Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rules and Regulations of Muaythai

Item 1: THE RING.

The ring shall be constructed as follows:

1.1. Size: A square with each side the following dimension: Small size 20-feet (6.10 metres); Large size-24-feet (7.30 metres), to be measured within the ropes.

1.2. Floor and Corner: Must be well constructed with no obstructions and with a minimum extension outside the ring of at least 3 feet (91 cm). The minimum floor height should be 4 feet (1.22 metres) with a maximum of 5 feet (1.48 metres) from the building floor. The corner posts should have a diameter of between four (10.00 cm) to five inches (12.70cm) with a height of 58 inches (1.47 metres) from the ring floor. All four posts must be properly cushioned.

1.3. Ring Floor: The floor must be padded by cushioning, rubber, soft cloth, rubber mat, or similar material with a minimum thickness of 1 inch (2.50 cm) and a maximum of 1.5 inch (3.7 cm). The padding should be completely covered by a canvas cloth.

1.4. Ropes: Consisting of four ropes with a minimum diameter of 1.20 inches (3 cms) and a maximum of 2 inches (5 cms), stretched and linked to the four corner posts. The distance from the ring floor to the lower rope will be 18 inches (46 cm), to the 2nd rope 30 inches (76 cm), to the 3rd rope 42 inches (107 cm) and the top rope 54 inches (137 cm) respectively. The rope will be covered by a soft or cushioned material. Each rope will be joined together by two strong cords of 1.20-1.60 inches (3-4 cms) diameter and are at equal distance from each other.

1.5. Ring Steps: At least three (3) sets are required. The width of each step should be at least 3.50 feet (1.07 metres). One set is located at each corner and a third shall be positioned centrally for the doctor and other officials.

1.6. Plastic Bin: To be located at the fighter's corner for the disposal of tissues, bandages or any other garbage.


The following equipment is required at ringside.

1. Break area at both corners.

2. Two drinking water bottles and two spray bottles. No other type of bottle is allowed ringside.

3. Two towels.

4. Two bowls of water.

5. Tables and chairs for the officials.

6. Alarm bell.

7. One or two stop clocks.

8. Official WMC Score sheets.

9. Locking box for keeping the score sheets.

10. One set of round indicators, signs or boards.

11. Two pairs of spare boxing gloves.

12. One spare set each of red and blue boxing shorts.

13. Groin protector with one or two ties.

14. Two cloth squares to facilitate a groin protector change or adjustment.

15. Stretcher.

16. Blunt edged scissors.


3.1. Only gloves certified by World Muaythai Council (WMC) are allowed to be used in any match.

3.2. Boxing glove requirements:

Glove usage should correspond to the following weight divisions:

Glove Weight

Mini Flyweight - Junior Featherweight: 6 ounce (132 grams)
Featherweight - Welterweight: 8 ounce (227 grams)
Junior Middleweight and upwards: 10 ounce (284 grams)

The weight of the leather shall not be more than half of the total glove weight, including the internal cushioning, which should always be in good condition.
The laces are to be tied at the back of the wrist band.

3.3. To ensure compliance with the WMC glove regulations, all gloves will be inspected by a member of the WMC match committee prior to the fight.


Only a soft material type is allowed, size 2 inches x 6.5 yards (5 cm x 6 metres). Plastic or plaster types are strictly prohibited. The use of adhesive tape, size 2.50 cm. x 2.50 metres is only allowed for covering the back of the wrist and must not be used to cover the knuckles.



5.1. Only boxing shorts are to be worn, the colour of which depending on the corner; red, pink, or maroon or with a red stripe for the red corner; blue, bright blue, black for the blue corner. The dressing gown will be as specified by the World Muaythai Council.

5.2. To ensure the boxer's safety, a groin protector must be worn and tied only at the back.

5.3. Long hair and/or beards are prohibited. A short moustache is allowed but the hair must not extend over the lip.

5.4. The Mongkol should be worn when performing the Wai Khru (paying respect to one's teacher), prior to the match start. Amulets are only to be worn on the arm or waist and covered by material to avoid injury.

5.5. Single elastic bandages are allowed to be worn on the arm or legs to prevent sprains, however insertion of a shin guard, etc, is not allowed.

5.6. No metallic material, decoration or jewellery is allowed to be worn.

5.7. The use of Vaseline, fat or any similar substance by the boxer to gain unfair advantage is not allowed.

5.8. Boxer may wear elastic ankle bandages to protect his feet.

B. Any infringement to the dress code may result in the fighter's disqualification. In the case of any problem with the boxing gloves themselves, the referee may temporarily halt the match until they are corrected.


A. Weight Divisions

Maximum Weight

1. Mini Flyweight - 105 lbs (47.727 kg.)
2. Junior Flyweight - 108 lbs (48.988 kg.)
3. Flyweight - 112 lbs (50.802 kg.)
4. Junior Bantamweight - 115 lbs (52.163 kg.)
5. Bantamweight - 118 lbs (53.524 kg.)
6. Junior Featherweight - 122 lbs (55.338 kg.)
7. Featherweight - 126 lbs (57.153 kg.)
8. Junior Lightweight - 130 lbs (58.967 kg.)
9. Lightweight - 135 lbs (61.235 kg.)
10. Junior Welterweight - 140 lbs (63.503 kg.)
11. Welterweight - 147 lbs (66.638 kg.)
12. Junior Middleweight - 154 lbs (69.853 kg.)
13. Middleweight - 160 lbs (71.575 kg.)
14. Super Middleweight - 168 lbs (76.363 kg.)
15. Light Heavyweight - 175 lbs (79.379 kg.)
16. Cruiserweight - 190 lbs (86.183 kg.)
17. Heavyweight - 190 lbs+ (86.183 kg.+)
18. Super Heavyweight - 209 lbs+ (95 kg.+)

B. Weigh-In

I. The boxer shall be weighed without clothes, no later than 3 hours prior to the match.

2. If the fighter is over weight at the time of the weigh-in, he may reweigh again.

3. Prior to the weigh-in, all fighters must be examined and certified fit by a licensed doctor.


7.1. Prior to the start of the first round, both fighters shall perform the Wai Khru (paying respect to the teacher), accompanied by the appropriate Thai traditional music, incorporating the Ching (cymbal), Klong khaek (tom-tom) and Pee Java (Thai reed pipe).

7.2. A Muaythai match shall consist of five rounds, 3 minutes per round with a 2 minute break between each round. Any stoppage during the match for any reason will not be counted as part of the 3 minute round time.

Item 8: BOXERS

Boxer's Eligibility

8.1. No physical disability and at least 15 years old.

8.2. Minimum weight: l00 pounds (45.36 kg).

8.3. Not classified as a prohibited person, as described in the medical manual of the World Muaythai Council.


Two seconds are allowed to attend the boxer as per the following stipulations:

9.1. During the match, the seconds are not allowed to advise, help or instruct their boxer. Any violation of the rules by the seconds or the boxer may result in the boxer's disqualification.

