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Buakaw Banchamek Walks Out, Enriko Kehl Claims K-1 World MAX Championship

  • Published in K-1

Truly fascinating night in Thailand tonight as K-1 held the K-1 World MAX Finals to crown the K-1 MAX Champion. That champion will hold the K-1 MAX/70kg Championship and go on to defend it against all comers. Many believed that Buakaw Banchamek couldn't lose against Enriko Kehl, especially after the showing last year that saw Buakaw dismantle Kehl and pick up a decision. What happened in the fight was much stranger than fiction, that is for sure.

Enriko Kehl came into the fight focused and was landing clean combinations and shots on Banchamek. Buakaw spent most of the fight catching Kehl's kicks or clinching him then dumping him to the mat. That led to Buakaw being in control in the ring, but not landing anything significant. Many believed that this would assure Buakaw an easy victory against Kehl, but in what is typical K-1 fashion when a fight is close, it was ruled a draw. Before anyone goes into conspiracy theory mode, those trips, dumps and clinches don't score points in K-1 rules. The official K-1 rules are that a clinch must be immediately broken or that a single knee can be thrown from a one-handed clinch. That is just the rules. 

The fight was to go to an extension round, the only problem was that Buakaw was nowhere to be seen. Buakaw, along with his trainers and manager Yim, left the ringside area when they found out that there would be an extension round. Buakaw, who has fought in extension rounds in K-1 numerous times now, knows how it works, so there really was no reason for him to storm out. If you were paying attention to Banchamek's social media and to the news leading into the fight, this behavior won't seem that odd to you, as Banchamek had gone to the press numerous times in the lead-up to this event with some interesting stories. Those stories include doubts as to K-1's legitimacy, him wondering if he'd be paid the money that he'd get from fighting in the event and even claiming that K-1 was involved in illegal gambling on the event. 

Curiously it was all done in front of a Top King banner, with Top King being the latest Thai promotion that Buakaw has signed with after falling out with Yokkao, Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai over the years. Buakaw was nowhere to be seen and the fight was ruled in favor of Enriko Kehl due to disqualification via forfeit. All of the credit in the world goes to Enriko Kehl who very clearly learned from their first encounter and made improvements and adjustments to meet the Thai legend on Thai soil in a fight that no one thought that he could win. 

Regardless of anyone's opinion on if the extra round was deserved or not, this was unprofessional behavior from Banchamek and not the first time that he had done something similar in K-1 (see the Zhou Zhi Peng fight in December 2013 in China).

UPDATE: If you watch the video above it is clear that Buakaw and his team left before the decision was even rendered. We received confirmation that Buakaw and his team left immediately after round three ended and jumped into a car without a word to anyone else. 

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Watch the K-1 World MAX Finals Here Live on October 11th

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand the K-1 World MAX Finals is scheduled to happen between Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl. The show will also see the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley in the K-1 ring. Join us live on October 11th to watch the event. The broadcast begins at 11:45am Eastern time on October 11th. 

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl

Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric

Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun

Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov

Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun

Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin

Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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K-1 Global Fires Back After Buakaw Banchamek's Confusing Claims

  • Published in K-1

My god, this whole Buakaw fiasco, right? 

If you are somehow blissfully unaware of what happened, on Saturday night at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Pattaya Buakaw Banchamek ran out of the building after the third round of the fight into an awaiting car, taking off without uttering a word to anyone in the arena. The only interaction that was documented was Buakaw walking over to his opponent, Enriko Kehl while his manager, Yim, shouted at the K-1 Thailand organizer from the ring before they were both ghosts. 

K-1 officials were prepared for something to go wrong in regards to Buakaw, considering that he spent the entire time after he was paid on September 22nd running the promotion down in the press, including making various claims against the company and attempting to link them to online gambling, but what happened was truly something that no one could have prepared for. The claims from Banchamek and his supporters have ranged from possible fight fixing, K-1 owning a gambling site being used to fix the fight, last minute rule changes and fear for lack of payment. 

Most of the claims have been unsubstantiated, including the fear of lack of payment considering that he was paid full and upfront weeks before the event. The gambling claims seemed like a misunderstanding, a straw man argument, if you will. K-1 was sponsored by a betting company based in Australia, but clearly had no ownership stake in the company and the site follows all regulations and will not accept bets from nations like Thailand where online gambling is illegal. 

If you were to objectively view the situation, you'd see Banchamek's shifting story, his association with a rival promoter who was upset with K-1's attempted advance into Thailand, you'd find it difficult to buy into it without any solid evidence. A press conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Thailand from Banchamek but never materialized, instead K-1's Ned Kuruc spoke with media where he denied claims of rule changes or links to illegal gambling at the event. Sadly this has become a game of he-said, she-said and the court of popular opinion online has already formed their opinions.

K-1 released a statement earlier today that hammered home the point that they are claiming to have not had any part in any sort of shady business dealings for this event and that if Banchamek chooses to continue with unsubstantiated claims against the company that they will pursue legal action. Messy, messy stuff.

