Official Press Release from Yokkao
Yokkao Extreme 2013 selections will be held in collaboration with Stefania Picelli, MSG's Fight Sports and Take on Productions at Madison Square Garden (NYC) during Muay Thai at the Mecca II sponsored by Yokkao on 10th november 2012.
There will be a 4-man tournament and the winner will fight on 26th January 2013 in Milan (Forum d'Assago) at Yokkao Extreme 2013, the biggest Muay Thai and K-1 event in the world.
Aikpracha Meenayothin has made a name for himself on the international stage this year, establishing himself as one of the top Thais fighting internationally on a regular basis. He also made a name for himself in Thailand, as he's the Lumpinee Stadium Welterweight Champion.
For Aikpracha, it looks like he's going to continue to do that, as today it was announced that he joined the Yokkao Fight Team and will be sponsored by Yokkao Boxing. Yokkao Boxing sponsors the likes of Saenchai, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Jordan Watson, Liam Harrison, Dzhabar Askerov and more with an increasingly growing stable of fighters.
Joining Yokkao will give Aikpracha an even bigger chance to get his name out there and become one of the top international Thai stars. He fights anywhere from 67-72.5kg so there are a wide variety of fights for him to be had. It's also one of the money weights of both kickboxing and Muay Thai, where some of the biggest names in the sport compete.
Check out the first video of Aikpracha with Yokkao, hitting pads.
Eddie Walker's name is one that has been kicked around a bunch recently, in regards to his signing with K-1. Sadly for him and his fans, the fight that was in the works for this upcoming weekend never came to fruition and Walker had to wait to make his K-1 debut. It looks like instead, he'll be the opponent that Lion Fights has selected to face Joe "Stich 'em Up" Schilling on October 13th. Schilling has long been the headliner for this card, but Lion Fights had a problem finding a suitable opponent for him. Walker, who fights at Cruiserweight, will make for a good opponent for Schilling.
For US Muay Thai and Kickboxing this is a pretty big deal of a fight, as Schilling has built his name up on the West coast while Walker has built his name up on the East coast. [source]
We have a huge week ahead for fans of Muay Thai. With stacked shows on the 7th, 11th and 12th of this month, it's never been a better time to be a fan. First, we'll turn our attention to the September 7 card, this Friday.
The show is headlined by Saenchai vs. Singdam Kiatmuu9 for Singdam's Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight Title. Saenchai will have to weigh in at 130 and Singdam at 133. Saenchai and Singdam haven't fought since 2006, where Saenchai won a decision. Both fighters are up there in age for Thai fighters but are as good as they've ever been. Saenchai's definitely the favorite to win as he's won their last three meetings and seems to have a style that troubles Singdam but you can't count Singdam out here.
A few bouts were originally scheduled but have now been taken off the card. Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym was supposed to rematch the fighter of the year, Penek Sitnumnoi but Penek pulled out with an illness so Sam-A got moved to the September 11 card against Pokaew Fonjanegchonburi. Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym and Jomthong Chuwattana were also supposed to fight.
In other action on the card, Sagetdao Phetphayathai fights Petboonchu F.A. Group in what should be a grueling clinch affair. Sagetdao and Petboonchu have fought six times, with Sagetdao holding a 4-2 record in the series, also beating Petboonchu earlier this year.
F16 Rajanont will rematch Diesellek Oodonmuang after Diesellek knocked him out with a high kick last month.
Currently the only non Thai holding a Lumpinee title, Damien Alamos defends his Lumpinee Super Lightweight title against Aranchai Pran26. Alamos won his title back in February with a win over Kongfah Oodonmuang.
The Lumpinee Stadium Super Flyweight title is on the line as Superlek Wor Sungprapai fights Muangthai Sor Boonyiam, two of the best teens in Thailand. The Lumpinee Light Flyweight title is also on the line in the fight between Wanchai Sor Kittisak and Sarawut Pitakpaapardaeng.
Last but not least, Wanchalong Sitzornong fights Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher after an amazing fight between the two last month that ended with Wanchalong coming from behind and knocking out Chokprecha with a high kick in the fifth and final round. Wanchalong has won all three of their fights so far but Chokprecha gave him hell the last time out.