9.2. The seconds are not allowed to signal to interested parties, the condition of his boxer.

9.3. During the match, the seconds must stay in the designated area. Prior to the start of each round they will remove all towels, water bottles, etc out of the ring area.

9.4. During the interval, the seconds will ensure that their boxer is properly attired. In case of any problem they shall inform the referee immediately.

9.5. The seconds shall ensure that the ring floor is kept dry to prevent any slipping.

9.6. The seconds must wear a proper shirt that bears his camp's/gym's logo or emblem.

9.7. The seconds are forbidden to direct bad or insulting language at the boxer or injure him either during or after the fight.

9.8. In a championship match, 3 seconds are allowed but only 2 are allowed in the ring at any one time during the round break.

9.9. Prior to a championship match, a meeting will be held between the referee, judges, boxers' managers and the seconds to confirm the rules and procedures of the match and to confirm the penalties for any improper conduct or violations by an involved person.


A. Committee Member's Qualification.

1. No physical disability and at least 25 years old.

2. Hold a medical certificate endorsed by the World Muaythai Council.

3. Hold proper certification as to their work experience, health, age and occupation.

4. Certified by the World Muaythai Council as properly qualified.

B. Referee's Qualification

1. All referees must be trained and tested by the appropriate committee of the World Muaythai Council and be certified and registered as a referee.

2. Not over 60 years of age unless an extension is approved by the committee.

3. Must resign immediately on the order of the committee or when unable to perform his duties.

C. Number of Judges and Referees

The match committee will comprise of 3 judges and one referee for the ring with the match chairman responsible for match supervision.


A. Duty.

The prime duty of the referee is to ensure the safety of the boxers to the maximum degree.

B. The Referee’s Responsibilities.

The referee's uniform will consist of blue trousers and shirt, bearing the logo of the World Muaythai Council and flat canvas shoes. No glasses or jewellery are allowed.

The referee shall ensure the following:

1. Fairness in the application of the rules and regulations to all parties.

2. No impoliteness in manner or speech either to the boxers or the audience.

3. Close supervision of the match.

4. Protection of a weaker fighter against serious injury.

5. Inspection of the boxing gloves and anklets.

6. Ensure both boxers shake hands prior to the first and final rounds.

7. For a championship or title defense fight, the referee must inform the boxers and their seconds of the rules and regulations governing the fight and this is to be done in the dressing room, prior to the fight itself.

8. Three verbal orders are recognized:

"YOOT" (stop) when ordering the boxers to stop fighting.

"Yak" (break) when ordering the boxers to separate.

"Chok" (fight) when ordering the boxers to continue the match.

When the boxers are ordered to "Yak", both must step back one step before continuing to fight.

9. The referee shall use the correct signal to ensure a boxer's understanding of any rule infringement.

10. At the match end, he will collect the score sheets from each of the three judges and indicate the winner to the audience, by raising that boxer's hand. The score sheets will then be handed to the chairman for verification.

11. For a championship match, the referee will collect the score sheets from the judges at the end of each round, inspect and submit them to the chairman in addition to raising the winner's hand after the result announcement.

12. Should it be necessary to stop the match or penalize a boxer, he will immediately advise the reason to the committee chairman after making the announcement.

13. In case of an accident to the referee which prevents him from continuing, the senior judge will act on his behalf.

14. The referee is forbidden to give a verbal count or warning that gives either an unfair advantage or disadvantage to any fighter.

15. He is forbidden to comment or speculate on any match unless receiving prior approval from the committee chairman.

16. All referees are subjected to a yearly medical inspection and certification by the doctor of the Council and must be physically fit at the start of any match.

C. Referee's Duties.

1. To stop the match immediately if he considers that one boxer is significantly more skilled or stronger than the other.

2. To stop the match immediately when a boxer is in difficulties or is injured.

3. To stop the match immediately if he considers that one or both fighters are faking or not trying their best.

4. To stop the match or warn the boxer for committing a foul or breaking the rules.

5. To immediately disqualify a boxer who defiantly breaks the rules, injures or shows any aggression to the referee.

6. To disqualify both the boxer and his seconds if his seconds deliberately break the rules or do not follow his directions.

7. To disqualify any boxer who intentionally or accidentally causes a foul.

8. To stop the match if he considers that a boxer having received a count is unable to effectively continue the match.

9. To disallow any advantage to a boxer who intentionally fouls in any way.

D. Rule Infringement Warnings

Prior to giving a warning for rule infringement, the referee shall stop the fight, use the correct warning signal to ensure the boxer's understanding and then indicate the offending boxer to the judges. Any boxer, who is so indicated or warned 3 times or more, may be disqualified. In the event of a serious rule infringement, the referee's decision is final.

E. The Purpose of a Warning

The purpose of warning is to advise or warn any boxer not to break the rules during the fight.

F. Count Procedure for a Boxer Falling Out of the Ring

1. If a boxer falls through the ring ropes, the referee shall order his opponent to stand in the other corner and if the boxer remains outside the ropes, the referee shall start to count. (A count to 10).

2. If a boxer falls out of the ring, the referee shall count to 20 (20 seconds).

2.1. When a fall-out takes place, the referee will start counting, however if the boxer returns to the ring before the count ends, he will not be penalized.

2.2. If anyone prevents the fallen boxer from returning to the ring, the referee shall warn such person or stop the fight if he continues his action.

2.3. If both boxers fall out of the ring, the referee shall start counting. If one boxer tries to prevent his opponent from returning to the ring before the count ends, he will be warned or disqualified.

2.4. If both boxers fall out of the ring, the referee shall start counting, the one that returns to the ring before the count ends, will be considered the winner. If neither boxer can, the result will be considered a draw.


A. Responsibilities

1. The judges are independent and free to score as per the rules and normal practice.

2. Each judge shall sit on a different side and should be separate from the audience.

3. The judges shall remain neutral during the match, except when a rule violation is noticed, when he should notify the referee exclusively. This should be done during the round interval.

4. At the end of each round, the judges shall complete the score sheet for that round.

5. The judges are not allowed to leave their seat until the match ends and result has been announced.

B. Uniform

The judges shall wear the uniform as specified by the World Muaythai Council (WMC)


The chairman of the match committee may authorize a correction to the final result as follows:

13.1. If the referee makes a decision significantly contrary to the normal rules and practice.

13.2. If it is discovered that the judges have made a conspicuous score sheet error.


14.1. To appoint the referee and judges for each match and promotion.

14.2. To monitor and improve the standards of the referee and judges and ensuring conformity to the rules and standard practice.

14.3. To verify that the referee and judges perform their duty and responsibilities and to advise the World Muaythai Council if any irregularity takes place.

14.4. To solve any prior problem regarding the promotion, reporting the result to the Council committee.

14.5. Make the decision to the referee and the judges.

14.6. To verify the score sheet to ensure that:

a. The score has been tallied correctly.

b. The name of the fighters are correct.

c. The correct winner has been named.

d. To authenticate the score sheet and inspect the score.

e. To announce the result of the match to the audience.

