The warriors heart

-The warrior’s heart


As usual, I love to ponder. This past week has given me some extra time to slow down and think; Time to think about family, sport, spirit and put pen to paper. This year we’ve been very active this year for our team. We just love to fight, doesn’t matter where.

I must admit that we are a society that is very driven and obsessed with victory, and our contempt for losing is unparalleled. Everything is about winning. If you don’t think so, go to a book store and take a quick look at the top sellers. Turn on the TV and watch some reality TV, everything we do is about winning, and I wonder how much of it has more to do with us compensating for our mental and spiritual inadequateness.

Seriously, I often find it interesting and perplexing how a fighter can loses a couple of matches and all the sudden the fans turn on them. “He’s a bum” or “he’s finished, he needs to retire”… I don’t get why we let couch-potatoes judge our careers. As if these guys know the sacrifice that fighters make. After all, how can you hold a scoring system that is judged like a beauty contest seriously against someone?

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

And that’s where the lore of boxing comes in, were they have a long history of failures and underdog coming back to win or overcome life obstacles.

Speaking with a friend who just popped in from NYC, after training, we were just chatting a bit and he made the comment that “there’s a lot of heart in this sport”. This really resonated with me, because in Muay Thai… it’s not about the KO; winning is nice (don’t get me wrong, I like to win) but it’s about the fight. It’s about the exchange between two strong wills. It’s about who can dig deeper. It’s about two gods locked in immortal combat. It’s when we get to see the human spirit at its finest, and our resolve at its highest determination. Anyone can apply eight pounds of pressure to someone else’s chin, but it takes a champion to push forward and pressure an unrelenting opponent they just can’t seem to vanquish. Everyone gets knocked down from time to time, but champions get up. And that is the difference between success and failure; rather you have the heart and will to get up.

I was caught in the first round for a fight a couple of matches ago… and my buddy was telling me that when I got up he jump out of his seat, as if I had risen. Rising from defeat and refusing to fail is just as much as an accomplishment, and there is no loser in that kind of fight.

Greatness isn’t how many trophies’s, belts and titles you hold, it’s defined only by the size of your determination and perseverance.


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A couple of days out.

Hey guys, just catching up with all the readers of The Fighters Life.

We’re a couple of days out from weigh-ins for Bayou City Throwdown, which will be hosted live at 2 pm Friday 22nd at:



6502 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007



Weigh ins are open to the public; come on down grab a juicy burger, some beer and come meet the fighters. All my Super Mongonia Bros. supporters, it’s Super Mario Theme!


I can’t tell you all how excited I am to finally get to fight in my home town after several years of exile. there isn’t really a lot of opportunities to Thai-box in Texas, let a lone Houston… however thanks to Michael Corley and Lou Savarese Promotions that’s all changing.

Houston is a great city, with a lot of talent… together, we’re putting H-town on the map.

If you need tickets, you can contact me on twitter @nmongonia or Facebook (Nethaneel Mongonia), or purchase your tickets online at




Muay Thai Kingdom 2 Aug 23 at Bayou City Event Center

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit.

I wanted to drop some big news!
Muay Thai Kingdom 2 will be held Aug 23rd, at the Bayou City Event Center. This will be my first event in Houston, after four long years of traveling and fighting. the following is a tentative card posted by Michael Corley.
stay tune for further details.

Aug 23 Bayou City Event Center – Card Subject to change
1) 147 lbs Oliver Jimenez (Muay Thai Corner) Robert Bailey (Team Tooke C)
2) 140 lbs Carlos Garza (SitSiam) Uriel Figuero (Revolution)
3) 155 lbs Daniel Ortega (McCall) TBA
4) 160 lbs Chris Jackson (SBA/Izzy) TBA
5) 165lbs Jeremy Milbourn (Team Tooke) Elliot Bush (Paradigm)
6) 165lbs Joel Haesecke (TBD) Gregory Sanzo (Revolution)
7) 140lbs Jennifer Guerrero(Revolution) Caressa Kibler (Team SudYod)
8) 160lbs Nethaneel Mongonia(Revolution) Kebba Marenah (TeamSudYod)
9) 110lbs Bebe Laced (4oz) Gabbi Maxwell (TBD)
10) 140lbs Chuy Salianekham (Garland) Alex Chang (4oz)

