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Muay Thai (403)

Saenchai Training BJJ at Yokkao Gym in Bangkok, Possibly Preparing For MMA

When you've conquered the world of muay thai as thoroughly as Saenchai has, what would be stopping you from branching out more? That's exactly what Saenchai seems to be doing as he approaches his 36th birthday. We recently saw him competing for GLORY under kickboxing rules and now Saenchai is rolling and training BJJ at the Yokkao gym in Bangkok, perhaps preparing for trying his hand at MMA.

Saenchai's name is synonymous with muay thai and his virtuoso-equse skills transcend the sport.

 

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VIDEO: Yokkao's Stefania Picelli Talks Thailand, The Yokkao Fight Team And More

Yokkao has been one of the bigger names in muay thai gear for the past few years, their brand extending beyond simply just gloves and shorts to all sorts of apparel, gyms, internationally-renowned fight teams and some of the most exciting full rules muay thai events anywhere in the world. Take a look around Thailand with Stefania Picelli while she talks about the history of the sport, the brand and the shows.

Stefania Picelli discussing YOKKAO, Muay Thai and her Thailand...

YOKKAO: why we do what we do!

Posted by Yokkao Boxing on Sunday, July 10, 2016

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Card for Muay Thai Grand Prix 5 Featuring John Wayne Parr

Muay Thai Grand Prix will hold their 5th event on Saturday, June 11th at the Indigo O2 in London, headlined by an international clash between muay thai legend John Wayne Parr and Pavlos Kaponis. The rest of the card features a string of Muay Thai Grand Prix championship bouts, with the Welterweight, Featherweight and Bantamweight titles all on the line.

Muay Thai Grand Prix 5

Official Full Fight Card and Bout Order (Descending)

Saturday June 11th @ Indigo O2, London, UK

 

-Main Event-

John Wayne Parr (Boonchu Gym) V Pavlos Kaponis (Diamond Gym)

FTR – 74KG – 5×3

International Bout (Aus/Gre)

-MTGP Welterweight Title-

Charlie Peters (Double K) V Nauzet Trujillo (Shoothon Gym)

FTR – 66.6KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Spa)

-MTGP Featherweight Title-

Matt Tieu (Team Tieu) V Kevin Vidal (Shoothon Gym)

FTR – 57KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Spa)

-MTGP Bantamweight Title-

Dan McGowan (Team Tieu) V Samb Madiale (Veera Boxing)

FTR – 54KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Fra)

-Main Card – Live UK TV-

Jamie Whelan (Double K) V Thibaud Duphil (Veera Boxing)

K1 – 58KG – 3×3

International Bout (Eng/Fra)

Bernise Alldis (Keddles/Double K) V Anaelle Angerville (Team Lions Thaïs)

FTR – 57KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Fra)

Carlton Lieu (Team Tieu) V Benito Thamas (Spain)

FTR – 63KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Spa)

Paul Barber (Double K) V Ian Houillebecq (Legions Gym)

FTR – 62KG – 5×3

Domestic Bout

Evan Jays (Double K/Team Tieu) V Jamie Ahern (SMTC)

FTR – 50KG – 5×3

International Bout (Eng/Sco)

Luke Whelan (Double K) V Fabio Barros (KO South)

K1 – 71KG – 3×3

Domestic Bout

Sevket Cerkez (Team Tieu) V Daniel Hardiman (Hertford Combat Academy)

FTR – 72KG – 5×3

Domestic Bout

James Toomey (Double K) V Liam Brough (Legions Gym)

FTR – 63KG – 5×3

Domestic Bout

-ISKA English Title-

Michael Pham (Team Tieu) V Micael Calunga (KO South)

B-Class – 68KG – 5×2

Domestic Bout

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WATCH: Yokkao 17's Liam Harrison vs. Tetsuya Yamato

Yokkao events in the UK have been some of the much sough-after events from around the world, with live audiences talking about just how amazing they were while the rest of us wait and wait and wait. It's okay, though, because Yokkao has been filming them and releasing them via their YouTube and Facebook. The latest events to be featured are big fights from Yokkao 17. What bigger fight is there than the Yokkao World Title fight between Liam Harrison and Tetsuya Yamato?

This is a big one, folks, enjoy.

