Archive | September, 2005

Jake Shields Turns Purple Into Brown

30 Sep

by Salvatore Russo (2005-09-30)

On Wednesday September the 28th Cesar Gracie honored Fairtex very own resident Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Jake Shields with his Brown Belt.

The Brown Belt is one step below Black and unlike in traditional martial arts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the fact remains that getting any type of belt action is very difficult, as it relates to Cesar Gracie in particular its damn near impossible.

Being a Combat Sport, promotions are directly related to actual performance, there are no forms to walk through or pre choreographed steps that your opponent allows you to run through without resistance. You either compete and win; like Jake did in the Pan Ams and again in Abu Dhabi, or you show dedication by training hard and outperform your training partners on the mats. This fact alone makes Jake’s promotion a huge honor for him as well as his teammates and training partners. Please make sure to congratulate Jake should you see him in the Academy.


26 Sep

by Snoop Jones (2005-09-26)

The FFC and Fairtex’s Ultimate NHB Thumbless Gloves made a smooth transition into the mecca of the fight world, Las Vegas Nevada. The seven fight card featured two title bouts, some well known A list fighters and some of the more talented up and comers. The event also marked the first time Fairtex’s NHB gloves were used in an event sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Here is a synopisis of the night’s action.

Chris Wilson 6’0�? 170 lbs 5-1 vs. Dave Garcia 6’1�?170lbs. 5-1

Garcia and Wilson circled, briefly exchanging jabs and crosses that did little damage before tying up. Garcia known for his Judo, worked into position for a throw and grounded the Team Quest welterweight into side control. Wilson showed amazing flexibility working his way back to guard where he attempted a triangle choke from transition that Garcia fought off. Wilson then began landing some punches and elbows from his back cutting Garcia just above the hairline. Next Wilson went for and armbar that Garcia stuffed, followed by a triangle that Garcia just couldn’t shake off. The end came at 1:49 of round one.

Josh Haynes 5’9�? 205lbs. 6-4 vs. Seth Kleinbeck 6’1�? 205lbs 2-0

Striking sensation Seth Kleinbeck tested the chin and fortitude of the durable Josh Haynes early in round one with some hard left hooks and straight rights. However as the round progressed Kleinbeck’s stamina appeared to wane especially after Haynes was able to work some GnP in the final minute of round one. A one-minute rest period for Kleinbeck did little good as he emerged for round two after a brief exchange the action went to the ground and Haynes was able to gain Kleinbeck’s back and sink a Rear naked choke in for the win.

Roger Huerta 5’9�? 160 lbs.10-2-1 vs. Matt Wiman 5’10�? 160lbs. 6-0

Fight of the night, possibly the fight of the year.The battle went back and forth the entire way with both fighters landing 4-5-6 punch combinations and working for submissions throughout. While the action was fast and furious, it did not lack in technique or excellence. On several occasions each fighter was a punch or two away from victory, only to have his opponent come roaring right back. The judges had it a lop-sided unanimous decision for Huerta, but most in attendance thought it could have gone either way and was certainly closer than the 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 margin rendered by the Judges.

Josh Neer 6’0�? 170lbs 13-2-1 vs. Forest Petz 5’10�? 170lbs 8-1

In a match-up of two of the hardest hitters in the 170lb division, Neer and Petz started fast and traded as expected. Both landed, but did only minor damage, Till Neer managed to Thai clinch Petz at about the 2 min mark of round one. Petz scored with a vicious body assault each time Neer clenched. Neer would answer the barrage with high knees that cut Petz at the hairline of the left side of his head. When the action hit the ground around the 2:45 mark Neer slipped on a triangle choke the Petz was able to resist until Neer began scoring with punches and elbows. When Petz was forced to defend the strikes, Neer was able to cinch the choke tight enough to finish him off with the end coming at a 3:25 of round one.

Jason Lambert 5’10�? 205lbs. 18-5 vs. Travis Wiuff 6’0�? 205lbs.36-5

A clash between two of the best-conditioned 205lb fighters in the world, yielded the type of action fans have come to expect them. Wiuff had control of the striking and ground work early, but a huge slam and later a sweep from the guard put Lambert on top where he pasted Wiuff repeatedly, knocking him unconscious, forcing the Referee to stop the contest at 3:19 of round 1.

