Lead Up and Background
Faa Chiang Rai is the Muay Siam Northern champion at 105 lbs. She’s 19 years old and has been fighting for a long time, carving a name for herself up in the north as one of the best technical “femur” fighters around. When I was training and fighting in Chiang Mai a few years ago I faced her three times, with a 1-1-1 result, and getting a victory over her that last time was a huge accomplishment for me at the time. You can see her place my fight record here. As I’ve been fighting up in Chiang Mai occasionally since moving to Pattaya, the match-up between me and Faa has been suggested and sought by some of the head honchos at the new Chiang Mai Stadium.
The Peungsiam Connection
The last fight I saw of Faa was on TV against Peungsiam maybe a month ago. Peungsiam is a fighter who only came on my radar when she took a contended victory over Phetjee Jaa on TV last year, maybe around April of 2015. I didn’t see the fight but it was a big deal and the O. Meekhun gym talked about it a lot as a suspect decision, they were furious with it. Jee Jaa didn’t get an immediate rematch. I then saw Peungsiam take a very clear and unquestionable win over the at-that-time 100 lbs WPMF champion, Japan’s Little Tiger on the Queen’s Birthday in August. She’s a good fighter. But when she faced Faa Chiang Rai on TV last month, which I did watch, I thought it was a clear win for Faa, yet Peungsiam was given the decision. The newspapers the next day said that a rematch was a perfectly reasonable demand, suggesting that it was a suspect decision. However, with Peungsiam taking away two dubious wins against both Jee Jaa and then Faa Chiang Rai, the immediate result was a match-up between those two, rather than either facing Peungsiam. That’s the fight from today.
Faa is bigger than Jee Jaa. The statistics posted on the TV screen said they both weighed in at 98 lbs (44.4 kg), but I’d put money down that said Jee Jaa was well under that. She was walking around at about 39-40 kg when I left her gym a few months ago, and though she’s grown since then she’s probably still close to the 40 kg mark. She’s incredibly strong, so giving up weight (and age) is the norm for her fights. I just don’t know what the official weigh-in number was for her. Faa is 19, Phetjee Jaa does not turn 14 until New Year’s Eve.
Faa Chiangrai vs Phetjee Jaa – The Fight
full fight above: PhetJee Jaa vs Faa Chiangrai – December 27, 2015
The fight went how I thought it would. Kevin thought Faa Chiang Rai would win, that her experience and femur style could beat Jee Jaa if she just stayed outside, and that her size advantage would allow her to stay balanced when Jee Jaa tried to turned in the clinch. I disagreed. I thought Faa was at risk of being KO’d by one of Jee Jaa’s clinch knees and that once Jee Jaa got ahold of her in the clinch she would be ground down and lose. And that’s pretty much how it went, minus the KO. Phetjee Jaa looks a bit nervous and hesitant in the early rounds, while Faa looks great and has confidence. But once round 3 hits and Jee Jaa really turns on her clinch, the tables turn. When female femur fighters like Faa fight their fight the result can be a very slow-paced, pretty uneventful fight. They minimize exchanges, take decisive points with counters and poise, and can cruise to a win. In that way the fight is decided by only a handful of actual points, really more so by performed dominance as Jee Jaa takes over control of where the fight is played out in the scoring rounds (3 and 4). With so few scoring opportunities, just a turn here, or unanswered kick can win a round. It gets too far away from Faa by the 5th and her only option becomes aggression. But she’s not a forward fighter and she ends up looking desperate and coming out with strikes that don’t help her. Jee Jaa’s tiny lead became a blowout, mostly from a handful of turns/throws in the clinch and Faa relying too heavily on “catching” a charging clincher and trying to neutralize. She backs up fine and catches Jee Jaa against the ropes, but Faa is probably used to the knees in the clinch being “one and done,” which is never the case with Jee Jaa. She knees, then knees more and turns, then knees some more. You can’t “wait it out.”
It’s a big win for Jee Jaa, against a well-known fighter with a good reputation on a televised broadcast. I’m guessing that this should mean a rematch with Peungsiam on the same show a few Sundays from now, but we’ll see. Ultimately though, the O. Meekhun camp has their sights set on Loma Lookboonmee, the best 45 kg Muay Thai fighter in the world, a top clinch strategist, someone they have been talking about for a long time now. Phetjee Jaa is quickly growing into a whole new pool of competition, all of them larger than her still, it could be a very exciting road just ahead for her.
The win was so strong I added and placed Jaa Jee at 3rd on my p4p 48 kg and under ranking list, updated after the fight.
If you don’t know who Phetjee Jaa is, here is the archive of the articles I’ve written on her.