14.7. To make any decision in case that the referee or judges could not continue.

14.8. To report to the Council Committee, the name of any boxer who violates the rules or shows poor performance.


A. Seating for the timekeeper and announcer will be located next to the ring.

B. Duties and Responsibilities

The timekeeper must keep precisely, the timing of each round and the breaks, following the referee's instructions to start or stop. The following procedures are to be used:

1. A five seconds warning is to be given prior to the start of each round, to enable the seconds to clear the ring.

2. A bell is used to signal the start and end of each round.

3. To deduct the break time as per the referee s instructions.

4. Ensure all timings are correct by using both a watch and stop clock.

5. In the case of a boxer receiving the count during rounds 1-4 and the round time ends (3 minutes), the bell should be rung immediately after the referee finishes the count and orders the boxers to continue.

6. In the final round, the bell should be rung immediately when the round timing passes 3 minutes, even if the referee is still counting.

C. Announcer's Duties

1. To announce the fighter's names, corner and weight prior to the fight and again as the boxers arrive in the ring.

2. To order the seconds to leave the ring when the bell rings.

3. To announce the round number at the start and finish of each round.

4. To announce the winner's name and corner, when the referee raises the boxer's hand.


This should conform to the following rules and regulations:

16.1. A Knock-Out (K.O.) is awarded when the opponent is knocked down and unable to continue within the 10 second count.

16.2. A Technical Knock-Out (T.K.O.) is awarded:

16.2.1. When a boxer is seriously hurt or weakened.

16.2.2. When a boxer cannot continue the match after the break.

16.2.3. On the doctor's recommendation, when the referee is unsure whether a boxer can continue the match due to injury or being seriously weakened.

16.2.4. Both boxers are seriously injured and cannot continue the match; if less than three rounds: a draw is declared; if three rounds have been reached, individual score decides.

16.2.5. Receiving a count twice in the same round and unable to continue the match.

16.3. Winning due to the opponent's retirement because of injury.

16.4. Winning due to the opponent's violation of the rules.

16.5. Winning on points.

16.6. "No decision" as a result of both parties colluding together to cheat or not fighting properly.

16.7. "No contest" as a result of the ring being damaged and the match not being able to continue, or if an external event occurs during the fight, causing it to be stopped.

16.8. Equal Score.

16.8.1. When both boxers' scores are equal.

16.8.2. When both boxers receive a count of 10.


The standard scoring practice is as follows:

A: A strike either by a punch, kick, knee or elbow.

1. Scoring from a strike:

1.1. Points will be awarded for a correct Thai Boxing style, combined with hard and accurate strikes.

1.2. Points will be awarded for aggressive and dominating Muaythai skill.

1.3. Points will be awarded for a fighter actively dominating his opponent.

1.4. Points will be awarded for the use of a traditional Thai style of defense and counter-attack.

1.5. Points will be deducted from a boxer who fouls or breaks the rules.

2. Non scoring strikes:

2.1. A strike which is against the rules.

2.2. A strike in defense against the leg or arm of an opponent.

2.3. A weak strike.

B. Fouls.

1. The judges will deduct points for any foul as directed by the referee.

2. Any foul observed by the judges but not by the referee, will be penalized accordingly.

C. Method of Scoring

1. The maximum score for each round is 10 points, the loser scoring either 9, 8 or 7.

2. A drawn round will be scored as 10 points for both boxers.

3. The winner and loser in an indecisive round will score 10:9 respectively.

4. The winner and loser in a decisive round will score 10:8 respectively.

5. The winner and loser in an indecisive round with a single count will score 10:8 respectively.

6. The winner and loser in a decisive round with a single count will score 10:7 respectively.

7. The boxer scoring 2 counts against his opponent will score 10:7.

8. Any boxer who commits a foul will have points deducted from his score.


18.1. Biting, eye gouging, spitting, or head butting.

18.2. Wrestling, back or arm locks or any similar judo or wrestling hold.

18.3. Deliberately falling on his opponent.

18.4. Holding the ropes for any reason.

18.5. Swearing or the use of abusive language during the match.

18.6. Knocking out or injuring his opponent after the referee has ordered the match to stop for any reason.

18.7. Deliberately striking the groin area.

To be penalized by the deduction of 1 point for each time committed.

A boxer, who has been hit in the groin, may request a 5 minute break before continuing the match.

Item 19: KNOCK DOWN.

19.1. Definition

19.1.1. Any part of the body touching the floor except the feet.

19.1.2. Leaning against the ropes in a state of unconsciousness.

19.1.3. Knocked out of the ring.

19.1.4. Inability to defend himself.

19.2. During a count, the referee will direct the opposing boxer to stand in the opposite corner. If he does not, the referee shall stop the count until he does so and then continue. The match will not continue until directed by the referee.

19.3. The count interval will be at I second intervals, from 1 to 10. During the count, the referee will signal, with his hand, to ensure that the boxer receiving the count understands.

19.4. A boxer on receiving a count cannot continue the match prior to a count of 8 and loses immediately on receiving a count of 10.

19.5. If both boxers fall down, the referee will direct the count to the last one that fell. If both boxers receive a 10 count, a draw will be declared. Should the boxers lean against each other whilst sitting up, the referee will stop counting at that time.

19.6 If one of the boxers subsequently falls down again, the referee will continue the count.

19.7 A boxer not ready to fight again after a break when the bell rings, will receive a count, unless caused by a problem with his attire.


The doctor shall be appointed and certified by the appropriate Council committee.


1 Perform a physical check of the boxers prior to the weigh-in.

2 Be in attendance during the programme until the last fight.

3 Perform a physical check of the boxers after each match and specify the rest period.


21.1 All boxers will be certified by the doctor prior to the start of any fight and must not be suffering from any sickness or exhibit any prohibited symptom or disease, as specified in the medical manual of the Council.

21.2 Any boxer due to fight in a foreign country, will be physically examined by a doctor appointed by the Council Committee. He must also conform to the medical regulations of that country.


22.1 If a boxer is knocked unconscious or injured, only the doctor and the referee are allowed in the ring. Any others may only enter at the doctor's discretion.

22.2 A boxer losing by a K.O. or T.K.O. will be immediately treated and undergo a physical examination by the doctor.

22.3 Recovery Period - After a match, a boxer is required to rest for a minimum of 21 days prior to fighting again, with the following exceptions:

22.3.1. A winner in the first round is required to rest a minimum of 7 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.2. The winner in the third round is required to rest a minimum of 14 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.3. A boxer losing by T.K.O. or K.O. must rest for a minimum of 30 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.4. A boxer specified under Items 23.3.1 - 23.3.3, must be examined by the doctor at the end of each fight, who will then specify his rest period.


23.1 The use of drugs or stimulants, either before or after the fight is strictly forbidden. Any user will be disqualified.