FFC Welterweight Title Match
Champion Keith Wisniewski 5’11�? 170lbs. 19-7-1 vs. Carlo Prater 6’0�? 170lbs 16-2

The rematch from their 2004 bout looked remarkably similar but less explosive as both fighters seemed well prepared for their opponent’s tendencies. Possibly too well prepared as both fighters worked their strengths, with Wisniewski’s wrestling being once again slightly more dominant than Prater’s Jiu-jitsu. Both fighters had moments of brilliance, but it remained largely a tactical battle the went from a brief period of striking followed by a clench, a Wisniewski trip to Praters guard, with Prater fishing for submissions, while Wisniewski working the GnP. Wisniewski retained his title with a 30-27, 29-28,29-28 judges decision.

FFC Lightweight Title Match
Champion Dave Gardner 5’10�? 155lbs 7-3 vs. Ryan Schultz 5’8�? 155lbs. 12-3-1

In what was expected to be an epic battle between two accomplished wrestlers, Gardner made quick work of Team Quests best 155lb fighter. Gardner shot almost immediately with Schultz sprawling and successfully defending the shot, after a brief scramble both fighters regained their feet with Gardner pressing the action. Gardner closed the distance with a combination then dropped for another shot that Schultz defended briefly, until Gardner secured a heel, ultimately dropping Schultz to his back. Schultz scrambled from the ground in an attempt to gain Gardner’s back, but Gardner was able to peel Schultz off and ended up in Schultz’s guard.Gardner quickly passed Schultz’s guard against the fence and delivered a big knee to the ribs of Schultz and a few short elbows to his head and body. An obviously injured Schultz submitted verbally due to a rib injury. Matt Linland of Schultz’s camp, later informed that Schultz had hurt his ribs in training and when he pulled guard he re-injured himself, however the constant pressure, and big knee Gardner landed from side mount certainly did not improve his condition. The end came at the one-minute mark. Gardner retains title making him the longest running FFC Champion.

The Man behind Fairtex Group

23 Sep

by Dawn DelVecchio, Tum Yum Magazine (2005-09-23)

Khun Bunjong Busarakamwongse, better known as Mr. Philip Wong, is the man behind Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness Camps in Thailand and America. The sport of Muay Thai has been his life long passion, and over the years he has done a tremendous amount of work to promote this fighting art both in the Kingdom and abroad.

Back in 1971 Mr. Wong established the Fairtex Garments Factory Company Limited, a textile manufacturing firm. During this time his company pioneered high quality T-shirts to Thai department stores, eventually becoming the number one brand at its peak. In time, Mr. Wong expanded his business by exporting products under private brands worldwide.

While his garment business grew, so did his desire to support his passion – Muay Thai. In 1975 Mr. Wong opened Fairtex Muay Thai and Boxing Camp on the outskirts of Bangkok. The small facility became home to a stable of professional fighters that quickly established Fairtex as a camp to be reckoned with. The camp has produced more than 35 world champions over the course of its 26 years. Today, Fairtex fighters are renowned worldwide for their aggressive style and their advanced striking techniques that utilize fists, elbows, knees and kicks.

Although Fairtex boxers were winning kudos in the ring, for many years, the gym itself lost money. Due to the success of his garment company, however, Mr. Wong continued to fund the camp and further involve himself in the world of Muay Thai. In 1978 he became a promoter of the sport in Thailand’s most renowned Muay Thai venue, Lumpini Stadium. He was also one of the first Thais to bring foreign fighters here for training and competition and is credited as well with help bringing ESPN2 into the Kingdom in order to cover the World Muay Thai Council’s (WMC) world championship title fights, effectively taking the art to the world stage.Mr. Wong has recently been asked to be involved in helping WBC Muaythai take Muay Thai on the global stage.

In 1993 Mr. Wong established a second Muay Thai camp in Phoenix Arizona. This camp was eventually moved to the city of San Francisco, where it has become one of the USA’s most elite martial arts and fitness facility.The current Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness – San Francisco camp is now managed by Mr. Anthony Lin, President and CEO of Fairtex.

Unlike most camp owners and promoters, Mr. Wong does not make money from his fighters. All of his income is generated from his textile factory and his other businesses. While Fairtex Muay Thai Bangkok has been training successful fighters for 30 years, Mr. Wong began charging visitors money only five years ago. The income generated is used to keep the camp going after years of continued financial loss which threatened to permanently close the facility.

The decision was a savvy one, and last year saw a major renovation and expansion of the camp to include a full training and wellness facility. The changes have rendered Fairtex Muay Thai and Fitness incomparable to perhaps any other Muay Thai training camp in the world today.

