Five Days Out

Please head over and follow RoniRage as she blogs about her experience at Sitmonchai!


We are officially 5 days out from our trip to Thailand! A lot of stress and lose ends to tie up these next few days but I am excited to break away from my everyday routine.

Nethaneel and I will be joining our training partners, Garry & Greg, in the hottest Provence of Thailand for two weeks. We will be staying and training at Sitmonchai with some of the best fighters and coaches in Muay Thai.

From what Nete and I have read, this gym is straight from a Rocky movie. Nothing fancy. No hot water to bathe in. No A/C to train in. Just an open air gym with rooms surrounding the ring.

Honestly, this just makes me more excited!

As some of you all know, I can be a little prissy and I whine! It’s true! I cannot deny this fact! Staying at Sitminchai for two weeks is…

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Five fights, three KO’s, one weekend…



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Article by DJ Miller


DJ Miller, 2014 WKA and the journey of a Muay Thai champion.

This year’s WKA tournament I was on a mission. Winning a belt was just a bonus to me. The mission was simple: BEAT EVERYBODY! I didn’t care who they were, where they trained at, how many fights they had. It was simple, defeat and destroy. Last year at the WKAs I was humiliated. I was put away in the first round in both divisions. I was horrifically under trained and not ready. It was the reason why I started to doubt my skill afterwards. Now I have a new gym, new coach and finally an actual team of skilled fighters. They all inspire me to represent the colors dominantly. At the tournament I was immediately recognized and greeted as the great fighter everybody thought I was. I knew deep down I had a bad feeling about the tournament because of what happened last year but at the same time I knew I was a completely fighter this time. I am bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. My new gym rebuilt me into a prototype machine and I was eager to see what I was made of. Upon entering the tournament I knew I would see my arch rival Adam Edgerton for a 3rd time. Let me just clarify that me and AJ agreed on a pact before the tournament that we agreed that this meet would not count as our much anticipated ‘rubber match’. The tournament was bigger than ever. I entered in Glory rules and full rules Muay Thai. I was time for me to send a message and remind the Muay Thai community just who in the hell I was. My 1st matchup was in Glory rules division. I unleashed my fury on my first opponent and KOd him in the 2nd round. The next up was full rules. My opponent gets massacred by my aggression and falls in the 3rd round by KO via knee. I look back at the brackets and saw that it was time for AJ next. The previous opponents were irrelevant. It was all about me and AJ now. We get in the ring and greet each other with a playful smirk from across the ring. The bell sounds and we get it on. AJ starts letting his hands fly like he does. I’m not backing down and return some fire myself. I’m hitting much harder and punching much faster. I instantly can tell he notices this. We tussle in the clinch a bit until I surprise him with high kick that comes down across his neck and instantly KOs him. He falls to the floor after 36 seconds. I am stunned. I don’t even celebrate. I go to the neutral corner and just take a knee while the officials check on him. I hear the crowd going crazy but I just wait patiently until AJ is able to get back on his feet. He congratulates me after he’s able to stand but one thing made me laugh. Adam is kind of out of his mind from the KO still but he says to me, “Dude, I don’t even know what the fuck you hit me with” (Laughs). We are done. I am passed the toughest guy in both of my divisions put together. But my mission is still not over, there are still asses to get got. My final fight in Glory rules division I go up against a guy that ends up teeping me in the throat in the 1st round. My esophagus is partially collapsed and I get a standing 8 count because I turn away choking. The ref counts me out because I didn’t recover myself in time. It is what it is. That fighter can take his gold and run but pray we don’t meet each other again because evidently I am the grim reaper of rematches. The last fight is up, full rules Muay Thai. My opponent is strong and game. I am so mentally and physically drained from being at that tournament since sunrise to sunset but I refused to give in. We fight a war. I prove myself once again and regain what was once mine. The North American Championship, now in the 154 class (as I was previously in the 142lbs weight class in 2012) I picked up 4 wins, 3 by way of knockout, and 1 loss for a total of 5 fights in one weekend. It was one hell of a ride.



