Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Muaythai Challenger: Thailand Vs The World.

Once again another late update, my apologies everyone.

I've been actually trying to get myself back into the muaythai scene. As mentioned last year was a terribly disappointing year for me. So I've been calling around and asking promoters for dates. I've already gotten hold of some dates so far, so Im just trying to organize my life around it all now. Will try update as much as I can on Muaythai as possible.

One paticular event I'm very very keen to get on is Muaythai Challenger: Thailand vs The World. They just did their first offical event on Jan 16th 2009. With an amazing line up of fighters. Kaoklai Kaenorsing, Dzhabar Askerov, Antoine Pinto, Ramazan Ramazanov, Nonsai

As we all know Muaythai is no longer a sport dominated by just Thai people anymore. In recent years there have been some huge upsets with Thai's being beaten at their own game by fighters from Holland, France, Japan and even China (This one was mostly due to dodgy judging!!!! haha!!)

With the HUGE increase in popularity in the sport. At the IFMA World Championships last year countries like Mongolia,Iraq and a few others you've never heard of or even imagine would know of Muaythai sent teams to the tournament. Not to mention with more TV coverage from events worldwide and with the TV shows like my favourite international hit TV series =) The Contender Asia....It has taken Muaythai mainstream.

Nonsai (Previously known as Sritanongchai) AWSOME FIGHTER!!

It's all about PRIDE!! =) The idea now is for the Thai's to prove that they are still the toughest in the sport and that they can take on any challenger from all over the world. I honestly think that this is a GREAT way for the sport to be promoted. They do it at low levels in touristy areas in Phuket,Samui and other smaller islands already. I mean unless you are a serious Muaythai fan you'd be interested in watching two superstar Thai fighters slug it out at Lumpini or Rajadamnern. But if you're just an average joe out for a good night out and something touristy even. You'd definetly wanna be rooting for the Thai guy to bash the white guy!! OR you'd root for the white guy who could be a fellow countrymen to bash the thai guy!! Racial or Patriotism call it what ya want....it's action we wanna see at the end of the day!!!

Muaythai Challenger however is done in a much classier,cooler and edgier style at one of the high end shopping malls in Bkk, Siam Paragon. It's all about the atmosphere and not just FIGHTS.....The night is packed with DJs spinning good music, hip hop performance from the famous band "Thaitanium", sexy girls in skimpy outfits dancing. It's ALOT better than the usual dingy sweaty stadiums with gamblers shouting and all that. For a fighter you actually for once would feel like a PRO Fighter at an awesome event! Rather than a human version of dog fighting in some caged stadium with sweaty gamblers shouting like they've put every last penny they have on you!! On top of that prefight interviews with fighters, vids of them training, info's on their background. It's all designed to make the viewers and fans know more about the fighters and not just watch them bash it out in the ring. It builds a relation and a hype. It's all very well done....very Contender Asia / ESPN style if you see what I mean.

Dzhabar Askerov, my brother from another mother!

Abit more on the people who are doing Muaythai Challenger. The idea and event is put together by Elite Boxing, run by Toli Makris who has been staging worldwide events in Thailand,Switzerland,Macua and many other places. With his team and experience in staging events, they have now decided to team up with two of the biggest names in Muaythaim, The WMC and Onesongchai Promotions to now make them a real powerhouse in the name of promotions. WMC needs no introduction, run by Stephan Fox. WMC is the governing body of Muaythai....think FIFA but for Muaythai.

The 3 Powerhouse in Muaythai unite to promote the sport we love

Onesongchai deserves a brief intro about their legacy. They are the BIGGEST name in muaythai promotions in Thailand. Khun Songchai Ratanasuban is the man who started it all and has been running promotions for over 30years now. Back in the 80s and 90's he was the man known for matching up fighters that fans would love to see. Mr Songchai was known to be the best matchmaker in Thailand and the fights that he matched up were usually exciting or turn out to be epic battles that are talked about even til this day. People don't realize but matchmakers are VERY important. Knowing which fighter,what style, what technique and what people want to see MAKE A GOOD FIGHT!!! Mr Songchai did just that. Matching fighters and putting them to the test and limits.

30years down the road his two children, Khun Siraphop (Songchai Jr) and his sister Khun Pariyakorn are helping out with the business and keeping up with times and holding quality events and fights in Thailand and around the world. Doing the Kings and Queens birthday at Sa Nam Luang, Bangkok and also still running their Onesongchai nights out of Rajadamnern Stadium and at their own Bangkok Boxing Stadium on Saturdays. They are still keeping this family tradition and business very much alive.

A couple of years ago, it was really hard to find good fight videos of Muaythai. Back then no such thing as youtube!....The only way you could get to either go watch live...?? or to either ask people who used to live in Thailand to record it and send ya VHS and you'd have to convert it.......or you had to go to watch crappy recordings from your friends video camera whenever he went to watch fights in Thailand.

Onesongchai saw an opportunity and I think this was probably the best thing they ever did for the sport. They put out DVDs of fights from the golden era of muaythai that they promoted. All the epic battles from the fighters from the 80s and 90s were available in their OneSongchai Compilation. Someo f my favourite Thai fighters and foreign fighters were featured in the dvds, the likes of, Samart Payakaroon, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong , Samransak Meungsurin, Namkhabuan Nongeepayahut, Nokweed Davy, Sakmongkol Singmanasak, Jongsanan Fairtex, Ramon Dekker, Rob Kaman.

