The big guns stepped up to the plate, and showed that beyond hype, they’re still the ones firing big bullets.
Saiyok (still 5yrs undefeated to me, headbutt cut loss to Khamal be damned) extended the streak to 36 wins. Consider that; thirty-six wins, including a Lumpinee Stadium title, a WMC tournament in which he beat Vuyisille Colossa and Jordan Watson on the same night at 72kg, and a handful of Thai Fight appearances.
Against Craig Jose of Scotland, he had a cakewalk. The Scot hung tough, and lasted the distance but throughout the fight Saiyok landed a variety of elbows and viciously thrown kicks. One leg kick saw Saiyok turn his whole body at the point of impact; a teep was partially deflected and still knocked Jose back across the ring; one body kick made me wince. Saiyok had fun in there, and he did it viciously, and there’s not a fighter alive between 67kg and 72kg who’d have it easy in there against his malice.
Buakaw got the predictable knockout victory win, over Frenchman Toure Abdoul. The overmatched fighter tried to score points on Buakaw by clinching and kneeing repeatedly, not showing much of an overall game, but he became tentative as soon as he was thrown, and Buakaw took full advantage. Landing kicks to body, legs and head, his trademark teeps and outboxing Abdoul, Buakaw landed a right body kick when being pushed back in round 2, and despite a split-second delay, it crumpled the Frenchman.
Will we now get to see a Buakaw/Sudsakorn or Buakaw/Saiyok fight? Or even Buakaw/Jordan Watson II?
Come on Thai Fight!
Sudsakorn showed a more aggressive side than just his usual technical prowess, applying it pro-actively when it became apparent that he was in a class above to Issam Reghi. Switching up between boxing and solid body and leg kicks, even dancing at one point, Sudsakorn looked more comfortable than in recent memory, and one hopes that this TKO finish could lead to something as cool as a Buakaw bout in Thai Fight.
A very big, strong looking Singmanee also cruised to a win (that for some reason, surprised some?) when he outscored the capable Benoui Houcine, who has met Jordan Watson (competing on the same card).
Also on the card, Jordan Watson won in dominant fashion (scoring a knockdown with body and leg kicks).
Thai Fight delivered in a big way, which is not surprising as they stacked this card with more top talent than you could hope to see on four MPL cards.
- Fantastic production value (pyrotechnics and lights when Buakaw and Saiyok won)
- Great names on the same card – Buakaw & Saiyok, plus top talent in Sudsakorn, Singmanee, Jordan Watson, Liam Harrison…
- Finishes and good fights that went the distance
- Three rounds makes for exciting Muay Thai – no feeling out process
- Great possibility of future matches such as Buakaw/Sudsakorn
- Showcasing top Thai talent against international competition, internationally
- Liam Harrison slipped in the bathroom, banged his head on the sink, cut it, and couldn’t fight
- Jordan Watson’s fight being untelevised, despite him being a top fighter (just non-Thai)
- All victors were expected to be victorious
- Next time, match up some of the big names against other big names
The last part is vital when it comes to building on from this event.
Thai Fight could become a hugely renowned international event, hosting top quality talent on cards in England, Holland, France and other European Muay Thai hotbeds, while also staging shows in Bangkok, Pattaya and elsewhere in Thailand. This is only a good thing for the Muay Thai fan, but we need to see them build on the success of this event and push forwards ambitiously.
Viva Thai Fight.