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The world’s largest MMA gym is in Thailand - Inside Tiger Muay Thai: Episode 1

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MMA Mania’s Andrew Richardson and SBNation’s Case Harts met up in Thailand for three weeks of intense training. Episode 1 takes viewers through first impressions on arrival.

Team Alpha Male fighter and MMA Mania writer Andrew Richardson journeyed halfway around the world to spend a few weeks training in Thailand at one of the world’s largest MMA camps, Tiger Muay Thai. While there, he met up with SBNation video producer Case Harts with the goal of putting together a mini-documentary about his time abroad, all culminating hopefully in a fight back in the states.

Unfortunately, the eventual spread of the COVID-19 pandemic threw a major wrench into those plans. But the experience still remains. An exhausting, sweaty, wild experience.

In this first episode, Richardson introduces viewers to his first days of training at TMT, the sheer size of the facility, adapting to the new training regimens, and the terrible task of having to get back in shape. In his own words...

I do not look fat from an objective standpoint, which is solely because of my lanky frame. At the start of the video, I am roughly 153 pounds, which is nearly 30 lbs. above my competition weight and almost 10 above my usual walk around. I cannot overstate how much crap I ate in those first three weeks: my girlfriend and I would routinely drink three-five fruit smoothies to accompany our three over-sized meals.

In the six weeks I was in Thailand, it did not rain a single time. Every single day, the temperature climbed above 90 degrees, and it was humid as hell. The only relief from the direct sunlight was Bangkok’s oppressive smog, but Phuket is an island with less industrial pollution. I am not an athlete who tends to sweat profusely even during a regular hard 90-minute practice, but at Tiger, I would be pouring within five minutes of starting the light jog warm up.

These two factors combined to create the slow, sweaty mess witnessed above. If the thoughts like, “he probably shouldn’t have dropped his hands after that combination” or “that’s a terrible plank,” pop into your head while watching, you are correct!

Check out the whole episode above. And stay tuned for part 2, incoming next week.