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Buakaw Returns to K-1 Starting at the World MAX Final 16

  • Published in K-1

Buakaw

K-1 has been promising some big news for a few days now and many have believed it just to be another show, but instead it is the signing of one of the hottest free agents on the market today; Buakaw Banchamek. Buakaw has had some very well-documented problems over the past few years, from Por. Pramuk to Thai Fight, and has found himself unable to fight for whomever he wants. His legal issues have subsided a bit, though, as he found himself once again able to fight for promotions outside of Thai Fight.

Rumors have been circulating that Buakaw would sign with GLORY any day now, with some stating that he'd be fighting Giorgio Petrosyan, some saying that he'd be fighting in GLORY's upcoming Lightweight tournament and others saying that he'd fight for them in 2014 instead. It looks like none of that will happen as Buakaw Banchamek has instead opted to sign with K-1, where he will participate in the upcoming K-1 World MAX Final 16 tournament in September, which goes down in Mallorca, Spain. This is a huge acquisition for K-1 at this point

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Sigh. Here's Buakaw Banchamek Abusing a Puppy

  • Published in Muay Thai

Sigh. Seriously, there's nothing pretty about this. This is stupid, this is obnoxious, it's kind of awful. Buakaw Banchamek is a guy who has been through a lot of crap and has had fans really pulling for him throughout. I've gone to bat for him a few times when he was claiming to being mistreated by his former camp and right now it's hard to feel bad for him. Abusing an animal of any kind is a really, really awful thing to do. Everything from simply hitting one in excess to the more horrible things like dog fighting and using weapons on them is just flat out wrong.

So you can only imagine the horror at this video that has been passed around the past two days. In this video Buakaw is sitting with a dog and playing with its paw. The problem is how he's playing with the dogs paw. He's taking the dog's paw and slapping it across the dog's face, then starts to get more aggressive as he goes on, jamming the paw into its mouth as the dog audibly cries out in pain. If you've ever owned a dog before, you know the sounds a dog makes when its in pain and it's not playing. Those are the sounds that this dog is making. Near the end of the video the dog is literally screaming out in pain.

It's hard to watch if you are a dog lover, or, hell, if you are just a decent human being. As an owner of two dogs there is never, ever a situation that would arise where a dog should be treated this way. Ever. This is not only in poor taste, but this is downright animal abuse. We live in an age of social media where stuff like this should not go unnoticed, if you follow him on social media tell him that this is not okay. It's hypocritical that he's posting photos on Instagram of him cuddling and playing with the same dog and kind of bothersome to see people defending his actions as "just playing" with the dog.

That wasn't just playing, that was being a shithead. The video is below and it is disturbing.

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More Buakaw, Including GLORY Rumors

  • Published in Muay Thai

Buakaw MAX

Oh Buakaw. If you've been following his non-progress for the last few years you know how much of a struggle just about anything that he does can be. In many ways, Buakaw has broken the mold of a traditional Thai Fighter; he went and fought Europeans in K-1 MAX and did very well, he came back an international conqueror, left his camp, had a weird relationship with a promoter and a few sponsors before getting on the outs with them and then hooked up with MAX Muay Thai.

His court proceedings continue one, but it is important to note that Buakaw's contract with Thai Fight has ended, according to his Facebook page.

Outcome of today's proceedings in the Civil Court at Ratchadapisek - there will be another session to hear the decision on whether this lawsuit will be handled by the Civil Court or the Central Intellectual Property & International Trade Court. Buakaw also announced through his lawyer that he has officially terminated his contract with Thai Fight...

That does indeed mean that he is free to fight for MAX Muay Thai, as opposed to just doing exhibitions. The rumor that has been shooting around over the past few days revolves around a possible agreement between MAX and GLORY which would focus on putting Buakaw in the big fights that we want to see him in, including a possible Petrosyan fight in either Asia or Italy, and then Buakaw involved in the next 70kg GLORY tournament, which is what fans have been begging for now for a while.

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Buakaw's Time to Reclaim the 70kg Throne in Kickboxing

  • Published in News

Buakaw

The past few years have been turbulent times in the life of Sombat Banchamek, best known as Buakaw Banchamek, formerly known as Buakaw Por. Pramuk. The legendary fighter from Thailand is perhaps best known for his tenure within K-1, where he took home two K-1 World MAX Championships, cementing his legacy as one of the best 70kg fighters in the world. For fans of Banchamek, the last few years have been trying ones, as Banchamek found himself with tremendous personal and professional struggles that kept him out of the ring, or if he was in the ring, facing sub-par competition to keep the legend of Buakaw alive and well.

The first struggle was with his home camp, Por. Pramuk gym, where Buakaw felt that he was being treated unfairly and chose to leave. Well, things aren’t that simple in Thailand, with the bond between a gym and fighter being akin to that of an ironclad contract. Buakaw made impassioned pleas to the public about his poor treatment and how he, one of the biggest stars to come out of Thailand’s Muay Thai scene, was still living a life of moderate poverty and unable to visit his family at will.

