Soren Sends Alain Home

13 Feb

by Contender Asia (2008-02-13)

With The Victorious Tiger Kings

The score has evened between the two teams as Yodsaenklai sealed another win for the Tiger Kings against Bruce MacFie. “We’ve basically killed off another captain of theirs. We’re captain killers!” said Zach as he motioned and mimicked cutting the chopping board and exclaimed, “Chiak! Chiak!” The Tiger Kings then shared a laugh at the Wild Boars expense.

John Wayne added, “At the start of the competition, the Wild Boars were looking down on us but now the pendulum has swung and I think they’re going to have a hard time getting the pendulum to swing back their way.”Dzhabar also said, ”Today for Muay Thai, it was a good fight. I’m happy to fight here, it’s a revolution for Muay Thai.”

Zach added that they were in for some quiet days now that Bruce was gone.

John Wayne said that he did not mind him because “he was quite a character.” Dzhabar said in his interview, “Bruce is a really nice guy. When he is at home, it’s funny. It’s a bit sad that he left but I’m happy that Yodsaenklai won.” At this juncture, Yodsaenklai entered the room and they hugged and cheered their teammates in happiness.

John Wayne enquired if Yodsaenklai had gotten injured during the fight. “A bit of my leg,” Yodsaenklai replied. He continued, “You get tired when you run away, but I got dizzy. He kept going around, running away.” He then made a comical movement of moving around in slow motion. In his interview he shared that the fight went the way he thought it would. “Bruce’s style is to back away at first, I thought he was going to come back with punches but he kept backing away.” He also said that he believed that the Wild Boars would not be sad because it was a sport and there would always be winners and losers.

By this time, the kinship between the two teams had grown. The Wild Boars came over to congratulate Yodsaenklai, and David duly reminded John Wayne, “Two-two.” They told Yodsaenklai that it was a good fight and that it was very enjoyable to watch. David then said, “We’ll see you at the next challenge.” He shared in his interview that he and his fellow Wild Boars were so sick and tired of losing and they were hoping that Bruce would come out all guns blazing, giving a solid performance, but “sometimes when it’s not your day, you just don’t perform.”

This was very reminiscent of the Tiger Kings in the earlier episodes. The tables had truly turned in the competition. As Bruce was gone, David pointed out that the rest of them were still there. They had to continue putting in the extra effort and fight on. David said that he did not mind taking care of his team as much as he could but he emphasized that his individual needs came first. He desperately wanted to go out and fight.

Sharing His Illness

Looking at Alain’s food, David said that it did not look appetizing. Alain explained that with his condition he had no choice but to eat that way. A confused David then pressed on to find out what exactly was wrong to Alain to which he replied he had Crohn’s Disease. He explained that it was an incurable, genetic intestinal disorder. Symptoms of that disease included abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Due to the disease, Alain had to stick to eating food with more fiber and less fats and less spices. He also had to take excessive amounts of medications for the pain. He further explained that he had 13 inches of his intestines removed due to a blockage. The disease did sometimes affect his fighting capabilities, he said, but it had duly served to increase his threshold for pain. He said, the pain he felt when opponents hit him was nothing compared to his abdominal pains.

David said he had a lot of respect for him, as there definitely were people like him in the world who had similar diseases and did nothing about it. He added in his interview, “Alain is a mentally strong person and I take my hat off to him, he’s got a lot of mental strength behind him and he’s one of those people who really deserve to go to the next round.”

Training Gets Tougher

As per the usual morning routine, Stephen woke the men up with his loud bellowing voice. Zach explained in his interview that Stephen was really strict during training as he wanted them to be punctual and made sure that they got their rounds.

They started with 3 two-minute rounds on the punching bag as a warm up. Stephen shouted, “Move! Move! Move!” as he spurred them on to strive harder. Alain said that he had not been feeling well and it had been affecting a lot of his training sessions. He was losing 80 percent of his energy as he kept retreating to the washroom. After several punches, he felt weak and this cycle kept repeating itself. In his interview he said, “I just want to train hard and fight with the top fighters in the world. I mean I’m there now. I made it. I don’t stop. I’m not a quitter. I fight for my life when I fight in the ring.”