23.2 The sole drug allowed for the prevention of bleeding is Adrenalin 1:1000 and must be administered under a doctor's directions.


The Chairman or Referee will have the final decision on the interpretation or on any item not covered under these rules and regulations.

Wai Khrui

Muaythai has been practiced by Thai people for hundreds of years. The traditions were passed down through generations as with most ancient self defense.

One of the oldest traditions and still being practiced is the pre fight ceremony, called "Wai Khru" in which fighters pay respect to their teachers, mentors or parents and their opponents. Fighters will display their techniques while performing this ritual, some fighters usually "seal the ring" by circling three times before the begin Wai Khru. For some fighters this is another way of warm up and the perfect opportunity to study their opponents, while for others, Wai Khru represents deep spiritual beliefs to prepare their mind and body for the competition.

Traditional instrumental music is referred to as "Wong Pee Glong". This music is played during each round of the fights, except during the breaks in between rounds. The music commences with slow tune and accelerates towards the end of the rounds.

There are usually 4 musicians, each with their own instruments: Pee Java (Javanese Oboe), Glong Kaek (A pair of Thai drums play by 2 musicians) and Ching (Small Thai Cymbals). The melody was uniquely created and is performed specifically for Muaythai.

Every fighter also wears a traditional headband, called "Mongkol" and an armband, called "Prajiad" on their biceps, a tradition that was carried on since the beginning of Muaythai history. It is believed to bring good luck to the competition.

These traditions have unique characteristics and are used to differentiate Muaythai from other martial arts.

Muaythai Skills

Muaythai considered by many as the most exciting and dynamic ring sport around, incorporates the use of all eight weapons of the human body; the fists, knees, elbows and feet.

Safety is the most important aspect of Muaythai. Every boxer will be given a boxer's book and a medical examination prior to and after every fight. The weigh-in process for all boxers will take place before the fight, for all 14 strict weight divisions. During the competition, boxers must wear protective equipment consisting of head guard, mouth guard, chest guard, elbow guard, gloves, hand wraps, groin guard and shin guards.

Referees in Muaythai must meet strict criteria and undergo annual test to keep up the knowledge and skills. There are 5 judges for each fight in order to score both offensive and defensive point decisions. Bouts are divided into 4 rounds of 2 minutes per round with 1 minute break between rounds.

Muaythai has brought athletes together from around the world regardless of race, culture or religion for friendly international contests. Friendship plays a big part in our sport, especially taking physical aspects into consideration. This can be seen from boxers who "Wai", a Thai way of greeting, and shake hands with their opponents in the opposite corner as part of the rules.

Muaythai includes many aspects yet stands as a singular sport with a proud tradition and heritage, a long lasting culture with people practicing the sport for fitness, health, self-confidence, and an over-all way of life!

Modernization of Muaythai

53 (Rajdamnern, being a Royal Stadium and with the Lumpinee under the banner of the Thai military). However, unlike today, shows were only held on Sundays and initially there was no roof, so the wet season was very quiet - this is still the case outside of Bangkok where very few fights take place from July to September, so take note if you are traveling here to see fights outside Bangkok during that time!)

Finally, Rounds were cut down to 5 opening the way for Muaythai to develop as a contest of skill over stamina (though there are those today who say that the modern-day emphasis on grappling is taking it away again). The colorful shorts and pi liang (corner-men) outfits have come to be issued creating a huge business in Muay gear and designing -And the referees were liberated from their scouting outfits Piece by piece over the last 60 years the addition of modern rules such as stipulating age and weight standards, ring and fighting regulations, etc. have all brought us to the sport we see before us today.

But what of the ancient rituals surrounding and providing the mystique of the Muay of old Well, some of the more cultural elements are still present today to the benefit of the Muaythai atmosphere - The often live music which echoes round every stadium is a direct descendant of the drums and pipes to which the ancient armies of Thailand marched to war. The Mongkhon and wearing of amulets have also survived the cynicism of the TV age and no doubt will continue to inspire future generations of boxers to believe that they alone are invincible (at least until proven otherwise!)

Now, Foreigners have been seen taking a serious interest in Muaythai since the late 1970's and throughout the 80's, with ever-greater numbers traveling to Thailand to train and compete here. This raises the question˜Has this trend had an influence on Muay? Well, there is certainly a distinct difference in style between West and East and possibly always be and the influence is clear in some areas the weight divisions, the shorts, the gloves but in others aspects there seems no difference at all.

In the late 80s Amateur MUAYTHAI was born to make MUAYTHAI a safe sport to international sporting rules .Safety equipment was introduced , headguard , chestguard shin guards ,elbow guards ,Amateur MUAYTHAI was born and countries united to form a world amateur federation the International Federation of MUAYTHAI Amateur (IFMA)which organized many international events and has over 100 member countries .

1995 saw another historic date, the WMC World MUAYTHAI Council under approval and the directive of the Thai government was born to regulate and foster MUAYTHAI especially on a professional level..IFMA and WMC decided to work together for the good of international sport.The rest is history or future!

Muaythai has evolved and changed much over the past few centuries, changing along with the˜new world Asia is quickly becoming. From the defense of home and King to the Sport of Kings, Muaythai's ˜journey has been a long one and no doubt it will continue Muaythai Forever!

Females and Muaythai

When Amateur Muaythai first came to prominence under the IFMA umbrella, who could have thought it would grow from just 19 countries to more than 70? And, more relevant to a huge segment of fans, who would have foreseen the huge jump in female participation? The women's part of the competition has grown from nothing to a point where a second ring is needed to accommodate the numbers.

As the men's competition grew over the years from 1990, female fighters looked on and began to ask why not us? So, in 1999 at the Stadium in Bangkok, the first amateur women's fights took place. As it was the first time for this competition, it began in time-honored fashion as a demonstration of skill and techniques. In front of a packed crowd, many of myths about women not being skilled enough to fight or entertaining enough for the crowd were laid to rest. The highlight was a battle between Amy Birch from Australia and Rungaroon Sor Fongnam from Thailand, a great fight which ensured that this part of the World Cup was here to stay.

In the World Cup 2000, it was decided to put on a shorter tournament for women as part of the main competition. Sadly, the numbers where were not yet enough to justify running it over a week alongside the men. However, women from Thailand, Ireland, Australia, Italy and England traveled to compete and put on a great display of skills with the final matches taking up a full day at the end of the tournament.

During this time, a lot of work was being done behind the scenes to bring the judging, refereeing and other aspects of the women's sport up to the same standard. The rules for the fights were to be the same as the men - the same time for the rounds, same breaks in-between, they wore the same protective equipment and followed the same rules for the actual competition. The 10 weight category divisions were set at between 45-75 kg.

An innovation from IFMA was having female referees for the female fights. This encourages women who may not be able to fight to participate fully in the sport especially important for older women who have been involved with Muaythai for a long time, have a lot of experience and knowledge to share but are not interested in competing at this stage. IFMA has always run referee courses as part of the World Cup and now this was opened to women as well to ensure a constant supply of qualified referees. The first 20 female referees from around the world graduated and all female fights in the future at the World Championships will be totally controlled by female referees.

