Picture courtesy of BAUZEN.com
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.