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The Fighting Pride of the Irish, the Son of Texas Michael “Chase” Corley


I’d like to take today to highlight IFMA, Toyota tournaments and Lumpinee Stadium and Challenger Asia Superstar, The Fighting Pride of the Irish, The Son of Texas…

Michael “Chase” Corley.

The talented young man that put his work in overseas and abroad returned home to Houston in recent years to mentor many Coaches and Fighters in the Houston area, as well as UFC rising star Andrew “Highlight” Craig, who’s Muay Thai and boxing picked his opponent apart in his latest showing.

There is no doubt that there is one man, which we all want to see fighting in Lion Fights, that man, is the modern day James “Cinderella Man” Braddock, that man is Michael Corley.

Watch the Highlight and you’ll agree.



Roni and I are a couple of weeks out from training at Sitmonchai; Roni continues to read great reviews about the gym and the people that run it.
Sitmonchai seems to be a fun gym that works hard and has fun, while treating everyone like family.
The funny thing is that the very things I thought would turn Roni off to the camp are actually the things she loves about it. the rooms are ringside and small, no hot water, it’s an old fashion outdoor gym and you train with the top fighters, the same way.
Everything about Sitmonchai is straight out of a Van Dam movie, HAHA, minus the cheesy montage.
I love the idea of completely emerging myself in the Thai camp life style, and jumping in there hard core.
I’m not here for the beach, AC’d gyms or to be a tourist, I’m here to work… And I love every minute of it.

Now, I don’t want to take away from anyone else who’s gone and trained in Thailand. there is nothing wrong with an AC gym, hitting up the beach, shopping and seeing the sights. but for me the reward is the work it’s self. I’m dead serious about my training, and I don’t take it lightly. well I do make jokes and laugh in training, haha. I’m not under any allusions that this will be easy, or make me 20x the fighter over night. for me it’s about the relationships and learning as much as I can, so we have material for us to implement over the next year.

This is definitely something I never thought would happen, growing up extremely poor. This has been something that we’ve been working on since late last year, and together, Team Mongonia is making it happen.

be sure to follow Garry, Greg, Roni and myself as we take on an adventure of a life time, here at the fighters life. Thanks.


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Constructive criticism of the Houston Muay Thai scene.

Constructive criticism of the Houston Muay Thai scene.

First off I’d like to take a moment to thank Michael Corley for his hard work and efforts to kick start Muay Thai in Houston again.

Secondly, I’m the type of person that likes to trouble shoot and fix problems. I’m not the complaining type, because time spent complaining is time that could have been spent identifying, analyzing and implementing a corrective action. anything I am writing here is solely from a constructive business stand point as a Quality auditor, to help my team grow and do better. Perhaps these are some good tools to help us all of us in the Houston Muay Thai community build and grow the sport of Muay Thai.

Often my fighters/teammates and myself fight out of town. this puts us as the antagonist in the story of the night. promoters often bring us in to fight their local town/state hero’s, and this is how they sell tickets. we’re the bad guys, and our opponent is the good guy. So it’s easy to forgot and get spoiled by not having to sell tickets. so I wrote the following, as a corrective action document that I am implementing with my team; anyone else is welcome and free to use it to communicate clear guidelines and expectations to0 their boxers.

I believe the two biggest things that MMA has gifted to the sport of Muay Thai, one is the addition of science methods such as strength and conditioning. second, how to brand and market yourself. So as Muay Thai fighters we need to take a page from the MMA community’s play book and learn how to grow our audiences and fan bases.

The following is a living document, that we all need to continue to improve.


Goal: The continuing success of Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Objective: To help Muay Thai Kingdom continue to be a success by facilitating revenue and fiscal growth through building team work and fighter-promoter communication.

