Prakaisaeng Sit-Or fought Thepsutin Pumpanmuang this January 8th in the groups stage of the 67 kg Isuzu Tournament in Thailand. The tournament decides the Thai participant in the next Thai Fight Tournament. Kem Sitsongpeenong and Sudsakorn 13 Coins Gym are slated to fight next in the tournament on January 15th.
Prakaisaeng is a strong contender in the tournament, having scored a win over Kem, the favorite to take the tournament, on August 8th, 2010. He can be considered something of a dark horse. It remains to be seen how his size plays out as, prior to the tournament, he'd competed at super welterweight 154 lb. Loss of power from a weight cut down to 147 lb may have contributed to his early tournament loss against Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom on November 27, 2010.
Thepsutin is one of the more experienced fighters in the tournament at 147 lb. He is slowing down physically at this point in his career but, nonetheless, was able to score a convincing win over a favored Thanongdet Petpayatai in his first fight of the tournament on November 20, 2010.
Prakaisaeng is favored over Thepsutin in this matchup and weighs in at 147 lb to Thepsutin's 149 lb. Thepsutin wears red, Prakaisaeng blue.
Thanks to Boksnieuws for the video! The match looks to be a clinch affair from the get-go. Prakaisaeng and Thepsutin look fairly evenly matched to start off the fight. Thepsutin is the aggressor, but Prakaisaeng is the sharper of the two, sweeping him twice when Thepsutin tries to initiate the clinch. Prakaisaeng looks to be the sharper in the clinch, but holds off on applying offense, perhaps remembering his earlier bout with Dernchonlek, in which he also gave up two pounds to his opponent. He seems content in the second to pick off shots, looking the more passive of the two, though not letting too much get through without returning damage.
Prakaisaeng slightly ups the pace in the third, but seems only to be matching Thepsutin in terms of intensity. He does a better job of finding small openings to exploit, however, looking for sweeps and positional advantages. It's Thepsutin who closes off the third, however, with his workrate clearly overtaking Prakaisaeng's at the end of the round.
He carries the momentum forward into the fourth, slinging knees as he comes forward, while Prakaisaeng sticks to a game of picking off sharp knees when he finds openings, albeit with more power than in previous rounds. Shortly into the round, this pays off for him in a big way as he lands a succession of knees to counter Thepsutin's that leave Thepsutin slumped against the ropes.
Prakaisaeng's strategy of slowly increasing his workrate worked well against Thepsutin's aggression and, once he had Thepsutin hurt, his superior technique allowed him quickly to put his opponent away. He did a commendable job, keeping his defenses tight and returning with precise power. If he makes it to the semi-finals, it will be interesting to see him perform against an opponent who can match his wiliness and power. By then, at least, the weight matchups should be more in his favor, or even.