The Female Muaythai Board was set up as one of the IFMA committees. Headed up by Niamh Griffin (Ireland) and Sue Glassy (New Zealand) , other voted on to this first ever Female Muaythai Board included Ludmyla Varavva (Ukraine) and Pim Carlton (Thailand). Together with Niamh and Sue who are both are very successful former boxers with a great interest in the sport, this committee has worked to bring the female competition to the same level as the men's. Two of the IFMA Federations now have female Presidents - New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan.

With all of this going on, it's not surprising that the 2002 World Cup saw a dramatic increase in the number of female competitors, 20 countries send female teams to the competition. Thailand won the overall competition but the best Female Boxer went to Amy Birch from Australia the girl which was certainly the highlight of her career.

Women competed in the EMF European Cup in 2002, the numbers again showing the depth of talent which is coming up now and ensures a bright future for the female part of the sport. Finland won the team competition showing their world class standard. But the best female fighter went to the IFMA World Champion Fiona Hayes from England. The winner of the Best Ram Muay is chosen from all competitors male and female in the tournament. This went to Heidi Strengell from Finland, showing that the women as much as the men have learned to respect the traditions of Thailand.

Kazakhstan hosted the World Cup in 2003 with 28 countries sending their female athletes. The best female team title was captured by Australia this time, proving that in Amateur Muaythai there is not such thing as a sure bet. His Excellency, General Pichitr Kullavanijaya honored the tournament by flying in to attend. To the delight of all, his wife graciously handed out Thai orchids to each female athlete in recognition of their achievements. The world has truly noticed female Muaythai.

The 2004 World Cup was an exciting showcase of female talent with girls from nearly 50 countries competing in this part of the tournament. Strong teams from the USA, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ukraine, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Thailand, Greece, England and many others competed for the coveted medals and team trophies. Boxers from countries such as India and Sri Lanka, where Women's Muaythai is in its infancy, got great cheers from the capacity crowd. Some highlights were exciting battles between Thailand and Australia, Canada versus Holland, Finland versus Thailand. The team competition was quite close with Finland taking the honors. Mapela Letonen from Finland received the best female trophy and Linda Loyce from USA the best female Wai Khru performance. This was the first time in history that the event's 9 days (7 hours daily) were televised - this gave great exposure to female Muaythai both inside and outside Thailand.

So, that is the story so far. Female Muaythai has come a long way down a road which was not easy to traverse. Many international celebrities have become part of the female Muaythai circle, including Miss Korea and the singer Pink. The world is looking forward to the excitement of the Women's World Cup 2006 as well as the Queen's Cup.

Female Muaythai has become as (and maybe a little more!) popular as the male sport.

The Contender Asia

General Information

Format: Reality-based sports competition
Created by: Mark Burnett
Directed by: Jerry Schaffer and Ozzie Smith
Presented by: Stephen Fox and Jaymee Ong
Country of origin: Singapore
Language(s): English
No. of episodes: 15
Executive producer(s): Riaz Metha, Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Original channel: AXN Asia
Original run: January 16, 2008 – present

The Contender Asia is a reality-based television series that follows 16 aspiring Muay Thai middleweight fighters from 14 countries as they compete in a series of outdoor challenges and sanctioned matches. The series is a deviation from the original Contender series, which involved boxing.

The winner will receive US$250,000 and bragging rights as "The Contender Champion". The program is hosted by former Muay Thai World Champion Stephen Fox (who also serves as the show's trainer) and Jaymee Ong.


The fighters were divided into two groups: Blue Team and Red Team. Fox selected the team captains based on their fight records and characters. The leaders then chose their teammates in a "school yard pick". Blue Team and Red Team were given the names "Wild Boars" and "Tiger Kings" respectively, based on legendary Muay Thai fighters.

Wild Boars (Blue Team)
  1. Rafik Bakkouri (France) - Leader
  2. Naruepol (Thailand)
  3. Bruce "The Preacher" Macfie (Australia)
  4. David Pacquette (England)
  5. Alain Sylvestre (Canada)
  6. Zidov "Akuma" Dominik (Croatia)
  7. "Yukay" Joakim Karisson (Sweden)
  8. Sean Wright (Scotland)
Tiger Kings (Red Team)
  1. John Wayne Parr (Australia) - Leader
  2. Yodsanklai "The Hero" (Thailand)
  3. Soren Mongkontong (Australia)
  4. Jose "Pitu" Sans (Spain)
  5. Dzabhar Askerov (Russia)
  6. James Martinez (United States of America)
  7. Kim Khan Zaki "Zig Zach" (Singapore)
  8. Trevor "TNT" Smandych (Canada)

Time for training

They meet Stephen in the training area. He explains to them that though now they are a team, in the future they might have to fight against each other. Also, they have to train hard so as to be able to win challenges. They start with some sprints and stretch and then continue to work with their Thai trainers. As they are training, the fighters are sizing each other up as competition.

Stephen explains that to fight at the level of the contender, they have to train twice a day, with a minimum of 2 hours each session, 6 times a week. We see the contenders sprinting and warming up as they prepare for their work out session. Some punch and kick punching bags while others practice with their trainers. There are 8 weapons, Stephen says, the kicks, the knees, the elbows and the punches and they all accumulate points for the fighter. Their training is tough as the men are pushed to their limits; they are made to kick higher and harder. However, the men are fixed with looks of determination on their faces.

Bruce says it is an honor to be there training as he has a lot of respect for Stephen as he is a great ambassador for the sport. At this point, Wayne says it was a good time to check out the competition by analyzing the other team as well as the strengths of his own team. He starts giving his own commentary in the interview over his analysis of the fighter. First, he commented that David from the blue team seemed to be in the best physical shape and technical sound and thus was the man to look out for. He commented that Yodsaenklai was serious competition because he was very strong and had great boxing skills. He added that he lost to him once in Australia and that if he could beat him in this competition he would be a "superstar". He continued on to say that Soren was a great fighter and that he had fought with him once and was someone to look out for. He said that the westerners were very good but the Thais were the ones to beat.

Rafik commented that although Wayne was very popular in the Muay Thai scene with his plethora of titles, he felt that he was putting on weight or as he put it "he's fat!" Laughing, he says that he believes that it would be really easy to win Wayne now due to this weakness. Alain commented that Zidov was putting on weight as well and it would be easy to beat him. As the fighters continue to size each other up, they release more power kicks and punches in preparation for the completion.

The loft and training area

We are taken into the loft, the home in which that the fighters will be staying as well as training. There are plenty of bedrooms for the fighters, a chic living room area plus a full sized boxing ring surrounded by multitude of punching bags and excellent training equipment. The men look around at the room in excitement and happiness occasionally testing out the equipment. Stephen explains that the room contains all the state of the art equipment that they could possibly desire, and also this was where they would be practicing their fight.