YOKKAO 17 World Title: Liam Harrison vs Tetsuya Yamato

** YOKKAO 17 FULL FIGHT** YOKKAO World Title -65kg Liam Harrison (England) vs Tetsuya Yamato (Japan) Muay Thai Full Rules -65kg

Posted by Yokkao Boxing on Friday, April 22, 2016

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WATCH: Yokkao 17's Amazing Manachai YOKKAOSaenchaiGym vs. Luke Turner

Yokkao events in the UK have long-been regarded as some of the best shows around by those who've attended them. The outpouring on social media afterwards is always something to behold and it always bums me out that it doesn't air live anywhere. Yokkao always takes care of everyone, though, by filming the events and putting up the videos later. This fight is from Yokkao 17 between Manachai YOKKAOSaenchaiGym and Luke Turner is just one of the many and Yokkao has shared it via their Facebook.

There will be more to come, we're told, so keep your eyes on Yokkao's Facebook page.

YOKKAO 17: Manachai vs Luke Turner

** YOKKAO 17 FULL FIGHT ** Manachai YOKKAOSaenchaiGym (Thailand) vs Luke Turner (England) Muay Thai Full Rules -65kg

Posted by Yokkao Boxing on Saturday, April 23, 2016

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John Wayne Parr Comes to Muay Thai Grand Prix on June 11th

International muay thai and kickboxing sensation, internet nice guy and all around swell guy John Wayne Parr will be making his way to the Muay Thai Grand Prix ring on Saturday, June 11th at Muay Thai Grand Prix 5 as the main attraction. The legendary Parr will be taking on Greece's Pavlos Kaponis in the main event in a 74kg battle contested under full thai rules. 

Muay Thai Grand Prix have been making a name for themselves with their high production values and stellar cards at the O2 in London and look to continue with the strong push throughout 2016 by roping in big names like JWP. John Wayne Parr had flirted with the idea of retirement for a while but his concept of Caged Muay Thai helped to re-ignite his passion and he's been competing around the world all over again, proving that he's the iron man of muay thai. 

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Yokkao 20 Headlined Between Title Fight Between Jordan Watson and Reece McAllister

On Saturday, October 8th in Bolton Yokkao returns with Yokkao 20 and they already have a huge title fight lined up that will surely pack the hall with UK fans. That fight is a Yokkao 70kg World Championship fight between Jordan Watson and Reece McAllister. Both men are well known the whole world over and are obviously favorites within the UK. Yokkao has really carved out a niche for themselves in the UK over the past few years with these big shows in Bolton that have left fans and pundits alike awestruck with the quality of the events.

As the event approaches I'm sure that there will be further big announcements.

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Yokkao Planning to Make Full Use of Live Facebook Streams

For muay thai aficionados across the world there is no doubt that the place to be for fights and training in Thailand. That goes without saying, but technology has helped to bring the world of muay thai to a wider range of fans and fighters across the world. Yokkao has put together a comprehensive training center in Bangkok that features training regiments assembled by some of the top fighters in the world, including Saenchai, and fighters from Team Yokkao regularly visit and train at this gym.

If you were on the fence about heading off to Thailand or checking out Yokkao's training center Yokkao is planning on giving you an even closer, in depth look at what goes on there by utilizing Facebook's new broadcast feature to show what happens in their training center on a weekly basis. The first stream was yesterday and can be viewed now. 

Live with Singdam and Chanajon!

Posted by Yokkao Boxing on Friday, April 8, 2016

Don't forget to follow Yokkao on Facebook

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Muay Thai Grand Prix Inks Live UK TV Deal Ahead of MTGP3 on Saturday

In what the promotion is calling the first time that muay thai will be live on UK television, Muay Thai Grand Prix have signed a deal to air Saturday's MTGP #3 live on Sports Tonight. Sports Tonight airs on UK TV on station 244 and has a website with a live stream as well, http://www.sportstonightlive.com/. MTGP #3 will be airing on Saturday, live at 9pm UK time.

The event is being headlined by Damien Trainor vs. Adrian Lopez, Charlie Peters vs. Tommi McCormick, Dan McGowan vs Victor Saravia , Iman Barlow vs Maria Lobo , Jamie Whelan vs Paul Karpowicz, Dean James vs Hackim Harnes and the final of the 4 man GP.

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Tiffany Van Soest and Lion Fight's Crumbling Walls of Perception

If you were to observe Lion Fight Promotions from the outside, it would look like a healthy promotion that’s on the up-and-up. Lion Fight airs on AXS TV, has aired some tremendous fights over that span of time including some of the biggest names in American muay thai as well as big, international names. Over the last few months they’ve picked up even more steam when UFC and comedy personality Joe Rogan started to get excited about Lion Fight and talking about it on the Joe Rogan Experience.