This is a set of clear guideline as to what is expected of every participant in Muay Thai Kingdom or any combat sport. As you may or may not know, hosting combat sporting events are financially a high risk and very costly for promoters. Our goal is to continue to provide fighters with an opportunity to compete Muay Thai and Kickboxing in our own home town of Houston Texas by meeting the promoter half way, and producing a return on their investment. In order to continue to make this happen, Muay Thai Kingdom must continue to be a financial success by insuring audience pre-fight commitment, and we need your help and commitment to make that happen.

Outlined are some key hurdles, and strategy to addressing them.


  1. Fighter turn over

1.2   Medicals not in on time

1.3   Social media Fighters (Booking fights because it’s cool with no intent of following through)

  1. Ticket sales and audience turn out.

2.2   Low audience pre-fight commitment

2.3    Participant’s not understanding the need to push that commitment

Our goal is to understand these problems and overcome them through working with you as a team.

Expectations (per each participant):

  1. You must secure audience pre-fight commitment by selling a minimum of 30+ tickets.

1.2   If there are two members of your gym participating, then your team’s obligation is 60+ tickets; three members participating, then 90+ and so on.

  1. Medicals submitted in a quick and timely fashion.
  2. Show up to weigh-ins at weight.
  3. Keep your promise and follow through with the fight.


  1. Proof of 30+ tickets sold must be shown prior to 15 days before the event.
  2. Medicals must be submitted to the state or promoter before participants are placed on the card line up.
  3. Pulling out from the fight must be done prior to 30 days before event.
  4. Before you make any decisions, please consult your trainer first.

Tool sets:

  1. MTK has provided you with Tickets to help secure audience pre-fight commitment.
  2. Your gym and family are full of people that would love to come see you compete.
  3. Your work place and neighborhood is full of combat sports fans
  4. Put up flyers at local stores and shops.
  5. Utilize social media and hashtags #MuayThaiKingdom to spread the word and market the event
  6. Easy script: Would you like to go see some fights?

6.2   Yes. Tickets are $35.00, how many would you like?

6.3    No. No problem; let me know if you change your mind.

  1. Family script: Would you support me by coming to MTK?

7.2   Yes. Tickets are $35.00, how many would you like?

7.3   No. No problem; let me know if you change your mind.


  1. Participant’s that insure audience pre-fight commitment via tickets are rewarded with insured placement and higher rankings in most combat sports organizations system. This means that the more you can sale, the more likely you are to have a shot at a Championship Title.
  2. Teams/Gyms that insure large audience pre-fight commitment get preference in booking status.


  1. Participant’s that refuse to or fail to meet basic expectations risk losing Title and rank, or worse… black-listing from future events.

It sound rather silly, and is considered a given for most fighters that have been in the scene for a long time. however, there is no marketing training manual for starting fighters. any and all ideas to help make this a success are welcome.


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Class-A Thai-boxer in a Pro MMA world


Class-A Thai-boxer in a Pro MMA world.

I actually was writing this before Sean Fagan with “Muay Thai Guy” did his interview with Eric Haycraft. Which Mr. Haycraft touched on a lot of the same subjects, and he would know way better than I do regarding all this stuff, so I think it adds credence to my blog posting. Anyways, I hope you enjoy.

The word “amateur” in the combat sports world has several meanings. In international boxing, it’s common for people to have 100 “amateur” bouts, and even become Olympic athletes and compete for gold. Conversely, in the MMA world, it’s completely normal and very common for a fighter to have a bit of success and then turn “pro” after 5-10 fights. Recently I’ve started to see even more people turn pro after 2 fights, or even straight out of the gate as their first fight. And of course, in Thailand there is only pro. I remember the confused look on Kru Pong’s face when I told him I wasn’t getting paid (Haha), the idea of amateur athletes was very foreign to him.