Sean explains that the house is great and it has the best equipment. This is when we see the excitement of the fighters in their new home. Sean and Rafik stand in the ring and exclaim, "we are here!" above The Contender sign. Rafik exclaims that he had never seen grounds like this in his life. The men get a feel around the room and start to socialize with each other. They goof around as they try out the punching the bags and experiment with some of the equipment. They walk around the kitchen, which is stocked with all the possible food that a fighter would need; huge bottles of juice, bananas, bread and a whole lot of other types of food. They peak around the cupboards to see what is in store for them.

Zidov continues to joke around with the other housemates and the atmosphere around the room is light and jovial. The fighters relax around their new living room. David explains that in Thailand they usually stay in shacks and it was nice to be in a comfortable environment for a change. The moment of rest is broken as Stephen and Jaymee enter the room with news and the fighters are summoned to the training area.

There, Stephen tells them that throughout the competition there will be a series of challenges that by winning will allow the winning team to decide who will be competing in the next fight. They will get to pick one person from their own team as well as the opponent from the losing team.

A "school yard pick" is conducted to decide how the fighters will be separated into their teams. Stephen has decided on who the team captains will be, which was dependent on their records and character. John Wayne is called up first. In the interview he says, "It was such an honor as there were so many other great fighters… it’s a privilege... I want to be a good role model." Rafik is chosen as the other captain and he says that he was chosen because "he is strong in his mind and in his body." Jaymee then tosses a coin to determine who will start picking their teammates first. Wayne picks tails and tails it is. He gets to pick first.

First up, he chooses the Yodsaenklai because, he says, he is the strongest and also due to the fact that he is Thai. Rafik picks the next Thai boxer, Naruepol. It seems to be strategy for the team captains to pick the two Thai boxers first and this is confirmed by David when he says in his interview that if he were captain he would pick the two Thai boxers as well as they would be best in their own sport.

John Wayne says that feels the pressure at this point and chooses his countryman next, fellow Australian Soren. At this point the camera pans at Bruce who rolls his eyes at Wayne's decision. He says in his interview that he is a better fighter that Soren, hands down and is looks obviously unhappy that he was not chosen next. However, Rafik chooses him in his next draw. He then says he wanted to be on the opposing team from John Wayne as he has "a score to settle" from the past. Pitu is chosen next by Wayne. Rafik picks David. In the interview with Trevor, he says he is a short guy and obviously when picking a team they would naturally go for the one with the ones with the physical attributes. However, he just didn't want to be picked last.

Tension is prickling in the air as the captains continue to pick their teammates. Wayne picks Dzhabar next. Rafik starts injecting a little humour in his picking style to lighten the mood, and picks Alaint. In his interview, Wayne says that Alain might have been a strong asset to his team if he could have had him. Continuing on, he says that he will pick the only Singaporean on the team, Zach! A relieved looking Zach joins Wayne. Rafik picks Karlsson next. Wayne picks James. Rafik picks Zidov. Rafik says that Zidov is not afraid by strong guys but likes him cause "he's mad." Wayne picks Trevor next.

There are only two more guys left to be picked. In his interview Trevor is the last to be picked by Wayne. He said he really did not want to be picked last and that he wanted to be on Wayne's team. He explains that he has been looking up to him throughout his career and thus it was a great honor for him. A sour Sean was picked last by Rafik and he said he felt pissed off and does not believe that he is the weakest person in the competition. Furthermore, he continued on to say that if people were going to underestimate him then he would use it in his favor.

Stephen then explains to the fighters the meaning of the name of their teams. Wayne's team is the red team called the Tiger Kings, a name derived from one of the strongest fighters in Muay Thai history, a man of strength. Rafik's team is the blue team called Wild Boars, a modern legendary figure in Muay Thai never once lost in his career. The fighters are given their team shirts and are asked to settle into their bedrooms with to their teams.

The Fight

Trevor enters the arena of a cheering audience first. Naruepol comes out next supported by his teammates. In the ring, they perform the Wai Khru; an ancient Thai dance that used to be performed before warriors entered battlefield. Today, as Stephen puts it is a great way to warm up before a fight. Both fighters say a short prayer in their corners before the match start. On the ring of the bell, the punches start to fly.

1st Round

Trevor throws in the first few punches and Naruepol puts in more flying kicks. At the end of the round it seems Trevor has managed to throw in more than Naruepol has. The Tiger Kings are ecstatic over Trevor's early gain in the fight.

2nd Round

In their corners, Wayne continues to encourage Trevor by telling him he is doing a good job. He is told to watch opponent's hands. When the match starts within seconds, Naruepol throws Trevor to the floor. This affects Trevor, as he seems to have lost his former glory from the first round. During this time, Naruepol throws in a high kick to the face though blocked by Trevor. They get stuck in a huddle and Naruepol manages to throw in more elbows into Trevor's torso. Trevor kicks, misses and falls to the ground. At the end of this round, Naruepol has managed to take the lead by gaining more point with more punches to the face and body. As Trevor starts to look resigned, Wayne continues to encourage him by telling him to give "pressure" to his opponent. At the same time Naruepol is told to concentrate on his kicks, by his trainer.

3rd Round

Naruepol is able to get a few early kicks in and we can hear Wayne shouting, "Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!" from the outside. Naruepol manages to throw him to the ground. Get stuck in a huddle and Naruepol almost topples Trevor again. He does successfully do so in the succession of this round. By this time, though Trevor puts on a brave fight, he seems frustrated at his inability to match Naruepol's vigour. By this point, even Naruepol's trainer tells him that he should "feel sorry for him (Trevor)," as he has already more or less won the match.

4th round,

By this time it seems that Naruepol has taken and obvious edge over Trevor, despite Trevor's early lead. Wayne tells Trevor to not let himself fall into Naruepol's game and instead to focus on his on. James, from the audience, shouts to Trevor to "kill him in this round." As the round progresses, the competitors are stuck in even fiercer huddles as the crowd cheers enthusiastically. Naruepol tries to topple Trevor again and once almost throw Trevor into the audience. Things continue to remain for Trevor as Wayne shouts "Pressure!" from the audience. He throws punches but misses. At the end of the match, Trevor has truly resigned as Naruepol tries to topple Trevor again and once almost throw Trevor into the audience. He has managed to throw in several kicks as Trevor backs away without a fight.

The match ends with the audience cheering on for Naruepol, who knows that he has won the match. Finally, it is announced, "The winner of the match is from the blue corner…” Cheers ensue for Naruepol, as Trevor quietly backs into his corner.

In the interviews, Naruepol exclaims that is extremely happy that he was the first to win in this competition. He felt sorry for Trevor although he commended spirit of in putting up a strong fight against him.

A retired Trevor explains that he tried his best but his biggest mistake was "playing Naruepol's game." However he was happy that he had Wayne in his corner. Although he really wanted to win for him he said he did not have any regrets.

In a sentimental moment, he hangs his mongkok on the wall of his changing room and leaves. Before he leaves he takes one last look at the ring, longingly. He ends off by saying, "I am disappointed I didn't mange to achieve what I wanted to."

