So as we all know, this time of year brings a certain cheer to people. Hard workers get a day or two rest, people exchange gifts and thanks for the year passed. The opportunity arises to recognise people who have put in the work to develop and grow and Thai Fighter UK delivers just this.
Thai Fighter UK are the official ranking system for the UK and every year, they award Male Fighter of the Year, Female Fighter of the Year, Jordan Coe Trailblazer and Gym of the Year.
Already this year, we have seen three of the four awards be allocated and we are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the coveted, Male Fighter of the Year 2018. Thai Fighter
The panel is made up of 26 members of the Muay Thai community. 11 promoters, 8 officials from the IBMTO and 7 commentators, these candidates are all involved in UK Muay Thai at the highest level.
One thing about doing it this way is that it is not a popularity contest. You can’t just spam people asking them to vote for you to be awarded with the title. More, you have to put in the work and grind it out to be recognised by the industry experts.
The awards this far. Gym of the Year has been awarded to LUMPINI CRAWLEY! Having had a fantastic year this year, John Jarvis and the team at Lumpini Crawley will be honoured to receive this award. Previous winners have been, Franks Gym, Bad Company and Double K.
With 6 fighters ranked in the UK top 10, Ruth Ashdown winning the WBC Muay Thai Diamond belt and Reece Thompson dethroning Macauley Coyle taking the number 1 spot at 57kg are just two of the achievements of Lumpini this year.
With this award, it is given to a fighter, male of female, who is representing the UK Muay Thai community on the international circuit. This year, it has been awarded to George Mann. Mann has had a fantastic year. Climbing his way through the WBC world rankings (currently number 9), fought mulitple times and winning in Austrailia and most recently, appearing on ONE FC alongside countryman, Andrew Miller and Panicos Yusuf.
Next up we have the most recently announced, Female Fighter of the Year. On the announcement post, Thai Fighter mentioned on social media that there was only 7% between the top 3 females. The nominees this year were, Iman Barlow, Niamh Keenan, Ruth Ashdown, Hannah Brady and Dani Fall. A fantastic line up of the best female fighters in the UK.
Muay Thai Blog will keep you posted when the Male Fighter of the Year award gets announced. For now, a HUGE congratulations to the winners so far. They are true ambassadors for the beautiful sport of Muay Thai and the talent that we have here just shines through on so many levels.
Who do you have for the male fighter? The nominees are, Jonathan Haggerty, Liam Nolan, Jack Kennedy, Liam McGrandles and Nathan Bendon. A very tough decision for the panel of judges, a seat I can’t say I’m particularly envious of because I just don’t know who I’d choose.
Personally, I think Haggerty or Kennedy deserve to take it, they have both had very good years with dominant performances.