Muay Thai is dead, Long Live Muay Thai!
Last night was Madtown Throwdown 16, and it was a very good show. The fights were of a very high quality. I have written about this event before, and I am glad that they are getting higher quality fighters. Even the ring girls were better. Thank god.
I don't know if they are paying the fighters more or if the all around level of MMA in the country is higher. I have a feeling it is a combination of both. All I really care about is getting my $25 worth, and that I did get. There were fighters there from all around the midwest.
We had three people from our gym fighting, and only one won. Eh, sometimes that is the way it goes. I don't help the MMA guys a lot holding pads or coaching, but I still see them around the gym and they are my friends. They did well, and I always congratulate them for getting into the ring, something I will never be able to say that I have done. We had a lot of people from the gym there to support them last night. It was fun to shoot the shit with my gym mates outside of the usual environment. As an added bonus I ran into a guy who used to come to the gym, but now goes to a different one. After I told him how I became a certified pad feeder and coach he tried to recruit me to come to his gym. I told him I appreciated the invite, but I am pretty happy where I am.
MMA is such a different game than Muay Thai. In MMA you must have all of your ducks in a row - you need a good stand up game, as well as a good Jiu Jitsu game for the ground. I admit that I was disappointed in the lack of good clench work I saw at the Throwdown. I saw unlimited opportunities for knees and elbows. Then again, what the hell do I know? I don't know squat about take downs, or the leverage required to execute them, or if a Muay Thai knee would throw someone off balance.
In several discussions with my gym mates, we all agreed that we would probably never see a Muay Thai event with the appeal of MMA. MMA has become so hugely popular that MT is just part of MMA now. I hardly ever see professional Muay Thai cards ANYWHERE in the US. The money just isn't there. It is in MMA. The only pro MT cards I have seen are on the coasts, and those are few and far between. There is the occasional one in Milwaukee or Chicago, but those don't feature enough pro fighters to make it worth most people's while. There seem to be a decent amount of amateur cards around, and we have a lot of people training for those at the gym, but I don't see how you could ever make any money at all even to cover your gas fighting MT in the USA.
Ah well, MT still has my heart, and I love it when I see a perfectly executed MT move at the MMA fights that I attend. I won't ever give up on MT, even though the USA pretty much has.