Thursday, February 28, 2008

Episode 7,The saddest day of my life relived!!!

Right....this is a real hard one to write. As I was pretty much watching the show almost hiding behind a pillow!!! As the title states,it was the saddest day in my life being relived. So here goes guys.

Jabba coming back into our room was an awkward one. I think some guys thought he lost too and he knew that he had a really messy fight. He was really upset about it and he was pretty quiet for awhile. I remember him saying to me. "This is a good wake up,now I start training harder!" He had taken it easy sleeping in during the mornings. And he knew that he was huffing and puffing in the 3rd already.

At the beach where the challenge was,I think when Zidov became captain lady luck really shone on him. Firstly breaking the losing streak the Wild Boars had been on. I sat out this challenge coz I knew if we won Id have picked Zidov...and if we lost he'd pick me. The challenge was a really tiring one,I remember watching Yukay stagger out of the water and he was almost blue!! Funniest thing about that challenge had to be SEAN!!!! If you watch it again he was doing BREAST STROKE!!....hahah he came out and he said,"It's freezing in Scotland so I never swim!!!" hahah

Their reward.....was well..hahah OK in my opinion. haha I mean we got $500USD and we got another shopping spree at Courts!!! I remember JWP jokingly said to the boys,"when I wake up in 5 months time and I look at my iTouch I'll remember where I got it from. But you guys will have shit your reward out by tomorrow morning!!!" hahah So that made us feel better about losing!! haha

So we made our own reward!!!Pitu made an AWESOME meal,that guy can seriously cook!! So we thought we should dress up in our suits and shirts just for the heck of it. I think the viewers finally got to see the fashionable side of us!!Usually it's the muay thai shorts,tshirts,sweat jacket.....or just a towel!Yodasaenklai was the "Mafia from Thailand",Soren looked like a Doctor,JWP was the Real Estate Agent,Jabba was the Oil Prince of Dubai,Pitu was the Colombian Drug lord and I was I think the Banker?? hahah We were reaaaaaaaaaaaaaallly bored!! haahah. I think when we all of us made that speech we knew we were all gonna be really good friends or should I say BROTHERS. The Wild Boars came back and were totally surprised to see us all dressed. So we all took pics and it looks like something out of K-1 when the fighters are at the Press Conference. Well as I said Delibration was no surprise and Zidov picked me. We have both been waiting awhile for this to happen.

So night before the fight I took the Tiger Kings to Newton Circus for some local delicacies!! Chilli Crab,Kailan,Stingray,Murtabak,Satay,Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawns!!! We ate soooo much!!! Actually Yodsaenklai ate so much!! haha He even took home the left overs!!! Was funny when I made that dumb joke,"Im gonna Sting like a Stingray!!".....and JWP goes,"Crikey!! thats a bad joke!!" hahahah He's the worst at telling's so weird that it's painfully funny in a way!!

On fight day the guys all got haircuts at Toni & Guy....The funniest thing for me was when Zidov said,"So we went to the BARBER!!!" He had just called one of the most expensive hairdressers in Singapore a BARBER!!! hahaha Got a text from my sponsor after 2 mins of him saying that!! hahah They all got reallly cool haircuts done....Zidov,Jabba and Soren had reallly cool ones!! I actually didn't go coz it was the day of the Fight. And plus Pitu was cooking Paella(Spanish Rice dish)!! hahha!!

A few moments before the fight,in the dressing room. I was just discussing with JWP and my thai trainer about what to do. And as we talked over dinner the night before they just said,"Move around for the first 2 rounds,keep your distance and kick hard." I remember Stephan Fox coming in and saying to me,"Zach we've gone to many places together for fights,Ive seen you fight since you were 18. I don't have to tell you what to do now.You know what to do tonight."

It was SHOWTIME. I saw Zidov walk out from the dressing room he gave me a high five and he walked into the Arena. I heard the crowd cheer and I was thinking...."Wonder what it's gonna be like for me???" So this was one of the coolest moments for me,walking out with JWP a LEGEND in this sport. Having him lead me out....having him done my wraps ...I felt GOOD!!! The crowds cheer was AMAZING!! No doubt the best venue I've ever fought at!!! Was totally ready to get it on!!