After all these years, Mr. Wong continues to be directly involved in the running of his gyms. He wants to be sure to provide excellent facilities for international guests, as well as strong support for Fairtex boxers. Beyond Muay Thai, however, Mr. Wong and the entire Fairtex team want to welcome visitors to Thailand so that they may experience the culture from which this unique art was born. During a stay at Fairtex Thailand, they hope visitors will develop an appreciation for the Thai way of being. As Mr. Anthony Lin summarizes it, “the country is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the culture is beautiful.�?

Knocked Out Muay Thai – Kicking Around

23 Sep

by Dawn DelVecchio – Tom Yum Magazine, Thailand (2005-09-23)

I couldn’t get my hands gloved or my feet in the ring quick enough. On a recent weekend, a group of friends and I decided to spend a day immersed in a uniquely Thai experience: exercising at Fairtex Muay Thai and Fitness Camp. Fairtex is a gym devoted to training both foreigners and Thais in the combative art of Muay Thai. As we emerged from the car we could hear the sounds of people yelling, punching and kicking – high energy exercise in action. As a retired practitioner of this ancient fighting art, the sounds immediately triggered my glee, but my companions were less enthusiastic.

My friends, all Bangkok residents, knew of Muay Thai’s reputation as a fierce fighting art and brutal training regimen, but none of them were aware of the direction the sport has been taking toward fun and fitness in recent years. They were about to find out that, rather than being brutalized for a day, they were going to be inspired.

Considered by experts to be one of the most effective fighting arts on the planet, in its modern form, Muay Thai is a ring sport which has grown in popularity worldwide over the past decade. Known as Thai kickboxing by some, the roots of this art stretch back some 2000 years. Originating during the pre-fire-power centuries when the Thai and Burmese kingdoms fought murderous territorial wars, today Muay Thai has taken the action of the battlefield into the sportsmanship of the ring.

Throughout the centuries, there have been changes and modifications to this art now transformed to sport. Due to its sometimes ferocious nature, death and severe injury had occasionally occurred, leading the Thai government to ban competitions in the 1920’s. Following safety standards and regulations based on international boxing rules, Muay Thai in its contemporary form was reintroduced to Thailand and the world in the 1930’s.

Today there are as many as 60,000 nak Muay (Muay Thai fighters) in the Kingdom, with countless camps found in city and countryside. Almost every town has at least one stadium where boxers can test their mettle against a worthy opponent. While 74 nations now boast professional stables (camps of fighters) Thailand remains the locus of the art and the competitors as well as the training here are the standard by which others measure themselves.

Muay Thai is a demanding sport, requiring consistent aerobic activity interspersed with anaerobic blasts of action. Not only must a fighter be skilled in powerful offense, quick defense and impeccable range and timing, he or she must also be in brilliant aerobic condition. The regime of a Thai fighter reflects this need and even amateurs who are taking their sport seriously train between 16-25 hours or more each week.

For nearly three decades, westerners have been traveling to Thailand to learn the secrets of Muay Thai. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, few outside the region knew of the particular Siamese combat style. Those who did knew of its effectiveness. The foreign trailblazers who first dared search out Muay Thai’s secrets faced formidable challenges to even learn the basic elements. Thai coaches and competitors greeted these men with curiosity and sometimes suspicion. “Back in the 70’s the Thai’s kept the secrets of Muay Thai to themselves�? says Patrick Cusick, a long time practitioner of the art. They taught him some of the fundamental techniques, he claims, “but they never really taught me the tricks.�?

Today, however, Muay Thai techniques are known the world over, and the art is no longer reserved for serious competitors alone. With recent trends in fitness, many westerners have found the training regime of a fighter, albeit in a less intensive form, both an enjoyable and effective means of losing weight, lowering stress levels, building cardiovascular strength and being challenged – all while having a great time. Today foreigners are beginning to flock to the Kingdom to learn Muay Thai – some for sport and others for fitness – and many Thai’s now welcome their friends from the west, recognizing the opportunity to share their art globally.

Fairtex Muay Thai and Fitness is at the forefront of the trend to use Muay Thai as a medium for both martial and fitness training. Currently, about 60% of the people (including local Thais) who visit Fairtex are there for non-competitive reasons, including weight loss. Mr. Somboon Leelhasuwan (Khun Sam) the General Manager of the operation, claims that this percentage is actually increasing as more people become aware of the benefits of Muay Thai training for health and fitness.

While Fairtex is also home to an impressive stable of fighters, including a number of world class champions, the management has created a training environment that can meet the needs of the growing number of non-competitive practitioners. According to Anthony Lin, President and CEO of Fairtex, they want people to enjoy getting in the ring and training at whatever level they are comfortable. He claims that the face of even the non-competitor is changing and they want to meet the needs of this growing segment of the Muay Thai community. “More and more westerners taking up Muay Thai are educated and see their training as part of an overall lifestyle choice.�? In response to this, Fairtex, along with many elite gyms in the USA and Europe are taking the martial arts to a new level. “The whole fundamental thing that Fairtex is trying to do is to promote the art safely and professionally. We want to make sure that when people come here they don’t feel intimidated�? says Lin.

