November 17, 2016 – Loi Kroh, Chiang Mai – full fight video above
Having just beaten the champ, Thanonchanok, the night before in a somewhat un-credible and unexpected experience for me, I was riding pretty high getting back into the ring with Kwangtong. My lower leg still hurt from our last fight together, which was only 8 days prior, but I just made my peace with the fact that she was likely going to go after that leg again and I could do my best to try to block and teep on that side to mitigate it.
I remember sitting behind the row of chairs at the bar, so the light was a bit spotty, and looking down at my ankle while I wrapped my hands. The bottom of my left leg and the outside of my heel were this inky black from where blood and bruising had pooled down under my ankle. I put an anklet on it in order to kind of cover the obvious look of it, but knowing it was going to hurt and just being okay with that was the best I could do.
The thing about Kwangtong is she really likes to load up and throw bombs. It makes her pretty easy to read because she’s big and the wind up makes her look slow when you’re facing her. You just have to block or get the hell out of the way of those punches. But she times her right low-kicks really well and, even though I was bringing my leg up to block them or hopping in with that leg up, she just bashed the side of it anyway – it’s not a point in Thai scoring, unless I show that it affects me or a fall off balance, and I could mitigate the issue if I came in harder and faster, but she is big and it was a serious feature of the fight when I faced her. I remember feeling the sharp pain of every time she whacked me and just kind of biting down and keeping on her. I knew she was getting drained by my clinch and my knees were scoring, so staying close was really my only focus.
Even though I get a bit beat up in the back to back fights against opponents so much bigger than I am, I could tell that the promoter was pleased with having me on these shows – he’d invited me back up directly after my fight with Kwangtong last time, which was a quick turn-around for driving all the way back up to Chiang Mai, but a good opportunity for me. And I was so excited myself that I sent a message to Pi Nu, telling him Happy Birthday and getting all excited because I had the post-fight giddies.