Back at the training session, Stephen shouted for another round “for your mama.” The men strained even harder. Soren said that as the numbers dropped it meant that they got more time with the trainers. “I don’t look at other boxers. I just worry about myself as long as I’m doing good and I’m fit, then ill fight anybody,” he added. John Wayne said that even though they were teammates, it was an individual sport and when it boiled down to the quarterfinals and knock out stages there was only going to be a few men left. Then, it would then be “every man for himself.”

Stephen finally added that the Wild Boars had to decide on their new captain by 10 am that day.

Taking Up A New Role

The Wild Boars were lying around their room resting after the morning’s training session as Zidov reminded them that they had to choose their captain. Naruepol immediately said, “You!” whilst pointing at Zidov. He declined just as quickly and said, “No, no, I already said the other time I don’t want to be captain. This is not my job.” Sean mentioned in his interview that they found themselves ‘captain-less’ yet again as they kept getting their ‘asses kicked.’ He added that the captain job “did not interest him.” Zidov said they should decide like the last time by voting. He immediately voted for David and the rest of them agreed wholeheartedly. There was a unanimous vote for David and he was elected to become the Wild Boar’s newest captain. They ‘high fived’ David and pushed him up.

David said that perhaps there was a jinx in being the Wild Boars captain and felt that the men elected him as nobody else wanted to take up that role. “Maybe the rest of them felt too much pressure in being Captain because the captain was always in the limelight,” he said. He said he was just going to be himself.

In his first inspiration speech to his new team, he said, “It doesn’t mater what happens. We just relax, have fun and win, if we try too hard and its not working, we just relax and have fun and we’ll go all the way.” Sean said in his interview that he thought that David would have a long illustrious career as leader and would go on to do great things for them. He pauses in a realization that he has spoken too much and jokingly adds, “umm… yea,” as if disbelieving what he said earlier.

The Challenge

The contender truck was parked at the Singapore port when the men entered. Stephen asked for the new Wild Boar captain and the men pushed David forward. Jaymee said that she was not at all surprised and David exclaimed, “I’m representing the UK”. The men cheered for their newly elected captain.

Jaymee went on to explain the challenge, “You’re probably wondering what this truck is all about. Your next challenge will be a truck pull.” Stephen then corrected her and said “A truck tug of war to be precise.” Jaymee then continued, “You’ll get on opposite sides of the truck and on my ‘Go!’ you’ll start pulling the truck. The first team to get the truck past the finish line wins.” The men wore protective gloves and stood on opposite sides of the truck as instructed. Jaymee then blew the horn and off they went.

Both teams had a designated talisman at the back of their line that led the team and coordinated their effort. John Wayne did so for the Tiger Kings with a, “Huhh, Huhh, Huhh” while David coordinated the Wild Boars with a “One Two Three, HUHH” with the ‘Huhh’s’ obviously referring to pull. It took a while for the truck to start moving in either directly before the Tiger Kings got a slight edge.

The Wild Boars desperately tried to pull their way back into the challenge but it proved to be in vain as the truck crossed the Tiger Kings line and they shouted. “Areeebaaa!” Yet again the Tiger Kings won making it three consecutive challenge defeats for the Wild Boars. Jaymee asked David what went wrong and he said that being captain he had to take blame for their latest failure. Stephen said it was now time to get back to the loft before Dzhbar asked, “that’s all?” while Pitu asked, “No reward?” Stephen said, “Reward?” in mock confusion. Jaymee then answered them by informing them that their reward was waiting for them at the loft. The men booed and as they went back to the loft, perhaps expecting another chance to get out of the loft.

Reward Time

Back at the loft, awaiting their return were laptops. All of them were entitled to $500 shopping sprees on Ebay as their reward for winning the challenge. They were ecstatic! John Wayne said that it was a cool reward but there was suddenly a lot of pressure on them as they were only given two hours to buy whatever they wanted and there were endless possibilities on Ebay.

John Wayne then asked his teammates what they wanted to buy and Zach replied saying that he was not too sure. Dzhabar then asked rather jokingly, “I want to buy chicks, can you buy a playgirl?” John Wayne answered, “blow up doll.” Pitu then spelt it out, “D-O-L-L ok, I check for you.” John Wayne said that it was quite cool but there were so many things that they could buy. He was sure the Wild Boars missed out big time.