But safety does not imply a watered down version of the art. While the intensity level of each person’s program may vary depending on their goals and objectives, “at the same time, you are getting elite training with a modern, state of the art facility�? says Lin. “We are setting the standard for future gyms, especially here in Thailand.�?

Because training is completely personalized, students can work out as much or as little as they would like. Fairtex provides a coach for each student, allowing those who stay long term to build a rapport with their trainer over time. These men are either current or retired professional fighters, some of them champions of their weight class.

So what is it really like to train at a Muay Thai camp? As beginners and a retired fighter respectively, my friends and I were not interested in a serious competitor’s training regime, we simply wanted some exercise and some fun for a day. We discussed our goals and objectives with Khun Sam who in turn explained our objectives in Thai to the coaches.

We began at about 7:30 am, when each of our trainers carefully wrapped and gloved our hands. Once complete, my friends Todd and Fong, who have had no experience with the art, stepped into the ring. Looking a bit sheepish at first, they were relieved when their coaches began slowly teaching them basic moves like stance, offensive strikes and simple defense.

I also stepped into one of the four adjoining rings and warmed my body with some shadow-boxing. Once I had broken a sufficient sweat my trainer padded up. Unlike my companions who enjoyed a slow start, it was straight to work for me! My morning coach, Tor, is a young man of 24 years. So far he has had 82 professional Muay Thai bouts, with 52 wins. For training me, he sported densely packed kick pads on his forearms, and padded guards covering his shins. Over the next 30 minutes he held those pads in differing positions that signaled me to strike. A skilled pad holder/trainer is capable of exhausting their partner, should they choose, with continual demands for kicks, punches or strikes from elbows and knees. In addition, if their partner is experienced enough, a pad holder can kick and punch back, requiring the trainee to incorporate defensive moves into their repertoire.

Generally, training (pad work, heavy bag hitting, sparring and even shadow boxing) is performed in three minute rounds with a one minute rest in between. This follows the cycle of competitive bouts and works well to prepare the body for the quick cardiovascular recovery necessary under such conditions. At Fairtex, however, they have upped the conditioning anti with six minute rounds and a one minute rest in between.

There was a time in my competitive years when my pad training was fast paced, complex and exhausting even to look at for too long. But being nearly 40 years old has its advantages, especially in a culture where age is respected. While Tor challenged me: offering attacks for me to defend and demanding countless kicks and knee strikes in each round, the attitude was fun and friendly. He demanded speed in my strikes but would attack slowly, giving me time to respond and counter.

From time to time I would look over at Todd and Fong, both of whom eventually started striking the pads with their trainers as well. They were both sweating, with soaked t-shirts, wet hair and the periodic mop of the brow. But they were also smiling every time I snuck a glance their way. Later conversations confirmed my suspicions – they loved it!

In all, there were 26 of us training that day, including a large group from California, four instructors from France, a professional competitor from Portugal and several other women and men from the UK, Australia and the States. People were either striking a bag, working with their trainer on pads, or practicing a unique element of Muay Thai, a stand up wrestling technique with knee and elbow strikes called plumm. Others were doing abdominal conditioning, improving their form, developing their calves by bouncing on tires, getting a rub down or stretching. The group was happy, friendly and yes, sweating and smiling.

Typical of many Muay Thai camps, Fairtex offers both a morning and an afternoon training session. Each begins with a warm-up run (one that my group happily avoided on grounds of old age and poor conditioning), shadow boxing, pad work and/or bag work, and sparring for those who are interested.

Following our morning session we were served a delicious Thai meal, and then had the majority of the day to ourselves. At about 3:30, folks began to gather around the rings for an afternoon session. After six hours of rest, we were energized and ready to go. While my friends continued to develop their form and increase their striking power (and caloric burn), I worked with 29 year old Kai, a man with 130 professional fights under his belt, 114 of them wins.

I joked with Kai about being an old woman and that he should forgive me if I was slow. His humorous response every time I looked a bit weary was to smile and say “mai nuay�? (not tired!). I would then take a deep, fortifying breath and proclaim: “mai nuay, sabaidee kah!�? (I am not tired, I am very good!)

But by the end of the day, I was both: I was good and tired. My friends and Irewarded ourselves with a fantastic dinner, made our way back to our respective homes and each had a very sound night’s sleep.

