 2 former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern champions. From 1999-2003 Fairtex was the home for Ganyao "Dr. Knee" Sitphodang, Bunkerd Faphimai, Jongsanaan "The Wooden man", and Enn "The Quiet Storm". We had the some of the best Thai trainers in the world who were also active fighters as well. We had professional and amateur fighters with someone always getting ready for a fight. I had 6 amateur fights under Fairtex and then moved to Thailand where I stayed for 6 months and had 4 fights. I am an amateur and professional champion with a professional record of 9-5 with 4KO's. I have fought up and down the West Coast, Hawaii, Canada, and Thailand

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kunlun Fight 21 Set

Kunlun Fight 21 is set for another full card in a series of quality lineups for Tuesday the 17th, at 15:30 GMT +8.  Taking place in Sanya Island, China the card features the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Jahfarr Wilnis, veteran fighters who've recently come through Glory World Series and North American talents Cyrus Washington and Steven Banks. Also featured on the card is Juri Kehl, brother of 2014 K-1 Champion Enriko Kehl.

Fights will be aired live at at 15:30 GMT +8.

Fight Card:

Chingiz Allazov vs. Mustapha Haida
Juri Kehl vs. Milad Farzad
Cyrus Washington vs. Zhenguang Xu
Pong Thong vs. Weihao Wang
Maria Lobo vs. Qun He
Marcel  Jager vs. Chongyang Yang
Fukai Jiao vs. Mino Tiger
Wanben Wang vs. Barish
Hesdy Gerges Kanstabtin Glukhov
Steven Banks vs. Andrei Herasimchuk
Roman Kryklia vs. Jahfarr Wilnis
Yangra Yoo vs. Asihati

Sunday, March 1, 2015

WCK: USA vs. CHINA Results

WCK Muay Thai held another in a series "USA vs. China" events last night in Cabazon, California.  The night's main event featured Mike Lemaire vs. Shamir Garcia, with Josh Aragon vs. Ghiath Daker for the co-main event.

Adam Rothweiler vs. One Seng Soon was also a featured bout of the evening, with the aggressive Rothweiler gaining a KO victory over Soon.


Mike Lemaire def. Shamir Garcia via Unanimous Decision
Josh Aragon def. Ghiath Daker via KO in Rd. 2
Adam Rothweiler def. One Seng Soon via KO in Rd. 1
Matt Sayles def. Zhang Chunyu via Unanimous Decision
Wei Ninghui def. Marvin Madariaga via Majority Decision
Marcin Backowski def. Dave Pacheco via Unanimous Decision
Ming Freeman def. Charles Williams via KO in Rd. 2
Dony Chen def. Sean Choice via TKO in Rd. 1
Daniel Valdez def. Josh Cunanan via Unanimous Decision
Shaena Cox vs. Tang Zoie ends in Draw
German Baltazar dev. Ignacio Capllonch via Majority Decision

Monday, February 23, 2015

Coach's Corner - Fighting Truths

by Kirian Fitzgibbons

As a Coach there are some universal truths to combat, no matter the style, language or geographic location, a "Punch in the Face...Is a Punch in the Face" and what I'm going to offer here today are some of these "Universal Rules" that I use in training some of the very best Stand Up Fighters in the World everyday at CSA. Most of this was taught to me by someone else through the years... there is nothing new in Combat Sports, just unique takes on movement and concepts. The 1st time I saw the "Rules of Fighting" it was a shorter list from Erik Paulson, one of the Coaches I have looked up to for many years. I've modified a few things, reworded a few things, but inherently the original list was his. 21 RULES OF STAND UP FIGHTING Hands Up Chin Down Sit Down Move Head / Move Feet / Movement Hides Movement Outside Range-Circle Left or Right – AWAY from Power Inside Range- Circle the Direction You Finish Always Fake or Feint In Be First - Hit Them 1st Be Last - If they do hit you, Hit them Back Be Gone - When you do hit them, don't stand in the same spot you were in...Move Never Take With Out Giving Return at least 2-3 for every 1 Punch when Kicked Kick when Punched Clinch when Rocked Hands Set Up Kicks Always Hit out of the Clinch Dictate Center of The Ring/Cage Cut Opponent off (Stalk Them-Don’t Chase Them-Pressure) Always Change Up Your Attacks When You Score “Blitz” but w/ Good Defense. With that said, the "practical" application of these rules into the live dynamics of sparring can be difficult, to say the least, easy to say, hard to do kind of thing...but there are some common traits we can look at to help overcome and improve our sparring, thus improving our ability to fight the way we train. 