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Buakaw: Boxer, Legend, Legacy Shows the Human Side of a Legend

  • Published in Video

Buakaw

Earlier today I got a chance, thanks to the film's directors, Timo Ruge and Gerrit Staron, to check out the new Buakaw documentary titled "Buakaw: Boxer, Legend, Legacy." The documentary runs about 47 minutes and is available to stream on-demand via Vimeo right now for $6.99 and I absolutely urge you to check it out. We know that the price tag might set you off a bit, but doing so supports the filmmakers, who have funded most of the film themselves and were simply looking to tell the story of one of the most famous Thai Fighters in the world in Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek.

The documentary is all based upon interview and behind-the-scenes footage of Buakaw and his camp as they train and show you what a day in the life of Buakaw Banchamek is really like. It starts off by following Banchamek in early 2012 in his hometown in his then newly-constructed gym after his very public departure from Por. Pramuk gym with some help from Thai Fight. You get a good inside look at the simplicity of Buakaw's home life and how, to his family and everyone in his home village, he is just Sombat to them, a fun-loving, caring kid that they've known for their whole lives.

Showing Buakaw in this setting really provides a stark contrast from the bright lights that we are accustomed to seeing him under, as we get some details on his back story and what led him into a life as a Thai Boxer. It is interesting to see interviews with his manager and trainer, who have known him for a long time, and to hear how his life changed thanks to Boxing. His good friend and trainer tells about how word got around about Buakaw fighting for K-1 and how it impacted his life to win the K-1 World MAX 2004 tournament for good. It is interesting to hear Buakaw talk about the tournament and then hear his friend talk about how they celebrated; with Buakaw coming home and taking him out bowling.

For many, Buakaw is a larger-than-life icon in the world of Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but this documentary does a great job of humanizing him while showing his personal and professional growth from just another kid who couldn't afford to continue with school to one of the most famous Thais in the world. You also get to hear Buakaw's take on why he has decided to challenge foreigners and what he wants out of the rest of his career as he is now transitioning into training his own pupils, although Buakaw himself admits that he has a lot to learn.

For the relatively short length the documentary is dense with content, although there are some gaps due to some of Buakaw's ongoing legal issues, but they artfully work around them and instead of focusing on some of the negative parts of Buakaw's life and career focus on the positives, which is refreshing. The documentary itself is tastefully done and tells the story of one of the best Kickboxers and Thai Fighters to compete and make a name for himself. Buakaw: Boxer, Legend, Legacy is skillfully directed, contains beautiful imagery and is mixed in surround sound with a pretty fun soundtrack. It is absolutely worth the $7 to learn more about Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek and to see him in a way that you never have before.

LiverKick highly recommends that you check out the full video here.

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Buakaw's Legal Problems with Por Pramuk Continue

  • Published in Muay Thai

BUakaw

There were a lot of question marks going into this week's Thai Fight event featuring Buakaw Banchamek and if he'd be allowed to fight. Buakaw not only fought, but he brutalized his opponent with a massive second round stoppage before giving an emotional appeal to the crowd. An interesting note from the show was that he was still being called "Buakaw Por. Pramuk," especially with Buakaw taking a lot of time to distance himself from the Por Pramuk camp, where all of the problems are coming from. There were a lot of reports coming from Thailand that Buakaw might be barred from competing, but fought he did. It turns out that Buakaw stepping into the ring might have opened himself and possibly Thai Fight up for some problems in the future.

The Bangkok Post is reporting that Pramuk Rojanatan and his son were preparing documents for a possible lawsuit and that there will be a press conference soon to discuss the issues. The Sports Authority of Thailand is threatening to suspend Buakaw as well as the Thai Fight organization for up to six months for violating the rules of the Boxing Act by not receiving clearance from Buakaw's camp of record.

No action will be taken until Por Pramuk files a grievance against Buakaw and Thai Fight.

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Buakaw 'Allowed' to Fight Again -- Will Fight for MAX Muay Thai

  • Published in Muay Thai

Buakaw

Whenever the name Buakaw comes up people want to know if and when he'll sign with GLORY, when the reality is that his life is far more complicated than just signing a new contract now, and has been for a while. Buakaw Banchamek, formerly Buakaw Por. Pramuk, has had his life become very public over the last year or so, with his struggles against former camp Por. Pramuk and then with former promoter in Thai Fight. Now he is fighting for MAX Muay Thai, although he hasn't been able to "fight" due to a court case against Thai Fight.

Buakaw has instead been fighting demo fights, which means just exhibitions that don't count as legitimate fights towards his record, but still have him involved in the show to put butts in the seats. In a way it is kind of brilliant, if not kind of obnoxious.

Well, according to this photo from MAX Muay Thai's Facebook page, Buakaw can now fight for them, possibly on the August event in China.

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