So we finished our "Wai Kru" and it was time!! Straight into the game plan. Just let him come forward,jabbed,push kicked kept my distance and then smash a kick into him. I remember landing the Jabs straight into him. I remember landing a good left hook as I side stepped him. I remember landing a massive leg kick that threw him of balance. And I definetly remeber clinching with him and throwing him off balance into the ropes and landing a sweet left kick! It was all going GREAT!! Perfect like what the guys said to me in the corner. I remember Soren saying to me,"Double up on your leg kick when he is off balance". I acknowledged.

Round two.....I started off with a left kick. Then moved around and I think I threw a jab and POP my shoulder was out. And my LEFT?!!??! I remember standing there and the pain was just UNREAL!!! (After the fight my doctor said,"If you weren't high on adreneline,the dislocation you had was so bad that a normalperson would be screaming on the floor") I remember forcing it and wriggling it back in. The doctor checked and he said,"You ok?" I said,"Im ok lets go!"........After this all I remember saying to myself was..."FUCK I GOTTA KNOCK HIM OUT!!"....I dont remember ANYTHING about the fight after.....watching it was just weird....??? I was in soo much pain I couldn't remember anything but thinking to myself,"I gotta knock him out!!"but as I tried to keep my distance and trying to punch for some dumb shoulder came out another two more times!!!! The ref finally had to stop...My heart sank to the bottom of the floor....I don't blame him for stopping is the right thing to do,I was just damaging myself over and over and over.

I wish the bell had went and I had a minute just to calm just remember not to punch at all!!...And just kick!!!.....but lady luck just wasn't on my side. She was definetly on Zidov's!!!! I learnt the hard way that,If it's not meant to be your's not meant to be your night!!! I remember making a speech and I sorta remember it....but I remember the cheer the crowd gave. Was even louder than when I walked into The Arena! I remembered walking out of the ring and Jabba pulled me and said,"Zach everything happens for a reasons,Allah has better plans for you! Trust me!" I hugged him saying thanks and even tho finding it hard to believe what he said at that time. But he was right!!!

I have had shoulder operations on both shoulders!! And they were all covered by the Contender insurance company. As both dislocations happened on the show. DAY 1's challenge and Soren fell on top of me. That dislocated my right shoulder and Im totally surprosed that it was not at all mentioned in the show?!?!!? I never had a problem with my right for 4 years til that ridiculous challenge. I never had a problem with my left shoulder til that night fighting Zidov.

The nicest looking sad picture!!! (weird)

Sitting in the room I remember thinking to myself,"This might be it...I can fight without punching on my right,but I can't not punch with BOTH!!...I might just have to quit......" And thats when I started crying.........It really felt like that might have been the end for The Contender Asia and my fighting career when it's at it's highest!!......

Walking out I remember saying bye to the producers and staff. I only got to say bye to Jabba in the ring...and JWP as he came to help me out at the end. It was just crap...knowing that I was doing so well dispite all the setbacks I've had with the fall and with so little experience compared to the others. I hope that I showed everyone that even though it was only for that little time,that I wasnt just a push over out of the 16th Fighters and that I could have given any of them a decent fight.

Thank you everyone who has contacted me,posted comments and wrote in the chat box with kind words and such supportive feedback. It really means alot to me knowing that I have support from soooooo many people from all over the world and not just from my fellow Singaporeans!!

Thank you so sooooo much everyone!!

Anyways,I'll be writing about the all that in the next blog. And I still will blog about the show as I got to see everyone after they lost their fights so keep checking back on my blog.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Endorsement Deal & Episode 6

Last day of Chinese New Year so just back from my last "Yu Sheng" with my family. My sis just got back after spending a month in The Netherlands with my mom so it was our first "Yu Sheng" together. This has got to be like my 8th or 9th "Yu Sheng" for this year!! I gotta say all the wishing for prosperity,luck and all that seems to be working!!!