COMMON SPARRING MISTAKES 1st Realize Sparring is not Fighting...Sparring is Learning. Don't brutalize your teammates. In sparring, the main objective is to sharpen the skills of the participants. It is a learning process.... When someone knocks out his teammate in sparring it achieves nothing but kill brain cells and take away a sparring partner for an extended period of time. Even working with someone below your skill level can make you a better fighter because he/she may possess fighting traits that compliment your weaknesses. With that said, our fight habits start with sparring, so most of these sparring points will transfer over and apply to fighting. 

1. Backing up more than 3 times when someone is bearing down on you: One of the first things I teach my fighters when they begin sparring is to never back up more than 3 times. What I am trying to prevent is someone retreating back in a straight line. Fredrick the Great in writing a letter to a general said it best, “the first step backward makes a poor impression in the army, the second step is dangerous, and the third becomes fatal." Think of it this way: if you are moving backwards, then it is very difficult, even impossible, for you to hit hard. Hitting hard requires you to move forward. Secondly, running backward diminishes your ability to time shots effectively as well. Thirdly moving back in a straight-line activates the opponents hunting response. When he sees you peddling back, it says to him you are in trouble. Maybe you are in trouble and maybe you are not, either way, you can bet the opponent will intensify the pressure. What’s the best thing to do? Anytime you need to move away from the opponent try to circle straight away. If that’s not possible and you find you need to back up in a straight-line, count two steps, but then circle off. Once you back up more than three times, even though you could still circle off, the intensity bearing down on you from the opponent will make it difficult for you to recover efficiently and get yourself back to a position of composure. Circling off instead of running back allows you to make the necessary space, without losing your ability to effectively time your counterattacks. This is nothing new, even Napoleon knew this when he said, “Space I can recover, Time, never”. The idea here is to move out the way of incoming attacks, but to stay just far enough to capitalize on timing your counterstrike. 

2. A focus on attacking when you are already losing: Most people who find themselves losing in sparring, who are caught by incoming punches, try to turn the tide by hitting back with everything they have. There is a problem with this strategy. If you feel you are already out gunned, then you are probably thinking that too. Laying down a flurry of punches, while thinking you are losing, is a recipe for disaster. Being able to hit while moving forward requires not only confidence but tenacity. Both of these will be affected drastically if you feel you are being out gunned. What you need is something that will enable you to re-activate your confidence and tenacity. One word comes to mind here, 'Defense'. Defense is a positive primer that can enable you to absorb your loss of confidence and tenacity and help you rebuild it. If you can ride the storm of incoming attacks, while saying to yourself, “I am still here”, “I am not getting hurt” this has a way of giving you back your confidence and your will to fight back. Almost everyone I meet in the martial arts underestimates how much their confidence in their ability to defend incoming attacks bolsters their overall psychological game. Simply put, if you feel and think you are losing and you just try to fight your way out of it and it does not work (Which it probably won’t because you already thinking “I am losing”) where do you go from there? You are likely to turn tail and run. Defense allows you to turn the tide back in your favo.

3. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result People get caught in trying to make something work, even when it clearly isn’t or use the same strategy again and again because it worked in the beginning of the round. If there is anything I have learnt in sparring, if you want something to work, keep changing it up. This does not mean you have to be fancy, it just means play with variations. If I want to land my jab just by trying to force it in, it probably won’t work. But if I hide it behind a feint or a cross it has more likelihood of succeeding. I know this may sound obvious. But too often we so badly want a specific strategy to work, that we throw out the rational and hope that if we do it one more time, it has to succeed. Sometimes letting go of your favorite stuff, and working your not so favorite techniques may be the answer to winning. My simple rule of thumb is this, after trying the same thing three times and it is still not working do something else. 

