It should still be top notch. I’m not in a fit of “pique” about it.
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
- Marco Pique – WMC Intercontinental 72kg champion, K-1 MAX 2009 Europe finalist
- Thiago Texeira – Queen’s Cup winner
- Mostafa Abdollahi – 65-15 win/loss
The pick of the fights WOULD have been 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. Jordan fought three Thai legends in even fights, going the distance with Buakaw Banchamek, Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Saiyok.
With Watson out of the running though (he will next compete on the Thai Fight UK card, a stacked event also featuring Liam Harrison, Sudsakorn, Buakaw, Saiyok and Singmanee), the replacement opponent with the daunting task of facing Aikpracha will be Marco Pique.
Pique is, to my mind, a lesser opponent than Watson in Muay Thai, but he did almost win K-1′s European version of the “World MAX” Grand Prix tournament in 2009, getting past flying knee master Chris Ngimbi and getting through his semi-final before dropping a unanimous decision to Leroy Kaestner in the final. He also has wins over a post-prime Joeri Mes, and in his last fight, Mohamed Medhar, though prior to that he lost handsomely to elite opponents in Nieky Holzken and Naruepol Fairtex.
I doubt he will be up to beating the risen star that is Aikpracha.
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.
One thing is for sure – this tournament, to be staged over three days, is going to be a good one. With no Watson, I see it as a second “coming out” party for Aikpracha.
See here for more information on the WMC Prince’s Cup!