Kulabdam vs. Muangthai II might be the most recent entry to the list of legendary, unforgettable Muay Thai clashes in history. We break down and highlight this incredible war. . .
EPIC FIGHT DRAW DEMANDS KULABDAM-MUANGTHAI III
In the 90s, it happened with Jongsanan Fairtex and Sakmongkol Sithchuchok. Their fifth fight is known in the Muay Thai world as “The Elbow Fight.”
Then in 2010, it happened again in a bout between Pornsanae Sitmonchai and Pakorn Sakyothin. This has been heavily contended as the “Fight of the Decade.”
Now, in 2018, fight fans who have been following this sport were gifted another glorious war for the ages in the rematch between Kulabdam Sor.Jor.Piek-Uthai and Muangthai P.K. Saenchai Muaythaigym – “The Executioner” vs. “The Elbow Zombie.”
Today we’re breaking down this epic fight that will certainly age into a legendary clash between two warriors in their primes. (See full fight below.)
ROUNDS 1 & 2: FEELING ONE ANOTHER OUT
In their first bout, Muangthai knocked out Kulabdam in such a fashion that Kulabdam took a few months off from fighting. So in this rematch, there was no holding back from either party.
Kulabdam (named Sports Writers Fighter of the Year, 2017-2018) uses his heavy punches to knock out his opponents. In this fight, he stuck to those big, slamming punches in his arsenal. Muangthai (Lumpinee Stadium Fighter of the Year, 2016 & 2017) , who is infamous for knocking people out left and right with his well-timed elbows, used “the knives of Muay Thai” all throughout the fight. And after a match that was nothing short of thrilling and exciting, people who watched knew that this was going to be up there with the aforementioned legendary fights.
The first round was a very typical feeling out round. Muangthai threw a number of teeps while Kulabdam threw some low kicks. Nothing significant happened and neither fighter struck with much speed or power.
The second round, in contrast, was a faster round. However, both fighters were still holding back. They clinched up a few times, but nothing happened. Being both southpaw, Muangthai landed several right middle kicks. Towards the end of the round, Muangthai started throwing his signature elbows. Some landed, but none fazed Kulabdam in the slightest.
ROUND 3: CAUTION TO THE WIND
The end of the second round was nothing more than a taster for what was about to come. As soon as the third round starts, Muangthai comes forward and throws a big elbow and a right head kick.
Kulabdam is still standing, and after clinching up and eating some knees, he starts throwing what he’s known for: destructive punches. For more than 20 seconds, Kulabdam is unleashing a flurry a punches, each equal in power.
Muangthai is visibly shaken but doesn’t just stand there and take the punches. He starts throwing elbows while Kulabdam is punching. One can’t even call it an exchange – they both were just going at it! This is a bit reminiscent of the two legendary fights mentioned above – both men throwing caution to the wind and just trying to do more damage than his opponent.
Kulabdam starts dominating, putting Muangthai down with some sweeps. Then come several left crosses in succession. With both men landing thunderous power shots back and forth, one could can wonder how each man was still standing upright!
Now Kulabdam is a little tired from trying to knock out Muangthai with punches. Muangthai starts coming back with elbows, all of which land.
Muangthai continues marching forward and lands a bit elbow right at the bell. Both fighters are still up and standing. At this point, the crowd is going ballistic as the men retire to their corners to prepare for the fourth round.
ROUND 4: MUANGTHAI IN TROUBLE
Muangthai lands an elbow square in Kulabdam’s face directly after the bell, but it only took seconds for Kulabdam to turn it around. Kulabdam lands a bunch of heavy punches and knocks Muangthai’s head back.
Muangthai, now the aggressor, comes forward to enter into clinching range. He lands a few elbows and some knees in the clinch.
Kulabdam does his best to avoid clinching by using the long guard with his arms and legs. Muangthai is still coming forward. Kulabdam starts attacking again, landing a left cross then stepping in for a left elbow. He staggers and drops Muangthai with the elbow.
The ref counts Muangthai , but he springs back to his feet quickly, telling the ref it was nothing. The fight goes on with Muangthai moving forward again. The bell rings as Kulabdam is swept into his corner to recover.
ROUND 5: PURE BEDLAM!
With the action and momentum traded back and forth, it’s still not clear who is winning the fight at this point. However, because the fourth round is heavily weighted in Thailand and the fight was fairly even up to the point where Muangthai was dropped, one could say that the scorecards were more favorable to Kulabdam. Luckily for spectators, when it’s not clear, the fighters will continue to fight in the fifth round, which is often only done if the fighters want to make it clear they deserve to win.
The fifth round kicks off and Kulabdam seems to be convinced he has already won, backing up and playing a bit. Muangthai, with the heart of a warrior, doesn’t consider retreat for a second. He strikes Kulabdam with elbows and right high kicks. What’s amazing is that most of these, even the high kicks, land right on Kulabdam’s jaw – but Kulabdam refuses to go down!
Muangthai forced Kulabdam to continue fighting, and Kulabdam, wanting to win just as much as Muangthai did, could not bear to be outdone, especially after all that work. There was a Thailand title, a car, and 100,000 baht on the line. Kulabdam tries to put up a defensive shell, but he’s too tired to maintain it well. Muangthai is on a hot streak, landing kicks, elbows and dumps at will.
The fight ends and it was decided that it was a draw. A good call, I think, as the fight was very back and forth. Muangthai landed more variety of strikes, and scored a bit more with the middle kicks, but was dropped by Kulabdam’s punches in the fourth round. Muangthai sprung back and dominated in the fifth round.
This is what happens when you take two aggressive fighting styles and put them into the same ring: nothing but action. Who else can’t wait for Kulabdam vs Muangthai III?!
- Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.