Last time out, MMA Mania’s Andrew Richardson got some solid sparring in, and took in an amateur fight card accompanied by a full spread of delicious Thai food. His mini-doc series so far has brought him from the training grounds of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento all the way to Phuket Thailand, to get some work in at one of the world’s largest combat sports facilities, Tiger Muay Thai.
In this latest episode, Richardson left behind his training grounds and signed himself up for an semi-regulated ‘bar’ fight. No mouth guard, no hand wraps, no contracts (but he did at least get to wear head gear and shin guards and gloves). A true ‘anyone who wants some can get some’ kind of situation.
There is no pageantry nor warm up, no hand wraps or mouth guard. My only regret is not bringing my usual mouthpiece to the isle, but I truly didn’t think I was going to compete! I like to think I am pretty self-aware, but I really managed to dupe myself this time. Case acted as my primary cornerman, aided by any drunk tourist who wanted to put in his two cents.
The rules of the fight certainly made the situation trickier. When faced with a spastic opponent, I generally like to wrestle or evade until his energy runs out a bit. With one minute rounds — split up by a full three minutes of rest! — and no grappling allowed, neither tactic was available. Knees and elbows were not permitted either, so any clinch advantage was moot as well.
Watching the fight back for the first time, I don’t hate my performance as much as I thought I would. In truth, only one punch of his landed clean across the three minutes, an uppercut amidst the sea of overhands, and I wasn’t bothered by it. My showing was sloppier than I would’ve liked, but the rules and atmosphere encourage wildness, and I was a bit swept up in the moment.
It is a bar fight after all.