The founder of Rebellion Muay Thai, Sy Nadji, knows the sport. The fan of the science of eight limbs understands what it takes to put on high quality fights. The results are on display at every Rebellion show. But what people don’t know and understand is how matchmaking actually works.
Nadji explains it all.
There are three basic criteria for good matches up.
“You have to think of the styles of the two fighters, weight, and experience,” Nadji said.
1. Styles Make Fights
A great recent example was the bout between Perth’s Meeka Michael took on a man possessed, Josh Itzkovich.
Josh Itzkovich blocks a kick from Meeka Michael
Itzkovich from Strongheart Muay Thai Gym marched his way forward. But Michael used a classic southpaw draw against him. He baited him. Hit him, then moved.
“Itzkovich was much more aggressive. Versus Michael who was more analytical,” Nadji said.
It was the styles of the two athletes that made the fight. Good matchmakers consider styles in bouts.
For example, Chadd Collins was going to take on Kaonar PK Saenchai. Chadd is a skilled and entertaining press forward fighter. Koanar is a more technical counter fighter.
Chadd Collins Kicks Yodiq PK Saenchai
“Someone like Yodiq was a better match for Chadd. Yodiq while as his name suggests a highly technical fighter is very aggressive. He has the style to make a perfect recipe for an entertaining fight ” Nadji said
The second factor is of course weight. Fighters change in weight according to their intensity in training, age, and of course diet. Some athletes will yo yo up and down in weight after bouts. This makes matching them even more difficult. You need to understand what the athlete’s current weight is and project how much they can safely get down.
Experience is the third defining factor.
“It’s the stage of people’s careers,” Nadji said. “An up and comer taking on someone that’s at the tail end of their career is always classic. It’s youth versus experience.”
Building athletes takes time. It’s understanding their abilities and how far of a step up they can reasonably take.
Joanne La with Barbara Aguiar for the WBC Muay Thai World Title
Homegrown Joanne La is an example of excellent matchmaking. She developed under the Rebellion Muay Thai promotion. She then faced Barbara Aguiar for a WBC Muay Thai title fight.
Rebellion Muay Thai is looking to build the next stable of Australian talent on November 18th.
There is still an opportunity to go back to action. The replay with all the fights is live.
Matchmaking for our next event is happening now! Let us know who you want to see at Rebellion and Roots.