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Phuket Sport: Shannon Wiratchai comes up short in Singapore

MARTIAL ARTS: Phuket-trained fighter Shannon Wiratchai went to war with Bashir Ahmad in Singapore on Friday night, and can consider himself unlucky to have been on the wrong end of a unanimous decision at the end of three full-blooded rounds.

By James Goyder

Saturday 6 April 2013, 01:37PM

MMA fighters Shannon Wiratchai (in black shorts) and Bashir Ahmad after the fight at Singapore's Indoor Stadium on Friday. <i>(Photo: James Goyder)</i>

MMA fighters Shannon Wiratchai (in black shorts) and Bashir Ahmad after the fight at Singapore's Indoor Stadium on Friday. (Photo: James Goyder)

The 24 year-old Thai is based in Bangkok but prepared for the ONE Fighting Championship: ‘Kings & Champions’ fight at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket.

ONE FC is Asia’s biggest MMA promotion and this was the second time Wiratchai has been in action. The fight was broadcast live in Thailand by Star Sports.

The fight started very well for the charismatic young Thai Fighter who used his Judo to take Ahmad down and then went to work throwing elbows, one of which opened up a cut which was bleeding profusely and caused the contest to be temporarily stopped.

The doctor took a long time examining the Pakistani fighter but eventually allowed the action to continue and Ahmad attacked with a newfound sense of urgency which made for some exciting exchanges.

The frantic first round probably took its took on both fighters and the pace dropped in the second stanza which was a more patient affair until the very end of the round when they went toe to toe again, much to the delight of the 10,000 or so fans in attendance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

As the bell sounded Ahmad and Wiratchai embraced which was somewhat premature, given that there was still one more round to go, but showed how much respect these two fighters have for each other.

With five minutes left and all to fight for the Pakistani, who has also spent time training in Phuket, seized the initiative with a series of hard body kicks.

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Wiratchai again came on strong in the final minute, pressing forward and looking to land punches and many felt that this late onslaught should have been enough to win him the decision but all three judges ultimately opted for Ahmad.

It was the first ever MMA fight to have been broadcast live all over Asia by Star Sports and Wiratchai said afterwards he was happy to have made a piece of history but disappointed not to walk away with the win.

“I think I need to improve and I have a lot of work to do because I want to win next time. I am happy to have fought in such a big stadium in Singapore and to have been shown live on TV in Thailand and now I’m looking forward to flying back to Phuket tomorrow and spending a few days relaxing there.”

In total there were ten fights on the card at ONE FC: ‘Kings & Champions’ with Shinya Aoki snatching the lightweight title from defending champion Kotetsu Boku in the second round of the main event.

There were also big wins for Kevin Belingon from the Philippines, Japan’s Masakatsu Ueda and Hong Kong’s Eddie Ng.




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