Fighting Muay Thai In Thailand – Everything You Want To Know

After my first fight in Koh Lanta I found out that I didn’t have to pay for training anymore. I officially became a sponsored fighter, even though I was a complete newbie and wasn’t very good. But, luckily, the gym owner was also the stadium owner, so he was happy to waive the price of training in order for me to rematch against the legendary, Big Boom, whom I lost to in my first match. At Tiger Muay Thai, after I fought for them and won by knockout, they asked me to stay longer and fight more.

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When Ray Elbe found out I’d started training at Phuket Top Team, he asked me to come back, “Whatever deal Boyd is giving you – I’m willing to match – I already told Minimac to contact you and make sure $$$ wasn’t the reason you were choosing PTT over TMT.” I seriously thought about it – it would have been a great opportunity to become a sponsored fighter at Tiger Muay Thai but, to be honest, I just didn’t want anyone to have control over me and I didn’t want to owe anyone anything. One of the stipulations (of being a sponsored fighter) is you have to train twice a day, six days a week and also complete a daily running program.

Personally, I like training and recovering on my own pace; I don’t think it would be best for me, my body or my fight career. So my advice is, even though it sounds like an amazing opportunity to become a sponsored fighter – if you can afford it – it’s better to keep your freedom and do it paying your own way. When do you know you’re ready for your first fight? The short answer is your trainer will ask you to fight. Since you’ll be representing the gym (and his coaching) he doesn’t want you to lose; so, if he’s asking you, you’re most likely ready.

If you can run 5km in 30 minutes or so and then complete a Muay Thai workout – including 3 rounds of pad work and 3 rounds of sparring – then you are likely physically ready. I also do the ‘burpee’ pyramid test, which I talked about previously. However, being prepared mentally is completely different. To be mentally ready, however, you really need to spar – hard and often. I suggest you spar at 80% with big 16oz gloves but treat it as a real fight. If you get rocked, cover up and continue. If you see your opponent starting to fade, turn on the pressure. You need to be able to recognize when to finish the fight – and have the will to do so. You also need to be prepared: to be hit hard, injured, exhausted and still keep fighting. It’s no joke. Sometimes, especially in Phuket, you might get an easy fight, but it can also be the toughest thing you’ve ever done and you need to be ready to face it.

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