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Photo of the Day: Buakaw to the Rescue

Buakaw Banchamek/Por. Pramuk (also known as Sombat Banchamek) is in a tough spot right now; unsure of when, if ever, he'll fight Muay Thai again due to his contract situation and suspension in Thailand. This being said, the reports coming out of Thailand are interesting, as there has been talk of him working on jiu-jitsu for a while now (not as serious as you might think, though), and recently his sponsor, Yokkao, has been publicly querying fans to see if Buakaw should go to GLORY or K-1 to fight again. Yes, he is suspended from boxing or thai boxing, but the athletic commission in Thailand, interestingly enough, does not cover Kickboxing or MMA. So if Buakaw does decide to stop fighting muay thai, Kickboxing is still an option for him.

He also has yet to keep a low profile amidst all of the mayhem, as he was recently photographed helping out a biker at a crash scene. Isn't he dreamy? When I first moved to Albuquerque about six years ago, I saw a guy on a motorcycle barrel into the bumper of a SUV, his tire getting stuck under it and him flipping over the handlebars. I promptly pulled my car over and along with the family from the SUV that he hit, help put a blanket underneath him and drag him (carefully) out from the middle of a busy I-25, before I ran back and rolled his [incredibly hot and kind of smashed up] bike to the side of the road. Nobody photographed me when this happened, but then again, I'm not Buakaw. Go figure.

Buakaw

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Contender Asia Veteran and Former Lumpinee Champion Naruepol Fairtex Joins Evolve MMA

nareupol
Evolve MMA announced yesterday that Naruepol Fairtex had become the latest top class Muay Thai fighter to join its impress stable of instructors. Already home to the largest collection of former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern champions in the world the camp in Singapore is becoming something of a who's who of Muay Thai talent with Lamnamoon Sor Sumalee, Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Muangfalek Kiatvichian, Orono Wor Petchpun and Attachai Fairtex amongst the trainers and fighters based there full time.

Former WBA Super Featherweight Champion Yodsanan Sityodtong recently made the move into MMA and Orono is also expected to make his MMA debut later his year. Standing approximately 5'8" tall Naurepol has been competing consistently at around 155 lbs since taking part in the original series of Contender Asia in 2007 when he lost to team mate Yodsaenklai Fairtex in the quarter final.

Naruepol has held the Lumpinee Title and the Thailand title at 140 lbs and also appears to have held a Lumpinee belt at a lighter weight. Although he only fights ocasionally these days he is still in demand on the international scene and has beaten the likes of Marco Pique, Cedric Muller, Soren Mongtonkong and Vuyisile Colossa in recent years.

He was scheduled to fight Andy Souwer in Singapore earlier this year but that bout was cancelled at the last minute due to some concerns over the promoter's ability to pay the purses. Given his age, size and the fact that he is not fighting too regularly a move into MMA would make sense for him at this stage of his career.

One Muay Thai fighter unlikely to be having a change of career anytime soon is Buakaw Por Pramuk. He is very much in demand on the Muay Thai and kickboxing circuits and commands higher purses than any other Thai fighter. If he did want to compete in MMA he would need to spend years studying the other elements of the sport such as wrestling and BJJ and would still be unlikely to earn as much as he does at present.

His dispute with Por Pramuk over the percentage split of his future purses and appearance fees has not been settled but Buakaw is still able to command significant purses for relatively easy fights so there is no reason for him to retire. He is believed to also be considering an offer from Evolve MMA but is highly reluctant to leave Thailand where he recently set up his own camp, called the Banchamek Gym, in his native Surin.

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Long Awaited Nathan Corbett vs. Steve McKinnon Rematch Happening On Sept. 1

It's been a long time since Nathan Corbett and Steve McKinnon fought, back in 2006. "Carnage" won via cuts in that fight, and fans, particularly in Australia have been bugging for the rematch for years now. It's finally happening.

Nathan "Carnage" Corbett and Steve McKinnon will fight again on September 1 in Australia for Total Carnage Promotions, which made its debut in April with Corbett in the main event, beating Stephane Susperregui. Corbett and McKinnon are the top two in Australia and both top fighters in the world in Muay Thai at 95kg and that's what weight the fight is at.

There was a lot of controversy over the weight, with Corbett originally wanting to do it at 92.5kg. That received a lot of backlash from the Muay Thai community in Australia, so the weight was moved up to 95kg and the fight was agreed to. Corbett apparently walks around 95kg and is wanting to go a bit lower in weight to fight but he's out to prove everyone that was criticizing him for the choice of original weight wrong, and props to him for it.

Corbett is fighting on June 23 at Kings of Kombat 7 in Australia against Marc Adrian of Romania, while McKinnon fights in a few days on June 9 in Bangkok, Thailand against Frank Munoz.

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Big Card At Lumpinee On Friday, Feat. Saenchai, Penek And More

It's time for another huge show at Lumpinee Stadium with the world's best Muay Thai fighters on the card. This Friday, June 8, there will be a ton of belts on the line in various weight classes featuring the likes of Saenchai, Penek and Singdam, just to name a few.

In the main event, a real mega fight is taking place between Saenchai (known as Saenchai PKMuaythaigym now) and Penek Sitnumnoi. Saenchai is coming off a huge win in March where he dominated Sagetdao Phetphayathai, a top fighter who had given him tons of trouble in the past. Penek recently won the Fighter of the Year award in Thailand after he defeated Sam-A and ended his unbeaten streak with a clear cut unanimous decision victory. Saenchai has to come all the way down to 127.5lbs while Penek will have the weight advantage at 129.

Right under that fight is a fight for the vacant Lumpinee Lightweight title, between Singdam Kiatmoo9 and Wanchalerm Oodonmuang. Wanchalerm seemingly came out of nowhere in December when he defeated Pakorn Sakyothin (now Pakorn Baanpiaoom) and has been on a tear since, beating Sagetdao and Petboonchu with the only blemish being to his opponent on Friday, Singdam. Singdam's last fight saw him defeat Nong-O Gaiyanghadaogym, with vicious kicks. Speaking of Nong-O, he'll be fighting Petboonchu F.A. Group. Petboonchu really struggles with Nong-O, having been stopped three times by him.

One of the best up and comers in Thailand, and even one of the better fighters, Petpanomrung Wor Sangprapai fights Tingtong Chor Koiyuhaisuzu with a one million baht bet wagering on the fight. For the vacant Lumpinee Bantamweight belt, Rattaket Teedet99 fights Nattachai Pran26. Wanchalong Sitzornong holds the Lumpinee belt at Super Flyweight (115lbs) and will be defending it against Choknamchai Sitjaagung. In the first fight it's another lower weight battle, between Superlek Wor Sangprapai and Palangpon Wacharachaigym.

Pentai Singpatong vs Superlek Wor Sangprapai

Wanchalong Sitsonong vs Choknamchai Sitjaagung (Lumpinee Super Flyweight Title)

Rattaket Teedet99 vs Nattachai Pran26 (Lumpinee Bantamweight Title)

Petpanomrung Wor Sangprapai vs Tingtong Chor Koiyuhaisuzu

Sagetdao Petpayathai vs Nong-O Gaiyanghaadao gym

Singdam Kiatmoo9 vs wanchalerm Ud-donmuang (Lumpinee Lightweight Title)

Saenchai PKMuaythaigym vs Penek Sitnumnoi 127.5-129 lbs

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