On Wednesday morning I had a meeting with the sales and marketing guys of Asics. We were discussing a deal so that I would be sponsored by them as one of their Athletes. This really meant alot to me as I have always been a massive supporter of the brand Asics. I have converted alot of my Personal Training clients to start using Asics and have not looked back since!.

Asics are just so much more comfortable and it gives alot more support and cushioning when running. I used to think anything with a sole and anythig that covered your toes were considered running shoes!!?! But until you've put on a pair of Asics,only then will you understand why all serious/top runners all around the world wear Asics. Im not saying wearing Asics will make running easier!! However wearing proper shoes will prevent you from getting common running injuries!! I do a total of 12km a day when Im training in Singapore. (But when Im in Thailand,12km is only the Morning run!!!) So if you intend to have your legs kept in good condition for kicking your opponents,it really is important to know what shoes to wear,what shape your feet are and how you can prevent these minor injuries that could possibly lead to major issues!! The amount of research that goes into Asics shoes are amazing. I remember watching a documentary on Discovery Channel and they dropped an Egg on to the GEL that is in the Asics shoes from a good height and it didnt break!!! How amazing is that!?!??

Watch the documentary here!!

So the deal has been confirmed and I will be picking up my new gear next week,I can't wait!!! Thank you Asics sooooo much for the oppurtunity!!! And Thanks Lance for helping me get in contact with them!!

On to Episode 6. As Alain left us the place was slowly begining to feel empty,especially during training times. There was more time on the pads with the trainers and they could finally start to focus abit more on us at training. Initially there was just not enough trainers for all 16 of us. So was finally good to get more time to do pad work. Love the bit where Fox shouts at Pitu,"My mother kicks harder than you!!"....and just when you thought the insult was over he goes,"And She's 70!!" haha Gotta love Fox!!

Challenge at courts was a pretty interesting one. Just for all of you wondering what were in the boxes. No there weren't any electronic goods in there. Actually they were BRICKS and I think each box weighed about 15 - 20kg? I remember us leading at the start,where we had to move it from the truck to the Dolly Puller. But really gotta give credit to David,he totally caught up with JWP!! I mean JWP said,"I thougth Dolly PULLER so I pulled!!" haha and also we there was a rule that if one of the boxes fell off we'd have to start from the begining again!! So think JWP was being careful about going too fast. But lucky we were fast at moving the boxes over at the end!! We won by like 1 or 2 secs!!! The Blue team were veryyyyyyyyyyyyy upset with this loss. I mean it was like 4 losses in a row. They didn't get any rewards and were stuck in The Loft alot of the time. It reallly got to them. They managed to convince the producers and all to take them on a Go-kart outing coz they were so down!! (Look out for the web exclusive on youtube)

Deliberation was decided quickly as we all agreed that David was the main strength behind their team. And he showed that again at the Challenge this time. We actually wanted to pick him already last week. However Soren really wanted to fight that night and as it came down to the draw of straws,Alain was picked first. So this week was it for David. I was actually getting tired and burntout as I've been wanting to fight for 3 weeks now and everytime we win they tell me I gotta wait.

At Revelation when Jabba picked David. David did his little "joke" handshake and that did not impress the Red team (not even the Blue team!). Jabba was particularly NOT happy. We all thought it was reallly childish,it was like something we did when we were 10. Actually what wasn't shown was I think David did shake his hand later,but he turned around and said in a pissed off manner to all of us,"I dont like being lied to?!!?!"....All of were clueless what the hell that meant?!?!?...But yeah all that didn't go down too well with the Tiger Kings. Think the last few days with David in the house had a funny feeling in the air.

What can I say about Jabba....Meanest & hardest looking guy in the house,yet the nicest person you could meet and most loyal brother you could ever have on your side. I think in the house me and him got along probably the best. After his fight with Rafik I calmed him down,after JWP chose Rafik, he was really upset and I talked to him too. I remember in one of my interviews they asked me about Jabba and I said,"Jabba the underdog of the famous fighters in the house". He has fought some BIG names in Thai Boxing. Jomhod,Wanlop and evern Buakaw (YES BUAKAW!)

