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With the relic of Muay Thai shows in Thailand, Lumpinee stadium recently announcing a rather controversial move to only allow foreign visitors and expats to watch its future Muay Thai bouts and also rumours that Rajadamnern stadium will be forced to relocate to a new area there hangs an air of uncertainty about the future of Thailands national sport. Anyone who has visited Thailand and been to watch a Muay Thai show live in one of Bangkoks iconic stadiums will know the sheer excitement, awe and electricity that comes with watching Thailands top young guns going head to head in the battle of 8 limbs. The traditional music, the roar of the Thai crowds and punters, as kicks, knees, elbows and punches are brutally exchanged definitely evokes something primal within us and it’s almost impossible not to get caught up in the excitement and adrenaline of it all.
Just as the uncertainty of the Bangkok Muay Thai scene was peaking there came a new kid on the block, World Siam Stadium or WSS. Founded by a team of Spanish ex fighters including Pitu Sans who starred in the original ‘The contender’ series, a reality TV show putting the best Muay Thai fighters such as Yodsanklai and John Wayne Parr against each other in a tournament style competition. WSS while not boasting the same 5,000 capacity as Lumpinee, it hosts only around 1000 spectators but the seating area is cleverly designed to be as close as possible to the ring giving you an immersive experience with the fights that no other stadium has offered before. They also offer a unique luxury experience of 4 VIP rooms fitted with individual bars and service and 2 premium rooms which are not only sound proof but also are fitted with a one way visible looking glass for those who want to enjoy the shows in privacy.
Unfortunately WSS opened their doors just as the Covid epidemic was beginning to go global, taking it’s devastating clutch over the world. While it was very unfortunate timing, Thailand however did manage to contain the virus fairly well especially considering it was the first country outside of China to confirm a positive case and to date has had under 100 Covid deaths. Therefore Thailand, after imposing a strict lockdown during the first wave was able to continue with a fairly normal lifestyle and WSS was able to finally start putting on some fights. Though they have already hosted numerous Muay Thai events we have yet to witness what a show would be like at full capacity. The shows that have been put on so far have been a great success having already a main event with the One Championship superstar, Rodtang Jitmuangnon as well as other big Thai names on the cards they have certainly captured the attention of the Thai public already.
With talks of MMA tournaments, kickboxing and even western boxing fights to be held the future is looking very bright for the young and fresh new stadium. Let’s just hope that the world can kick the Covid situation up the rear once and for all so we can bring back the life to the empty stalls and pump the soul back in the beautiful sport of Muay Thai.
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