Fairtex Muaythai and Fitness offers elite training to both serious practitioners and those looking for a fun and challenging experience. With 17 personal trainers teaching techniques of the Kingdom’s national sport, Fairtex is expanding quickly. The camp sits on 1.5 rai on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok, and offers guests a full range of facilities including housing, meals, weight room, yoga/Pilates studio and a soon to open detoxification center. Visitors can choose to stay from a half day to months at a time.

Fairtex is building a second, much bigger camp in Pattaya on 9 rai, to be open this year. The Pattaya facility will boast a full sports complex, an extensive detoxification center and even a four star hotel.

For more information contact:
Fairtex Muaythai Fitness
99/8 Moo 3, Soi Boonthamanusorn, Theparak Rd.
Bangplee, Samutprakarn
+66 2 755 3329

Kyle ‘KO’ Noke Story

23 Sep

by (2005-09-23)

Kyle Noke grew up in Dubbo NSW and was like a lot of young kids growing up in a large country town with more than their share of unbridled energy and spirit. He was heavily involved in sports like Rugby League mixed in with a little fisticuffs with the other local lads of the area when things got a little too boring. Little by little Kyle’s mischief started to get him in trouble so his mum who is his number 1 supporter grabbed him by the ear and moved to the Sunshine Coast in the hope of a more productive environment for her boy.

Kyle was introduced to martial arts by Tony Green who he met whilst going out at that time with Tony’s young sister in law. Kyle still likes to tell the story of how when first introduced to Tony interrupting one of his many meals for the day, he barely looked up grunting his disapproval thinking he was another young softy that put his surfboard aside momentarily thinking he might be able to handle training in MMA. After surviving a few of his first training sessions with Tony and Mick Green the Green brothers sensed that Kyle might have what it takes to be a Champion. To them it was not through freaky fighting ability but Kyle had a Warriors Spirit and the determination and heart to take him wherever he wanted to go.

Whilst training with Tony he was introduced to Chris Haseman and his Rings fighters in Brisbane and also began wrestling on the Sunshine Coast where he met his current MMA trainer Dan Higgins. After a couple of months of training together and with the approval of Integrated Martial Arts founder Mick Green they formed the Integrated Martial Arts MMA Team. Kyle with only a few months MMA training fought in Spartan 5 defeating his opponent by TKO in a display that had him look like an experienced MMA fighter with a few wins under his belt rather than a raw boned kid in his first lawful fight.

After a string of victories in his first 18 months of fighting including one over the highly regarded Neil Swailes of New Zealand Kyle suffered his first loss at the hands of Japanese Judo Champion Noriyuki Hayakawa by armbar submission in a fight, which allowed Hayakawa to wear his Judo Gi. This would be Kyles only loss other than a narrow split points decision defeat at the hands of the current King of Pancrase, Japans Katsuya Inoue.

In that time under the watchful eye of trainer Dan Higgins and Manager and strength and conditioning trainer Tony Green, Kyle has defeated all comers including Submission Grappling Champions from America, Brazillian Ju Jitsu Blackbelts as well as awesome all round MMA fighters such as Matt Tepaa, Luke Pezutti and Byron Donnelly.

Now the undisputed Australian MMA Welterweight Champion Kyle has already experienced some incredible opportunities. He has trained in Thailand alongside Tony Green with muay thai champions and team sponsor Fairtex and also traveled to the USA with Dan Higgins to train with Greg Jacksons team of champion fighters such as Diego Sanchez, Nathan Marquardt and Joey Villesanor. One view that is shared by Kyles trainers and teammates is that whilst he is willing and able to continue his assault on the sport of MMA that he his bound for greatness.

Kyle was recently interviewed on his latest victories in the Warriors Realm 4 man eliminator and what he has in his sights for the future.


» Why did you decide to fight in the eliminator?

I was supposed to have a single fight against Alexander Custudjio but apparently
this fight did not happen due to visa difficulties on his end. I was also given the choice of going in the eliminator or not to be matched so after preparing fully to fight I wasn’t going to waste my preparation, so I chose the eliminator.

» What did you think of your fight against George Sotiropolous and what were your impressions of him as an opponent?

For the fight against George I felt gassed from the opening bell due to a few factors in my last minute pre-fight preparation for the first eliminator fight. Our team has identified and ironed out this problem and it won’t happen again. I didn’t think it was a good fight. George was a good opponent I may have underestimated him a little and been thinking more about the fight with Byron as I knew he would be in the final due to the draw.

»What are your thoughts on Byron Donnelly and the fight with him?