Another thing I look up to Jabba is that he is such a devote muslim. He wakes up at 5.30am to do his the first of 5 prayers that a muslim performs everyday. Also every Friday he goes to the Mosque without fail. For all those that don't know Im muslim too and I say my prayers my father taught me and I do my best to be a good muslim....But Jabba takes it to a whole different level!! So when he asked me to help him remove his arab headress after the "wai kru" I felt really privileged. I remember just before removing the arab headress,when we both said our prayers it felt really different ad very spiritual for me this time.

I think everyone agrees that,David vs Jabba's fight was by far THE most exciting one!! True warriors til the end. The fact that both of them got cut and blood was gushing out of their heads made it even more entertaining!! (Things we fighters go through to entertain the crowd!!)

Alot of people ask me why Jabba won. I would say that Jabba looked alot more in control of that fight. His grappling skills totally amazed me that night. I remember watching David in training and he always looked very strong in the clinch,but Jabba took David to school that day in the clinch!!! (Love the bit where he's got David half out the rope and he thrust his hips on Davids ass and has a cheeky smile...!! haha Classic!!) In Muay Thai you get alot of points for good clinch throws/sweeps coz it shows DOMINATION. Shows you have better technique,knowledge and control of your oppenent. I mean David was awesome too in other departments,good boxing and he landed some heavy leg kicks on Jabba in the 1st & 2nd but when Jabba started blocking them and countering and throwing combos he just looked alot sharper.

As for the point deductions. Maybe the first one where Jabba landed the knee to the groin I can understand coz I think he got warned once. But it was more out of tiredness rather than malicious. The kick to the head...Jabba stopped his kick in time I remember,it just "LOOKED" vicious on TV. Those who do Muay Thai will know that you learn to clinch,throw and as your opponent is going down/or down you throw a knee or a kick. Again I do think he did it coz it was just what we're trained to do and so used to doing. However if you wanna argue about deducting a point then the ref should have also deducted from David when Jabba was half out of the ring and David slammed an elbow down on Jabbas back...??

All is said and done,but I know that a rematch will definitely be a dream fight for all fight fans!!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Episode 5

Episode 5 was quite a fun one for us. Started off with Yoddi coming back in the room saying that he got dizzy from watching Bruce running circles around him!! haha I've known Preacher for awhile now (actually met him in Bkk 2001 and it was then why I realized why they called him "PREACHER"!!) I think the world didn't get to see the REAL Bruce Mcfie that night, Ive seen him fight a couple of times before, and this fight against Yoddi really wasn't his best.

Another fight out of the way another challenge the next day. Good old Tug-O-War!! It actually took us about 5mins or so to pull the damn truck. Felt like forever!! We thought we were gonna be there all day when we started!! At one point it just wasn't moving at all!!......Jabba at one point I remember even stopped pulling and shouted,"One minute break please!!!!" haha but Credit goes to Pitu for this challenge. We had bad technique at first as we kept going "Pull,Pull.Pull" and that reallly tired us out. Pitu then said stop pulling and just bring our weight down low and lean back all the way. And next thing you know we had the truck rolling our way!! If you watch the Episode again watch JWP at the back, he's like crouched under a truck coz he ran out of space!! haha

On our way back to the loft, coz they hadn't told us about what the reward was all of us were guessing. We thought maybe it was a chance for us to use the phone and call our loved ones or a nice massage,or even a tailor to do us up some nice suits!?!! So when we saw the laptops we thought "OHHHHHH YEAH!! We got a Laptop!!"... But it wasn't, We had won USD$500 shopping spree on Ebay!!! It was crazy coz we didn't even know what to buy and there were so many things you can buy on Ebay. We sat there for ages!! We were all getting very crazy ideas on what to buy at first haha....Porn,Blow Up Dolls and Strippers(not that you can that in Singapre!!)!! Yes being in a house with 16 men for awhile with no TV,News,Magazines and no ALONE time!! It can get very boring!! haha The Blue team came down and they were sooooo annoyed when they found out that we had won USD$500!!! I remember them training and were hitting the pads extra hard that afernoon!

