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Nothing to see here! Titanium shinned Muay Thai fighter looks like a hoax

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It looks like a recent article about a Muay Thai fighter with a titanium shin implant may have been a big hoax.

A Muay Thai fighter in training.
A Muay Thai fighter in training.
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

Every now and then a combat sports story goes a bit viral. Even outside the relatively insulated world of MMA writing sometimes a story just has that right mix of broad appeal. It feels true, if unlikely, while still being totally outrageous. One such story got some time on Bloody Elbow recently, among a host of broader publications. Even the BBC picked it up. Our own Mookie Alexander was unsure of the report when it came out, writing, "there's enough reason to still be skeptical about the full truth behind this bizarre bit of news from the world of Muay Thai."

Now it appears that other sources are calling it into question. Namely, Fightland has taken a good hard look at the original copy from Fight State, and here are a few solid points they came up with.

In response to the claim that the World Muay Thai Council had suspended the fighter with the shin implant:

The World Muay Thai Council (WMC) has never suspended a Muay Thai fighter before (to the best of my knowledge) and I've never known it to become involved in or adjudicate on any sort of dispute surrounding a fight which wasn't for one of its belts.

In response to the fighter named in the article, Bandasak Chaiyasan, and the chances that he'd be fighting under that name:

Bandasak Chaiyasan is a generic Thai name but Thai fighters never use their birth names. The format is almost always nickname + gym name / sponsor. I can't think of a single example of a fighter who competes under his birth name.

And finally to the idea that a professional fighter might be suspended for violating International Muay Thai Federation rules:

The International Muay Thai Federation deals exclusively with amateur competition so isn't relevant here.

The Fightland article also pointed out (as did our own) that the photos provided in the Fight State article were taken and altered from other unrelated articles and thus not in any way proof of the legitimacy of a titanium implant in a fighter. Questions were also raised about the vague information regarding Bandasak Chaiyasan's camp and training staff, and the ability of Fight State to get direct quotes from members of that unnamed camp in Thailand.

All told it seems very likely that this story is simply not true. But, it has that perfect mix of plausibility and human interest to be a viral hoax.