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Naruepol Fairtex Reflects on his Muay Thai career and discusses a possible move to MMA

nareupol

Naruepol Fairtex is best known for an appearance on the original season of The Contender Asia but he is also a former Lumpini and Rajadamnern and Thailand champion who has fought all over the world and won more Muay Thai titles than he can remember.

He is the latest in a long line of Lumpini title holders to join the team at Evolve MMA which is home to a more decorated team of trainers than any other camp on the planet and Naruepol has already started studying mixed martial arts with a view to potentially making his professional debut. 

Although he is now 28 years old Naruepol still competes regularly and in recent years he has fought in France, China, Italy and Malaysia and was scheduled to fight against Andy Souwer in Singapore in February but the fight was cancelled at the last minute due to some promotional irregularities.

He has faced a who's who of world class opponents, both domestically and on the international scene, including Marco Piqué, Cosmo Alexandre, Cedric Muller, Soren Monkongtong, Yohan Lidon, Giorgio Petrosyan and Vuyisile Colossa as well as Yodsaenklai Fairtex, Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Noppadet Chengsimiw Gym and Chokdee Por Pramuk.

Naruepol caught up with Liver Kick to discuss the move to Singapore, his Muay Thai career and the possibility of making his MMA debut.

Who did you win your Lumpini title against and when?

It was the Lumpini 140 lbs title against Chokdee Por. Pramuk, it was either in 2002 or 2003, I'm not sure exactly.

What other belts have you won and if possible can you remember who you won them against and where?

I won the Lumpinee Stadium belt and the Thailand belt at 140 lbs against Pethnamek Sor. Siriwat at Lumpini, the 140 lbs Thailand belt against Kunseuk Pethsuphaphan at Lumpini, the Thailand belt at 147 lbs against Chaowilit Jocky Gym at Rachdamnern and some other belts which I didn't keep track of

What sort of style fighter are you?

 I love kicks and knees, I like to use technical Muay Thai

When did you start Muay Thai and why?

I started in 1992 when I was 7 years old because my house was near a Muay Thai camp. I saw it every day and I liked it.

When did you have your first fight?

I had my first professional fight after 6 months of training, I was 7 years old.

Why did you decide to move to Singapore to join Evolve MMA?

Evolve MMA has a very big name in Thailand now in the Muay Thai community and my good friend Attachai Fairtex told me how well Evolve treats its instructors and staff, Attachai has been able to provide for his family in Thailand with a very good life. When Saknaraong Sityodtong called me I accepted immediately because I have two sons and I want a better future for them.

How does it compare to the places you have trained in Thailand?

It is the best facility that I have ever seen. You cannot compare it to camps in Thailand because Evolve has the best of everything, the best trainers, the best facilities and some of the best fighters.

Have you ever fought against any of the other Thai trainers at Evolve MMA in the past?

Chaowolit Jocky Gym at Rachdamnern, Namsaknoi Yuthagarnkamtorn at both Channel 7 Stadium and Lumpini Stadium.

Are you familiar with MMA and if so what do you think of it?

Not before coming to Evolve but I like it. It seems very exciting, but it looks quite difficult too.

Would you be interested in competing in MMA? 

Yes, I would like to try it. I am training hard for it already at Evolve.

Are you surprised that Muay Thai has become so popular with 'farang'?

Yes I am surprised but it is a beautiful art so I understand why everyone loves Muay Thai.

Who is the toughest fighter you have ever faced?

Thopadak Wanchalerm (aka Sinbi Taewoong).

What is your favourite memory from your fighting career?

Every victory was a happy moment for me. The most special was my first title when I won Lumpini Stadium title because I was just a teenager. I was very nervous but I believed in myself.  

How did you enjoy being a part of the first Contender series?

Yes, it was fun, it was exciting even though the level of Muay Thai was not that high. Only 2-3 fighters were world-class level on that show.

www.twitter.com/jamesgoyder

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MSG Sports and TaKe On Productions Announce Battle at Bally's II

ELITE MUAY THAI KICKBOXING RETURNS

TO ATLANTIC CITY FOR “BATTLE AT BALLY’S II”

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 AT BALLY’S GRAND BALLROOM

Tickets On Sale Now

TakeOn

New York, NY (July 11, 2012) – TaKe-On Productions and MSG Sports announced the return of full rules Thai Kickboxing to Atlantic City with “Battle at Bally’s II,” a professional and amateur Muay Thai event set to take place on Sunday, August 11 in the Grand Ballroom at Bally’s Casino.  Sanctioned by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, this event will feature a fight card that includes today’s best professional and amateur Muay Thai fighters, competing under full Thai rules which allow for forceful knee and elbow strikes.

 

Tickets beginning at $55.00 are on sale now and can be purchased via: www.thegarden.com , all Ticketmaster locations, the Bally’s box office, and at Muay Thai and MMA gyms throughout NY, NJ, and PA. Fans can visit www.TakeOnProductions.com for special event VIP packages, along with the full fight card, fighter information and other exciting content.   “Battle at Bally’s II” is being produced by TaKe-On Productions in association with MSG Sports.

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Muay Thai Combat 20120 Sponsored by Yokkao This Weekend

This Saturday from Riccione, Italy, Muay Thai Combat 2012 will go down, with Yokkao as the main sponsor. The event will feature the Yokkao team taking on all comers in full thai rules. The event is headlined by Imwiset Pornarrai taking on New York's own Eddie Martinez, fighting out of the Sitan Gym. The full card is available here, and will be streaming live on Saturday there as well.

