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Fight 168 – Sylvie Petchrungruang vs Thanonchanok Kaewsamrit

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I've just watched this old fight of Sylvie's yesterday and I find it particularly memorable for many reasons:

- This fight like most of her fights happened late in the evening. The whole day prior to it (like for 20+ hours) she was badly sick with food poisoning. She couldn't rest; nor hold water down. She went into this fight in bad shape with pretty much zero energy.

- It was her second fight in three days, and she had another fight scheduled the day after this one. So basically, the four days went like this: fight 167 - food poisoning - fight 168 - fight 169. Damn. I hope I'll never come to a point where I'll just be reacting to her achievements like: "Oh 13 fights in one day while suffering from pneumonia? Whatever. It's Sylvie." Because whatever craziness she's up to is never not absolutely awesome. I must nurture my constant state of "being awestruck by Sylvie" forever and ever.

- Her commentary for this fight is so damn funny. I think it was after the second round, during the break, that she said: "I haven't pooped myself. So far, so good." Yeah, she had me there. I laughed a lot. Kevin sometimes filming everything but the two fighters is also funny. Maybe he's like me, and gets distracted by ghost cats.

- Despite being sick and unusually tired, she held her own against Thanonchanok - a world champion way bigger than herself and very strong. Sylvie beat her once in the past; this was a rematch. (Actually, as of today they have fought 9 times with Sylvie winning twice.) She said in the commentary something along the lines of being sorry this rematch wasn't going to be much of a challenge for Thanonchanok. Got to love Sylvie's concern for her opponent's quality time. It was still a close and pretty exciting fight. Sylvie was in a state of "I don't give a fuck about anything anymore" which I suppose was most definitely an asset. It's the kind of attitude she aims for in her fights. She doesn't credit herself for it here because it was not a conscious choice on her part. If it's a result of being ill, then it's just luck. Yeah but it wasn't luck that she chose to be in that ring that night. She could've stayed home to heal. "Fucking impressive" doesn't even come close to describing her strength.

This was her Post-Fight vlog: 

She also wrote a blog post about the fight, check it out for even more insights: https://8limbsus.com/muay-thai-thailand/fight-168-sylvie-petchrungruang-vs-thanonchanok-kaewsamrit

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Oi. In the still you can really see the massive size difference. She's so hard to beat because she's super skilled and expert at controlling tempo. If you give her size too (which distorts all scores), its an uphill run. That being said I have such a memory of this fight. Sylvie was really, really whacked. We went to our all-time most dependable restaurant in Chiang Mai and she had a dish she always has, and just got clubbed by the food poisoning, nothing you could do. But yes, there was no way she wasn't going to fight. We've treated every fight as precious, that's our motto. Sometimes the fights you really might think to pull out of are the most precious. This one gave Sylvie a lot.

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It's hard to care about anything when you feel as drained and unsure of bowel control as I did in that fight, haha. But it's a beautiful example, being sandwiched between two other fights, because it demonstrates how it doesn't matter. Each fight has meaning, and importance, but they don't MATTER. None of them... and somehow all of them. I was fine and fought, clinched with Pettonpung and then got food poisoning at dinner that night - terrible night and day, fight, then I'm okay again the next day (albeit tired) and you go fight again. It's like 0 and 1, as if fights are a binary, "good" or "bad," win or lose. None of them are like that.

I did laugh when you said you fear the day that you just react with "ho hum" to feats like this, because that's how I respond to my own achievements sometimes. I need friends like you for perspective. So, thank you for that.

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