Tiger Muay Thai News Archive
Get all the latest news on what is going on at Tiger Muay Thai and MMA training camp, Phuket, Thailand. Get the latest fight results, and bios of our team fighters on MMA Thailand and Team Tiger Muay Thai.
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February 28th, 2013
After one of his first professional MMA fights, future Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts fight team member Ben Nguyen came home to his parents house in South Dakota and slipped into his bed.
The next morning, staring at his bruises, Nguyen’s parents finally found out that their son had not been at a party or the cinema – he was getting paid to fight in a cage.
“They were not happy with that. Especially after telling them I wasn’t going to back to school the next year,” Nguyen (pronounced “win”) says. “In their eyes, it was human cockfighting sort of stuff. It was hard to be proud of what I did at the time just because I didn’t have the support of my parents.”
As a freshman in South Dakota State University, Nguyen was suppose to study manufacturing engineering, get his degree, and join the 9-to-5 grind.
Instead, the now 24-year-old chose to follow something he had started since he was 12-years-old when he was regularly bullied at school.
“I started Tae Kwon Do and became a black belt. I was focused on that for a long time,” he says.
Nguyen eventually took up his first MMA fight at 18-years-old, with just his Tae Kwon Do training, and won a bout via perfectly timed strike. He wasn’t so lucky his next two fights, losing by submission.
All this while studying full time and learning the basics of Judo. Eventually, Nguyen began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai.
“It was an easy transition (to Muay Thai) for me, coming from a striking background. Just knowing body mechanics and how your body works,” he says.
It was a love affair in sweat and strikes with Nguyen slowly realizing his calling as a professional fighter. The hard part was to tell his parents, who expected him to graduate as an engineer.
So he didn’t tell them – until that day in 2008 when they found out and thought he went bonkers. They would come around, but it was a difficult time.
“My friends thought I was crazy too, but luckily I have awesome friends so they did not care so much,” he says.
After he quit school to continue fighting, Nguyen eventually took up a job as part of the Geek Squad – a glorified computer and elctronics technician.
“Yes I recognize the irony,” Nguyen says, stone faced.
When TMT announced their scholarship competition, Nguyen applied on the suggestion of his BJJ coach. To his surprise, he received a call from TMT MMA Head Coach Brian Ebersole, inviting him to Phuket.
“I didn’t want to look back on this moment and think ‘what if’,” Nguyen says, “I thought about how my life would change if I did get in.”
Nguyen participated in the grueling two-day competition. At the conclusion, the fighters were invited into the MMA room for the announcements – Nguyen described the feeling of that night.
“As I walk in there, I think in my head ‘no way I made the team, no way I performed as good as the other guys, why would they pick me?’” he says, “ So when they announced my name, I was out of breath, felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I thought it was a mistake at first. Felt like I was in a dream.”
February 19th, 2013
Our network of alums all around the world never sleep as two of Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp Phuket, Thailand’s former guests will be battling in out at EFC Africa 18 on March 1 in South Africa.
TMT alum JP “Tinkerbell” Kruger will be taking on Donavin “Bam Bamz” Hawkeye (8-10), as fellow TMT alum Jason Michael Culverwell (2-0) will fight Danie “The Pitbull” Van Heerden (10-5) in a light heavyweight bout.
TMT recently caught up with Kruger as he prepares for his middleweight bout against Hawkey. As a former three time South Africa K1 champion, Kruger loves to strike and will go up against a natural boxer in Hawkeye.
“Bam Bam, me opponent, is a great boxer with a lot of power. I trained hard for this fight. I feel fast, strong, and calm. Going to be a cracker like the say,” Kruger said.
Though he’s a striker first, Kruger is no slouch on the ground and has finished two of his three EFC wins via submission.
“I followed the advice of coach Roger Huerta at TMT and started wrestling. Joined a local club here in South Africa, always aiming to be a more complete athlete,” Kruger said, “Also had the opportunity of working with coach Brian Ebersole (of TMT) in his trip here in South Africa.”
The implications of Kruger winning his bout could be huge, as he is an up-and-coming talent in the South African MMA scene.
“If I win I’m sure this fight should put me in the contender fight. Definitely also be helping on me rankings in Africa. A this level of competing, every win is an important one,” Kruger said.
February 12th, 2013
Chessboxing female champion and TMT alum, Ruthie Wright is starting off 2013 in the right direction.
Wright was recently invited to tryout for Team GB (Great Britain) in Fighters Source. The amateur MMA organization held their tryouts on February 1 in Corby, Northants with fellow Brit Paula Randolph also invited to the fold.
The tryouts were held in conjunction with Battle Arena, the biggest amateur MMA promotion in Europe with a track record of producing top talent in that part of the world. Fighters Source gives amateur fighters the chance to fight other amateur MMA fighters on the world stage.
