September is a busy month for Vuyisile Colossa, the man who is fast developing a reputation as the top Muay Thai fighter in the world of MMA. The main difference between the South African and most mixed martial artists from a stand up background is that his still competes in his original style of fighting at the very highest level and will be fighting in both disciplines in the space of a few weeks.
ONE Fighting Championship was the biggest Asian MMA event of the year and was witnessed by an audience of almost 7,000 people in the Singapore Indoor Stadium and many, many more watching around the world on an internet stream. The event was a phenomenal success and so was Colossa who put in one of the most impressive performances of his career to stop Sanda specialist Ma Xing Yue early in the first round.
Most men would have taken a few weeks off to enjoy the moment and reflect on a victory which will have been seen by more people than any other fight in his career. Not Colossa, he was back training two days later for a Muay Thai fight on September 25th which will see him take on Nishikawa Tomoyuk in the quarter finals of the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament which also features two times K-1 winner Buakaw Por Pramuk.
There can be few fighters in the world who would make two such high profile appearances in the space of a few weeks and if Colosas could follow up his win at Asia's most prestigious MMA event with another victory at the highest profile Muay Thai show on the planet right now September could be a very good month for the Cheetah.
He will also be coming to a TV screen near you on AXN's reality Muay Thai series 'The Challenger' although fortunately for Colossa the filming for this was completed month's ago. His focus may now be on his fight with Tomoyuk at Rangsit Stadium on the outskirts of Bangkok but it appears that ONE Fighting Championship's inaugural event left a lasting impression,
"One FC's first show was the beginning of the new age of MMA in Asia and I was honoured to be a part of it!! I had never fought in front of so many fans and they they gave me more energy for the fight. I was happy because I I wanted a KO and I got it but I was disappointed not to get knock out of the night bonus, scoring the One FC quickest KO in 49sec I think I deserved the bonus," he said.
Colossa can probably count himself a little bit unlucky not to have been awarded the bonus which would also have seen him pick up a $5,000 cheque but there will be plenty of opportunities in the future. ONE Fighting Championship have ambitious plans for expansion and Colossa is very much a part of those plans, having been told that he has another 10 fights lined up.
With ONE FC set to put on events in multiple countries during 2012 MMA looks likely to take over Colossa's career but he is determined to continue to compete in Muay Thai and feels it can only help his development as a mixed martial artist ,
"Muay Thai is what makes me stronger in MMA, as long as I am fighting in the higher level of Muay Thai no one in the world of MMA is going to stand with me. If you do you get knocked out!"
He is one of the favourites to reach the final of the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament although much will depend on whether he can avoid being drawn against Buakaw in the semi finals. Colossa has already recorded a win over top Thai fighter Yodsaenklai, coming back from a knockdown to win a decision in Guinea, but he might find it a little more difficult to win a decision over Buakaw in Thailand.
September could be just the start of a frantic period of fighting and training for Colossa who has multiple MMA fights on the horizon as well as the prospect of three Muay Thai fights, assuming he is successful in the Thai fights tournament. Alistair Overeem is a good example of a fighter who has managed to pursue a career in two elite level combat sports but the K-1 Champion and Strikeforce Heavyweight champion only needs to fight two or three times per year. Colossa by contrast is fighting multiple times per month but he feels that the more he competes the quicker he improves,
"I work hard during training, so that I can improve in every fight whether it be MMA or Muay Thai. To be at the top of the game is all about how much time you spend preparing for the competition and I feel I am ready to fight anyone."
Another mixed martial artist to try his hand at Muay Thai was Akihiro Gono who lost a decision to Yohan Lidon at the last Thai Fights show in Japan. Gono was widely tipped to be a participant in the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament but these rumours never came to fruition. However he was pictured in the VIP area at ONE Fighting Championship 1 leading multiple MMA websites to suggest he was on the verge of signing for One FC.
Although a fight between the two men in the Thai Fights tournament is not going to materialize they could yet meet in the cage a prospect which Colossa claims he would welcome,
"Akihiro Gono one of the great fighters from Japan and I would definitely like to fight him at One Fighting Championship. He never fought anyone like me and I am sure I would knock him out," he said.
It would be an interesting prospect as Colossa's stand up pedigree is vastly superior but Gono is an MMA thoroughbred who has faced the likes of Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes and Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua'. Colossa is already checking out potential One FC opponents but he also has his hands full with an innovative new competition he is organizing in Hong Kong, which will give normal working people the opportunity to become fighters.
The White Collar Asian MMA Championship is organized by City Fight Club, Colossa's business, and will give contestants the opportunity to train with the Cheetah for bouts in boxing, Muay Thai, grappling and ultimately MMA. There have been no shortage of applicants and Colossa feels it is important for people with more normal jobs to get to experience the thrill of competition,
"A fight is a moment which someone will remember for the rest of their life and most people don't get many of those at work every day. I want to give people the opportunity to get in the best shape of their lives and to feel the thrill of competing and testing their new found martial arts skills in front of their friends and family here in Hong Kong," he said.
The participants will all be trained by Colossa himself and it is an innovative idea which appears to have caught the imagination of people in Hong Kong. For more information visit: www.cityfightclub.tv