The Decision-Making

The Wild Boars go back to the training area to make their decision. They determine who would want to fight first, against the Tiger Kings. There is a silence around the room before Naruepol volunteers to fight. He says in his interview that he wants to be the first one to enter the ring. Naruepol says he wants to fight against Trevor and the team joke that they should send him back to his new wife. Bruce felt that Wayne should be sent out in a strategic move to get rid of the best. He said that they thought he was the strongest; he had a problem with his weight and would be easy to eliminate. David agreed with Bruce's strategy. Rafik commented jokingly that if Wayne did not lose weight he would die in the ring. David also brought up Zach who being inured would be easy to eliminate. They all seemed to agree that they should take advantage of the situation with Zach.

Back with the Tiger Kings who has retired to the loft, Wayne tries to boost morale by saying, "it doesn't matter what happened in the race, what was going to happen in the ring was much more important." In his interview he explains that in the loft, it was very nerve wrecking due to having to wait for the decision. Wayne jokes, in attempt to lighten the mood that perhaps he should have been nicer to Rafik. He believed that they were going to choose him to fight due to his weight problem. Zach added that it would be horrible if they chose him right now, due to his injury. In his interview, Soren took the blame for tripping Zach and felt very bad about it and he was hoping that the Boars would not choose Zach. Trevor thought that they might pick one of their less experienced men in the Kings.

In the Boar'Zacks room, due to the language barrier with Naruepol, the team goes to the wall with the pictures of the contenders. There Naruepol points out the contender he wants to fight against. He believed that he was not so strong so it would be an easy win. The entire team agrees with his decision, which has not been revealed to the audience yet.

The Decision

The two groups meet Stephen and Jaymee in the training area to announce their decision. Naruepol steps out as the representative of the Wild Boars and points at his opponent, Trevor from the Tiger Kings. In his interview, Naruepol says that he was not worried about Trevor because he was not better than him in Muay Thai. Trevor comments that he feels good about his decision but it will be one of his greatest challenges as his opponent was Thai and that the reality was that they were known to be the best. However he also adds that, "they're human." Sean comically comments that it would be good if Trevor loses so that he could go back to his honeymoon and everyone will be happy.

The Confrontation with the Blues

In the Wild Boar's room Rafik starts to show his true colours as the group settle around the room. He tells Sean that Yodsaenklai had explicitly told him that he wanted to fight with the "Scottish guy". As this has been brought out of the blue, raised eyebrows are exchanged around the room. Bruce questions him, "Are you sure he said that?" Rafik continues to stick by his story, by saying, "If it wasn't true, I wouldn't bring it up."

When Rafik leaves the room, everyone exclaims that Rafik's story seemed to have boiled out of thin air. Bruce comments that Rafik might be playing some sort of game and not to trust him till what Yodsaenklai says actually does come through. David believed that Rafik was attempting to manipulate. Bruce believed it was a strategy to take out the stronger fighter first so that Rafik would not have to deal with it. Sean though confused with this twist of events, decides not to take Rafik's words to heart. There seems to be a lack of trust in the blue team of their leader.

Dinner Time

For dinner before the fight, both teams have their meals together. Naruepol attempts to analyze Trevor at the dinner table. However he commented that though he saw no fear in Trevor, he has to have some fear as he was competing against a Thai boxer. Trevor on the other hand, said in his interview that he does not like to waste any mental energy before the fight though he was a little worried by Naruepol.

Trevor has a chat with Wayne to gain some advice from the experience that he has had. Wayne suggested, "to move around and use the space deliver shots and get out." Wayne then promises to be in Trevor's corner during the match. Trevor is elated that Wayne has agreed to help due to experience in Muay Thai and also due to the fact that Wayne was his role model. They share a hug, before getting ready for the fight.

30 minutes to fight

We first see Trevor preparing in his room with Wayne. He says he wants to win this because he did not want to return empty handed to his new wife. Stephen gives some last words of encouragement to Trevor before placing the mongkok on his head.

In the blue's room, Naruepol explain that he was fighting for his mother who had been so hardworking all her life. He said that if he lost he would be ashamed and would not dare face anyone for a long time. Stephen told him to win it for Thailand wishes him good luck places the mongkok on his head. "I must complete my duty," he says.

The Contender Asia Schedules on AXN


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 9:00pm (Re- run @ Midnight)

Hong Kong

Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 10:00pm (Re- run @ 1:00AM Thu 1pm, Sat 7pm & 2am)


Episode 1 - Monday January 21st @ 7:20pm (Re-run every Mon, 11pm & 4am, Fri 7:20pm and Sat 6:30pm and from 28 Jan onwards, it will also be on Mon 11:30am and 3:10pm)

Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 10:00pm (Re- run @ 1:00AM)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 11:00pm (Re- run @ 11:00PM)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 10:00pm (Re- run @ 1:00AM)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 9:00pm (Re- run @ Midnight, Thu 12 noon, Sat 6pm & 1am)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 10:00pm (Re- run @ 1:00AM)

Papua New Guinea

Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 11:00pm (Re- run @ 2:00AM)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 9:00pm (Re- run @ Midnight, , Thu 12 noon, Sat 6pm & 1am)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 9:00pm

Sri Lanka

Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 6:30pm (Re- run @ 9:30pm)


Episode 1 - Tuesday January 22nd @ 11:00pm (Re-run @ 5am and Wed 3pm)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 9:00pm (Re- run @ Midnight, Thu 12 noon, Sat 6pm & 1am)


Episode 1 - Wednesday January 16th @ 8:00pm (Re- run @ 11:00pm)

The Challenge

As the men are brought out for their first challenge, they seem serious about winning. Wayne comments that it is important to win to be able to determine the fighters for the first match. Jaymee explains that in this challenge they will be running "sprints in a relay" against the other groups. They have to run, tag a member on the opposite side and only the next member will run. The race is only complete when all members have finished their run. The catch, Stephen adds, is that instead of running singularly, they will be running in pairs, attached by a rope and a relay. Stephen explained that this would test not only their stamina but also their teamwork. He exclaims, "there is no I in team." They partner up and start joining each other through the rope and relay. David derives a strategy for the blue group to speed up or slow down according to their partner.

The race begins when everyone is finally joined with their partners and are at their starting positions. Jaymee blows the horn and off they run! Bruce and Alain for the blue and Dzhabar and Trevor for the red. The Tiger Kings seems to be in the lead however the Wild Boars manage to tie with them towards the end as they tag their next teammates. At this point, the Boars are a little more in the lead. Zach and Soren run for the Tiger Kings. However, as they run Zach trips over Soren's foot and falls down making them both crumble to the ground.