Team GB made their debut in fighters source in September in Boras, Sweden were they took on and beat the Danish.
In 2013 the team are fighting in Korea, Las Vegas and the UK, with Wright training out of her home gym Project Mayhem MMA.
February 12th, 2013
The UFC has signed on Cat Zingano for their second women’s MMA bout as she will take on Miesha Tate on April 13 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
Zingano (7-0), who trained at Tiger Muay Thai last year and had her first Muay Thai fight during that time, last fought back in October 6 at Invicta FC 3. In that fight, she submitted Raquel Pennington with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
The bout would be the second women’s fight for the UFC, with the first match taking place February 23 between champion Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.
The 30-year-old Coloradan will fight Tate (13-3), a former Strikeforce batamweight champion, after saying she can “beat her and then move to facing whoever will hold the belt after the next UFC women’s fight.”
“Miesha is talented,” Zingano told Full Contact Fighter, “She is real scrappy. She can back up what she says she can do. She is classy and she carries herself well.”
Zingano was a four-time All American and national champion in wrestling. She is currently ranked #9 in 135-pounds according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings, after spending much of her time at #1 in the 125-pound category.
February 7th, 2013
Tiger Muay Thai is very excited to announce our biggest grappling tournament ever!
On March 29th – 30th, in celebration of our 10th Anniversary, we will be hosting a No-Gi grappling tournament and seminar featuring 5th degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former UFC Middleweight champion, Murilo Bustamante.
“This is going to be a huge star-studded event with some of the highest level fighters in the world in attendance,” says Will Elliot, Director at Tiger Muay Thai training camp in Phuket, Thailand.
Judges for the event will include UFC fighters Roger Huerta and Brian Ebersole, as well as 4th Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Fernando Maccachero.
“This event will be great for Jiu-Jitsu in Asia because there are not a lot of grappling tournaments here,” says Maccachero.
“It will be an honor to have Murilo, such a legend in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, here at Tiger for the weekend.”
Murilo will be holding a seminar on Thursday March 28 at 4 pm, with the two-day grappling tournament running March 29-30.
In the seminar, Bustamante will demonstrate takedown skills, MMA positions, as well as the variety of submissions in his deadly ground game.
“We really want to see other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools from around the world come out to this tournament and make this a yearly event people in the BJJ community can look forward too,” says Elliot.
On Saturday March 29th, Tiger Muay Thai will be hosting the 10th Anniversary BBQ Beatdown featuring Muay Thai and MMA fights, fireworks and special performances.
Registration for the tournament is 1,500 baht – while the Bustamante seminar fee is 2,000 baht (grappling tournament participants can attend the seminar for 1,500 baht).
For more information and to register for the tournament please go to www.Nevertapasia.asia
February 3rd, 2013
The past few months has seen a spike in females joining the range of classes at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp Phuket, Thailand. So much so that the camp has added a full slate of classes that cater to the rise of females training at TMT.
“The benefits of coming to TMT is that there is something for everyone,” says celebrity fitness guru and TMT trainer Ocean Bloom, “there are classes that will appeal to the husband to the wife to the cousin and the sister.”
The addition of a females-only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class on Saturdays, as well as a self-defense course on Tuesdays and Thursdays are intended to give women more options in their training. In addition, the camp has also added an evening yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have already added an extra Crossfit-style strength and conditioning class back-to-back.
“Strong is the new sexy! More and more women are looking to empower themselves physically, mentally, and emotionallly. Tiger is the perfect setting for change. It’s supportive, engaging, and positive. We strive to be very female-friendly,” says Natasha Horrelt, TMT’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
The BJJ class and self defense course areled by the camp’s 4th degree Black Belt Fernando Maccachero. The BJJ class is intended to introduce women to submission grappling while the self defense course is designed to give everyone a handle on specific techniques should a real-life situation arise.
“When you are surrounded by fighters, both females and males, they are tough physically and mentally,” says longtime guest Nikita Murphy, “When you are in an environment like that, it helps you grow that way as well.
TMT is also fast becoming a haven for professional female fighters with MMA pro’s Sarah D’Alelio, Leslie Smith, and Cat Zingano, Muay Thai fighters Neha Chaudhury, Tracy Lockwood, and Claire Haigh, and number one ranked heavyweight female boxer Sonya Lamonakis all having trained in Phuket at one time or another.
“This place has been so spiritual and peaceful, I came out with thoughts of eat, pray, love, exercise, and to work on mind body and soul,” said guest Ashley Gibson after her four month stay, “I have met some really amazing people, conquered fears, done things I never though I’d do before.”
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp Phuket, Thailnd would also like to announce the start of our presence on the social networking site Pinterest. You can now easily access TMT content on your smartphone with a few simple steps!
We appreciate all your feedback on TMT and hope to see even more women training at the camp. Happy Training.