It was yet another sold-out success with YOKKAO 37 - 38 held last Saturday, 23 March at the University of Bolton stadium. UK fight fans were presented with a stacked 19-bout card featuring the best of the region, along with headlining Thai stars, Superbank Sakchaichote and Rambo Phet Por Tor Aor.
8 bouts on the undercard kickstarted the event off on the right note with intense non-stop action and a couple of knockouts to liven up the atmosphere. Some notable performances include up-and-coming fighters Kieran Lee, Ryan Stockley and Corey McLachlan who furthered their winning streak on the Next Generation scorecards.
With the crowds suitably fired up after the undercard matchups, YOKKAO 37 took the action up another notch. Glyn Blackburn and Alex McGregor both made a powerful impression with their promotional debuts, taking home the win against their respective opponents. It was one explosive bout after another, as the competitors gave all they have got in pursuit of glory and honour.
KO of the Night:
Anton Austin vs Stuart Stabler
After a stellar main card debut at YOKKAO 31, Stuart Stabler returned to kick off YOKKAO 37 as he took on Anton Austin from Stockport's 2 Technical Muay Thai Gym. The action escalated right from the start in an interesting exchange of styles between the two English fighters. Stabler dominated the fight with great footwork and calculated punches including a left hook that connected with Austin's jaw in round 3. The lethal blow sent Austin onto the canvas for the eight-count, and Stabler was awarded a spectacular TKO win, setting the tempo for the rest of the evening.
Superbank Sakchaichote vs Paul Karpowicz
Muay fimeu and sweep-extraordinaire, Superbank made his first YOKKAO appearance in the main event clash against homegrown favorite, Paul Karpowicz. The English fighter, best known for his unorthodox style and unpredictability in the ring, delighted the fans with a wide range of trickeries. Superbank took it all in stride, delivering a series of his signature sweeps and countering with technical precision. The Thai star was awarded the win via an unanimous decision after five rounds of heated exchange.
After a brief intermission, the evening resumed with six exciting faceoffs that kept the crowds at the edge of their seats. Fans were treated to back-to-back clashes including English homegrown heroes, Jacob Smith and Joe Craven who went away with the number one spots on the UK rankings in their respective weight class.
In the Spotlight:
Niamh Kinehan vs Lucy Payne
Rising female star, Niamh Kinehan returned to the YOKKAO stage to face one of UK's finest and experienced female Muay Thai athletes, Lucy Payne. After a well-matched first round, Payne was caught with a deep cut in round two that left her face covered in blood. Just when the fight was expected to end in stoppage, Payne soldiered on and went the full distance. Despite the valiant efforts and heart of Payne, Kinehan did enough damage to dominate the remaining rounds and had her hand raised when it went to the judges scorecards.
KO & Fight of the Night:
Mo Abudrahman vs Craig Coakley
This was an all-out war right off the first bell - both Abdurahman and Coakley went into the fight with all guns blazing and looking for the finish. With two knockout artists in the ring, this was clearly not going to go the distance. Coakley delivered elbows with bad intention, while Abdurahman reciprocated with vicious punches and low kicks.
The Irish fighter looked set to extend his KO winning streak when a right elbow left his opponent down for the count in round 3. Abdurahman was able to picked himself up to continue with the fight, and what ensued is one of the most memorable moments in our event history. Coakley jumped in with a spinning elbow that was evaded and returned in kind, leaving him out cold for Abdurahman to be declared the winner.
The video clip of the knockout has since gone viral on social media with many already calling it the KO of the year. A well deserved recipient as both the KO and Fight of the Night.
Rambo Phet Por Tor Aor vs Chris Shaw
Never one to shy away from challenges, Chris Shaw took up the main event bout against elite Thai fighter, Rambo at just 6 weeks notice. The Scottish fighter stepped in to replace Nathan Bendon and fans were not disappointed. Shaw was the more dominant of the two throughout the 5 rounds, landing more effective shots as well as a number of solid takedowns. While Rambo reclaimed some points via a series of hard knees, Shaw proved to be the better of the two to take home the win via unanimous decision. It was a truly triumphant moment for the Scottish fighter and the UK Muay Thai scene.
With the climactic conclusion of YOKKAO 37 - 38, the UK Muay Thai scene has proven itself to be an unstoppable force in the sport. A series of exciting new initiatives are now being planned to take the UK fight scene to the next level with more details to be shared in the coming months. For those of you who missed the live stream, the whole event can be viewed on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.
** YOKKAO 38 **
Thailand vs Scotland 65kg
Rambo Phet Por Tor Aor lost by points vs Chris Shaw
Ireland vs England 63.5kg
Craig Coakley lost by Round 3 KO vs Mo Abdurahman
England vs England Female Fight 59kg
Niamh Kinehan won by points vs Lucy Payne
England vs England 72.5kg
Joe Craven won by points vs Chris Shaw
England vs England 57kg
Jacob Smith won by Round 4 KO vs Reece Thomson
England vs England 60kg
Adam Haslam won by points vs Michael Moore
** YOKKAO 37 **
Thailand vs England 61kg
Superbank Sakchaichote won by points vs Paul Karpowicz
England vs Scotland 72.5kg
Niall Brown lost by points vs Alex McGregor
England vs Scotland 64kg
Josh Hill won by points vs Connor McNab
Scotland vs England 68kg
John Wedderburn lost by points vs Glyn Blackburn
England vs England 57kg
Anton Austin lost by Round 3 TKO vs Stuart Stabler
** YOKKAO Next Generation **
Callum Connor lost by points vs Corey McLachlan 56kg C Class
Amy Ince won by points vs Danielle Butler 54kg B Class
Ryan Stockley won by Round 2 TKO vs Erik Brew 66kg C Class
Harry Downs won by Round 4 TKO vs Dave Jacobs 80kg C Class
Matthew Jones won by points vs Frankie Brimacombe 52kg C Class
David Borland won by Round 3 TKO vs James Laired 61kg C Class
Kieran Lee won by points vs Lewis Lawton 62kg C Class
Nils Goitom lost by points vs Jamie Scott 57kg C Class