This was a difficult interview. Chantal Ughi wasn’t anything less than accommodating, however, between a substandard camera, background noise, a cameraman who yelped after being bit by what we hope was a cockroach and me being a chronic low talker and squirming from mosquito attacks…I don’t have much to give you other than a transcribed interview and a cheesy storyboard of stills. I really wanted this to be the first of many video interviews to come, but after multiple takes on two separate nights, I realized, this wasn’t going to happen. I’ll get this right eventually…in the meantime…..this is what I could salvage…
Chantal has twenty five fights, ten of which were in 2008 and twelve in 2009. She just recently won a WMA title on December 23 at MBK, Bangkok ….
LDF – Do you want to tell us a little about it?
CU- Sure, it’s a world title at 63.5 kilos for the World Muay Thai Association and I just accepted this fight on three days notice. My manager called me out of nowhere and asked me if I wanted to fight and I said, “Yeah, why not, I’ll do it, sure” and I was kind of happy because I had a fight two weeks before and I lost. I got cut by an elbow and I wanted another fight before the end of the year and this just came unexpectedly, so I was really happy that I won.
LDF – And the fight before was at the King’s Cup…?
CU – Yeah
LDF – …and in 2008 at the King’s Cup, you won another title….
CU – Yes, it was a WPMF world title last year at the King’s birthday, December 4, 2008 against Carly Giumulli from Australia and it was a very good fight. I won on points and it was at 69 kilos.
LDF – How long have you been doing muay thai for?
CU – I actually started in New York and I did it for about four years, but for the first couple of years, I was just training for fun…for fitness and in the last two years I got interested in fighting and I tried a couple of amateur fights in New York and then one day I didn’t like my life in New York and I wasn’t happy with what I was doing…I was just working to pay the bills and my acting career wasn’t going the way I wanted, so I just decided to leave everything and go to Thailand to be a professional muay thai fighter.
LDF – What gym are you currently fighting out of?
CU – I’m fighting out of Keatkhamtorn.
LDF – When you fight abroad, who are you fighting under?
CU – Actually, I have an Italian manager and trainer, his name is Diego Calzolari of De .
Gym in Milano. He founded Team De Pro, which I am a part of
LDF – Is there anyone you fought that stands out…a favourite fight?
CU – I think my best two fights so far was the WPMF title against the Australian girl…(traffic and men shouting)….she was pretty strong….and the other fight, with Julie Kitchen, she’s a good fighter and we’re about the same size, she’s just a bit taller than me. That was also a very hard fight and I lost…(more shouting, Chantal discussing things I wish I could hear and me interjecting with things I can neither remember nor understand)…
LDF – I remember that fight, and you fought a few weeks previous to that right?
CU – (laughing)…yeah, I know, I do this….yeah, I fought a week before and this other girl from Tiger Muay Thai was supposed to fight Julie, and then for some reason, actually two girls said no, (lots of noise………………)…..
LDF – The other thing I think about you, just from out interaction, which I find interesting, is the fact that you’ve stepped into the ring with guys a few times, haven’t you?
CU – Yeah…
LDF – Now, did you know that ahead of time, or was it one of these, you show up and….?
CU – No…it was kind of a last minute thing. The first time was in Phuket and I was going home and I was supposed to fight a girl and it was like two days before, three days before and they couldn’t find any Thai girls to fight or Falang, and the gym owner was like, “You can fight a boy”, and I’m like.. “What?” He’s like, “Mai bpen rai, mai bpen rai” (No worries)…and I was like, “Okay…” and I really wanted a fight, so I said, “Okay, I’ll do it”, and I don’t know, I only had a few fights in Thailand at that time and it was really hard. He kicked really hard but I ended up winning on points and the other one was in Bangkok. I was supposed to fight with a girl and the day before they told me, “O no, there’s no girl, we’ll find a man” and I said, “A man?”…A man. So I said, “Okay I’m not sure”, but then, I don’t know, I accepted it…
LDF – Do you find it difficult to find fights in Thailand in your weight class?
CU – Sometimes, yeah, especially if you want to fight Thai.
LDF – Do you have any fights coming up; is there anything we can look forward to from you?
CU – Yeah, I’ll be fighting in France at the end of January (January 30 on the same bill with Anuwat and Bovvy) and in Italy in February and then I want one more fight before I leave Bangkok (for France). I should be fighting at MBK again and maybe next year (2010) I’d like to fight Julie Kitchen again…I don’t know…if I’m ready… but I’d like to do it…yeah my plan is to keep going…
Here is a nice piece on Chantal by Eriveproductions
[youtube -LBfjZ8C_oo 550]
More about Laura
I’m a Canadian who decided to quit my job, sell most of what I own, pack a suitcase, and skip continents to pursue a martial art I’m not particularly efficient in. A minimalist. A modern nomad. A kid who just likes having a good time.
My attraction to muay thai is that it’s an art with no wasted motion. It has been the greatest vehicle for my continual education. It’s incredibly challenging to me – both the physical and the mental game. The latter probably more so than the former.
Currently I’m in Bangkok training muay thai fulltime. The plan is to be here for a few years, but realistically, I have no idea where this path is leading, or what the timeline is. I like change and pushing my comfort zone. A lot. Nevertheless, muay thai will be the constant among the variables.
Be prepared for updates, rambling, video content and anything I’ve learned that I think may of use to you.
This hasn’t been easy, but so far, its been a pretty sick ride.