Wednesday, July 15, 2020: Tonight saw the return to elite MuayThai action at Bangkok’s famed Rajadamnern Stadium featuring two of the sports elite lightweight fighters facing off for the first time. Gaonar PK Saenchai gym versus Yodlekpetch Tded99 gym was the headliner for this evening’s behind closed doors event.

This contest was scheduled to take place later this month at Omnoi Stadium under a joint promotion between the stadium and Sor Sommai promotions. After a meeting with the executives of Rajadamnern and Sor Sommai, it was decided that Rajadamnern would get back to business on the 15th. Under the newly scheduled promoters rota, Sor Sommai promotions were up first so it made sense to bring this intriguing matchup two weeks forward to headline the globally streamed event.

The fight itself turned out to be a one-sided affair with Gaonar putting on a show of defensive mastery complemented by the timing of his offensive execution in the battle of the southpaws.

The opening round witnessed Yodlekpetch set a somewhat subdued tone of aggression on the front foot, looking to keep Gaonar pinned against the ropes and use the PK Saenchai gym fighters stationary position as target practice. But the former two-time Lumpinee stadium champion was having none of it as he was quite content to conserve his post-lockdown energy and ride out the first stanza without any real clear and present danger.

For any fighter wanting to build a successful career of longevity behind a methodology of defensive brilliance, do yourself a favor and study Gaonar. He put in an excellent display of deflective awareness - once again content to set up his attacks positioned close to the ropes - utilizing his push kick to negate the attacks of Yodlekpetch. He also landed four of five perfectly executed left body kicks.

The opening two minutes of the third round was all about Gaonar as he bobbed and weaved his way to sweep Yodlekpetch on two occasions and landed an aesthetically pleasing overhand left to the forehead of the Tded99 gym fighter. In typical Yodlekpetch fashion, he kept pressing forward like a composed bull in a China Shop but without breaking any of Gaonar’s China.

The penultimate round bore more fruits of success for Gaonar as he put on a great display of defensive superiority throughout the round. Both fighters could be forgiven for showing signs of fatigue in the midst of this round having not been in competitive action for over four months.

The bell rang to start the fifth and climatic round and it was straight onto the winning back foot for Gaonar as all he had to do was avoid any close-quarter battles with a tiring Yodlekpetch. For his part, Yodlekpetch did make a few attempts at scoring a late upset but it was too little, too late as the 30-year old Gaonar had his hand raised in victory by the man in charge, Ajarn Chumpon. All three judges scored the bout 49-47.

The event was streamed live on the Rajadamnern Facebook page with a whopping 264,000 people tuning in to watch live. It was also streamed live on the Rajadamnern Youtube channel with a modest 10,000 viewers on that digital platform.

All photos are courtesy of the Rajadamnern Media office.

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