So there is a rumour floating around that Yodsanklai v. Buakaw is on for Sept. 6th in Thailand. British Muay Thai Champ Kieran Keddle is the originator of this little tidbit. I don’t know Kieren but he doesn’t have any reason to make something like this up. Kieran states that he was told this by Yodsanklai and a couple of “other” Thais. Could it be a misunderstanding…
Photo by Lawrence Ripsher
The bit that sounds shady, is the fact that it’s going to be held at Central World. Bangkok’s largest shopping mall. Am I to believe one of the most anticipated bouts is going the route of countless boy bands and Debbie Gibson?
Rob Cox has also chimed in… he claims the fight is 50/50 probability and is being backed by an unnamed Singaporean company.
Let’s look at this from the other side. Say this is going down… what does that mean for Nong Sombat aka Buakaw? Does that mean his contact with Max is up? Was his fight with Sato his last in K-1? Is this really it?
The other thing that makes me believe this won’t go down, is that the only people who really care about this fight are outside of Thailand. I paid 70 Euros for my tickets to slamm, that’s like a 3,600 Baht ticket.
I’m sure most of you have seen this article on Rogue. Thanks to Gusnark for the original post. In it Yodsanklai talks about wanting a piece of the K-1 Max Pie. Last I checked the prize money was somewhere around $92-93K… proper money.
Most think it’s a foregone conclusion, it isn’t a matter of if, but rather when will Yodsanklai will be unleashed into K-1.
I think it’s slightly more complicated than that. A year ago I had a conversation with Hideki Suzuki he runs the Ingram Gym in Bangkok. Suzuki and his network of promoters were the folks who initially introduced Buakaw to K-1. Khun Suzuki had mentioned that there was a serious rift forming with the Por.Pramuk camp and K-1 over money.
My understanding is that once you sign with K-1 they have you on very tight reins. I don’t recall Buakaw or any of the fighters fighting in non-K1 sanctioned fights? (except Souwer vs. Yod) Am I completely wrong on this? (Can anyone confirm or deny?) Maybe they allow a couple, but it’s certainly within their interest to protect their “investment”.
Yodsanklai and his camp have their fingers in the WBC pot. The fight game is notoriously political… and Muay Thai is without exception. It’s very difficult/almost impossible to get a WBC fight if you’re not in the good graces of Fairtex Management. I suspect Yodsanklai won’t be able to have his cake and eat it too. He’s going to have to pick… WBC or K-1. I think his camp would love for him to do both, but that isn’t going to fly with K1.
It comes down to economics and challenge. Who’s out there in the WBC, or even in the Muay Thai who can challenge Yodsanklai? I can’t really think of anyone. So they continue to feed him fighters, with a decent fight purse I’m sure. Or there is the second option; he quits Muay Thai in pursuit of a Max belt and money. I don’t know how much Max fighters make per fight, but I’ve got to imagine it’s on par with the WBC or any other sanctioning body.
If Yodsanklai heads over to K-1 he’ll lose any bargaining power he and his organization have enjoyed (I don’t think he needed it) He’ll be opened to questionable judging…? I suspect he won’t have much say at all. I imagine it is the next logical transition for him. His loss to Souwer gives it a sense of new challenge for him.
I think Max will let Yodsanklai in. I think Fairtex will realize that this is the best move for their brand. I don’t think anyone has any doubts he’s got what it takes to win the belt.
If this fight in September doesn’t happen with these two, I guarantee that when the time comes, K-1 will send Yodsanklai to dispatch Buakaw from K1. Out with the old in with the new, I think the FEG is twisted enough to have planned this.
What do you think? Am I smoking crack? If this thing is on and I can get my passport back in time I’m going to go. All you guys within an 2 hour flight have no excuses.