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VIDEO REPORT: Muaythai champ heads to Bangkok for MMA showdown

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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FORMER Lumpinee and Rajadamnern muaythai champion Jomhod Kiatadisak will make his transition to pro MMA complete today, when he takes on top Cambodian fighter Vorn Viva at Full Metal Dojo 4 in Bangkok.

Keeping the fight even, Vorn Viva will also be competing in his first MMA fight, to be held at Live House, located near Bangkok’s famed Chatuchak Market.

At one time one of the biggest names on the muaythai scene in Europe, 44-year-old Jomhod has been in training for weeks at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket for this one particular fight.

“MMA is challenging as it has some basic muaythai mixed with martial arts from other countries,” he told the Gazette.

“However, I wanted to try a new style of fighting, so I joined the MMA. It is different from classic muaythai, because in muaythai you stand and fight. In MMA, you keep fighting even when you’re down.”

Switching fighting styles has had other benefits, Jomhod added.

“MMA gives me a new range of fighting techniques and keeps me fit in training. Moreover, I have made new friends to help me make the transition,” he said.

Manager Jason Buchanan explained that Jomhod’s training regimen has been wound down over the past week in preparation for the fight.

“Everything is okay right now. We just have to tighten his game up a little bit for him to get ready for his MMA debut on Saturday night,” he said.

Buchanan explained that Jomhod had long shown throughout his muaythai career his propensity to expand his skill set to include MMA.

“We have added new skills by including more training on the ground, which he was not used to when he was still in muaythai, and I think he is making the transition very well,” he said.

Some of Jomhod’s skills from muaythai were adapted, such as in-close grappling.

“Muaythai involves some in-close wrestling, with a lot of body locks and throws, and he has incorporated those skills in his MMA technique,” Buchanan said.

“I think he’s going to do quite well. It’s Full Medal Dojo. I think it’s going to be quite an event and I’m looking forward to seeing him display his skills.”

Jomhod’s trainer, George Hickman, rated the difference between the two styles as huge.

“We have a world number-one muaythai fighter, and we are trying to turn him to MMA. It is so different from what he has done before,” he said.

“Muaythai is a ‘standing’ sport, you hit the ground and stop. But in MMA, you hit the ground and start.

“Jomhod has had to learn to lots of new things, such as wrestling. We rate Jomhod as the number-one striker in the world, and I think he probably still is.

“Getting him into MMA is very interesting, and I think he will do it very, very well. It is going be very exciting to see.”

— Woranut Pechdee

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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