For those who missed the World Muay Thai Angels 57kg finale last night below are the full fight videos. World Muay Thai Angles was all female tournament that lasted several months with a marketing emphasis on the beauty of the contestants and a very hefty 1,000,000 baht (about $33,000) going to the winner, as well as substantial prizes going to the runners-up. This final stage was two rounds of fights on one night, with each woman fighting twice, the winners of the first round fighting in the final and the losers from those first rounds opposing for 3rd place. Unfortunately, Duannapa Mor. Ratana (Thailand), a very highly regarded female Muay Thai fighter by reputation, didn’t come close to making weight (she weighed in at 59.7 kg) and was disqualified from the tournament. She still took part in both her fights – she would take 4th place regardless of outcome from either fight -, but seemed to lack the will to fight in at least her final fight and ultimately refused to come out from an 8 count after some strong clinching with Teresa Wintermyr Sinbimuaythai (Sweden). The grand winner Chommanee Sor. Taehiran (Thailand) was pretty spectacular in both her matches, and her performance in both fights is worth watching; she wins in a very Thai style and remains aggressive throughout, though her theatrical laughing at her opponent isn’t something you see often in Thai performances.
I have to say that for some reason this tournament did not capture my imagination at all, which is incredible because I follow female Muay Thai in Thailand quite closely. There was just something about it that was “off” for me, perhaps in part because of how the whole event was seated in the beautification of the fighters but also in the performances themselves – I wasn’t very impressed by the first elimination event months ago and never watched the second round of eliminations that took place what seemed a few weeks later. The point of the event is an international sampling of attractive female fighters, which was exciting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is a huge promotion for female fighters with a big purse and lots of exposure (that’s all great), but the matchups did not result in super exciting or technically engaging fights. And the fact that as a tournament each fight is only 3 rounds this made it even less less interesting as it always does for me, male or female. My initial misgivings seemed to reappear in the final night as well, with only 3 of the final 4 fighters qualifying for the contest (something I don’t think viewers knew and I only found out about after). I wrote a little about my ambivalent feelings about how female Muay Thai was being marketed with so much emphasis on beauty when the first fights happened: World Muay Thai Angels and the Benefit for Women. One thing is for certain though, this was astronomically high prize money for televised female fighting in Thailand.
All that said, I fully acknowledge that I might just not yet be accustomed to watching female Muay Thai. Female fighters are almost never on TV other than the Queen’s Birthday in August and occasionally on Aswindum Stadium cards on Sundays. I see women fighting on the same shows that I fight (and obviously I am a female fighter), but there’s a big difference between watching Muay Thai fights live and watching on TV or online, which might explain some of my underwhelmed response to the tournament in general. There is a 50 kg tournament that started as 8 women and I was able to see the first round live in Chiang Mai. It was, with the exception of one matchup, very exciting. So, I can see how being able to watch World Muay Thai Angels live might have changed my viewing of it. I also fully own that not having to see it live and getting to see it on broadcast TV is a huge boon for female Muay Thai in Thailand. In any case I hope to see more female Muay Thai shows, and more from all these women who took part in World Muay Thai Angels, in the future.
And of course congratulations to Chommanee for her 1 million Baht prize money (and a new Toyota); Sindy Huyer’s 500,000 Baht and 2nd place; Teresa for her 300,000 Baht and 3rd place; and I’m sorry I didn’t see if Duannapa received a sum as well.
The fights below are put up by the incomparable AppleBee on YouTube who rocks it in posting female Muay Thai fights from Thailand. Do follow and support her.
Sindy Huyer (Ita) vs Chommanee Sor. Taehiran (Thai):
Chommanee Sor. Taehiran (Thai) and Teresa Wintermyr (Swed)
Sindy Huyer (Ita) and Duannapa Mor. Ratana (Thai):
note: Duannapa could not make weight so was disqualified from the tournament and could not win on paper, but fought just the same in both the semi-final match and the consolation match.
Duannapa Mor. Ratana (Thai) and Teresa Wintermyr (Swed)