August 22, 2016 – Nakhon Sawan, “Kard Cheuk” fight card – full fight video above – video is not great on this fight. We were having camera issues, and could only live stream from our phone. We finally were able to buy a new camera so fight footage improved not long after this fight.
I got this fight on relatively short notice, as the owner of the Por. Muangphet gym has me on speed-dial in a sense. He has two fighters near my size, Gaewdaa and Rungnapa, both of whom I’ve fought many times, and it’s good for all of us because you basically have an opponent “in pocket” at all times if you have a card you want to get on. So Kru Lek called me and asked if I could fight Rungnapa in a couple days. I secured a car and said I could come fight her just outside of Bangkok, which seemed like a nice happenstance to help wash the taste of my loss to Loma out of my mouth. And my concussion symptoms seemed pretty good.
When we arrived at the hotel that Kru Lek had told us we could stay at to rest before the fight, not only did we not have a room afterall but I wasn’t fighting Rungnapa, I was fighting Gaewdaa. Fine, whatever. They’re not interchangeable, they’re very different fighters, but they’re both opponents I can fight, so other than it being not what I was expecting, it’s not a huge deal.
The ring was being set up when we arrived. It was a Kard Chuek card, which means they just wear the ropes of old Muay Boran style instead of boxing gloves, but Gaewdaa and I weren’t on the televised portion and we just wore regular gloves. Well, we wore ThaiSmai gloves, which I love. There was a lot of waiting around, but everyone in the warm up area was very friendly and I got to see some of the fighters come back in with tiny lacerations all over their faces from the binding ropes. I’ve watched the Kard Chuek of Thai Fight and always thought it was a bit silly, because you can see that they’re basically wearing MMA gloves underneath. These guys had their hands wrapped underneath, and the ropes cause some good bruising and cuts to the face if they’re not blocked properly. Seeing it up close, which you can’t see on TV, was a totally different experience.
Kevin says I was totally zoned out leading into this fight. The hours we were sitting on the mat waiting for my fight I was daydreaming and not focused at all. I couldn’t tell, but Kevin is very attuned to my energy and he knew it was bad news. He pointed it out to me and I said, “I’m fine,” which is basically saying, “I’m not going to address it.” I checked out and that’s my fault. I had a recent cut from my fight with Loma, from a headbutt, and while it was closed and the stitches were out, it’s very fragile for the first month after it closes. I was pretty checked out in the fight itself, allowing Gaewdaa to perform her “brat Muay Thai” (as one of my readers calls it), just doing the bare minimum to snuff my clinch and land a few kicks as she backs away, and I let her do it because I was not focused. In the fourth round we clashed heads and my forehead opened again, so now I was bleeding, albeit not from her, and that means I have to come forward with a different kind of energy, which I wasn’t prepared to do. Gaewdaa cleverly acted like she’d opened me with an elbow, although I know she knows she didn’t, and ultimately the cut made this already lame loss a total blowout. It was embarrassing. I felt like shit, but I’d put myself there.
I got stitched up afterward by some really top level ring doctors. I don’t think they normally work Muay Thai shows, like they were hired from a local hospital for a big budget show, because they turned it into a 3 man job and tried to give me anesthetic, which I refused. I think they were bored, so working as a team meant more of them could be involved. But they did a bang-up job and Namtan, who is the famed fighter out of the Por. Muangphet gym, watched on in interest and a bit of dismay as I got stitched up.
Not my favorite fight, but I got some phone numbers from promoters which will lead to more fight opportunities. And I learned something about taking responsibility for my shitty attitude. Gaewdaa’s “brat Muay Thai” is a point-fighting skill; actually just being a brat is something else, and that’s what I was rolling with. When you know better, then do better.