Byron was the strongest opponent I have faced, he is very physical and mentally tough. A lot of my prep for this fight was mental, as I knew Byron
on a friendship level and also due to him being a very close friend and former student of my coach Dan Higgins. This was the first time I have experienced fighting someone I had been a friend with.

» Did both fights go according to plan? You looked like you were a lot more focused in the final?

The final fight went to plan but I think that was my own doing as I put all my focus into the fight with Byron and I didn’t give much thought to the fight with George as I mentioned earlier. This is something that will never happen again as after every fight our team identifies any weaknesses or
problems that I face win, lose or draw and addresses them in my preparation for future bouts.

» How would you change your game if George gets a shot at your Title in the future?

Before the eliminator we concentrated a lot on my stand up, but the down side of this was I neglected my ground game, which is George’s strong point. As I stated after my fight with him I would be more than happy to have a rematch
and this time I will be more focused on fighting George specifically and I will be doing my best to ensure there is no controversy or room for questioning the result in our next meeting.

» What plans and goals do you have for the future?

I desperately want to show my ability in Japan and test myself against some of their fighters now that I believe that I am at a level that I can
match it with them. In the long-term future I would like to spend some time fighting in America and or Japan and become good enough to win world titles with my team along side me.

» What do you think contributes to yours and your team’s success in MMA?

Dan Higgins as head trainer and the friendship and warrior spirit our team shares.Also the level at witch we train. Their are no egos in our gym and we train extremely hard twice a day in the hardcore basics of MMA fighting through
wrestling, boxing, muay thai and what we affectionately refer to in our team as dan jitsu : ) We support each other and build each others fighting skills as well asphysical and mental strength. When one of our fighters is in the cage or ring we are all in their beside him or her in spirit.

» If you had one line to describe yourself what would it be?

I don’t think I could describe myself, as I’m just not that egotistical. I know what type of person I am and so do the people close to me. I’m comfortable with that.

Kyle would like to pay special mention and thanks to all of his supporters and also sponsors FAIRTEX, GO FAST SPORTS, REDBAK SUPPLEMENTS, SUNCOAST FITNESS AND THE TEAM AT AUSTRALIA ZOO.

Interview courtesy of

Humboldt Combat Challenge

21 Sep

by Salvatore Russo (2005-09-16)

Humboldt County, California

Giant Redwoods, Tie Dye T-Shirts and devastating Thai Kicks came together in a cacophony of sights and sounds as the Humboldt Combat Challenge. Fairtex’ very own Team Shields/ Gracie went 3 for 3 against fighters from as far away as Arizona. Fairtex very first fight of the evening was the number 3 fight in on the card, young Gilbert Vera, a 19 year old former SF State wrestler matched up against a striker out of Redding California. Dominating the action from start to finish, with a few hiccups due more to inexperience than lack of skill, Gilbert was able to scrape together a Unanimous decision. The next Shields/Gracie Fighter was Moses Vacca; a Cesar Gracie blue belt with much improved boxing skills, Moses was paired off against another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt from Cassio Werneck’s Academy in Sacramento. Moses pushed the action early by shooting in for a double leg takedown behind a succession of snappy jabs. Upon hitting the ground Moses went from his opponents half guard to side control, from side control to I position, and from I position to mount; text book BJJ. From the mount Moses began a barrage of strikes to his opponent’s head forcing him to turn to his stomach- big mistake. Moses was able to secure hooks postured up and the hits kept coming. Moses Vacca wins by tap out due to strikes early in the first round.The last fight of the evening featured the soon to be training in Thailand Jimmy “Comondongo�? Juachin. Jimmy’s was the next to last fight of the evening and reminded everyone in attendance why its good to add a little Muay Thai to ones repertoire. Jimmy came in very strong against a fighter from Arizona; behind his jab Jimmy landed a very hard Thai kick to his opponents inside leg bringing his opponent crashing down to the mat. It was all short work from there wherein Jimmy’s five plus years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experience culminated in a rear naked choke and tap out early in the first round.

A huge thank you to all our team mates who made the 5 hour trip to the Chara- ae Casino by the Sea in order to support the guys; their were so many black Fairtex shirts that you would have thought it was a Fairtex sponsored event. If anyone doesn’t believe this team is like a family than you have no idea how many of the guys who sweat together day in and day out took that soul sucking drive up the 101, there were no less than ten guys who came up for no other reason than to support their team mates. Thanks again guys.


