The 2015 Muaythai University World Cup, under patronage of FISU, was conducted successfully from the 16th to the 23rd of March, and the final day of bouts proved to be the icing on the cake. The 23rd evening was another eventful evening with a packed arena; the VIP section was filled with dignitaries, and honour was given by both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sport in Thailand, who sat ringside at the event which made Thailand and IFMA proud.
In the female division, team Thailand came back strongly on the final day, and with the support of an enthusiastic home crowd, won gold against Switzerland and Turkey. Thai superstar and Muaythai Angel Champion, Chommannee Teahiran also won her final bout against Teo Wee Vien Vivian from Malaysia in the 57kg division, and Sweden’s Milkaela Persson won gold against Arphaphon Rungrueang from Thailand in the 60kg division.
In the male division, the medals were spread between Thailand, Australia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Israel, Morocco, Belarus, Lebanon and Russia.
It was a day of outstanding fights and true sportsmanship, which showed that Muaythai is an international sport with Thailand winning the 51, 54, and 57kg divisions in fights which can only be described as first class. In the male 60kg final, Australian athlete, Danial Williams, who eliminated Thailand in the quarterfinals went toe-to-toe with Asian champion, Ilkomjon Rustamov from Uzbekistan, and it was one of the best fights of the night with a standing ovation given to both athletes by everyone in the arena.
The 63.5kg Tagaev Bobirjon from Uzbekistan won against Thailand’s Suphamongkol Pongpeera in the final in an outstanding performance of heart and spirit. In the 67kg division, Ukraine’s Sergii Kuliaba won against Dogan Emre Bildirci from Turkey as Thailand had already been eliminated in the previous rounds. In the 71kg division, Itai Uershon from Israel and one of the stars of the tournament, eliminating all of his opponents in the qualifying rounds including Thailand, put on an exciting bout to win gold against Poland’s Patryk Borowski-Beszta.
Moving up to middle weight in the 75kg division, it was Africa’s time to shine as Ilyass Chakir from Morocco beat Yasin Pamay from Turkey. In the 81kg division, former IFMA world champion Dmitry Valent from Belarus showed why he is one of the best in the division by winning against Aziz El Felak from Morocco. In the 86kg division, two Arabic fighters were in the final and it was Fneich Mehammad making Lebanon proud, bringing home the first Muaythai University World Cup gold medal by defeating Algeria’s Seid Tissegouine. In the 91kg heavy weight division, Ivan Pentka from Russia was in the final against Piotr Ramankevich from Belarus in another electrifying bout with Russia securing gold against Belarus. In the super heavyweight division, it was Tsotne Rogava from Ukraine who won against Furkan Cigrik from Turkey in an exciting final match of the evening.
IFMA President Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan stated that everyone is truly proud of the event, and if you look at the results, the medals are spread well between all five continents. These results speak for themselves and truly shows that the work done by IFMA has paid off and Muaythai is a universal sport.