Personally, I think the pro option is wonderful, as it allows many of the athletes the ability to make a small return on the time, work and money invested into preparing for a combat sports event. As we all know, fighting takes years of formal training, the same amount of time and effort it takes a professor to get a masters degree. And as we all know, athletes have to pay for gym dues, trainer dues, travel, hotel, food, blood work and medicals (Or at least I do). I understand the medicals, after all, who wants to get HepC or HIV from coming in contact with a bloody opponent.

The problem was, that I viewed the world through the experiences of my very thin slice of the world. So when I started fighting Muay Thai abroad, my goal at the time was to become a pro… Because being an “amateur” fighter, was viewed as being a newbie or getting your feet wet. We’re fortunate in Texas to have a strong and large MMA talent pool for athletes to compete against each other, and also to have enough of a crowd for promoters to make a small return on their shows. this allows many athletes to compete on a local pro circuit. however, do to the lack of Muay Thai fights Houston and around Texas, I began to travel and fight around the country. the more I got around, the more I heard the same thing from all the top Kickboxing and Muay Thai trainers and promoters “get as many amateur fights as you can”. Come to find out, there really isn’t a large market for pro Muay Thai fighters in the states, other than Glory WS (Kickboxing), Lion Fights and TakeOn (MuayThai). Obviously this is my end goal, but once you go pro there’s no turning back, and I soon realized that my opportunities (which are already limited as they are in Texas) would be even less, effectively grinding my career to a halt. While asking around, several promoters I spoke with told me that they usually only turn fighters pro after 25 fights. This is understandable and makes sense considering they would want to produce a quality product. I realized how the word “Amateur” in the US Muay Thai scene means a whole different thing; this is why we have “class” divisions at the national tournaments. Giving it some reflection, I would never think of an Olympic wrestler, judoko or boxer as a “beginner”… why should I think the same thing about a Muay Thai boxer?

So I figured out that I need to be careful going pro to fast, or else grind my career to a halt. I was very ignorant at the time, thinking I could do 5-10 Muay Thai fights then go pro. so taking those people’s advice to heart, I’ve spent a good bunch of years trying to get as much Muay Thai fight experience as I can. I’m so blessed to represent the titles and organizations that I do, and I am thankful for every opportunity that I’ve gotten win/lose/draw. However, Muay Thai has very little monetary rewards and even less prestige. It takes a lot of hard work and a passion for the sport that outweighs the cost, while everyone is trying to discredit all your hard work. After spending large amounts of cash on travel, hotels and competing, judges will make bad calls, they’re only human. travel is expensive, as you are paying for plane tickets, gas, food, hotels, then add to all the blood sweat and tears, time away from your family and so forth. People don’t realize how much goes into building a career in Muay Thai. We make all these sacrifices for Muay Thai, spend countless amounts of money, time, sweet, blood and tears… the only rewards being a national title from the TBA-SA, USMTA, WKA, IKF and other large sanctioning bodies.

This year I’m hoping to step into the pro arena, provided that the opportunity presents itself. I’m always testing the deep end, and while I hope that I get that opportunity… I’m hoping I don’t shoot myself in the foot by killing my opportunities to fight here either. Being a Class-A fighter already kills my opportunities to compete here in Texas.


I’m at this place in my life, where I am trying to help build a lot of Houston MT boxers up. Trying to share my experiences, because iron sharpens iron and obviously once we’re able to support a bigger Muay Thai scene here, I want to be a part of it. I want to be a pro one day, and hold those WBC and WMC titles. I want to fight those top names, but I have to be able to get to those names first. Even though I feel like I’ve come along way, I’m honest with myself, I’m not delusional. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me before I can rise to the international level. We need a good Muay Thai scene here before we can really have any guys at that international level. So we have to build each other up, help each other grow, because no man is an island and can do it alone.

My advice (and I’m sure almost everyone in the MT scene would agree) to anyone who wants to have a career in Muay Thai, get as many “amateur” fights as you can. If you’re a coach, have actively competing Thai-boxers and test your product against other boxers across the country. Get out there and compete, be an actively competing Muay Thai school.