The Wild Boars then entered the room and crowded around the Tiger Kings whom told the Wild Boars all about their latest reward. David remarked, “That is cool!” While Zidov said, “I was really pissed off. If you tell my cousin in Croatia that you have to pull a truck for $500 on Ebay, they’re going to pull the truck all day. I hate to lose. I really hate to lose but this is fighting. You get down, you come up, and that’s life.”

Dzhabar said that he wanted to buy an Ipod telephone for $500. Zach said skeptically, “sure, if you can get it.” Dzhabar then showed it to him and Zach immediately exclaimed, “It’s a silicon case you ‘dumbass’. It’s not even a phone! It’s the plastic cover! Oh Dzhabar!!” They all had a good laugh at his expense. Dzhabar said it was his first time buying something from Ebay and he realized it was surprisingly easy and much cheaper to shop online.

Deliberation Time

John Wayne said it was harder this week then the previous two weeks. He pointed at Dhzabar, Soren and Zach, all whom wanted to fight. They settled on deciding ‘Spanish style” with sticks; whoever got the longest stick would fight. Pitu said he was quite surprised that John Wayne, as captain did not decide who would fight for the Tiger Kings. John Wayne added that to make it more spontaneous they would do it in the presence of both Jaymee and Stephen.

With the Wild Boars, the men were sitting around talking when David said that he was concerned that the Tiger Kings kept winning the challenges and picked the fights. They wanted to win and pick the fights instead.

Who fights?

The men assembled in the training arena and John Wayne explained the situation to Stephen, Jaymee and the Wild Boars. Stephen agreed with this mode of selection and said, “Surprise is good!” He then called up the three men and they picked up a stick each.

Soren picked first, followed by Dzhabar and finally Zach. Jaymee asked who had the longest stick. Soren had it and the men cheered for him. He then picked Alain from the Wild Boars. A few months ago Soren had fought Alain and he had managed to stop him in the 2nd round. After the fight, Soren promised that he would give Alain a rematch. Alain said that he was not surprised as they had spoken about it before and Soren knew that he wanted a rematch. They shook hands and we were both psyched up for the fight to come.

At The House

The men started sharing that, nerves before a fight would make their stomach act up. Zach said that they were ‘fight day nerves’.Soren explained in his interview that he did not get ‘fight day nerves’ anymore but people that knew him would notice a change in him. He said that he was not an angry sort of person but just quieter. Soren asked Alain as he ate, “Are you psyched? Alain retorted, “Do I look psyched? They laughed and Soren said that he was just making conversation.

Alain explained in his interview, “Six months ago when I fought Soren, it was a one day notice, the same day I lost 8 kg. It is impossible to be in the perfect condition to fight him. But now I can have my rematch.” Soren asked Alain what he weighed now and he replied, “75kg.” Alain added that he did not gain weight that much to which Soren said, “But you eat a lot!” Alain explained that he excreted a lot as well. Soren said that although Alain seemed sick he had promised him a rematch and the time had come. In their last fight Alain did not hurt him at all but he did not expect to just walk over him this time round. He finally ended the interview segment by saying that anyone with a heart had the capacity to knock out the world’s best fighters.

30 minutes to fight

John Wayne prepared Soren for the upcoming fight. Soren said, “I’m not like a lot of other fighters. Most people think typical Thai boxers are rough tough and scary, you don’t want to mess with them. I don’t think you have to be like that to be good at Thai boxing. When I’m in the ring, it’s a professional sport for me and it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to knock you out.” While he got his gloves strapped on, Soren related his life story, “Back at home, I lived with my mom and sister. My mom left my father when I was quite young so I never had a father. Muay Thai is sort of my men’s world.” Soren said it was up to Alain whether he wanted to go the distance with him. “I’ve beaten him before and I’ll beat him again. He’s in my way to the next round.”

