I first saw Chaz Mulkey fight in a brutal match with Brazillian Marfio Canoletti on a Fairtex card here in the bay. The brutal fight was hands down the fight of the night. A few months later I heard that Mulkey had been continuing his pro fighting career, having a bout with the respectable USA nak muay Chike Lindsay. I was able to talk to Mulkey on the phone and ask him about his current profession as a basher of brains.
Lucas: What weight do you fight at?
Lucas: How old are you?
Lucas: How did you get into Muay Thai?
Mulkey: I just fell into it. A little over 4 years ago. I was working in a night club in Dallas. I always wanted to do something like boxing. My buddy Joe came into work one night wearing a Muay Thai t-shirt. He was into Muay Thai and asked me to go to the gym in Dallas, it was Saekson Janjira’s place. All the stars aligned, it seemed perfect.
I wasn’t there that long, just six months although I was there twice a day. My mom was out here in Vegas so it made sense for me to be out in Vegas. I’d been in Dallas my whole life and needed a change of scenery. Saekson found out I was going to Nevada and he referred to me Master Toddy’s.
Lucas: What do you do for a living?
Mulkey: I have a small pool cleaning business but the majority of my money comes from being an instructional trainer at Warrior’s Way Training Center. I have about 7 classes a week and I do a lot of privates along with doing a kid’s class twice a week.
Lucas:What appeals to you about Muay Thai?
Mulkey:I like how raw and aggressive it is. Its fun and competitive.
Lucas: How did you start fighting?
Mulkey: I actually started fighting in Vegas. I was at Toddy’s for 3 or 4 days. I wasn’t in the fighting class, but I asked about it. I told him he I wanted to fight. A week later I was at One Kick Nick’s. One Kick Nick has a pretty big show for amateur fights and a week later I was fighting my first amateur bout.
Lucas: What made you get into the ring?
Mulkey: I didn’t fight when I was younger, although I got into scraps here and there. Usually people who have an aggressive nature do well in this sport. I feel like I have something of an aggressive personality and its something that I like to do.
Lucas: What do you think of the Las Vegas Muay Thai scene?
Mulkey: Its pretty nonexistent. Every once in a while there’s an mma show with
There’s Dennis Warner’s cards. He’s awesome. He only puts on a show every three or four months here. Its pretty thin around here.
Lucas: How many amateur fights have you had?
Mulkey: I had sixteen or seventeen fights with a perfect record. They start to blur together after a while though. I was fighting once every six weeks for 7 or 8 fights. Then it started to slow down. The more fights you’ve had, and the more fights you win the harder it is to match up. After 7 or 8 fights a lot of people go pro.
Lucas: What was your amateur career like?
Mulkey: It was really fun at first. It started to get frustrating because it got harder to get fights. You get to the weigh ins and something happens. The other fighter bails and you ask yourself; “Where am I going next?” or “What am I doing?” The first half was really fun, then it got more questionable as I had to decide if I was ready for pro fights or not.
Lucas: What is the difference for you between amateur and professional fighting?
Mulkey: In amateur bouts you can break people. They haven’t had that much experience. Their spirits aren’t always strong.
Plus in amateur fighting people get weeded out. With each step up more people drop out. First there’s the smokers then amateur shows, people quit in between those stages. There is a similar jump up to the professional stage.
Professional fighters, they’re tough and smart, the two worse combinations. Its what makes pro fighters good. The guys that don’t look technical are still tough and with their experience they’re smarter. It makes the fighters harder.
Lucas: How many pro fights have you had?
Mulkey: I’ve had four pro fights. In my pro career I’m split even 2-2. I’ve fought the notable Chike Lindsay, Marfio Canoletti on the Fairtex War of the Heroes card, Douglas Edwards and Bryce Krauss who was my last match. I actually ko’ed Krauss a minute and forty seconds in. He threw something he shouldn’t have, and ended up turning his body and I hit him with a strong knee. We locked up for a second and then I caught him with a square hook.
