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Irshaad Sayed the Latest Muay Thai World Champion To Try His Hand at MMA


MMA fans might not be too interested in Muay Thai, kickboxing or K-1 but they all seem to love a striker. Everyone knows that the best stand up fighters start off in pure striking disciplines and one of them will be inside the cage fighting for ONE Fighting Championship next month.

Irshaad Sayed is a WPMF World Champion and a WMC I-I Asian Champion who is one of the best Muay Thai practitioners South Africa has ever produced. Just like Vuyisile Colossa he now calls Hong Kong home and after making a name for himself as one of the best farang fighters at his weight he is starting to switch his attention to MMA.

The lure of ONE Fighting Championship, Asia's most prestigious mixed martial arts promotion, has proven too much for a number of top Muay Thai fighters and Yodsanan Sityodtong, who has fought at Lumpini and Ratchadamnern numerous times as well as being a boxing world champion, made a very succesful debut at the inaugural event.

Colossa also gave a good account of himself that night, finishing a Chinese Sanda fighter with strikes in front of 7,000 fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. On February 11th at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta it will be the turn of his friend and training partner when Sayed takes on the always aggressive Jessie Rafols.

The Filipino is much more experienced as an MMA fighter with a 6-2 record and has a wrestling based style which could cause Sayed problems. However the South African, whose only defeat was a decision loss to the number one bantamweight in China, will feel he has an advantage in the striking department over just about any 135 lbs fighter in the world.

In an ironic twist of fate he was only called up to take the fight after Ngoo Ditty, the man he beat on his MMA debut, pulled out and a subsequent replacement was also unable to compete on the card due to contractual issues. Sayed says he will be ready and believes that his superior stand up will make the difference,

"My opponent is good, very compotent on the floor but i dont think he can match me on the stand up. He's an agressive fighter to, so it will be an exciting fight. I'm really excited to be fighting in ONE FC, its a great opportuntiy for me and I'll make the most of it."

He showed just how good his stand up as when he made his debut against Ditty in a fight you can see in full here. The Thai fighter had only ever previously been beaten by Kevin Belingon, one of the best bantamweights in Asia, but Sayed absolutely took him apart with vicious combinations of punches before knocking him out cold with a perfectly timed knee.

It was an impressive performance but Sayed, who says his ground game has improved a lot since then, is not reading too much into it,

"I am confident going into this but the fight with Ngoo was a long time ago and I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm working on my ground game with Rodrigo Caporal and working stand up and wrestling with Vusi. Me and Vusi work together often, we both from South Africa and he is one of the reasons I got the offer to come to Hong Kong."

Sayed initially came to Thailand soon after finishing High School to train and fight Muay Thai but now lives and works in Hong Kong. At the age of 22 he has immense potential as a mixed martial artist and after falling into the sport almost by accident he is working on becoming more than just a stand up specialist,

"I got an offer to fight MMA for the first time against Ngoo in Macau so I tried it and I was successful and im just taking it from there. I would still see myself fighting Muay Thai a few times during 2012 but I'm focusing more on MMA now. I'm much more comfortable on the floor now, I have some submissions off my back and if I'm on top I look to finish with ground and pound. I hope I'll be a regular fighter for ONE FC, it's an honour to fight for such a big promotion so early in my MMA career and I will try and put on a great fight so that people want to see more of me."

With so much Muay Thai experience at such an early age Sayed has had the perfect preparation for an MMA career in the limelight. He is no stranger to taking on the best in the world and beating them and has at least another decade to improve as a mixed martial artist. That makes him a very scary proposition indeed for anyone in the 135 lbs division and if he can get his ground game up to speed his potential is enormous.

Alistair Overeem is set to challenge for the UFC heavyweigth title and if he is successful it would make him one of very few fighters from a pure striking background to hold a major MMA title. Sayed is some way of emulating that sort of an achievement but he has plenty of time to improve and could well develop into a truly world calss mixed martial artist.


Nathan Corbett and Frank Giorgi Defend WKN Titles in Australia, April 7

Two WKN Muay Thai titles will be on the line in Gold Coast, Australia on April 7. Nathan "Carnage" Corbett defends his title at -96.6kg  and Frank Giorgi will fight for the vacant title at -69.9kg.

Nathan Corbett will face the French fighter Stephane Susperregui. Susperregui has faced some good competition in Steve McKinnon, Nicolas Wamba and Massinissa Hamaili. There's no doubt though that Corbett his toughest test to date.

Nathan Corbett is of course one of the best fighters that sits right below Heavyweight at around 95kg. Corbett picked up three wins last year, all in very dominant fashion. "Carnage" prefers to fight under Muay Thai rules and that might be one of the reasons why he has trouble finding opponents as many prefer to fight in Kickboxing. With the future of the MPL up in the air, it's good that Corbett has a fight booked instead of waiting around.

Frank Giorgi will face Antuan Siangboxing (AKA Antoine Pinto) for the vacant WKN Muay Thai title at -69.9kg. Giorgi comes off a loss to Buakaw Por. Pramuk where he put on a good showing. Antuan is coming off a loss to Yodsanklai Fairtex in October. Giorgi is definitely a fighter to watch, after great and gutsy showings against Vuyisile Colossa, Abraham Roqueni and Buakaw Por. Pramuk. Antuan is only 20 years old yet has a huge amount of fights, fighting very often, including 11 times last year. Antuan has agreed to the fight and the WKN will confirm the fight this week. [source]



Thailand's channel 7 and channel 9 fights of the year

A few weeks ago I posted about the Rajadamnern and Lumpini fights of the year. Now channel 7 and channel 9 have each picked there fight of the year. 

First up is the Channel 9 FOTY and as always from Aswindum stadium. The bout was between Chartchy Kiatyongyuth in red vs. Singsuriya Alloysrinakon in blue. 

This is Channel 7's fight of the year between Petkarat Jitmuangnont in red taking on Anuwat Sithom in blue. I believe the prize for fight of the year at channel 7 is a shared 1 million baht between the two fighters. 


Rajadamnern Birthday Video's

Some fights have been uploaded from the Rajadamnern birthday show from 2 weeks ago.

Rataket Tedet99 (Blue) vs. Wanchalong Sitzornong (Red)


Rungrat Tor. Pithakonlakarn (Blue) vs. Luknimit Singklongsi (Red)

Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang (Blue) vs. Singthongnoi Por. Telakoon (Red)

Jomthong Chuwattana (Blue) vs. Kongsak Sitboonmee (Red)


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