This year I’m am going to try and make that leap, Thailand then IFMA and then hopefully Lion Fights. maybe I’m stupid, but I’m very aware of my mortality and I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say I wish I would have done this or that. While I’m working to make this leap, I will say that I am dang proud of being a Class A fighter, it’s taking me a long time to get here. We just have to keep working and moving forward, always getting better and keep working towards that goal.


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Muay Thai Kingdom 2

Sorry Guys, but I have bad news for March 22nd. due to last minute drops and low ticket sales, MTK2 has been postponed until a later date.


The Kresta Group

I want to welcome our newest team member, The Kresta Group.

This company hits home, as my brother used them to find his house.

One of the biggest things that TheKrestaGroup prides themselves on, is their honesty and integrity. I know Shane Kresta personally, and can say that he is a up standing man of integrity. so if you’re looking for someone to find what you need, and help you avoid the pitfalls of purchasing a house, contact The Kresta Group

Nete Sponser the winning team-page-0

Ali Salami: Muay Thai, The Global Experience.

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Ali Salami

Ali Salami is an enigmatic figure who is well travelled and takes an intelligent, thoughtful approach to Muay Thai. Salami is currently involved in helping supervise the Muay Thai training at Gracie Barra Westchase, in Houston, Tx.  Gracie Barra is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu organization, and one might be surprised that the school has a thriving and growing Muay Thai program. “I am supervising the training and advising until i get my visa, so i can teach and train MMA fighters from Gracie Barra one on one”.

A lot of fighters in the US have learnt in the US and haven’t had the opportunity to train in Thailand unlike a lot of the fighters from Europe, Salami has trained at different gyms particularly at Sor Vorapin gym and Sasiprapa gym. “I landed in Bangkok in 2006 for a month and I stayed for more than 2 years, before that i had some boxing training and two amateur fights, also i had on and off knockdown karate training (Kyokushinkai ) and a lot of sparring experience taking part in  interclub competition in this style. Before i went to Bangkok, I had just spent a year in France finishing a bachelor in business, I had stopped for five years after studying an associate degree, when my dad was diagnosed with leukemia, i took a job in Liberia, and then left after war.”

For Salami war has sprung up during his lifetime, and impacted his choices. “Five days after i returned back home to Beirut, a war started, and five days after it ended, i was in Bangkok.  After i arrived in Bangkok, i said to myself, ‘I can’t leave now’, i felt thirsty for Thailand as a whole; Muay thai, food, culture, people, the life, i wanted to know more and to experience all those things. In my first month of training my ankle was badly injured by a trainer who swept my standing foot while asking me to kick pads with the other leg. I couldn’t train for six months, an injury that came as a blessing in disguise because instead of training and kicking pads being taught nonsense like most foreigners are trained, not taught, i could watch, and learn and understand; I immersed myself in Muay Thai without training, without realizing what was happening. I was at the camp every day, on YouTube every day, at the stadium often. At the same time i was doing many things to support the cheap cost of living, I maintained myself there from teaching English to kids, to working as an extra on movie sets and local commercials. I also had a small shop with my brother in Beirut where I’d buy stuff in Bangkok and send it to him to sell.”

It was through this turn of events, and Salami’s devotion to Muay Thai whilst being unable to train that Salami started to really develop an appreciation of the art. “The second year was the year where i really started training; I had already understood the biomechanics, the rhythm and the tricks, by taking the time to observe and watch. In 2008, i had six fights, won four and lost two, all matches ended by knockout, i was 80 kg (176lbs). I left to start a Thai restaurant in West Africa with my brother as the opportunity arose; I had one fight there, and then only trained alone occasionally on Sundays. The restaurant business is a tough one; I worked sixteen hours a day, six days a week for five years until a war started and the business died. We re-opened six months after war stopped, worked for some time then learnt that we had a fake lease from a fake owner, it’s a long story. Here i am a year later today in Houston, training and helping at Gracie Barra Westchase. I can speak four languages including average Thai; I am learning Spanish which will be my fifth.”