Part two of the IFMA series


For the next day on the itinerary was registration. There were a lot of countries there, and while 101 countries had notified IFMA that they’d be in attendance, we had another 47 countries show up unannounced and ready to fight. So needless to say the registration team was a bit overwhelmed.
So what do you do?…you grab a chair and hang out with some really cool people on your team, and make it a good time with some laughs. We finally got the team paid for and registered, after some confusion. And once again it was head back to the hotel. This time we got out and enjoyed the beach a little bit, went for a run, hit pads and trained with some awesome people. Getting to hit pads again felt great, but I could tell my body still wasn’t awake from the trip yet.
The next day was weigh-ins and due to the large amount of combatants, the initial weigh-ins was split between two days. Obviously we wanted to have that second day as a rest day. Equally overwhelmed was the medical and weigh-in teams, due to the unexpected high volume of last minute show ups. Finally we got everything sorted and it was time to relax… a little. We ate dinner and had a couple of laughs, and went to bed.
The first day of competition, and everyone made weight like champions. Sam and one of the juniors were up to bat, however due to a reshuffle we all were reseated in our brackets. Come to find out a group of 4-5 competitors didn’t check the brackets the night before, and thought that they were weren’t supposed to fight that day and didn’t weigh in. so these guys were booted for failure to make weight.
Fortunately, we had a Team coordinator (Cheryl) and coach (Thiago) that were diligent in monitoring the brackets for change. They would be up at 12-1am to watch the bracket’s, only to wake up at 5-6am to start getting ready for a day that didn’t end until 10-11pm.
It was nice to have the first day off, it gave us a day to just watch the fights and see how things were going to be run. We had a blast cheering and watching some good fights.
The days started to blur together, and it didn’t matter. We had such a great team of individuals, that we just had fun and made the best of everything.
Finally the day was upon us; Ethan fought first and did a great job. He put on a great fight but was unable to score enough rounds to win the decision. However, he did get to show off his combos, and foot work. You have to give him props for jumping in the deep end and swimming with the sharks.
Next up was me; I was fighting someone from the home town team, Malaysia. My opponent, far more experienced than I was, came out fighting a slickster kick style. I took the first round to study his game a bit while working a kick game. The following round, my corner-man/team coach (Thiago Azeredo), figured out his weakness and had me start working my footwork and counters, and then applying pressure… sure enough we started to see the cracks appear in in that second round, as we took that round. Third round came up and my corner had me pour the heat on more, and as he started to weather I saw my opportunity, and force him to place his hand and landed it… a right elbow, spot on the button. I felt the elbow go through like butter, as all my kinetic energy was delivered. I saw him fall back and his eyes roll back into his head. So I knew he was out. Walking back to my corner, I knew he wasn’t getting back up… but my corner called for me to go to neutral corner anyways. The ref just walks up and took my opponent’s mouth piece out and called for the doctor. While standing in the neutral corner, I realized that he hadn’t really moved yet, and then I started to worry. Once he started to stand up, I felt a lot more relieved that he was ok. We’ve all been knocked out, and that pretty much what we both are trying to do… but you know, you don’t want to be responsible for someone’s death or ending their career. I have to give him a lot of respect; he was a tough and smart guy. He fought hard and earned his country a lot of respect.
Afterwards, several people came up and said that that was the highlight reel KO of the event… I don’t know. Anyhow, it was a good fight. It was technical… not wild and sloppy. And getting the opportunity to fight like that was amazing and an honor. After the win there was no time for excitement, as the rest of the team was still coming up to bat the next day and I was looking down the barrel of fighting Algeria/France.


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Adventures at Sitmonchai II

Sitmonchai II


Sorry I haven’t been posting about all the good stuff in a couple of days. I intended to post something for you guys everyday, but between training, sleeping and seeing Bangkok yesterday, I’ve dropped the ball.

Anyhow, so on day two Kru Kongfa called me into the ring. Yeah, found my guy. Kru Kongfa is a much bigger guy and able to catch my kicks with the pads. I really like working with his style, we mesh really well. On our first rounds together, he helped me fix my knee a bit… he made the same correction to my knees, that I have been making to Jenn and the rest of the teams. It’s good to know that we’re on the right path.

Just a side note, Kongfa has fight Sudsakorn and had a great career.

The Thai’s have a different style of boxing with the hands. once I realized that the hooks and upper cuts were coming from the same angles as the elbows, the combos and the power started to fall in place.

in the states, we always work western boxing with the hands. it’s always good to learn a different style, and it’s understandable why the Thai’s throw a lot of power shots with their hands. The scoring system doesn’t really score the hands, unless the boxer is doing damage with them.

So I took a lot of what I worked on in the morning and afternoon training, and spent sometime working them on the bags. Needless to say, I had a great training day.

I can’t state how much I am enjoying my stay at Sitmonchai. everyone is really nice, and Pee A and Abigail take really good care of everyone here.



After putting in the equivalent of four days back home, my third day was a rest day. It was nice to sleep in a bit, and watch the fighters train. Just hung out and learned a lot of god stuff.

after morning training, we eat and headed into Bangkok for the day. Bangkok was a blast. first we wen’t to the boons store. Garry flagged down a scooter taxi… cost us ten Bhat, and the guys knew where the store was. Garry not flagged them down, we probably would have spent the day just looking for the Boons store.


