Lea has been one of my close friends for years. She has made a recent trip to Thailand is now training out of Luktupfah Muay Thai Gym in Onnut Soi 65 for the past week.
She messaged me yesterday to tell me she was fighting at MBK and asked if I could help. It was a yes from me straight away because I knew that there could have been a language barrier between her and her trainer SamingNoi, and my ability to translate Thai and ring experience would help her in the fight.
MBK fight night is organised by Master Woody who was one of the founding members of Muay Thai in the United Kingdom in the 1970’s, he is also the owner of Luktupfah Muay Thai Gym. MBK fight night happens every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm, and it is free to watch for anyone who is interested in watching Muay Thai fights in Bangkok.
Arrival And Massage
I arrived around 5:30pm, I asked the promoter where Lea was and he pointed towards the tent on his left. I went inside the tent and Lea was already getting massaged by SamingNoi and a Swiss guy from Luktupfah Muay Thai. As soon as I arrived I went over to Lea’s head and said, ‘hey you’, she was happy that I made it, I wai’d SamingNoi and he told me to help massage Lea. I got straight onto her left leg, soaking my hands in boxing oil and vasline I started to give her Muay Thai style massage.
A Muay Thai style massage is a quick and tough massage that can consist of one to four people depending on the team. You use a mixture of Boxing oil and vasline so it makes the body part you are massaging warm and slippery. Slippery so the person you are fighting can not grab that part of your body easily! A massage before a Muay Thai fight is one of the best parts of the fight. After the team had finished massaging her front and back SamingNoi got me to do back cracks, I think Lea hadn’t had a massage for a while as her back cracked right in the middle with a massive crack.
After the massage Lea jumped off the massage table and her opponent jumped on, I didn’t know at this time it was her opponent until I saw them in the ring together. Lea started shadow boxing, throwing some teeps and punches at my stomach, nothing hard, just a bit of fun. She started doing the same with SaminNoi, even punching him a little bit hard in the head twice. was a little bit funny. 😀
SamingNoi went over some techniques with Lea, I think some were new ones as she got a little confused and started doing something similar but not what he was telling her. I had a quick chat with SamingNoi, and asked him what he wanted to show Lea. Me and SamingNoi went into a light clinch and I got the technique he wanted and explained to Lea. Lea did the same technique with him and got it right this time.
The gloves went on next. The gloves were lace-up, so getting her hand all the way in, making sure it was comfortable was important, because once the gloves are on, there staying like that till after the fight. Me and SamingNoi tightened and tied up the gloves and asked whether it was comfortable, she was happy and we exited the tent.
The first bout was still going on, so Lea went to sit down at the end of the walk way to wait for the fight to finish, SamingNoi was giving more advice, not sure how much was going in.
The first bout finished and now it was time for Lea to shine. She walked down the walk way like a boss and climbed under the ropes. She went to her corner and SamingNoi put on her Mongkol and she did her Wai Kru.
Lea had a good first round, her ring rust showed when she first started the fight as she was very jittery, me and SamingNoi shouted at her to relax and enjoy the fight. She looked like she wanted to kill the girl from the start, she had the devil look in her eyes. She was the aggressor all through the round, only being knocked down once due to a teep. Apart from this she did very well, using her right low kick effectively, kicking her opponents leg many times. Her opponent was taking a very Thai style approach of a slow round one. In the clinch Lea was more dominant and gaining a strong position, throwing knees into her opponent before the referee broke it up.
End of Round one
At the end of the first round Lea came back to the corner. Me and SamingNoi started to give her advice, she looked rigid so we told her to relax and enjoy the fight. She had been doing well with the right leg kicks, so we told her to keep going after the left leg. On some attacks Lea wasn’t attacking back so we told her that and every time she attacks you block and kick back, even if she kicks you or hits you, kick her back.
Lea looked more into her rhythm this time, she didn’t have jitters like the start of the first round, she was blocking and coming back perfectly like the advice we had given her. She was the aggressor again in this round, pushing forward, her opponent again was taking a Thai style of slow and steady. Lea’s aggression seemed too much for her opponent as she was fighting back very little, maybe this was the Thai approach of a slow round 1 and 2. Lea kept putting the pressure on her opponent, and came into the clinch, threw some knees and came out. At the end of the round Lea came in with more knees, the bell rang but Lea kept on throwing knees, I am not sure the referee heard the bell as he didn’t stop the action until the bell was rang again.
End of Round two
Lea had another good round, but her hands were low and she wasn’t setting up her kicks with anything. SamingNoi wanted Lea to kick with her left leg so he told her to step right, and kick left to her body as she had been effective with that once in the previous round, and SamingNoi was shouting it for half of round two to Lea, so I am 100% sure he wanted her to use this. Round three I could see Lea finishing her off so me and SamingNoi agreed that she should be more aggressive in this round and if the opportunity comes knock her out. Her opponents didn’t have any clinch so she should go for the clinch and knee her opponent in the body and take the wind out of her
No Round Three
Lea’s opponent had given up and Lea had won by TKO. What a way to win by making your opponent give up. Even if the odds are against you, you keep fighting no matter what because it only takes one strike to change a fight. I was happy for Lea. Her first fight back and she had won like a champ. I think it may have been a physiological thing of fear or not wanting to take any more damage that her opponent stopped fighting.
Some Thai fighters fight so often that sometimes its better to just stop the current fight and save yourself for the next fight with limited damage.
After the fight many people in the crowd congratulated Lea on her win. A Thai trainer from another gym came up to Lea and asked whether she wanted to fight his fighter, SamingNoi knew many fighters around Bangkok and said no way as the girl was more experienced and a much higher level than Lea.
Overall I am very happy that Lea won her fight, like any friend would be. She showed her aggressive style like she has always used in her fights. The ring rust showed but this is natural for anyone coming back after such a long period off from fighting. I can’t wait to see her fight again and if I can get down to it I will be there!!!