The Wild Boars manage to take the lead and win the race. However the teamwork shows as the red team, forget the race and run to Zach's side. He has injured his shoulder as a result. During this time, the Wild Boars howle in the happiness of winning. Stephen tells Zach to bounce back from the injury although Zach looks obviously unhappy, as he has caused his group's loss. Jaymee announces that the blue team wins the challenge and they release a cheer. The Wild Boars now get to decide the fighters for the competition, one from their group and the opponent from the Tiger Kings. Bruce from the blue team jokingly asks, "Who wants to go home?"

Settling in

The men continue to bond with their teammates in their rooms. In their Wild Boars room, the men are settling into beds. They display photos of loved ones and share it with their fellow teammates. Also, many of them have brought along their medals and trophies from their past competitions. David tells Bruce about his fiancae Nikki and his proposal to her on New Year's Eve.

In the Tiger Kings room, the men continue to settle in. James shares with Trevor pictures of his family back home in USA. In return Trevor shows James pictures of his new wife and messages his loved ones had given him for his trip to Singapore. He explains that his wife is very supportive, despite what people's distaste with him abandoning her right after their marriage. Karlsson shows Dzhabar a picture of his son and explains that thought he misses him, he if fighting for his son. Yodsaenklai shows Wayne his belt from the competition in Australia where he beat Wayne and emerged champion. The team laughs good-naturedly as remain in good spirits.

For Immediate Release

The Contender Asia commences filming in Singapore with twice-weekly fight nights set to be hottest ticket in town.

September 5, 2007, Singapore Sixteen of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world have commenced their journey to be The Contender in the inaugural season of The Contender Asia. Filming for the groundbreaking reality series began in Singapore this week at the purpose-built The Contender House with the first fight night held this evening at an adjoining arena, witnessed by an audience of 400 including VIP guests and media.

Riaz Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of Imagine Omnimedia is Executive Producer of the 15-episode reality TV series. Reality TV maestro Mark Burnett and C. Scot Cru of Mark Burnett Productions are Executive Producer and Co-Executive Producer respectively.

Imagine Omnimedia has forged a historic partnership with Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks SKG and this is the first time a reality TV series is filmed in Singapore and produced by a local media company, a venture made possible by Singapore's Media Development Authority facilitating the financing from Asian banking specialist, DBS Bank.

The fighters who come from 14 different nations represent the cream of the crop in Muay Thai's middleweight division. The fighters moved into The Contender House during the weekend and in accordance with the format of the show, have been divided into two groups. Each week's filming will follow the fighters as they live and work with each other, with the pinnacle being the elimination face-off in the ring. Fighters eliminated on a weekly basis until the final fight when only one Contender will be let standing.

The Contender Asia will be hosted by Australian-Chinese actress Jaymee Ong and Stephan Fox, the International Co-ordinator and Vice-President of the World Muay Thai Council. Several international and regional stars will also be making special appearances in the show throughout the season. The Contender Asia is scheduled to debut on AXN this December.

The Contender Asia is directed by internationally acclaimed Jerry Schafer complemented by local talents and senior producers from Mark Burnett Productions.

The Contender Asia fight nights will be held every Wednesday and Saturday from today till October 20. Attendance for the first week is by invitation only.

Contender Asia Episode 1

Welcome to The Contender Asia where 16 of the world's best fighters representing 12 different countries come together in Singapore will compete to become The Contender. The form of martial art chosen? Muay Thai Boxing, an 8-point contact fight that tests the mind, body, heart and spirit and originates from Thailand. We see a montage of all the contestants, all of who are winners and champions, but who will become the ultimate Contender?

In this introduction we first meet John Wayne, an Australian mate with a reputation as big as his size. He says it does not matter whether he is white given just as much time and effort he has put in, he will be able to win. Next we meet Trevor the newlywed from Canada who exclaims that he is a force to be reckoned with. Another Australian Bruce believes that this is a test of his own self through this competition.

In the face of this tough competition and colorful characters, who will be The Contender?

About Imagine OmniMedia

Imagine OmniMedia is a Pan Asia media and mobile ventures company providing production, distribution, management, technology and funding to develop and implement media and mobile opportunities. The company's strategy is to take advantage of the growing market in Asia for TV viewership and mobile interactivity. With this in mind, Imagine OmniMedia works with international best of breed companies, to bring top tier media brands, concepts and formats to Asia.

About Mark Burnett Productions

Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company in content for both primetime television and the internet. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Survivor (CBS), The Apprentice (NBC), The Contender (ESPN), Rock Star: INXS (CBS), the new smash hit Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX) and the co-production with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, On the Lot (FOX). Other MBP projects in 2007 include: Pirate Master (CBS) and the 2007 MTV Movie Awards (MTV) for which Mark Burnett served as Executive Producer. MBP also partnered with AOL in 2006 on the highly successful interactive adventure Gold Rush, the first-ever unscripted project to be produced exclusively for the internet. In addition, MBP has established a scripted division and is developing comedies and dramas for television as well as feature films. MBP also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and has garnered a total of 46 Emmy nominations since 2001.

Meeting the contenders

Meet their trainer, Stephen Fox, one of the world's leading trainer and former Muay Thai World Champion. He owns and runs the world famous Muay Thai gym in Koh Samui and is the Vice President of the World MuayThai Council. He has, together with his team of trainers, handpicked the contenders from all over the world. Stephen meets Jaymee Ong our host for the show at the main arena in which the contenders will be fighting. Together they introduce the fighters in the show. As they are being introduced, the fighters walk into the arena and line up in front of the ring.

First of is Joakim Karlsson from Sweden. Next we have Naruepol Fairtex from Thailand. Jose Pitu Sans from Spain. Following him is Zidov Dominik from Switzerland. David Pacquette from United Kingdom is up next. Subsequently comes Dzhabar Askerov from United Arab Emirates. Yodsaenklai from Thailand comes after. In his interview he says, I am a world champion famous in Thailand and the world. I'm not afraid of fighting against western fighters. Homegrown Zach from Singapore comes next saying in his interview that he is the underdog albeit with the least amount of fighting experience. He goes into it with nothing to lose! John Wayne who we have already seen earlier is up next. Following him is Rafik Bakkouri from France saying in his interview, "I'm a fighter in life and I'm a fighter in the ring." The second Australian fighter Bruce Macfie comes next. Subsequently is Alain Sylvestre from Canada. Next up is Sean Wright from Scotland. Trevor Smandych from Canada, who just got married twenty-four hours before he had to come to Singapore for The Contender, walks in. Next is James Martines from United States of America. And finally, the third Australian fighter Soren Mongkontong arrives in the arena.

Stephen then explains to them that that was where they would be fighting and where the fate of their stay in the competition would lie. Jaymee continues on to explain that each week two men will fight where the winner will stay and the loser goes home. The winner not only is the Ultimate Muay Thai fighter but also wins a prize money of USD$150,000.

The contenders start to introduce each other and mingle around the room. Being trained in this traditional Thai martial art, they put their hands together and bow in a traditional Thai custom, while sizing up the competition. Sean says in his interview that looking at Stephen, the world class trainer as well as the competition, the reality hits that this is the ultimate competition and that there is no turning back from there.