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Saketdao Petphayathai silences the Phattalung Crowd by Outpointing Hometown Hero Peneak Sitnumnoi

patalaung

An enormous crowd, estimated at around 10,000 people, gathered in Phattalung to witness hometown hero and reigning fighter of the year Peneak Sitnumnoi take on Saketdao Petphayathai on June 7th.

The top fighters don't venture outside of the Bangkok stadiums too often so this was a rare treat and it was standing room only as people from all over the South of Thailand travelled to see two of Thailand's top fighters go toe to toe.

After a nine fight undercard which showed that there is plenty of quality in the South of Thailand  to rival the dominance of more traditional Muay Thai strongholds such as Buriram the big fights got underway.

Up first was Sittisak Petchphyathai and Pechmongkol Thor Thepsutin in what proved to be a one sided fight with Sittisak's dominance in the clinch causing the referee to wave off the fight in the third round.

Chalongchai Kayradajraychai went up against King Wor Woypakdee next and after an uneventful first round the fight came to life in the second with Chalongchai connecting with straight punches and King firing back with kicks and elbows.

King looked to land more elbows and was more aggressive in the third but Chalongchai controlled the ring and swept him repeatedly to take the lead. In rounds four and five King was continually the aggressor but Chalongchai was able to frustrate him by knocking him off balance time and time again to cruise to a comfortable decision win.

Chalongchik Kayradajraychai faced Saneam Or Wan in a well matched affair which saw Saneam start to land solid body kicks in the second round which Chalongchik answered with some quickfire combinations of punches and low kicks. In round three the fighters matched each other kick for kick while the following round saw Saneam land some straight knees although Chalongchik did manage to dump him on the ground a couple of times.

Going into the final round Chalongchik was offered a 50,000 Baht tip to turn the fight around and he did just that, sweeping Saneam and upsetting his balance a few more times before standing off and taking his chances with the judges who all felt he had done enough to win the fight and take home the extra 50,000 in the process.

The final three fights all provided outstanding entertainment with the rematch between Pentai Sitnumnoi and Palongphon Watcharachaigym probably the highlight of the night. Pentai was knocked out the first time these two fought but he looked to be the sharper and stronger of the two fighters in the opening rounds.

Penthai was pressing forward and landing punches and body kicks as well as solid looking low kicks to the lead leg of his southpaw opponent but towards the end of round two Palangphon began to come to life and answered back with a big body kick of his own right on the bell.

The action intensified at the start of the third round with Penthai getting the better of the early exhanges but Palongphon came back strongly and spun him off balance before landing an eye catching kick. Sensing he was behind Penthai started the fourth round fast backing Palongphon up and looking to land punches as, for the first time in the fight, Palongphon began to utilize his elbows.

Penthai fired back with some strikes of his own and a left elbow cut Palongphon above the rigth eye. The younger fighter appeared to be in the ascendancy but towards the end of the round Palongphon seized the initiative again by sweeping Penthai and then taking advantage of his opponent's momentary loss of balance to land a kick which knocked him to the floor.

A 50,000 tip was offered to Penthai if he cound turn the fight around and he surged forward in the final round looking to hurt Palongphon with punches. A few ot them got through and a head kick also appeared to land clean but Palongphon laughed it off and continued to cover up and counter with the ocassional body kick to take a decision win and with it the WPMF flyweight belt.

Wanchalerm Chor.Chernkamon vs Seksun Or.Kwanmuang was another fun fight although it didn't last long. Wanchalerm looked to land left hooks in the opening round but Seksun's high guard prevented any of them from getting through, the second started fast as both exchanged punches and a head kick from Wanchalerm landed flush but Seksun just shook it off.

A big right hand from Seksun rocked Wanchalerm who tried to cover up but sensing blood Seksun moved in for the kill and threw a combination of vicious punches that put Wanchalerm down for a count which he never looked like beating. It set the scene nicely for the final fight of the night and the one which the majority of spectators in attendance were most interested in.

Peneak became the first fighter in a year to defeat the seemingly invincible Sam-A Gaiyanghadao earlier this year and the win was enough to secure him the coveted fighter of the year award. He currently holds the Featherweight titles of Thailand and Lumpini Stadium and the Super Featherweight title at the Channel 7 stadium and people in Phattalung are understandably proud of him.

He had to weigh in with a full stomach in order to get up to 130 lbs and Saketdao looked to have a significant size advantage. In the first two rounds Peneak boxed beautifully, hammering away at Saketdao's left leg with low kicks and looking very confident as he fired in combinations of straight punches and easily evaded Saketdao's attempted body kicks.

In round three Saketdao came out with a solid left body kick right from the bell and looked to use his size and strength in the clinch. Peneak coped admirably with the onslaught but Saketdao was overwhelming him and by the end of the round the local fighter was being offered 50,000 baht to turn the fight around.

It was more of the same in the fourth as Saketdao landed the cleaner knees in the clinch and emphasized his dominance by throwing Peneak to the ground  a few times. At the end of the round Peneak was offered another 100,000 baht by the increasingly desperate gamblers who had backed him and he did mount a comeback of sorts, cutting Saketdao above the eye with an elbow.

Peneak felt he had done enough to claw his way back into the lead and somewhat optimistically sat back looking to take his chances with the judges but, to the displeasure of the majority of the crowd, all three did the right thing and correctly awarded the fight to Saketdao.

Another show is scheduled to take place in Phattalung on August 11th with a possible fight between Peneak and Petboonchu FA Group in the works. It was his second successive defeat after dropping a decision to Saenchai Sor Kingstar but Peneak is still one of the top fighters in Thailand and evidently a huge draw in his hometown of Phattalung.

www.twitter.com/jamesgoyder 

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