Sunday, July 22, 2012

Team Quest Thailand fighters

Right now, I would have to say that this is the most exciting time of my life. For so long we had the dream of opening the gym here but never imagined we would be off to a start like we have. This past weekend we had another huge fight.

Adrien “Kaew” Team Quest Thailand is an amazing story. About 10 months ago he came to Chiang Mai, Thailand as a tourist not knowing what he wanted to do with his life. He had recently got out of the military and decided he just wanted to travel. He met Team Quest Thailand trainer Tanaphong “Ping” Khunhankaew and decided to start training Muay Thai. To make a long story short, Adrien is a Muay Thai phenom. Adrien in only 10 months of total training (with no past experience) has had 18 fights all ending in him either knee or elbow knocking out his opponent. Only 2 fights have got past the 3rd round.

We are really happy to have him at the gym. This is a guy who has screwed his head on straight. He has figured out what he wants to do and has been living the Muay Thai life style. Adrien has a lot going for him. He is motivated, focused, and a good all around guy. He also is 6'4” and can make 70 kilos (154 pounds).

Adrien has been doing so well that he was offered to fight in the “Gai Yang Haa Dow” 8 man round robin tournament sponsored by Petchyindee. For those who don't know, Petchyindee is one of the biggest promoters in Thailand for Muay Thai. This is what has been so amazing about our gym. Right now we have great connections for our MMA team with organizations such as ONE FC and we can also get Muay Thai fights at the highest level. Our Muay Thai training staff works closely with the promoter Petchyindee. Petchyindee can get fights at almost any venue in Thailand, including Lumpinee stadium. So last weekend Adrien was due for his 19th fight. To show you how good our training staff's connections are, Adrien is the only foreigner in this tournament. The winner will take home 260,000 THB. (Adrien is the white guy on the left, click on the picture to make it bigger.)

Adrien tipped the scale at 70 kilo which was not easy for him to make. But Adrien got mentally tough and squeezed off the last few ounces. Leading up to the fight, Adrien is not well known so nobody really knew his style. Basically his style is grab you and knee you until you die. Adrien faced Yodkhunporn in the first round of the tournament.

What made this match amazing for me is that in the locker room while Adrien was getting ready for the fight. Yodkhunporn's corner man started to chirp Adrien in Thai language. He was saying things like “This is muay thai, you don't belong here” and “please don't hurt my fighter”and laughing in a condescending way. Adrien was respectful and ignored him. Well here is the fight, you can see what happened:

Adrien over whelmed Yodkhunporn with his clinch style and caught him with an up elbow. Yodkhunporn was literally out for about 3 minutes and even back stage was not all together. So Adrien improves to 19-0 with 19 Knock outs. What's next for Adrien is he will be fighting in the next round of the tournament in August. The date hasn't been confirmed yet but I will let everyone know when it has been confirmed.

As I talked about in a past blog, we are looking to sponsor a few fighters. We are willing to cover training costs and accommodation if we can find the right fit. Basically we have been looking for someone that will actually take advantage of the opportunity to live in Thailand and not get distracted. Everyone who has applied has not really been what we are looking for. That is until Chris Herrera showed up over a month ago.

Chris is a fighter out of Team Quest Temecula in California. Chris has a collegiate wrestling background and has grappled for a while. He trains like a mad man and never complains. He is coachable and basically a man's man. His personality reminds me a bit of Dan Henderson's with his approach to training and fighting. He's confident while being reserved but performs.

Chris has the stereo typical Team Quest fighting style for MMA. Check out one of his MMA fights (Chris in blue corner):

Here is his Muay Thai fight Chiang Mai, Thailand (Chris shows his huge heart after being hurt badly):

Chris already has a good base for striking but I know he will improve a lot over the next year. I am excited to see him transform as an MMA/ Muay Thai fighter. Basically, Chris has everything working for him. We are really excited to have him join the team.

Our MMA and Muay Thai team is growing stronger every day. Our goal is to keep improving the team with good people who all have the same goal. Our success at this point is definitely from the students and staff. As long as we can keep a good student and staff base (meaning good moral people with the same goals.), we will continue to build as a gym.


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