It wasn’t that long ago that Muay Thai in the U.S. and Arizona existed only within the confines of MMA. Local Muay Thai fighters, or nak muay, had to travel out of state or out of country to find fights and the expectation was that nak muay would eventually convert to mixed martial artists. Over the last three years though, paradigms have began to shift and Muay Thai is fast outgrowing the confines of the cage. As the sport continues to find ground in Arizona and throughout the southwest, shows like Siam Fight Productions have only solidified that ground, creating a stronger foundation on which the sport can thrive.
As more and more fighters have begun training primarily, or exclusively, in Muay Thai, the sport has slowly reached a younger demographic. While events such as Bounded Fist Muay Thai (and Bad Blood before that) have a place for junior division nak muay, the Valley of the Sun(for that matter the United States) lacked a youth centered promotion. That is why president and founder Thiago Azeredo created the Siam Fights brand.
The presence of Siam Fights has given young men and women from Arizona the opportunity to compete with other highly skilled youths from all over North America. This accomplishment rivaled only by that of the Thai Boxing Association-Sectioning Authority’s Muay Thai Classic, an annual tournament open to all age groups. Unlike the Muay Thai Classic, the youth take center stage at Siam Fights.
In less than a year since the first Siam Fights event, this relatively young promotion has already earned high praise as, “the best show in North America for the kids,” as Monster Fitness head coach Michael Martinez put it.
None embody the opportunities granted by the presence of Siam Fights better than Ruben Cruz, the champion of the inaugural Saim Cup tournament.
Cruz emerged as champion after beating local fighter John Bruer in the finals of the Siam Cup this summer. His reward for his performance, an opportunity to train in Thailand at the prestigious Sitsongpeenong training camp. He is currently preparing for to compete for the first time in his sport’s homeland.
The importance of a show like Siam Fights can not be overestimated. The idea that competition breeds success is especially true in the fighting world. When fighters are veterans, already accustomed to all the pressure and bright lights of elite competition, all before they are old enough to vote, it can only lead to greater success.
Siam Fight Productions returns this Saturday October 12th to the Tempe Center for the Arts with it’s event titled Redemption: Rival of the Rematches. Tickets are available here. This event is also available for purchase online at Gofightlive.tv.