Just Add Water: Saenchi and Glory Means Success
Muay Thai Fighter Saenchai has hopped aboard Glory Kickboxing – cartwheel kicks, shuffling feet and all.
Glory has had impressive shows to date, no doubt, and has shown great talent in the sport of kickboxing with nonstop action and crazy knockouts. The difference from Glory Kickboxing and Lion Fight is, of course, the rule set.
The stable of fighters that represent Glory are, I would say, mostly European.
Take Holland, for example, the home of dutch kickboxing that produced legends such as Ramon Dekkers (RIP) and Peter Aerts. Dutch kickboxing’s rule set is specialized around boxing, footwork, quick kicks and minimum clinch time. Full Thai rules are more about damage and brutality, elbows, clinching and throws to the mat.
When you think of Dutch kickboxing and Glory you might visualize fighters like Tyrone Spong, Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Souwer, Davit Kiria and Marat Gregorian. When you think of Muay Thai and Full Rules Muay Thai you might visualize Buakaw, Yodsaenklai and of course, Saenchai.
But, why are there so many European fighters in Glory and just one Thai (Sittichai)? It is, of course, the rule set. For many years, the Thais and Dutch have battled each other in the ring – battles in kickboxing and battles in Muay Thai.
It is, without doubt, that whatever the rule set is will favor a certain fighter, which explains why there isn’t much of a Thai population in kickboxing rules.
However, there are a handful of top Thai fighters that succeed in both rule sets, including the pound-for-pound king, Saenchai.
He is most commonly known for his personality in the ring and his enchanting performances. He smiles, taunts and instigates the crowd while at the same time totally dominating his opponents in such an entertaining fashion.
The world has been exposed to kickboxing through fighters like Andy Ristie, Neiky Holzken and Rico Verhoeven. What do all these fighters have in common? A brash “no play, all business” attitude. Saenchai has competed under kickboxing rules countless times and has the exact same style every fight.
Raymond Daniels is one of Glory’s fighters and he puts spectators in awe with his kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do hybrid style, jumping kicks, spinning attacks and bouncing stance. His knockout against Francois Ambag really set his name in stone on the Glory favorites. People really freaked out over how spectacular the ‘Two touch 360 tornado kick” (name of the Tae Kwon Do move) that Daniels executed.
With that being said, Glory viewers already have a taste for unique styles through Raymond Daniels. My only comment on that is: wait until they get a load of Saenchai! I believe he will do great in Glory Kickboxing, just as Sittichai has. Whoever he fights, he will have loads of fun. Be prepared to see at least 2-3 cartwheel kicks in every fight. The rules will not be a problem for the pound-for-pound king.
In my opinion, the kickboxing rules will protect Glory fighters from more damage. It will save them from the elbows and the take downs Saenchai is a master of.
There is never a boring fight when Saenchai is in the ring. With Glory being one of the mainstream outlets for stand up fighting, I think Saenchai’s presence will attract many more viewers and create new fans of Kickboxing and Muay Thai. There are so many competitors that fight to win, and few that fight to amuse.
Most of the time, fighters forget that people are watching when they are in the ring, and they create a tunnel vision. All they see is the W.
Saenchai is more than just a fighter. He is an entertainer – a fighting jester that can kick your ass! He abolishes the hard and stern stereotype of modern day fighters and introduces an element to what the sport should really be: a show. Something the audience can enjoy and remember.
Knockouts and blood are great to see too, obviously. But how often do you get to see a flying scissor kick that is faster than the eye can blink? Or how about a one armed cartwheel kick against an class A opponent?
Glory better be ready for the Muay Thai and striking guru that is Saenchai. I know I sure am.
While the people that don’t know or follow Saenchai’s fighting career, when they see him for the first time their minds will be blown for sure. As for us Muay Thai fighters, we will watch as we normally do and say, “Just another day in Saenchai’s office.”
Glory fans prepare yourself! June 25, 2016 in Amsterdam, Holland. Saenchai (315-43-2) replaces injured fighter Mosab Amrani and takes on Eddie Nait-Slimmani (62-1) in the co-main event!
- DJ Miller is a naky muay from Nashville, TN. He began his Muay Thai training in 2008 and accumulated more than 30 amateur fights before turning pro. "Martial arts is in my blood," says Miller. "My father is a third degree black belt in Taekwondo.., I love the experiences that Muay Thai has given me and I love sharing my thoughts what's going on in the Muay Thai world with everyone."