After our dare with death, we went to MBK. which is a giant mall in downtown, that you can reach from the sky tran. we went at watch Jimmy fight. Jimmy looked good, sharp and strong. in the first round Jimmy felt his guy out for the first half of the round, then started to punish the guy with leg kicks. and in the second Jimmy started landing his hands a bit more too. up until half way through, Jimmy was rocking it, when he ate a kick to the knee just right that twisted his ankle and ended the fight.


we then rushed to Raja to see Jun fight. we got to hang out in the warm up rooms, and take pictures with Jun. what a fight! Jun came lout strong in the first, landing his combos at will. in the second, more of the same, until his opponent caught him with what looked like a left hook. Jun was wobbly on his feet, and for a moment I thought that Mr.Knockout was about to be KO’s… then the round ended. Coming into round three, what a hell of a come back. Jun landed a right hook to left leg kick that stop his opponent in is tracks. once Jun saw that he followed it again for a TKO.

we returned to the camp for the night. what was suppose to be a rest day, ended up being a day of walking. Haha.



*On a bit of a serious note, please keep my friend’s father-in-law in your thoughts. he just had a heart attack, and a bypass. The Mongonia’s hope and pray that all is well in the Kunstman household.  :/


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Sitmonchai day one

Welcome to the Fighters Life, and thanks for following us.

Sitmonchai Day one:


Roni and myself made it in to Sitmonchai sunday, hung out with Garry and met some really awesome people that are staying here with us. Everyone is super nice and friendly, we’re definitely enjoying ourselves right now.


Garry showed us around the village a bit; he showed us the Tesco/local small super market and the village banana treat stand. We were a bit tired after being up for 30 hours on our flight, so we started nodding off at 8pm, we called it a night and crashed a bit early. Which was sad, because my buddy Cody Moberly was fighting on the ThaiFight card that night, and we just couldn’t stay awake.


about to go for a run… but first, let me take a selfie BUUAHAHAHAH


Monday morning, we were rested up and ready to work. We started our morning with a nice run; Roni and Garry did the smart thing by pacing themselves. I however, got a bit over zealous. I did the third bridge, which everyone says is 10k. personally, it felt like 8k. The temp here is really nice, it’s just like home in Houston. At 6am when we wake and have a cup of coffee, it’s a comfy 65-70 degrees. Which makes it really nice for sleeping, and for peaceful mornings. people have complained about being woken by a chorus of dogs and roosters, but I’ve been sleeping like a baby, and I think I was only woken once but the dog here at the camp, as he sounds freakishly like a human, with zombie undertones. (Laughs) but he’s a supper sweet dog.


The heat and humidity is great during the day, as it’s feels just like Houston. It really helps to keep you from getting cold and stiff when you stop for a rest. Just stay hydrated. After our morning run, we wrapped up and got ready to hit. Just like home, you’re responsible to work at your own pace, big boy style. I worked with Kru Jaa and Roni has been working with Kru Pan “Pon”. My first session, was great. he was very technical, and I really enjoyed working with him. We worked on foot work and he help me with adding a bit more power to my knees, elbows and leg kicks. Got some really cool stuff for the students at home. I kind of felt a bit smothered with the boxing, but I just kept working with it and I finally started finding my range.

I started noticing he was wincing, once I started landing my power. Poor guy couldn’t weigh more then 135-145lbs, so I kind of felt bad.

After the morning training, Garry, Roni and I went by the banana stand and got some awesome treats. Oh my god, it was so freaking good. Also, a guy comes around on a scooter cart, and he makes these sweet scramble egg crapes wraps that are amazing. Anyhow, we did our afternoon run around 3:30pm,  it was hot, around 100-105, but nothing worse then home. I cut my run in half, because the evenings are the harder rounds and there’s sparing and clinching.


After returning from our afternoon run, it was time to hit.

Kru Jaa held for me again, and we worked a lot of the same stuff. I love working at Sitmomchai, straight up meat and potatoes Muay thai, just really good sold fundamentals. “Good fundamentals are what win fights” – Kevin Ross

He spent some time working on some of my technical stuff dealing with leg kicks. They really liked my leg kick, but added a few more things to optimize the power level. It’s definitely going to take some time to implement some of the stuff he showed me. good thing I documented everything. I felt really bad, because I was just to big for him to work with. All and all, it was a great day of training. also I got to spar with a Lumpinee rising star Pech. really good kid and really strong, he’s another to watch out for in the next couple of years.

On another note, I got to meet and hang a bit with Moo before his big fight in turkey this weekend for Glory 15. I’m definitely excited for him, he’s earned this shot.


There’s nothing flashy about this gym, it’s not a tourist spot, and that’s we I love this place. I highly recommend it if you’re serious about training in Thailand. This will be my home gym for every trip I make to Thailand hence forth. I’m just having a blast, and everyone is treating us like family.

Well, sorry to cut it short, but I’ve got to go and get ready for tuesday afternoon training. Afterwards we’re hitting up a night market/bazaar that opens once a week.

Thanks for reading.

You can follow my pictures posts on Facebook at



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Five fights, three KO’s, one weekend…



Picture courtesy of

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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