19 Sep

by FTX (2005-09-19)

The Hong Kong press gave unprecedented coverage to the “showdown of the century�? when the “Tiger of Jian Xu�? Zhang Qing Jun of China scored a stunning first round KO win over England’s Marek “The Jet�? Boguscewicz at the Elizabeth Stadium to win the first WBC MUAYTHAI (Greater Asia) International Heavyweight Championship on 9 September.

The Chinese daily newspapers gave full page coverage to the historic event while the conservative English language daily The South China Morning Post produced a back page report on Zhang’s third straight KO victory in the heavyweight division.

Zhang’s win has sent shock waves through the martial arts communities of China, Hong Kong and Macau and the Chinese media press are raving about the “Tiger of Jian Xu�? being the next superstar.

Zhang said he was looking forward to being matched up against the “best Europeans�? saying that he was first trained in Kung Fu before switching to MUAYTHAI.

“In professional ring sports MUAYTHAI is where you go and fight if you want to be the best of the best.�?

Englishman Marek who prides himself on his boxing and defensive abilities said he was “taken completely by surprise by Zhang’s ferocity in the ring.�?

Zhang opened the first round with a flurry of hard punches that bruised and cut the face of the Marek. He was knocked down twice before the final countdown at the 70 seconds mark of the first round.

The first WBC MUAYTHAI International Championship was fought on the 9th day of the 9th month at the 9th hour in the evening.

Chairman of the Hong Kong Boxing Association – the influential organization that is promoting WBC MUAYTHAI in Hong Kong, Macau and China – said that “the numbers 999 are most fortuitous and this augers well for the great ring sport of muaythai. Now that there is the first WBC muaythai champion in the Greater Asia region from China there is unprecedented interested in muaythai as a credible professional ring sport.�?

Both fighters wore Fairtex Gloves and shorts into the arena. Fairtex is an official sponsor of the WBC MUAYTHAI.

Keaw Fairtex vs Orono Majesticgym, A Great Event Not to be Missed

14 Sep

by Muaythai 2000 (2005-09-14)

A great event not to be missed in Muay Thai on Friday, September 16th in Suk Petchpiya at Lumpinee Stadium starting at 6:30 p.m. This event will have many exciting matches consisted of many popular fighters in Muay Thai. The fan is guaranteed to enjoy this great event.

The main match in this event is between Keaw Fairtex and Orono Majesticgym. Both are well known fighters with nice performances. Their names are well trusted and accepted by the fan. They will be fighting at 130 lbs. which is the fairest and most compatible weight. This weight will let both fighters perform at their best ability. Keaw is a well rounded fighter with all the right Muay Thai’s skills. He is full of many dangerous Muay Thai’s weapons and knows just how to use them against his opponents. Keaw is a smart fighter who will surely be giving his opponent a hard time when he fights.

As for Orono, he is a talented fighter with great fighting’s techniques. He is a tough fighter with vicious fighting’s style. This will be a real compatible fight between two great fighters. Both Keaw and Orono are preparing themselves very well for this fight. We will surely get to see them at the top of their performance.

Other matches in this event are Daoprasuk Tungsongtaksin VS Kompayak Fairtex at 118 lbs., Hualampong Fonjangburee fighting for the Championship of Thailand at Mini Flier Weight against Nakropdam T. Bangsean, Virapon S. Virapon VS Denchai Sitall at 116 lbs. and more.


13 Sep

by MMA Weekly (2005-09-13)

Over the last year it would be hard to find a young lightweight that’s gained as much momentum as Gilbert Melendez has. Since becoming the first man to defeat Olaf Alfonzo in the WEC last May, Gilbert has been on fire winning all his fights since, knocking off highly regarded BJ Penn student Kaynan Kaku, and standout Shooto stars Hiroyuki Takaya and Nayoya Uematsu.

Now in his second fight of the year Melendez has defeated an MMA legend, Rumina Sato, a former Shooto Champion. MMA Weekly spoke to Melendez as he returned home to San Francisco after taking a vacation of shorts in Thailand following his win over Sato and discussed the fight and what’s next for his blossoming career.

“It was short but sweet,�? Melendez said of his win over Sato. “I knew we would stand on the feet and I was prepared to sprawl and brawl if he wanted to try to take me down. He hit me once with a hook and I clinched and threw knees. I hit him twice to the body with my right and then I came up and got him with a left knee to the head.�?

From there it would spell doom for the former champion, as according to Melendez, “It’s quiet in the arena for shows in Japan so you could hear me hit his head pretty loud. I felt he was stunned and went for the kill but the referee jumped in and they checked the cut and ended the fight.�?