In the Wild Boars’ room, Sean helped Alain to prepare for his match. He said, “I am quite happy to fight Soren because I got the rematch that I wanted.” With regard to Soren, he said that he was a very technical fighter and that he to be careful of his right elbow. He also claimed that Soren had a tendency to get lost under heavy pressure from his opponents. So, if he could fire shots “like a pit ball,” he might be able to overpower Soren. His trainer gave him some last minute tips, “Sometimes when you don’t want to block, then lock.” As he warms up, Sean inspires him, “Don’t waste your energy, Nice and cool!” In his last words before the fight Alain said, “It’s normal as a fighter to think I’m ready, I’m going to do this but sometimes you’re like, am I going to lose? Am I going to get knocked out, am I going to get a broken leg? Maybe I am a little nervous. Once I’m in the ring, poof, everything is gone.” Finally he said, “I want to prove it to me that I can get very far in a short time. Also to prove to my family. Everybody wants to be the champ and I will be the champ.”

Round 1

Alain started off first by hitting and punching him hard however Soren blocked these. He attempted to catch Soren’s leg to topple him over but to no avail and instead missed kicking him. Suddenly, they become slow and reluctant to throw any punches. When the punches did fly, they were both blocking each other’s expertly. However, they kept getting stuck in huddles. Soren used those opportunities to deliver his knee to Alain’s abdomen. Finally, Alain managed to topple Soren momentarily. The match was very equal at this point in time. The bell went off and John Wayne told Soren, “You’re doing fine!” On the other hand, Sean said to Alain, “Good stuff! How you feeling?” to which Alain replied, “Ok.” Sean continued to tell Alain to “Give it a bit more. No more single shots. I want combination shots.” John Wayne told Sean, “Combos are good. Combos are really nice!”

Round 2

Both started off with hard kicks. Although Alain kept blocking himself from Soren’s punches, he got punched hard in the shoulder. Yet again they got stuck in huddles. Zidov shouted to Alain, “Knee!” Soren punched him hard on the face several times. Both men got desperate to throw in more. Soren finally managed to swing Alain and throw him onto the floor. Alain repeatedly tried to get into a huddle with Alain, however this worked to his disadvantage, as Alain would use his other weapons. At the sound of the bell, it seemed Soren had managed to tip the scales in his favor. John Wayne said to Soren, “He’s got nothing. Nothing left. It’s all yours.” Desperation was increasing in the other corner as Zidov told Alain, “Wake up! Wake up!” David told Alain fiercely, “You’ve got to work this round or I’m going to chuck your towel in. You’ve got to work this round!”

Round 3

Alain get recharged and started to kick him repeatedly. They got into a huddle and elbowed each other. However, Soren managed to topple Alain again. Alain started to assume defensive position by blocking his face from Soren’s punches. In a crushing blow, Soren placed one square punch onto Alain’s face and he started bleeding from his eyebrow. They both continue punching each other repeatedly never once losing determination. However, Soren managed to deliver his elbow hard onto Alain’s face and there was a second cut on Alain’s face. Though his face was a bloody mess, Alain did not give up and continue to block and punch. At the end of the round, Alain was bleeding profusely on his face.

After the round Alain’s trainer shouts, “Finished! Finished!” Zidov cut in and said, “No, no wait.” They analyzed Alain’s cut and felt it was best for him to pull out of the fight. Zidov said, “Hey we stop the fight. It’s too big!” David told Alain the harsh truth, “I’m telling you the truth. You’re not working. Save it for another day.” Sean added, “Unless you think you can knock him out now.” Alain was breathing heavily and finally agreed to end the match. Soren then rushed to his side to see if he was all right. Finally, Soren has won the match against Alain the second time. He said in his interview, “I think the fight was pretty good especially for someone with a bit of a stomach problem. He was tougher than I thought him to be. I’m happy with the way I fought. I think I used all eight weapons.”

Alain Goes Home

Although Alain did not want to use the excuse of being sick, he said, “It had to happen now. You know what I mean? Being sick for two weeks.” He said he was pissed off at himself as he had waited a long for the re-match. He added that Soren did a good job. “He is a good fighter not a dirty fighter. Respect. And I showed the same thing towards him.” As the doctor stitched up his cut he groaned in pain.

Sentimentally, he added that it was a little harder walking out from his friends as they had all lived together and shared something together so it would not be easy. Not giving up, he said, “I will go back to Thailand, cure this injury up for a week and a half. Train like a psycho. 2-3 weeks maximum a month I will get a belt.” As he walked out of the arena and he rang the bell for his team and shouted “See you later!” Finally he said, “When I see Muay Thai, I see a fighter standing. I see a warrior. I consider myself a warrior. I love to fight. It’s who I am! “

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