Suddenly Lion Fight went from this thing that hardcore fight fans maybe kinda sorta knew about to the mecca of “high level striking” in the United States. That’s the kind of pull and influence someone like Rogan has. While I can’t fault him for his own tastes and opinions, nor the pull that he has with a good portion of social media fight fans, the hyperbole has been palpable since then, leaving Lion Fight in the position of untouchable darling of the fight scene.

Cracks started to form on the veneer of Lion Fight in January, though, when word broke that the United States Muay Thai Association, the organization that had provided oversight for a total of three Lion Fight events, declared itself “done” with Lion Fight. The claim? Lack of payment as well as cooperation from the promotion. Lion Fight was quick to declare that the switch to IKF for Lion Fight 27 was decided in advance, but the story sort of tapered off into the ether as stories like this tend to do for promotions that aren’t huge and in the national spotlight.

Word was after the event that there were some outstanding payment issues that were bound to surface, only it took nearly two months for anything to bubble up and pour into the public eye. In a now-redacted tweet and corresponding Instagram post from newly-crowned champion Tiffany Van Soest, she claimed to still be owed money for her Lion Fight 27 performance, which the company hadn’t made good on. So she was auctioning off her Lion Fight championship for $500 to pay some bills -- or so was the implication -- and people seemed shocked. The USMTA/IKF bait-and-switch was quick and happened without much visibility, but non-payment for one of their world champions? That was something that would catch some eyes. And it did.

Along with the recent, quiet departure of longtime posterboy for the promotion in Kevin Ross, things might seem a bit off within the realm of Lion Fight. Joe Schilling has gone on record publicly talking down the home of some of his most notable fights before he signed with GLORY and Bellator, going as far as to dub the promotion “Lion Fart” and within some of the more hardcore muay thai circles there are a lot of “I told you so’s” floating around. Needless to say, while the promotion might be picking up steam and exposure, with that exposure has come an increased focus on every aspect of the promotion. There has been talk of a “uniform deal” that sounds a lot like UFC and Reebok’s much-maligned deal, but there have only been whispers of complaints thus far.

Van Soest’s decision to come forward and call out the promotion was a power play, if anything. A fan-backed GoFundMe was launched almost immediately and far surpassed the goal of $500, with many within the community quick to rally behind her to help cover any costs she needed help with an wanted her to keep the belt. Van Soest is a popular fighter who by all reports seems to be done with Lion Fight and should be heading off to greener pastures in the near future, so there shouldn’t be any doubts as to if she’ll be fighting again any time soon thanks to how marketable she is. If she needed to borrow some money she clearly could have, although that isn’t the point. The point here is that the only way that she saw that money was by going public and taking scrapes at Lion Fight’s public perception, which at this point is one of their most treasured assets.

It worked.

This afternoon they were quick to offer up an official statement claiming that there was an issue when the check was deposited, but that they have wired her the money this afternoon to clear up any sort of outstanding payment. But, the issue here feels more complicated than that. Lion Fight owed Van Soest money and the only way for Van Soest and her team to see that money was to make a statement on social media. The IKF, who sanctioned the event after USMTA dropped off, even has rules in place that are meant to avoid situations like this:

Promoter is required to pay to the IKF Representative or Associate directly after the event weigh-ins and before the Official event Rules meeting in CASH or CERTIFIED Checks ALL PRO Fighter Purses made out to each PRO Fighter.

The Official IKF Event representative shall hold all fight purses and distribute them to all pro fighters AFTER the event.

Lion Fight is, for many young fighters and fans, something to aspire to, the place where muay thai fighters in the United States can strive to fight and earn their fame in. Legends and heroes like Kevin Ross, Tiffany Van Soest, Joe Schilling, John Wayne Parr, Cris Cyborg Santos, Malaipet, Cosmo Alexandre, Artem Levin, Simon Marcus and many more have fought within Lion Fight’s ring and while there have been more options for those inclined towards kickboxing, the same can’t be said for muay thai. Lion Fight is pretty much the only game in town on a quasi-national level when it comes to clinching, elbows and knees, utilizing the full thai rules and this is a major blow to that perception that they are the best stand up striking organization in America.

For now they still are, the only problem is that not all fighters have the same sort of voice or platforms available to them like Van Soest does. For the good of the sport here's to hoping that stuff like this doesn't pop up again any time soon, or if it does that it's taken care of behind closed doors, not in the public view.

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