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Thailand government bans MMA

Thailand government  bans MMA
March 29th 2012

Thailand has banned MMA.

The Thai sports ministry ruled this week that MMA is “too brutal” and it is henceforth prohibited to stage MMA events in the South-East Asian country.

Ministers said that mixed martial arts is “causing erosion” to the sport of Muay Thai and “damaging the image” of Thailand’s native martial art.

However, there are those in the fledgling Thai MMA industry who think that the government may have been pressured or swayed by the Muay Thai industry.

Muay Thai is huge business in Thailand. It fills arenas all over the country, generates a lot of tourist traffic, airs on television a lot and provides employment for a large swathe of young men who would be otherwise unengaged.

MMA is very new to Thailand but it had the potential to steer would-be star Thai boxers into the cage instead of into the Muay Thai ring. While it has yet to produce any serious MMA contenders, its rich combat sports pedigree meant it was probably only a matter of time.

Former Thai boxers such as Rambaa Somdet and Yodsanan Sityodtong have transitioned to MMA with various levels of success, but the real money would come from someone being able to emulate the kind of international success that Buakaw Por. Pramuk managed when he transitioned to K-1.

None of that will have been seen as beneficial to the Muay Thai industry, which is notoriously conservative, and so MMA has been dealt a crippling blow before being able to get off the ground properly. The ban does not affect MMA training, which - ironically - numerous camps are beginning to offer.

Comments

  • Cameron Conaway

    Posted at 17:13 on March 29th 2012

    Can you please provide the sources? I'm unable to find anything from the Bangkok Post, the Thai Sports Ministry or elsewhere that says this ban is official.

    Thanks in advance,

    ~Cameron
    CameronConaway.com

    Reply to comment

  • Stephen Li

    Posted at 11:13 on March 30th 2012

    In all honesty this doesnt really affect MMA too much in general anyway as the only place I came across which held MMA bouts were in Patong Stadium in Phuket. Even then it was one bout or a couple mixed in on a Muay Thai filled card.

    Most of the fighters who train in MMA in Thailand generally travel to China or Singapore to fight ala Ole Laursen and Ray Elbe.

    It's a shame really but unless they ban the training of MMA, it wont affect MMA in Thailand at all as most, if not all, places in Thailand were reluctant to host an MMA show anyway.

    apopandagumshield.wordpress.com

    Reply to comment

  • Cameron Conaway

    Posted at 12:16 on March 30th 2012

    Dear Stephen,

    I believe this actually can have some far-reaching impacts. DARE Fight Sports is the biggest and best MMA organization in Thailand history. Since the demise of Pride, MMA in Asia has been steadily growing and this is a market where it is surely to boom. DARE's events in Bangkok (they are the first in Thailand history to use a sanctioned octagonal cage) are always sold out and everyone in-the-know about MMA here in Thailand knows about it. They've got working relationships with ONE FC and network with many other organizations. Local fighters constantly have "competing in DARE" on their mind or as an eventual goal. As Bangkok is a major hub of Asia and already embracing of fight culture, a hugely successful MMA scene here will easily spread and influence elsewhere.

    ~Cameron
    CameronConaway.com

    Reply to comment

  • pinoymmafan

    Posted at 08:43 on April 19th 2012

    I don't get it..What is the difference between Muay Thai and MMA? It doesn't make sense why they are banning MMA.


    http://planetmmahub.blogspot.com/

    Reply to comment

  • DARE FAN

    Posted at 11:37 on July 12th 2012

    Wow , no more DARE ??? Crazy, lets home this is not the begining of other countries doing the same!
    http://combatsportsmmaboxing.blogspot.com

    Reply to comment

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