Yokkao Extreme 2013 Arrives in January
I’ve been following the Yokkao promotions with a watchful eye. Per usual, I am always cynically watching the latest promotional effort fueled by good intentions and a lot of bad ideas. I watch and wait. For the next misstep that ends disastrously for both fighters and promotion. But the Thailand based promotion keeps rolling along with high profile fights internationally specifically with Italian partners. The Team has leveraged their Thai and international contacts to put on consistently high profile fights albeit not always under Muay Thai rules. With that said I admire the promotional arm of Yokkao for taking chances and putting on consistently high profile and high quality fight events. If they are succeeding, it’s because they’re smart enough to stay profitable and gutsy enough to make big fights people want. That’s something for any Muay Thai fan to be happy about.
Recently, the Thai and Italian joint effort completed their Yokkao Selection 2012 fights in Italy. The tournament bouts were held to determine which of the fighters would go on to fight in their respective weight classes of 65kg, 70 kg, and 72.5 kg. From what I’ve seen of the names that will appear at the Yokkao Extreme 2013 card, they better be ready. They all have some tough fights ahead of them.
After coming close to selling out in January 2012, Yokkao Extreme is back in Italy Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Forum of Assago in Milan, Italy. The Main event will feature Andy Souwer, Shootboxing and K-1 MAX multiple time champion versus Dzahbar Askerov of Contender Asia fame and a growing resume of fights and wins, including becoming the World Muaythai Council (WMC) Muay Thai Welterweight European champion and K-1 MAX Scandinavia 2008 tournament finalist. Though it’s not really explicitly said yet, I am predicting this fight will be matched under K-1 rules.
The matchmaking for Yokkao Extreme 2013 definitely made some real efforts to make their event in Italy a memorable one. Among the many name nak muay to appear at 70kg, Aikpracha Meenayothin, will be making a first time appearance for Yokkao. Aikpracha drew international attention to himself by defeating Fabio Pinca, Yohan Lidon and knocked out Holland’s Marco Pique. Yokkao’s press writeup says his next opponent will be the same world class caliber.
Also coming to Yokkao Extreme 2013 to fight a Muay Thai Full Rules bout will be Kem Sitsongpeenong. With a 135+ fights, Kem is the reigning Thailand and World Muaythai Council (WMC) Muaythai super welterweight world champion.
Another big name Thaiboxer, Saenchai Muay Thai Gym is also scheduled to fight in a full rules Muay Thai fight. Saenchai, is at this juncture a living legend of Muay Thai. Saenchai arrives with a fight record including over 300 matches, with more than 250 victories. It should be a test for Yokkao to find an opponent worthy of the man considered to be the pound for pound best in modern Muay Thai.
Last will be the always fun to watch Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee with ring experience of 289 fights and a pretty impressive 244 wins. Recently, Sudsakorn won the Intercontinental belt TK2 World Max title. Sudsakorn definitely is fan friendly to watch with his razor sharp timing and hands down style. The sometimes he gets hit and sometimes he doesn’t suspense always makes a viewer friendly fight.
If you missed the Yokkao Selection qualifier fights, Yokkao has them free on their youtube channel. And if you want to attend the live event you can buy tickets directly from them from the Muay Thai Combat site.
Here’s a bout with Calogero Palmeri Vs. Alessandro Rammazatti from the Yokkao Selection tournament.