Buakaw (seated, 2nd from left) trains jiu jitsu in Bangkok.
It's been a tumultuous past few weeks for the man known to kickboxing fans around the world as Buakaw Por. Pramuk. As we previously reported, the former K-1 MAX two-time champion left his longtime training camp amidst some nasty accusations of financial mismanagement. Now using the name Buakaw Banchamek (or Buakaw Banchemak depending on which Anglicized spelling you prefer), the Thai legend is now training on his own. And that training has led him to an interesting path - jiu jitsu.
Buakaw recently stopped in at Bangkok's Q23 Academy and trained jiu jitsu under Adam Kayoom. Kayoom is a decorated black belt under Ricardo Liborio and one of the top BJJ instructors in Thailand. He had this to say about Buakaw's work in jiu jitsu:
Buakaw has a lot of potential. He's very sharp, listens very well to instructions and is able to apply it (the techniques) quickly and very well. And on top of that a real gentleman. Very respectful. A real champion. He was very friendly to my friends and students in and out of the academy. It was a real pleasure to have him on the mats.
Obviously it's too early to say if anything will come of this, but it's definitely interesting. With fellow Muay Thai legend Orono Wor Petchpun making the jump to MMA, and with Buakaw's current troubles with his camps, could he also be considering a change? If so, he would be the highest level kickboxer to have ever made the transition to MMA. I'm almost definitely getting my hopes up for nothing here, but as a Buakaw fan and an MMA fan, I can't help but be intrigued.
Next up for Buakaw is a Thai Fight event tomorrow (April 17) where he is scheduled to face French fighter Mickael Cornubet. There were questions if he would be able to fight on the event due to his Por. Pramuk contract, but it looks like he will indeed be taking part.