Andrew Richardson has taken viewers into the heart of one of combat sports’ biggest training facilities. We’ve seen him go through grueling conditioning circuits, fast paced grappling classes, and stuff himself with a variety of six legged snacks.
In this episode, Richardson gets some solid sparring in, and checks out an event called the BBQ Beatdown, where he got to enjoy all the food he could eat, along with watching a dozen or so amateur bouts, headlined by a pro fight.
In general, the fights were ... not high-level. I’m talking punching from the bottom while mounted-type fights! That’s okay though; anyone who has ever seen a regional amateur event knows that fights can be plenty fun regardless of skill level.
There was one major exception, and it overshadowed everything else by a mile. In the lone professional bout of the night, 12- and 14-year-old Thais faced off in Muay Thai. Both had over a dozen professional bouts to their name, and the two brought the action. It was the most exciting bout I saw while in Thailand, as the two adolescents battered each other, the momentum shifting sides with each clean cross and cutting elbow.
Previous to BBQ Beatdown, I had visited the prestigious Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok for live fights, and none of those 10 adult bouts were quite as exciting as this one. I don’t mean to imply that children should be brutalizing each other, nor am I condemning a Thai cultural institution.
All I’m saying: those kids can f*cking fight.