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Old 08-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: What would Samart Payakaroon do?

Good question rekcutnevets. It’s an interesting one, but I think as far as Samart’s concerned probably a simple one.

A “Thai” Muay Thai fighter tends to fight with most of his body weight on the back foot and be anchored with it pretty heavily. There are many reasons for this, but a few of the obvious ones are: the less weight on the lead leg the less damage it takes when kicked, it’s also harder to be knocked off balance with little weight on it when kicked, it enables you to lift your lead leg quicker to block or counter knee, or use for a counter push or round kick etc etc. Thai’s don’t dance about on their toes, they stand right in front of you stalking and pressuring looking for openings to release single strike power as opposed to the more dynamic but less powerful drilled combos of their dancing in and out Kickboxing cousins.

However, when a “Thai” Muay Thai fighter switches over to western styled boxing they totally reverse the whole weight distribution and almost over compensate onto the front foot with say a 65-35 weight split on to the lead leg. Inconceivable in MT where they’d get the **** kicked out of your front leg or eat far too many knees. As late comers to boxing they make up for lack of “traditional” boxing skills with all-round toughness, years of hard fought ring experience on the MT circuit and tremendous fighting spirit. They tend to feel more comfortable as pressure fighters close to their prey in the pocket similar to MT. Hence so much weight on the lead leg so they can lean in and start to pound. Very similar to what a lot of Mexicans do, just think “El Terrible” when he’s going in for the kill.

Remember I’m generalising a bit and talking in general about Thai converts obviously there are some exceptions, but they tend to be slightly unusual like Samart.

To highlight a little of what I’m talking about here are two clips of the same fighter, Sam-A. He’s a current top 5 MT P4P king and former Lumpinee Stadium champion as well 2011 Thai sportswriters Fighter of the Year.

Here he is (Blue) fighting MT in Lumpinee against another top Thai Kongsak (Red) last year. Watch the weight distribution:


Now watch him (White) in his pro boxing debut only last month against a Pinoy. Again notice the weight shift:


Now what you’re seeing between the two clips is how 90% of Thai MT fighters adapt when the turn over to Boxing. OK Sam-A still dances away a bit onto the backfoot, but this is only his debut, once they fully changeover it’s all the front foot and forward, forward, forward.

Now back to the question in relation to Samart and MMA. What I treid to do with the above explanation is highlight just how "differenat" Samart was to the average Thai fighter. Samart was no ordinary Thai fighter, he broke the mould massively, and he was very different to most. He wasn’t the one dimensional forward stalking wrecking machine that most Thais are, he preferred fighting at range with punches and kicks and had an uncanny ability to just read everything so well, You’re hard pressed to find a fighter who was just as comfortable and such a pure natural in the ring, he almost looks like he’s gassed he’s so relaxed even against the toughest fighters in the world. Somrak Khamsing is another with that gift whatever the style MT, Boxing …….or dare I say it MMA. For me in the two clips you posted he hasn’t massively changed his style or stance compared to most Thais. Sure he’s more stationary and more on the back foot when he’s fighting MT and yes he’s more on his toes with a more equal weight shift when boxing, but his style is basically the same it’s just practicality that has made him adapt. I think Samart is very unusual in the sense that the difference between the two stances is very small compared to other Thais that fight between styles, the leap from one to the other is very small and I think that would benefit him in an MMA environment.

I think if he moved into the MMA realm (which I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have done unless it was for some kind of giant one off payday super fight), I think he’d basically fight between the two stances with his preference being the MT stance so he could try to keep his opponent at bay. And if things got to close he’d slip into his heavy lead leg to throw his fists. I think it’s as simple as that, he’d just shift between the two. But l think for most Thais that move to MMA they will always always be strikers at heart and never really get to grips with the subtleties of the grappling shooting side of MMA. Yodsannan and Rambaa are examples of even with MMA training you can take the dog out of the fight but you can never take the fight out of the dog.

I don’t know enough about MMA to know if guys pick a stance for a certain style of opposition when they stand up or not so I can’t speak on how he may have adapt to a so called “MMA” stance, but as no one replied and Samart is one of my favourite fighters I thought I had to post. (Long and rambling, late here ).

By the way in that clip you posted of Samart fighting the Jap, he’s just playing, seriously just playing.

Here’s a more “focused” Samart against fellow ATG in Lumpinee Nampon Nongkeeprawayuth:

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