Saenchai vs. Singdamn Kiatmuu9
Sagetdao Phetphayathai vs. Petboonchu F.A. Group
F16 Rajanont vs. Diesellek Oodonmuang
Damien Alamos vs. Aranchai Pran26
Superlek Wor SUngprapai vs. Muangthai Sor Boonyiam
Wanchai Sor Kittisak vs. Sarawut Pitakpaapardaeng
Wanchalong Sitzornong vs. Chokprecha Kor Sakooncher
Let's all be honest with ourselves here; if you are a fan of Kickboxing or Muay Thai in the US, you know the Can't Stop Crazy guys and follow what they are up to. There are a ton of reasons for it, but the first one is probably that they are some of the best fighters from the US to make an impact across the world in Muay Thai and sometimes Kickboxing. Joe Schilling is perhaps one of the most vocal of the group, and seen really as the godfather.
Jeff Dojillo is the star photographer and videographer responsible for the Inside the Fight series, and is back this time covering Joe Schilling's trip to Thailand from this summer to the Battle of the Belts event. It was originally slated to be Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin after Simon Marcus pulled out of the fight with Levin, but then Levin dropped out as well. Follow Schilling through his adventures in Thailand leading up to the fight and the aftermath from it as well.
This weekend is quite packed for a weekend with no major shows such as GLORY of K-1. On this Saturday, September 1, Total Carnage II goes down in Gold Coast, Australia and it's headlined by one of the biggest rematches in all of kickfighting along with a stacked card of Australian Muay Thai.
Nathan "Carnage" Corbett and Steve McKinnon will fight for the second time, after their controversial first fight where McKinnon lost due to a cut stoppage. After some initial disagreements on the weight, the fight was set for 95kg. It's the biggest fight in Australia at the moment, with Corbett not having lost since 2006. The first fight was a war and expect nothing less than that in this one.
There's also some other good fights featuring good fighters on the card, like Frank Giorgi vs. Nonsai. Giorgi really established himself a top level fighter in last year's Thai Fight tournament, making it to the finals, where he lost to Buakaw. This year he's already defeated Steve Moxon and Tobias Alexandersson. Nonsai should provide a tough test under full Thai rules with his crafty clinch work.
Originally scheduled to fight Flip Street, Dane "Daddy Kool" Beauchamp rematches Joe Concha. Beauchamp is in my opinion the best fighter around 61kg in Australia and definitely deserves some international opportunities and recognition. Concha actually knocked out Beauchamp with an elbow back in February
Another great Australian fighter around 61kg is Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson, who takes on the Thai fighter, Kampan Santaweesook. Kampan is a tricky fighter who can suck his opponents into a clinch fest. Thompson sometimes does get sucked into clinchfests and when he loses, that's usually how so he'll have to be extra sharp here to pick up the victory.
Nathan "Carnage" Corbett vs. Steve McKinnon
Frank Giorgi vs. Nonsai Sor Sanyakorn
Dane "Daddy Kool" Beauchamp vs. Joe Concha
Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson vs. Kampan Santaweesook
Mark Lucchiari vs. Michael Badato
Mark Staiti vs. Elliot Compton
Henare Redden vs. Paymaan Shahrokhey
Grant Sims vs. Dave McDonald
There's been rumblings about a second Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Buakaw fight taking place in February 2013 at Thai Fight in Surin, Thailand. A usually reliable source with connections to Thai Fight originally posted the news and everyone ran with it. We here at LiverKick never posted it because there was no confirmation from Petrosyan's side. Today Carlo di Blasi, Petrosyan's manager, sent out an e-mail clarifying the situation:
“Giorgio Petrosyan at Thai Fight: never signed any agreement!
We learned by some websites that Giorgio Petrosyan is fighting in Thai Fight gala next February 2013.
We are really honoured by the interest of Thai promoters and Thai Fight for Giorgio Petrosyan but I must declare that no agreements have been signed actually between Thai Fight and Giorgio Petrosyan .
The only contract signed by Giorgio Petrosyan is the one with Glory.
So Giorgio is confirmed in Rome November 3rd to fight in the Final 8 Glory World Series.
Giorgio is still interested to fight again in Muay Thai full rules in Thailand but only if an official offer and contract is signed.
Carlo Di Blasi
International manager and promoter.”
We always hear about "pound for pound" discussions and the like, but rarely are fighters across different combat sports stacked up and compared. This post is all about a fighter that many combat sports fans probably don't even know. The ones that do, however, can appreciate just how amazing of a fighter he is.