Salami is heavily influenced by the time he spent analyzing and breaking down the Muay Thai he saw.  “My style would be what I call Muay IQ, due to the tricks and tactics that i can pull off. It is rare to see a 200 lbs guy fight with a total Thai style, i have that. My goal was never to be a professional or a fighter but rather to learn, master, and excel.  I am always doing business and train on and off, I fight when i get the chance and time to train and fight.”

Not everyone can teach an art such as Muay Thai despite having trained it and in some cases despite being a good fighter. “I have a gift for teaching because I can break down techniques and explain why you do it that way. I understand communication, nlp (neuro-linguistic programming), and bio mechanics. I was scheduled for a heavyweight bout at Muay Thai Kingdom 2 on March 22nd but the opponent pulled out, it was the same opponent who pulled out of our fight at Muay Thai Kingdom 1. There’s the WKA North American championships in Virginia in March , there’s the TBA all American Muay Thai classics in June in Iowa and the IKF world classics in Orlando in July. I plan to be on all these tournaments. The promoter of Muay Thai Kingdom has me on the spot ready to fight for him every time if they have an opponent at 200 pounds. I want to stay in the States so that I can compete and develop my Muay Thai career, that’s really why I’m looking to focus on the national and regional championships, and also from here represent Gracie Barra at the IFMA world championships in Malaysia.”

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For Ali Salami, his journey in Muay Thai has been a self-motivated one. “My motto would be: Train alone, fight alone, win alone. I showed up at the Prince’s Cup in 2008 alone, no team mate, no trainer, no corner, representing Lebanon. Everyone was there in teams of ten to fifteen members with their flags, i took silver.”

Thailand is a country with interesting colorful sights and experiences to be had, and it is not unusual for people to fall in love with different aspects of the country. “My favorite things about Thailand, in Muay Thai it was being a  ringside spectator at Lumpinee stadium, the Mecca of Muay Thai, you are transcended, you can hear the blows, it is the peak, the creme de la crème, just like a Paquiao- Mayweather. Secondly the street cooking: i am an addict and thirdly the Loy Krathong festival celebrated every full moon of the twelfth month; lanterns floating on mini boats will be set by the people onto the river thanking the spirits for life.”

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You can tell a lot about a nak muay by who he likes to watch. “I like Yosdenklai Fairtex for his rhythm, patience, intelligence and simple approach. I like Sudsakorn sor klimnee, he has a cool temper yet is very vicious; Bovy sor udomson for the killer instinct and punches. Attachai Fairtex, he is so fluid and smart. Those two are retired now. A new guy I like to watch is Armin Punpanmuang, he has got it all, power technique, iq, etc. As for muay thai fighters who fight in kickboxing i wouldn’t trade Giorgio Petrosyan for anyone, he is the greatest kickboxer of all”

TFL correspondent,

-Lance Edwards. 

Thanks Lance for your submission


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Friday’s Event Exceeds Expectations

Great read!

Fight to Finish

as posted on

Friday’s Event Exceeds Expectations

Posted on March 3, 2014


By Sandy Hackenmueller

It was a power-packed evening of firsts, delivering a show like only Friday Night Fights can. With a brand new broadcast dedicated to quality, FNF headlined their first full-rules female fight that no one is soon to forget.

The Broad Street Ballroom was filled to capacity Friday night. The undercard warmed the crowd up, and by the co-main events, the crowd was on their feet.

Ashley Nichols and Angela Hill took center stage in the night’s finale, a highly anticipated match-up between Canada and the US. Hill entered the ring among roof-raising cheers of support, but by the end of the 5-round fight, the crowd was cheering on both fighters for an incredible show.

Hill’s trademark aggression and nonstop pushing the pace won the fight for her, maintaining her undefeated record. It was a…

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