Im trying to remember what we all bought with the reward. I bought my Serato Scratch Live. I think Jabba and JWP bought an iTouch as it just got released then. Pitu bought a PSP and some games for his son. Soren bought a portable DVD player. Yoddi bought a camera and yeah he bought a Liverpool Soccer Jersey for Naruepol which all of us thought was very nice of him.

Deliberation was funny. Jabba, Soren and Me wanted to fight so that we could just get it over and done. But I think it was fair that it came down to drawing straws. Funniest bit about deliberation was the bit where Jaymee goes,"So who's got the longest stick!!" hahahah cheeeky!! He picked Alain coz there had been talk about the rematch. I have to say Alain was unlucky in the house having had his Crohns disease act up on him. He was literally in the toilet for maybe an hour in the morning,afternoon and evening. So I think thats why he never really got much coverage on the show.

The fight was pretty one sided and Soren was just far more technical in every aspect. I've also known Soren from a few years back having trained together in WMC Samui. Ive seen a few of Soren's fight and he has improved tremendously now that he lives out in Bkk. Training and fighting out of a very awesome gym that I used to train at for abit as well. I also think his win against the 2 legendary Thai fighters Orono and Jomhod brought his confidence and game to another level. He's fighting style and his personality has changed sooo much from when I last saw him in 2004?

Seems like the Aussies just keep getting better and better at this sport!!

Aussie Ausse Aussie!!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mixing it up.

Day 2 of CNY abit of free time before my Lunch with some friends at the Goodwood Park Hotel.

My friend (DJ buddy and promoter) Kelvin who runs Stellar Music has decided to upload my Promo mix I did last month for one of the clubs here in Singapore. Stellar Music has uploaded some exclusive sets from World famous DJs like Kosmas Epsilon (Greece),Lexicon Avenue (UK)(Not to be confused with Madison Avenue!!),Jaimy D (Holland) to the awesome talents we have in Asia and even tiny little Singapore. Ive DJed on a few Stellar Music gigs and it usually gets a pretty mad turnout. Pity that Kelvin is now based in London!! Damnit.....Now I gotta go and get gigs myself!!

The Promo mix I sent out to the club's music director got a pretty good response and hopefully I will get a monthly residency soon. It's a housey - electroish mix so all you hip hop and retro mambo jambo lovers. Im sorry!! (No Im not really)

Funny enough this is my FIRST ever mix Ive recorded after having DJed for so long. I used to hate recording my mixes coz there'd always be bits that I didn't like or had to re-do. By the end of it Id be so sick of re-doing it I'd give up!!

But DJing has come a LONG way. For me it was starting from 12" vinyls on my Technic 1210s to Cds on my Pioneer CDJ1000s. And now I use the DJing software/hardware Serato Scratch. Before you say,"Ohh he uses his computer to do the DJing thats not DJing....!!" Read up on what it is. Serato Scratch is such an amazing invention!! Check out the video to see what I mean.

Basically Serato Scratch has a software that you download into your laptop. You connect your laptop to the Serarto interface(Blackbox) and you connect your CDJs/Turntables to the Blackbox. You are given 2 12" controller vinyls and 2 CDs. So here's the AMAZING thing. All your track are in your Laptop as mp3s and you can control,scratch,skip and do whatever you want to the track using either your vinyl or your cdjs!! Now how amazing is that? Who would have ever thought that would be possible to invent!?!!?? So it has made DJing so much easier now with the visuals on the laptop and also when you perform. No more carrying hundereds of cds and records out to your gig! Everythings all in your Laptop!! And you still get the feel of DJing by using the Vinyls or CDs!!

