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The Varying States of Water in Pattaya

Played Songkran

Today I went to “play Songkran,” as it's called, in downtown Pattaya. (It was the last day of Songkran in Pattaya, it would go on to end in Bang Si Lee on the 20th.)  For those who don't know, Songkran is the Thai new year, and celebration involves throwing water on everyone you see. I wasn't prepared for the varying temperatures of the water, with some freezing and some tepid (some people put ice in their tubs of water), and I definitely wasn't ready for the revelers who smeared flour paste on the faces of passerbys. I had a decently powerful squirt gun, though, and used it liberally, filling it up at the water barrels people had dragged onto the sidewalk.

I left the gym at 11 and got back around 3 to train. A pickup-taxi had knocked into a water-pipe so I wasn't able to shower right away, but I made sure to wash the dubiously clean Songkran water off my body and the caked flour off my face before training.

There's a festival tonight, similar to the one at Bangsilee on the 15th. I'm quite tired so I'm not sure if I want to go. One of our young fighters named Superbon will be fighting, as will the boy from our gym who made his debut at Bangsilee.

 

[I ended up going. Both boys lost, but fought very well. Superbon fought a boy who was a fair bit bigger and older than him, beating him on kicking technique but losing a decision on power. It was Mong Guh's second fight, so he looked very raw, but his aggressive style looks well and is effective on the scorecards. The other boy fought a more disciplined fight, despite eating a lot of long kicks and punches, and took it on points. Shout-out to Mike and Elmira who, I think, recorded both these fights. If they did I'll get them up on Youtube.]


April 23rd

Training was postponed today by a huge rain. It reminded me of California. When I lived in Southern California, it used to be sunny then explode, with no warning, into torrents of rain that could last for days. The carpet at the gym was getting wet and and water was flowing into the shop at the front of the gym so we got out brooms, dustpans, and basins and started clearing out the water.

It was a lot of fun. I watched the water on the street carry along small animals. There were two toads and a big earthworm that looked like a baby snake swimming in the stream, as well as some curious insects. One of the kids pointed out to me a scorpion-like thing that had the claws and body of a scorpion, but no stinger. I looked at it, thinking, “What the fuck?” before someone picked it up in his dustpan and gently took it outside to set it down in the middle of the road. This was right before he smashed it.

Training went on pretty much as usual after that. We dried off and did bagwork and pads. I did notice some difficulty breathing, though, maybe due to the humidity.


For those who didn't catch the first entry, I'm currently at Sor Klinmee in Pattaya.

April 5-8

April 12 -- Daniel Fights

April 15-17 -- Festival in Bang Si Lee


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Rumble at the Reebok, June 11 Promo

Fans of stand up fighting in the UK can count themselves amongst some of the lucky ones, as they have a healthy community of kickboxing and muay thai. Rumble at the Reebok has put on a few shows now and is aiming on June 11th to promote their next big UK event headlined by Jordan Watson vs. Michael Wakeling.

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Shamil Zavurov vs Yasubey Enomoto: A Look at M-1 Challenge XXV and its delicious welterweight treat

By Daniel Fletcher

Yasubey Enomoto. Tremendous at his best, a mercurial talent, but both the three fight win streaks that represent his entire successful body of work in the sport were ended by extremely sub par performances, losing to opponents he was heavily expected to crush, and bludgeon early. The little known Tyler Stinson earned a surprise technical knockout over Enomoto in his fourth fight, and of course after Yasubey reached the Sengoku Welterweight Grand Prix final after three imperious displays, he choked against Keita Kakamura. Which Enomoto will show up – the dextrous striker who bitchslapped Taisuke Okuno at Sengoku 15 and then Saenchai-kicked him, or the man who turned in a dud in the final?

Yasubey Enomoto

Shamil Zavurov – yours truly wrote the hype feature of this prospect, a man with considerable pedigree in a variety of martial arts of both the grappling and striking variety. Please refer to: http://www.lowkick.com/Other/Shamil-Zavurov-The-Rising-Star-of-Russia-12275

As the piece notes, Zavurov suffered a “Fedor-esque” first defeat – with many putting that particular ‘loss’ in parentheses – which he bounced back from with a perfect 9-0-0 slate in 2010. That is quite an incredible achievement on the top European stage regardless of the quality of opposition, and even more so for the fact that his opponents just about all had winning records, with a total combined tally of 75 wins and 58 defeats. And he scored submissions, knockouts and decisions. He outgrappled them, outstruck them, and demolished them. They were supposed to help build up a star and give him rounds, yet for the most part they got dominated and swiftly dispatched.