All those fights were just of a different calibur from today. I mean I still watch some of the old fights and just am amazed. You can even find some of the newer names in in Muaythai but at their peak of their careers. Buakaw, Sakadpetch, Anuwat, Bovy.....the list goes on. If you are a true muaythai fan and lover. Onesongchai compilation DVDs are the ones you wanna get hold of and watch.

I will try to get hold of Khun Siraphop soon and hopefully I can get a chance to interview him to tell us abit more about whats happening with Onesongchai and their plans.

Well here are the results and some pictures from the event.

Pictures available at http://www.lifestyleasia.com/gallery/thailand-vs-challenger_2704.htm

Ali Yaakub (Malaysia) vs Sornthong Dennawee (Thailand) – TKO, 3rd round
Zaza (Thailand) vs (Thailand) (Joey Lee of China was replaced last moment) – points
Madsua (Thailand) vs Robbie Filiponi (Austrailia) – points
Kaoklai (Thailand) vs Erik Kosztanko (Slovakia) – points
Nonsai (Thailand) vs Dzhabar Askerov (Russia) – points
Nopparat (Thailand) vs Antoine Pinto (France) – points
Ramazan Ramazanov (Russia) vs Eduardo Maiorino (Brazil) – KO, first round

Look out for more on Muaythai Challenger. It's an AWESOME event!!
Next time I'll definetly fly up to catch their events or even better, next time I wanna fight on their event!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year. It's 2010!!

Hey guys,

Sorry I know I said I'd try to write a write up before the end of the year. But that obviously went out the window!!! Was busy over the Xmas and New Year holidays. So much going on usually over this period. The diet and the healthy lifestyle is forgotten and Jan becomes a struggle to get back into gear! As much as I hate it...I fall into the same trap every time! D'OH!!!!

2009 has been a disaster for me in terms of fighting. I had 3 fights???? One in Phi Phi Islands, One in Phuket then lastly in Hongkong on the awesome Planet Battle! It was really demoralizing when I had 4 fights canceled in the middle of the year.

These two fights that got canceled annoyed me the most:

1) Contender Asia 2. They kept saying,"You'll be on the undercard next month when the filming starts no worries." And of course it's fucking 2010 and they still haven't started filming the show. There is talks of bringing it back to Singapore I've heard....But hmmm I remember at the finale they announced we are doing Season 2 here....then they moved it to Malaysia?????????? And now that it's not happening in Malaysia they wanna bring it back here??... Sounds like Singapore's just a crappy plan B to me. Any hows I really can't be arsed about Season 2 anymore. Imagine the other fighters who were selected for the show,they waited a whole year pushing back fights and canceling stuff waiting around for Season 2 to happen...now that SUCKS!!!

2) 2nd fight that got cancled and annoyed me was the one in Japan. I canceled a trip to Europe for my mom's birthday to take part in that fight in Japan....and of course it got canceled close to the date. That really pissed me off as that made me realize how unreliable promoters and muaythai can be sometimes.

On the topic of crappy promotions and promoters for 2009, how can we forget the wonderful Superfights or as I would call em SuperFucked promotions.....Having an international tournament cancel on the day itself. Thanks guys you really made Singapore proud and put us on the world map with such a shady and dodgy promotion!

2009 wasn't just about dodgy Muaythai events. In my free time this year I managed to do some pretty cool stuff too.

I was up in Koh Samui, Thailand for Jaymee Ong's wedding, I mean it's prolly still to this day THE BEST wedding I've ever attended. If you ever imagined a fairytale wedding on the beach...I think this would prolly be it =)

With time off fights,I decided to make the most of it and get paid for some DJ gigs this year. I managed to play at some very awesome venues and very cool events in Singapore and overseas. I played at Le Noir, Cafe Del Mar, Supperclub, F-1 Fuel Festival, Halloween at Azzura Sentosa, NYE at Azzura Sentosa with Seb Fontaine and Marshal Jefferson. Managed to DJ in Hush, Samui and Fallabella, Bangkok too this year! So I guess with all the bad stuff that happened in Muaythai....some good came out of it!!

Pictures and Flyers from the events I DJed at in 2009!!

I managed to get an uber cool sponsor for 2009. A surfwear company in Bali called 3rdborn. Run by an aussie,David Eagles who used to design for Quiksilver and finally left the company to pursue his own goals and dreams. Read more about 3rdborn here. http://www.zigzach.com/2009/05/new-super-cool-sponsor.html

3rdborn Tshirt and my DJ promoshot.

I managed to do some mediawhoring for myself too. Was also featured in a couple of magazine this year internationally. 2 articles in International Kickboxer and One that really kinda talked abit more about my past and more about me being an inspiration to others was the,"R U Menshealth" Challenge. Ok fine....some of the stuff we did on it was abit ...uhmmmm METROSEXUAL. Read more about it here, and go to the Menshealth site to read the articles. http://www.zigzach.com/2009/03/wish-weight.html

Words of wisdom from Zig Zach

2009 has had it's fair share of ups and downs. For my 2010's resolution, it's pretty simple. Im gonna try and get a couple of good fights this year. I've already been calling promoters and emailing around,trying to be abit more pro-active rather than just sitting back waiting for things to happen to me. I'm hoping to start by getting a warm up fight in Phuket. Get back in gear and take it from there. I kinda feel like I lost alot of the fire and passion for fighting when everything kept getting canceled and thins kept going wrong. Like I said...I dont wannt look back in couple of years down the road and regret not doing this....and not doing that for my career. So we just gotta wait and see.

Well the past is behind us and it's time to look forward.....new year, new start.

2010 I hope you kick 2009's ass!!!