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Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Takayuki Kohiruimaki 2004

  • Published in Video

This fight is part of a series discussing changes in K-1's clinch rules. I'll be posting fights that demonstrate what fights in different eras of the clinch rule had the potential to look like. The next fight will be post-2005, when "one strike in the clinch" was enforced.

In 2004, the clinch was essentially unchanged from Muay Thai. Fighters could throw as many strikes/ knees as they wanted and it was often used to avoid distance fighting by fighters like Takayuni Kohiruimaki and Yoshihiro Sato. Sato, before joining K-1, had a great career in Muay Thai and full rules Japanese Kickboxing in the AJKF where he utilized knees and elbows to great effect. His build looks similar to that of famous knee fighters of old, like Dieselnoi Chor Thansukarn, who was 188 cm, 6' 2", and fought at 63.5 kg, 140 lb.

In Thailand, Buakaw Por Pramuk had climbed the Lumpini rankings at 135 lb lightweight to no.2 before stopping in deference to a stablemate who held the belt. He competed at 140 lb in Thailand before being invited through Ingram Gym connections to fight in K-1 MAX. Because he moved directly from 63.5 kg to the MAX, he regularly weighs in at 69 kg or 70 kg without cutting weight, while other fighters in the MAX cut the usual 5 to 10 kg. Buakaw was only in the promotion for one year before the rules changed.

Takayuki Kohiruimaki, in 2004, was an up and coming prospect in Japanese K-1, having wins over Kozo Takeda, Hayato, and Mike Zambidis, and Masato (This was very early in both their careers, being both of theirs second bout.). Kohiruimaki changed his name to Taishin in 2008 after coming back from a long, injury-related layoff. He currently has not competed since 2009, the year he won his third J-MAX title. Kohi debuted in 1999 in K-1 and used the clinch and knees as a mainstay of his style.

Keep in mind that most K-1 fights of this era did not look like this. In fact, this is one of very few examples where offensive clinching is decisive. The rules merely allowed matches to potentially look this this. This was the semi-final of the 2004 K-1 MAX Final Tournament. Buakaw wears blue gloves in this bout, Kohi wears red.

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Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Virgil Kalakoda 2006

  • Published in Video

This is my second post on clinch rules in K-1 and how they've changed. Post I featured Buakaw Por Pramuk's utter destruction of Takayuki Kohiruimaki via clinch knees.

In 2005, K-1 made its first major change to its clinch fighting rules. Fighters could now only throw one knee per clinch. Pre-2005, extended clinching with knees had been allowed, in the fashion of Muay Thai. People speculated as to why K-1 made this change, most citing Schilt's dominance with knees in the WGP, others citing the clinch skills of a fighter newly arrived in MAX, Buakaw Por Pramuk. No one really knows and, to my knowledge, K-1's explanation that it made fights more exciting was not readily taken up by the K-1 community.

This is from the 2006 K-1 MAX Final 16. Notice how Buakaw, very aggressive in the clinch against Kohi, now limits himself to one knee in the clinch, in accordance with the rule change in 2005. Until 2006, referees seemed unsure as to how to enforce the rule, but by this point they were quicker in breaking clinches and warning fighters, as they do in the third.

Virgil Kalakoda, a South African boxer, turned to K-1 in 2005. He was slow to add weapons to his repertoire and, facing Buakaw the year after his debut, he employs mostly hands in a bullying, smothering style.

Watch Virgil's attempts to shut down Buakaw's traditional kicking game and how Buakaw responds to Virgil's strategy. Virgil actually has a large weight advantage over Buakaw, being as he moved down from 78 kg, 170 lb, in boxing to fight K-1 at 70 kg, while Buakaw moved from 63.5 kg, 140 lb, to fight in the MAX. The mass likely makes his tactics more effective. Buakaw wears the red gloves in this bout, Virgil the blue.

Part 1

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Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Petnamek Sor Siriwat 2002

  • Published in Video

The below is a beautiful display of Muay Thai. Both Buakaw and Petnamek throw beautifully and utilize their technique in rather different strategies to impose their will on the fight.

This bout, in addition to being a fun to watch display of Muay Thai, also serves to highlight a difference in scoring between Muay Thai and kickboxing or Western boxing. Namely, that the judges weigh the last two rounds heavily over the first three. This makes sense on paper, but for those of us who are used to seeing each round weighed equally, it seems strange on viewing.

Of the fighters, Buakaw is undoubtedly more famous, due to his successes in K-1. At this point, he was still fighting in the 135 - 140 lb (61.5 - 63.5 kg) range.  It would be two years before his debut in that organization. He now fights at 154 lb (70 kg), which is also his walk-around weight.

Like Buakaw, Petnamek Sor Siriwat was a well-regarded fighter on the Muay Thai circuits during this time. He too would move up in weight. I believe the most recent footage of him on Youtube showed him participating in Muay Thai vs San Da in 2005.

Buakaw fights out of the blue corner in this bout, Petnamek, southpaw, fights out of the red corner.

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Sung-Hyun Lee Isn't Afraid of Buakaw Banchamek

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This weekend Buakaw Banchamek will square off against Korea's Sung-Hyun Lee in the K-1 World MAX Final Four event. This event is scheduled for February 23rd and will air on http://www.k-1.tv via a free stream. No doubt that this is a huge fight for Sung-Hyun Lee, who was competing at 65kg previously before deciding to move up to 70kg in 2013 and enter the K-1 World MAX tournament. Now he has reached the coveted Final Four and will fight the legendary Buakaw Banchamek, but don't color him scared, because he's not. [source]

"In a lot of ways Buakaw is a fighter with basic patterns. He has a lot of power but his combinations are easy to predict. He does not have the technical ability or combination punching of European fighters like Andy Souwer. I feel my style matches up better with Buakaw than those fighters.

I am not that worried about his power. In 2009 I fought a Thai fighter named Ping Poongkwa. I remember his body kicks felt like being hit by a steel pipe. I fought a lot of other Thais but none of them had that kind of serious power. I feel people are just afraid of Buakaw because of his “name”."

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