In the frankly exciting signing of Yasubey Enomoto, M-1 have put together a really meaty matchup together, one that offers a range of possible conclusions. Enomoto is flashy standing, whereas Zavurov is more stolid; planting his feet and throwing power punches, often using them to close the range to get inside and throw his opponent. Enomoto kicks and clowns his foes, Zavurov has dropped some of his own with hard overhand rights and pounded them to the finish. What wins in this field; dexterity and style, and aesthetically pleasing attacks, or solid technique and uncompromising power?

In the grappling sense, Zavurov surely has the edge. The positional dominance he displays was recounted in loving detail in the aforementioned feature report (link above), and his world champion pedigree in Sambo adds a repertoire and fondness for both throws and submissions into his arsenal. His physical attributes help; stocky and powerful, a low centre of gravity for open-weight grappling competition at 5’10”, and athleticism as displayed when he reverses holds and scramble attempts. His physical package (no pun intended) suits his hybrid style.

Zavurov

One potential outcome could be the GSP/Koscheck scenario, only with Enomoto being more willing to take risks, and capable of throwing flashier strikes than Canada’s favourite son does in his now predictably dominant yet unexciting conveyor belt of title defences. If Zavurov cannot clinch up, or land a big shot on the feet, can he stop M-1 Global’s newest signing from taking the championship belt?

It should be noted that M-1 Global pulled off a major coup with this. Most big organisations would have pulled their champion from the card had the contender pulled out of the fight injured as Rashid Magomedov did, or found a replacement on short notice to carry out a glorified squash match. But in this case, M-1 found an extremely capable and dangerous opponent for Zavurov, and have pitted rising star vs rising star in a fight arguably much more intriguing than the bout originally booked for the card!

Also on the M-1 Challenge XXV card (streamed live on M-1 Global’s official website, http://m-1global.com) Vinny Magalhaes (7-5) and Viktor Nemkov (10-2) will compete for the vacant light heavyweight (205 Lbs) strap.

Magalhaes is one of the five best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in MMA today. That is no exaggeration; he is a special grappler. I’d advise readers to check his flying armbar victory over Pe De Pano in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling world championships (the guy who smashed Frank Mir back in 2006). Magalhaes is up there with Jacare Souza, Fabricio Werdum, Roger Gracie and perhaps Shinya Aoki or Demian Maia in the pantheon of MMA elites who you’d really be best served avoiding entering the grappling realm with at all costs. He is a bad man.

The most noteworthy fight on a pretty solid card outside of the two main events is probably the scrap between middleweight veteran contenders Andrei Semenov (29-9-2) who is looking for his thirtieth career win, a significant landmark for most fighters, and Luigi Fioravanti (22-8). Both are well versed on the European scene, and a win would certainly help one of them take a step closer to a shot at middleweight gold with M-1.

The entire card after the break.

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Kongsak Sitboonmee: The Best Fighter In Thailand

With Saenchai Sinbimuaythai now concentrating on fighting over sea's a lot more, and Nong-O in a bit of a slump, a clear #1 has emerged in Thailand. That man would be Kongsak Sitboonmee, the latest winner of the Thailand's Sportswriters fighter of the year, the most prestigious award that can be given to a fighter. He went a perfect 8-0 from March of 2010 - March of 2011. After going 7-0 he was paired against Pakon Sakyotin in a fight at 127 pounds that would determine the winner of the award. Pakon who is remembered for his ultra violent fight with Pornsaneh Sitmonchai from last year was also riding a great record coming into the fight, and a win over Kongsak was the only thing holding him back from grasping the award he has come close to winning before. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GncRVBMFM14

You can see the fight is competitive, even though it gets a bit ugly. It seems like there was a little bit of tension in both guys, and neither are throwing with there usual superb technique, though its still very good. I think a lot of that can be do to the importance of the fight. By R4 it appears Kongsak has got the fight where he wants it. Pakon who is a strong clinch fighter has struggles tying the bigger Kongsak up, but does get in his share of strikes at times. The left leg of Kongsak and his ability to not let Pakon get comfortable were the determining factors. While not super exciting, Kongsak is a very smart fighter, and throws a heavy kick. This style of fighting will allow the 21 year old to be around for many more years.

Next month he looks to start off another run at fighter of the year when he faces one of Thailand's best, Sam-A Thor Ratonakiat. 

For the sake of Muay Thai I hope he and Saenchai who will also be competing next month on the same card against Petchboonchu F.A Group.... again, (sigh) can agree on a suitable catch weight. Kongsak vs. Saenchai is the biggest, and best fight that can be made in all of Muay Thai. Lets cross our fingers and hope it happens.

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