There’s nothing better than a true clash of equal-but-different styles. In this classic Femur-Khao tangle, Pet-U-Tong defends his super featherweight title against fearsome knee fighter Extra Sitworapat. . .
FEMUR VS. KHAO CLASH: PET-U-TONG VS. EXTRA SITWORAPAT
Contrary to its stereotype as a lawless brawler’s blood sport, fighting is actuall very similar to a game of chess. Consider the parallel approaches of analyzing, planning and execution based on your own strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses. There is also trickery and making your opponent face difficult choices.
What’s even more amazing is that all of this is communicated from the cornermen to the fighter on moment’s notice; for the more experienced nak muay, they are able to do all of this within minutes from fight IQ alone. This is why watching fighters from two different schools face each other is so exciting to watch. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the fighter to capitalize on what works.
Pet-U-Tong Or.Kwanmuang is the current Rajadamnern Stadium super featherweight champion who won Fighter of the Year in 2016 in Thailand (no small feat, it’s only earned by the top fighters). Pet-U-Tong is a Muay Femur fighter. Femur fighters are technical fighters and typically look to win on points. They score (typically with middle kicks) and get out of their opponent’s range. To the untrained eye, many Femur fighters look like they’re running away the entire fight. Many Femur fighters back up and allow their opponent to come to them.
Extra Sitworapat is a Muay Khao fighter. “Muay Khao” literally means means “knee fighter.” They are aggressive fighters who move forward for the entire fight. They look to do damage by wearing their opoonent down in the clinch. Because of the nature of this style, Muay Khao fighters need to have good stamina and conditioning. While Femur fighters strike and back off, there is no such luxury for a Khao fighter, as the outcome of the fight often rests on how well they’re able to close the distance.
The clash of styles between Muay Khao and Muay Femur is classic. If the Muay Khao cannot get in the clinch/knee range, they probably won’t win. But if they can, then the Muay Femur can’t use their strongest weapons (kicks and foot movement) to their advantange.
This clash is seen in a bout between Pet-U-Tong Or.Kwanmuang and Extra Sitworapat, who fought each other on March 22nd 2018 at Rajadamnern Stadium. In this case, Pet-U-Tong, who is not a strong clincher, successfully defended his super featherweight title with some classic Femur tactics he used again and again throughout this war.
WATCH FIRST: PET-U-TONG vs. EXTRA
Pet-U-Tong (red corner) used foot movement to get Extra’s (blue corner) back to the ropes and pushed his hips forward. Trapped between the ropes and his opponent, Extra was not able to throw knees as much as he liked.
When they were engaged in the clinch and there was space between their bodies, Pet-U-Tong often put a leg across Extra’s hips/legs. This prevented Extra from being able to extend his knees, often deterring him from throwing any knees at all.
It also worked as Extra was coming in to clinch. With Pet-U-Tong’s leg in the way, he was unable to successfully get the clinch position.
Sweeps and dumps were also used to brutal effect. This shows dominance, sucks the wind out of the one being swept, and makes them think twice before coming in again. Because the weight of a Muay Khao is typically going forward, fighters with high fight IQ, like Pet-U-Tong, will use the weight distribution to offset his opponent.
Pet-U-Tong exploited the nature of the Muay Khao style another way. Because knee fighters are constantly moving forward, they are at the risk of walking into attacks. Pet-U-Tong timed his middle kicks well and, being a southpaw, it only added to the damage Extra took.
Although Pet-U-Tong could’ve won the fight on points alone, he won via fourth round TKO.
Below, you’ll see the kick that finally pushed Extra over his limit. He walks away with his arm in visible pain and tries to touch gloves with Pet-U-Tong. Wanting to touch gloves close to the end of the fight means that you want to stop fighting, either because you’re winning or, in Extra’s case, you are allowing your opponent to win without allowing extra damage to yourself.
Pet-U-Tong, however, was unwilling to leave it up to the judges and did not touch gloves with Extra. Extra continues to grimace in pain as Pet-U-Tong lands another one of his left kicks to the right arm of Extra.
Extra, motioning to his arm yet another time, is non-verbally pleading with Pet-U-Tong to agree to stop fighting.
Relentless and merciless, Pet-U-Tong threw one last kick to seal the victory.
- Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.