Even though Melendez got the win, he feels let down, as he didn’t get a chance to show what he really could do in the fight. “I don’t understand why the ref jumped in so quick, I thought I would be able to pounce on him for the kill. I’m disappointed because I thought I could get the KO or end the fight myself, but overall I’m happy with the win.�?

Next up for Gilbert could be his long awaited bout with reigning Shooto Lightweight Champion Alexandre “Pequeno�? Nogueira. “I’m of the belief I finally get a title shot against Pequeno. I don’t know when he’ll be ready to fight, possibly December. If it works out and he gives the okay I’ll be ready to fight him in December, but if anything else comes along before then I’ll be interested. Basically I’m just waiting until I get a call to fight.�?

If the fight with Pequeno does happen, Melendez feels that he is ready for his first major championship fight. “I have the same stand up strategy for him (Nogueira) that I did for Sato because I feel he’s weak on his feet and I can pick him apart if we stand.�?

“I know he’s got a pretty quick shot so I’ll be ready to sprawl and brawl if it gets into those deep waters,�? continued Gilbert. “I’m prepared for the ground if it goes there. I’d like to take it to the third round because I can tire him out and the longer it goes, the better for me.�?

Nogueira sports an overall 13-2-2 record and will be looking to rebound after a loss in the first round of the K-1 Hero’s Lightweight Tournament earlier this year.

For right now though Melendez is enjoying the opportunities that will be afforded him after a win over an established MMA star. “I feel like the doors are finally opening up for me. I was excited to fight Sato and I feel I’m getting more respect from people. You know I’m just trying to get more respect and hopefully I am the ‘next big thing’ that some people feel I am.�?

Gilbert continued, “I think I’m on the right gameplan for working out and training. I’m fortunate enough to have Jake Shields as my training partner. To get the opportunity to work with a guy that’s a top MMA contender and bigger than me only makes me stronger. Also being able to train with Jongsanan ‘The Wooden Man’ Fairtex (an ISKA World Muay Thai Champion) and the entire Cesar Gracie Fight Team has done a lot for my career.�?

No matter what is next for Gilbert, his eyes are firmly fixed on his future; a future that he hopes will land him on the biggest stages in MMA. “My real goal is fighting the big guys in Pride at 160lbs. I’m at 167lbs right now and so I feel I could compete with the fighters at that weight. Takanori Gomi is my favorite fight and Jens Pulver, Yves Edwards and Josh Thomson are all top fighters and I want to be fighting the best so I can show I belong with the best. And you know the only way to do that is get in there with them and prove it.�?

As the conversation closed out, Melendez wanted to make sure to give a shout out to all his supporters. “I want to first thank the fans that support me, because of them I’m going to keep on winning. I also want to thank my sponsors No Gi, Fairtex,, and the people that train me, Jake Shields, Cesar Gracie, and ‘The Wooden Man’ of Fairtex, Jongsanan.�?

Yodsenglai Fairtex Wins Thailand Title

13 Sep

by Fairtex Thailand (2005-09-13)

Yodsenglai again showed his outstanding ability when he comprehensively outclassed the great Samgaw to win Thailand’s junior middleweight (154 pounds) title at a packed Lumpinee Stadium. The Fairtex champ already holds a Lumpinee Stadium title.

The showdown between the 19 years old Fairtex sensation and the 30 years old ring master Samgaw had been billed as the “generational clash�? between two giants of the muaythai ring.

But those who came expecting to see an even contest left with the understanding that Yodsenglai had arrived to carry the baton for the Kingdom’s elite fighters in the heavier weight divisions.

Most certainly Yodsenglai has his eyes on a world title.

A super-fit Yodsenglai outclassed and out muscled Samgaw who used his entire arsenal to tried desperately to outgun his younger and confident rival.

For the first two rounds Yodsenglai used precision punches to the head – a tactic which frustrated Samgaw as he battled to get in close. Then when the contest went to grappling in the third round Yodsenglai was far too strong.

The Fairtex fighter had bulked up into an awesome fighting machine and, when the going got tough, Samgaw was unable to exert any pressure.

In the fourth round Samgaw was tiring while Yodsaenklai stayed in control maneuvering his challenger and going into cruise mode.

But those who thought that the fight was over were in for a surprise when Samgaw launched a final round of fury – slashing out elbows in a desperate attempt to score a stunning last round K.O.

But Yodsenglai showed calm and savvy ring sense as he easily fended off Samgraw’s final attacks and went on to an impressive 150-147 victory.

On the same card Saenchai Sor Kingstar suffered a deep forehead cut to outclass Gongphiphop Phechyingdee.

Saenchai fought at 125 pounds and conceded 5 pounds to his taller opponent.

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