Posted by Tommy Hackett on March 6th, 2014
Today, a regular feature begins here at Total-MMA, where we’re asking you, the reader: what do you remember best from our past month in the fight game? What was your highlight?
The UFC offered fans a solidly technical standup-heavy bout between Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida in Brazil, but it may have suffered from a repetitive nature, and a somewhat flat undercard.
Maybe, that sudden body-shot knockout of Sara McMann by Ronda Rousey in Las Vegas a week later shocked and awed you?
Maybe. But somehow, despite it always seeming like “history unfolding” whenever Rousey steps in the cage, it seemed a stale month for ZUFFA overall. Bellator offered a big knockout victory for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at month’s end, but it also failed to generate a lot of excitement. (The promotion seemed to make more headlines by nearly signing Gilbert Melendez.)
Maybe, it just wasn’t the biggest month for our MMA scene? To be fair, it wasn’t a big month for boxing either, (but that’s changing quickly with the Alfredo Angulo vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez PPV event this Saturday) and the international MMA scene was quiet, too.
In our humble opinion: the month of February 2014 really belonged to the wild world of Muay Thai.
You want to talk history? Muay Thai fans enjoyed the historic final show at the original Lumpinee Stadium, the sport’s Mecca for generations. Bangkok-based photographer Cedric Arnold posted an amazing gallery, “The Last Fight,” from that night, which everyone should see.
In addition, there was a star-studded opening night of the new Lumpinee Stadium last Friday, and the kickboxing world saw the return of Thai legend Buakaw at K-1 Azjerbaijan. In fact, with GLORY kickboxing on the way this weekend, we’re still in a standup state of mind.
Still, we selected something off the beaten path for “Fight of the Month.” It was memorable chiefly because we had never seen anything like it.
On 22 February in Hua Hin, Thailand, Yodsanklai Fairtex entered the ring against Keo Rumchong in a no-gloves, or “Kaad Chuek” bout. Yep, no-gloves Muay Thai, with a Thai legend in Fairtex — the winner of Contender: Asia and about every other accolade available to him — against a little known Cambodian opponent. Is it a bit of a “freak show?” Yes. Do we have mixed feelings about it? Of course. But watching the old legend using combinations of knees and elbows in a no-gloves setting is nothing short of incredible, and the heart shown by the outmatched Rumchong is stunning as well.
With a little morbid fascination, we present “Fight of the Month.” Check it out and let us know what you think.