4. Trying to look cool Many people try to be to fancy in their sparring game. Sometimes because they are over confident, but many times because they are trying to show off to the people who may be watching them. What people think about your game, that’s if you could read their minds of course, wouldn’t change what is happening right now. The secret to a successful physical game in martial arts is to KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid! Don’t get hooked into looking cool, or trying to pull cool moves off because you want to impress others on the sideline. Looking cool doesn’t win fights. Keeping focused on the game in the present moment does. 

5. Thinking about the end before you have even gotten through the ‘now,' jumping to the end, thinking about the outcome while sparring or wishing the intended outcome, is a big mistake. You take your attention away from the present, from the process, from what you should be doing right now - what you should be focusing on. This builds into point 4. You have to stay focused in the present to win. Thinking ahead sets you up for failure. The more you move forward in time, the more you try to plan the next step, the more can go wrong. As Confucius reminds us, "To go too far is as bad as to fall short." Moving forward in time takes you away from where your attention should be, which is dealing with what is happening right now in the match. Secondly, anytime you plan ahead in the heat of battle and it does not work out the way you wanted it to – it can quickly degrade your confidence and make you second guess your actions. Once you are sparring, once the fight is on, you have to rely on your training. It is simply too late now to start thinking about what you should have been doing. 

6. Silence in action for more than 3 seconds: When in doubt of what to do – ‘JAB’. With the hands or the feet. Anytime there is in-action, a lull in you hitting back for too long, the opponent will start thinking that he has you, that you are losing or too afraid to hit back. Always make the opponent think he has to be worried about something. Sticking out a jab, even if it is not landing, puts the opponent on the defensive. If not physically at least mentally. You want to make him move. Joe Frazier knew this all to well when he noted, “It is not the same when a fighter moves because he wants to move, and another when he moves because he has to”. In the book, Wiles Of War, we are reminded, “Make a false move, not to pass it for a genuine one, but to transform it into a genuine one after the enemy has been convinced of its falsity”. 

7. Believing that you have won, before you really have: So you are doing well. It seems that you are scoring the deciding blows. But never congratulate yourself, never become over-confident until you have actually won. Wait until the bell has rung and signaled the end before you celebrate. Keep present. Do your work. Win without even knowing you are about to. 

8. Using anger to try to win: Anger doesn’t win fights, it loses them. Anger is fear in disguise. Be a “machine” and an “assassin,” not a “psycho”. I kind of like Napoleon’s take on this, “Never interfere with an enemy that is in the process of committing suicide”. And that’s what you are doing by trying to use anger to win a fight. It rarely does. Staying centered, unattached from emotion is the best way to win a fight. You want Zen Mind not Killer Instinct Mind. This is not to say that anger, aggressiveness and the killer instinct cannot win a fight, but it comes at a terrible price if you don’t. If you don’t win using it, then the consequences are total psychic meltdown. You will simply spiral into frustration, begin second guessing yourself, lose your focus and even want to give up. Being detached affords you a place of stoicism, where you realize that emotion does not predict the outcome of a battle, but rather acknowledging that it is simply there does. Ride the wave of emotion. It is simply what it is, your body's message center. Acknowledge the message, thank your body for telling you and get back to work!. Again, much of these basic "fighting truths" have been taken from multiple sources and coaches... if I could credit a "single" source I would, but just know that as a coach I have copied, watched, studied, mimicked, begged, borrowed, pleaded and plagiarized any and every Coach I've ever worked with to come up with my fighting system. Any coach who claims otherwise is full of ego and pretense...what I teach was taught to me or I have seen somewhere else and have now adapted it my use. So with that said please feel free to make what I offer you here your own.