Because whoomp – der it is.
The World MuayThai Council is the biggest international federation of the sport, and the foremost authorities responsible for the push to gain Olympic recognition for Muay Thai as the sport it is. In April, they hosted an event for the Olympic committee with a four-man tournament at 72kg, featuring Thai superstar Saiyok, England’s world champion Jordan Watson, top 10 ranked “JILF” Ilya Grad (not ranked by me, mind) and Hong Kong’s Muay Thai and MMA star Vuyisille Colossa.
And now, in honour of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s birthday, the time is ripe for a second one!
This time (25th-27th July) the combatants will be as follows:
- Aikpracha - WMC World champion
- Jordan Watson - ISKA World champion, The Contender runner-up, The Contender UK winner
- Thiago Texeira – Queen’s Cup winner
- Mostafa Abdollahi – 65-15 win/loss
The pick of the fights has got to be the frankly sexual semi-final draw between new superstar on the block Aikpracha, and England’s star Jordan Watson. Both men have just competed in interesting and high profile Thai vs. Farang bouts, with different results; Aikpracha managed to toppled p4p listed Fabio Pinca at 67kg with an imperious performance, and a fortnight later, Jordan was bested on points by Thai superstar Saiyok in a thrilling fight, after having already bested Ilya Grad in the same night.
This fight should be interesting stylistically. Jordan has fought three Thai legends in even fights, going the distance with Buakaw Banchamek, Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Saiyok, fighting evenly and only conceding on the more point-scoring type attacks in focusing on “K-1 style” against them, with their Thai clinch-knee combinations and in Fairtex’s case, liver kicks, being the point-scoring decisive factors in him losing the fights. That being said, the three fights judged from a fighting perspective prove that there is not one fighter on the planet, Thai or otherwise, that he is not capable of beating on his day between 69-72kg.
Beyond those fights, Jordan won the ISKA World title at 70kg, the Contender UK tournament, and was runner-up in The Contender, the famous tournament of the WMC. He actually beat one of the athletes in this WMC tournament in the Contender, in Abdollahi, so should he get past the savage Aikpracha there is a potential rematch in the final.
Aikpracha is, to quote Watson’s stablemate and p4p farang Liam Harrison, a “monster”. He dismantled Pinca with ease – the Italian was riding the crest of a wave having just beaten p4p Thai legend Saenchai, and was scheduled to face Buakaw in a super-fight. As it was, Aikpracha deputised for the drama-embroiled former K-1 and Shootboxing S-Cup champion, and Omnoi Stadium and WMC Muay Thai champion, and the rising star shocked many fans with his display.
On the one hand, Aikpracha has a big body kick, strong elbow game and is a good clincher. Though he outstruck Pinca, I feel he may struggle if he tries to to trade off K-1 style with Watson; the Leeds man has a strong base, big kicks and knees and is very capable with his hands. He carries significant power, good poise and speed.
One thing is for sure – this tournament, to be staged over three days, is going to be a good one.
See here for more information on the WMC Prince’s Cup!
Twitter @ Daniel Fletcher
Here are videos of their last super-fights – Aikpracha vs. Pinca, and “Quadzilla” vs. Saiyok.
Prince’s Cup 2012 should be a memorable one.