The Muaythai Preservation Project in association with MuayThaiIsLife.com(Eric Rivera), MuayThaiAuthrority.com(Nathan Aripez), and Cameron Fraser are pleased to announce the recipients for this year’s 2010 North American Muaythai Fighter of the Year Award.
There were 7 fighters up for this year’s award. Each fighter was nominated for their accomplishments in Muaythai throughout 2010. Whether having a breakthrough year or dominating opponent after opponent, each fighter showed significant reason why they were worthy of such a title.Fighters Nominated:
The committee of four casted their votes based on a number of criteria which included overall fight record for the year, win to loss ratio, caliber of opponents, consistency of performances, representation of traditional Muaythai, and accomplishments throughout the year.
Being at the top of the heap in any sport usually means bigger opportunities, higher paydays, and more recognition. However, quite the opposite has taken place concerning the fight career of Kevin Ross. Ross, who has recently added another big win to his record by defeating Malaipet, is finding it harder and harder to secure fights throughout North America. One could figure promoters would jump at the opportunity to have Kevin headline one of their events. Especially after the number one fighter in the world, Saenchai, has recently expressed interest in a fight with Ross. Unanimously, we felt Kevin’s recognition was long overdue. Kevin Ross has shown that North Americans can compete on the International level, with clean technique and a high level of skill. Congratulations to Kevin Ross, 2010 Male North American Muaythai Fighter of the Year. (4 votes)
Many could argue that Miriam Nakamoto should have easily walked away with this year’s North American Fighter of the Year Award. That Miriam had a stellar year which included being the North America female to win a WBC title left it immensely difficult to let her achievements throughout 2010 fall by the wayside. So upon further review and considering her recent success we have decided to open up a North American Muaythai Fighter of the Year Award for women. Miriam has paved the way for female fighters in North America, and with this award we hope that many female fighters like herself will continue to bring a good name to Muaythai. Congratulations to Miriam Nakamoto,2010 Female North American Muaythai Fighter of the Year. (4 votes)
Let us not forgot the rest of the fighters who made the list. Honorable mentions includeKy Hollenbeck, perhaps next in line to Ross for this years award. Finishing out the year with two wins in China and crowned 160lb WCK tournament champion, expect nothing less in 2011 from this dynamic combatant.
We also have Chris Romulo. Although Romulo has yet to break into the nationalscene it is only a matter of time before he is recognized on both coasts. With a highlight reel of KO’s and a recent win over tough veteran Sean Hinds for the WKA title, this versatile fighter brings an art form to the ring like it was his canvas.
Joe “Stitch ‘em Up” Schilling needs no explanation behind his nickname. With razors for elbows he has cut most of the opposition standing across from him. With the knack of leaving a mark on his opponents face, Joe has also been leaving his mark in the ring. With a few more fights under him, this number one WBC contender is sure to become a recognizable figure in Muaythai.
With his ability to bring an elephant to its knees with low kicks, Joseph Valtellini has had a breakthrough year. This recently turned pro stopped both Dorian Price and Sean Hinds via leg kicks. With a handful of first-rate performances in 2010 it is only a matter of time before Valtellini is holding a few straps.
Gabriel Varga is like the dark horse. With most of his talking done in the ring, he first made his mark in NYC after defeating the tough competitor in Omar Ahmed. Months after he defeated the ever ready Justin Greskiewicz. Varga is one of the few Muaythai fighters in North America that shows you can still win with a traditional Thai style.
We would also like to thank our sponsor for this years awards!