There are alot more cool things you can do with Serato Scratch,but at the end of the day it's as real as you can get to DJing but improving it with modern technology! You can say Im embracing technology.....or you can say Im just getting lazy!! haha


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai & Episode 4

Chinese New Year is here and this is the year of The Rat. This used to be my favourite holiday. But since my mom moved up to The Netherlands years ago Chinese New Year and Xmas are never the same. This is also the first year we are spending it without my grandmother as she passed away last year. So Chinese New Year has lost alot meaning for me now. What was really nice was the Reunion Dinner, a giant feast on the Eve of CNY with the whole family. My favourite thing during this time is the "Yu Sheng". It's a dish made in Singapore and the thing I love about it apart from the fact that its so damn good is that there is just so much meaning behind every ingredient on the dish.

My favourtie dish!! Mhhhmmm!!
Episode 4 was alot of fun actually. First of all The challenge was hilarious. We were trailing by a mile!!! We were seriously lucky that they missed out one piece!! Guess the term "slow and steady wins the race." does make sense sometimes.

I remember alot of us were in a pretty crap mood that day after being kept up in the loft for so long and we were all getting burnt out from training and monotonous routines. So winning the reward was AWESOME!! Before we got to eat we were all actually in the Pool down at Rasa Sentosa and that was exactly what we needed. We fell asleep in the sun and then when we woke up it was time to EAT!! Man the food was AMAZING!! On the BBQ we had Grilled Salmon,tiger prawns (Not Tiger Kings),grilled chicken and beef kebabs. Then there was all these salads,pasta,ribs and all sorts of deserts!!! The weight that we've all been watching just went out the door!!! haha We were asked to play Beach Volleyball and to be honest we were all SOOOOOOO FULL that we just wanted to lie down and pass out!! Watching the day again on TV was really nice coz it brought back sooo many good memories with the boys.

"Chok Dee"

During delibration I wanted to fight for that fact that I knew I was prolly gonna be picked next. So while we had the chance I might as well do the picking before I got picked!! But the Team decided that getting rid of Bruce would be a better strategy as he was a strong guy and taking him out would mean ,winning more challenges. And More challenges = MORE REWARDS!!

Yodsaenklai was awesome and as I mentioned in the show,honourable for stepping up to the task. Not leaving the dirty work to others.He honestly didn't care who he fought. Another funny thing to see was Yodsaenklai eating on the episode. I thought I ate alot..but man that boy can EAT!!! We had a joke in the loft among us saying,"Lucky we didn't have to fight or do challenges for food coz otherwise none of us would be eating!!" haha

After the fight,all me and Soren would say to each other is,"How's that left kick hey??" Was amazing watching Yodsaenklai fight live for the first time. His kicks are just so fast and hard to read. His balance when he kicks is just amazing. Even in training,watching him kick and punch he makes it look so easy!!

So now it's 2 Challenges and 2 fights each. We're all "Even Steven" now. The show is looking awesome and can't wait to see the rest of the episodes. Wish I could fast forward to next Weds!!

Wishing all of you "Gong Xi Fa Cai" may the year of the Rat bring lotsa wealth and health to you and your family.


Monday, February 4, 2008

My new sponsors,Tuff Boxing.

So joining my current sponsors Toni & Guy Hairdressing and BXG Fitness are the awesome Muay Thai T-shirt company Tuff Boxing. They are company run by two brothers in Bkk,Thailand. They make amazing looking Muay Thai T-shirts. The best ones Ive ever seen to be honest. Love the designs!! Do check em out!!

Last year at the World Championships while promoting The Contender Asia I was chatting to Oak at his booth selling all the T-shirts and I joked around saying "ohh finally some cool Muay Thai T-shirts to wear" and he goes "Yeah not like the ones in Pratunam market!" haha Those who have done the sport long enough will know which ones they are!! And those who know me will know I will never be caught dead wearing that t-shirt! haha

Been chatting with Oak alot and he is a massive fan of The Contender Asia. So he's sent me some stuff over from Thailand and Im gonna do loads of Promotion for his brand. Also I will be the main distributor for Tuff here in Singapore. So if gyms here wanna sell it I'll be getting in the big orders or people in Singapore can get it from me diectly. Aren't you Singaporeans lucky?!?!

Me heading off to training in my Tuff Tshirt!!

Love the T-shirts Oak!! Thanks Buddy!! Can't wait to get more Stuff from Tuff!!