I'm talking about Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym, or just Saenchai, a true anomaly to Muay Thai and combat sports in general. This 32 year old Thai is who I consider the best fighter in combat sports right now and probably the best Muay Thai fighter of the past 20 years. At 32 years old, he's beating the best Thais in the sport, at the same time beating the best international fighters in the sport up to three weight classes above his normal fighting weight in Thailand. He even ventured down all the way to 127.5lbs/57.8kg and defeated Penek Sitnumnoi, the Sports Authority of Thailand Fighter of the Year, and did it in dominant fashion. And oh yeah, usually every time he fights in Thailand he has to give up weight to his opponent. Against Penek he had to weigh in at 127.5lbs/57.8kg while Penek had to make 129lbs/58.5. Oh yeah, and just six days later he was in France and beat the much larger Mehdi Zatout at 143lbs/65kg. In his upcoming fight against the current Lumpinee Stadium lightweight champion Singdam Kiatmuu9, he'll have to weigh in at 130/59kg while Singdam gets to weigh in at 133/60.3kg.
It's not just the wins on his record either, it's how he wins also. Saenchai has been as dominant as he's ever been lately, as showcased in his wins over Sagetdao Phetphayathai, who he's struggled with in the past and over Penek Sitnumnoi. That's not even mentioning how much more dominant he is against much larger foreign opponents, who he toys with, throwing cartwheel kicks and shuffling in the ring. Saenchai has never lost to a non Thai before, aside from a terrible decision against Fabio Pinca, one of the best international Muay Thai fighters in the world that's much larger and gave Giorgio Petrosyan quite a fight in May. That lone "loss" is after years of defeating some of the best foreign fighters that are much larger than him, including Pinca back in 2007 and Liam Harrison twice.
Yes, Saenchai does have some losses on his record, approximately 44 according to Wikipedia. Muay Thai is not the same as any other combat sport though. In Thailand, you consistently fight the best of the best on a monthly basis. Saenchai has been doing this since the late 90s, racking up around 300 professional fights, and he probably has even more than that. You don't see this in MMA or boxing, where the best fighters fight a couple times a year at most.
One might say that Floyd Mayweather is undefeated, but really, in boxing you get to pick and choose your opponents, and he has nowhere near the amounts of fights that Saenchai has. Saenchai has fought the best more times than Floyd Mayweather has even fought. Giorgio Petrosyans' record is amazing, yes, but it's come at pretty much one weight class and not in as long of a time span, just like MMA's best. GSP won't move up to fight Anderson Silva, Silva won't move down to fight GSP and Silva won't move up to fight Jon Jones.
Saenchai's accolades aren't just at his current fighting weight range of 127.5/58.7kg-147lbs/67kg. He's been a Lumpinee Stadium champion at 115lbs/52kg and 118lbs/53.5kg. We're talking late 1990s here, where Saenchai won the Sports Authority of Thailand Fighter of the Year Award in 1999. Nine years later, in 2008, he won it again, and in 2012 at 32 years of age, he's still going on as strong as ever. Most Thai fighters at 32 years old are retired or getting beat up just to collect money, after in a lot of cases, careers that start around 8-12 years old and end with around 300-400 professional fights. It's truly an anomaly how Saenchai is still the best at his current age.
Saenchai is going to continue doing what he does, as the next three scheduled fights he has are absolutely no walk in the park. On September 7, as aforementioned he's fighting Singdamn Kiatmuu9 for the Lumpinee Stadium lightweight title. On November 10 he fights Pakon Sakyothin and on November 22 he fights Damien Alamos, the current Lumpinee Stadium champion at 140lbs/63.5kg. That's not even mentioning that he'll probably take some fights in between and clown some foreigners, as he seems to be fighting every month now, sometimes more than once.
Chalk this one up in the unfortunate category of bout changes that happen very often in the land of muay thai, as Ky Hollenbeck's eagerly-awaited bout with Ekpracha Meenayotin "The Hitman" has apparently fallen through. Hollenbeck, who was last seen at the Glory World Series event, was prepared to take on the very tough Thai in a bout that enthusiasts have been chomping at the bit over, but The Hitman has pulled out of the fight just days before.
So it looks like Pushkick Promotions' World Stand Off: Thailand vs. Americas event will have a new headliner in Ky Hollenbeck vs. Cooper Gibson. Cooper Gibson is a serviceable opponent, but fans have been awaiting the Hollenbeck showdown with The Hitman for a while now.
UPDATE: Push Kick Promotions has confirmed that there will be a late fill-in for Ekpracha, who had to pull out of the fight, but it will not be Cooper Gibson. According to Muay Thai Authority, Malaipet Sasiprapa will be stepping in instead, creating a much more compelling match up. There was some drama earlier in the day when on Facebook, Cooper Gibson's coach decided to trash talk, proclaiming that any top 100 MMA fight could defeat any top 10 Thai fighter, which, well, is a ridiculous statement.