Lucas:What has been the most memorable fight you’ve had thus far?
Mulkey: My last fight with Bryce Krauss. It was so short. I’ve been looking for a knock out in my career but hadn’t had one yet. Everyone kept telling me that it just happens. I wasn’t trying to knock him out. He just went out. It wasn’t something that I was trying for though.
My fight with Marfio was one of my toughest fight. I took the fight short notice and he weighed more than me. My conditioning wasn’t that good and it was a hard match. We both stepping in at the same time and he got me with an elbow that counted. The upward elbow cut me right in the middle of my forehead.
Lucas: How did you feel about your close match with Lindsay?
Mulkey: I wanted to exchange with him more but he grabbed more, body locking me. I thought that I was winning most of the fight but he caught me in the fourth with a clean elbow which gave me an 8-count. That set me back two rounds. Its not a bad loss to have. He’s fought notable people.
Lucas:What is your training here like?
Mulkey: I train twice a day for the most part. Five days a week I train twice a day and once on saturday. Each session is 2 or 3 hours. I start at 8 o’clock then train again at 5 o’clock. I run 3 days a week for about 3 miles. I do a fair amount of bag work. I used to run more but I was burning out my legs. I wasn’t kicking as sharp so I scaled back on it. Along with the bag work I do a lot of timing sparring, or light sparring with Kevin Ross. I had to back off on my pad work as I’m no longer with Toddy. It was time for me to go a separate course. Right now I’m at Warrior’s Way. I also go over to One Kick Nick’s regularly as Master Lookchang is there. He used to corner me for a number of fights when I was at Toddy’s but he went his own way about a year ago as well. Its harder getting pad work now as I have to pay for privates so I don’t do it as much except when I’m gearing up for a fight, maybe I’ll start twice a week a month before a fight.
Lucas: How would you describe yourself as a fighter?
Mulkey: I think I’m a competitive tough opponent. I think the harder people push the harder I push. I try to push the pace more or apply the pressure more.
Lucas: What is your strongest attribute?
Mulkey: I have a pretty long reach for my size. My cardio is real good. I’m technical. The three attributes are probably tied.
Lucas: What are your goals with fighting?
Mulkey: The first goal I set was fighting on a Dennis Warner card and I accomplished that. Warner’s show was the first live real Muay Thai fight that I saw. The card had Michael Mannequil fighting Ra Karma. I saw that fight and said to myself “That’s where I want to be.”
Secondly I’d like to fight in Thailand. I have that small pool business that I can’t leave for more than 7 days. Being an instructor I can’t just leave my classes, I need to find people to fill my classes. It doesn’t make sense to go over there right now. It takes a few days to adjust and then I’d have to come right back.
Presently I’m shooting for 5 pro fights this year. The pro cards seem to happen every two or three months. You take more damage with a pro fight so it makes sense to have them a little more spaced out. Being stablemates with Shawn Yarbough and Kevin Ross should help me get on some cards that and being friends with One Kick Nick. He actually got me on my last card.
Lucas: Where do you think Muay Thai here in the states will go?
Mulkey: I think it will always be overshadowed by MMA. MMA is the new trend. Everyone wants to do it. I think people just follow it cuz its popular. In Muay Thai there’s more of a dedication you don’t see it all over the place. You have to go looking for it.
More about Matt Lucas
Born to a working class family in rural New York I grew up working like a dog and drinking Natural light in the woods. After a brief stint attempting to escape the poverty of employment via university I gave up on escaping the grind and moved to sunny California where the burritos are as generous as the weather. I work in the service industry slinging booze and food.
I got into Muay Thai as a recreational activity. I saw an interclub fight and decided to try it out, everyone has to test their mettle somehow. A few fights and a year later I was in Thailand training, and fighting. I haven’t quit stepping into the ring since. I currently live in East Oakland and balance my time blocking punches with my head with attempting to prevent brain deterioration through writing, studying Thai; language, culture and history, and going to wild dance parties with my friends.