Muay thai fighters to compete in first pro MTGP event in HCM City

December 29, 2022 - 14:59
The first international muay thai tournament managed by the Muay Thai Grand Prix (MTGP) will be organised in Việt Nam, gathering leading local and international athletes.


Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất of Việt Nam (right) will fight Anon Rachvicha of Thailand for a belt in the men's 60kg category in three three-minute rounds at the MTGP -- The Home Coming. Photos of organisers

HÀ NỘI — The first international muay thai tournament managed by the Muay Thai Grand Prix (MTGP) will be held in Việt Nam, gathering leading local and international athletes.

The MTGP - The Home Coming, hosted by the HCM City Muay Federation and MTGP, will feature aggressive and competitive matches on December 29 at the Rạch Miếu Gymnasium, HCM City.

It is the opener of the 2023 MTGP Việt Nam Championship in March, which is the first in an MTGP series to be held in the city.

The MTGP - The Home Coming will see 26 fighters from 17 clubs of Thailand, the Philippines, England, Italy and the hosts. They will compete in 13 matches, four of them vying for pro titles.

Vietnamese stars at the event include Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất, Trương Cao Minh Phát and Huỳnh Văn Tuấn. Famous names such as Lê Hoàng Đức, Huỳnh Hà Hữu Hiếu, Nguyễn Thanh Tùng, Mã Thành Đang and Lý Diệu Phước have also registered.

“Due to the pandemic, the national professional muay thai competition system was paused. Vietnamese athletes faced a shortage of tournaments. The MTGP – The Home Coming, organised for the first time in Việt Nam, is an opportunity for me and muay thai fighters to compete and show our abilities," said seven-time world champion Nhất at the press briefing on December 28.

"More importantly, we will compete against athletes from different countries in the world, which will help us to sharpen our technique. We will fight our best to ensure competitive matches, making a successful event," he added.

Four MTGP -- The Home Coming's belts will be given to fighters at the event.

Meanwhile, leading Thai competitors Changpuak Jetsada Pongtong and Turien Paphawin  are representatives of international martial artists. 

“Thank you for organising this tournament and bringing us here. (I believe that) all athletes will fight under the muay thai spirit. There will be fierce battles which will entertain the audience and a high-quality playing ground for fighters,” said Pongtong.

Nhất will be against Anon Rachvicha of Thailand for the title of the men's 60kg category in three three-minute rounds.

The key fight of the night is between Pongtong and Paphawin for the men's 57kg class. The match will be in five three-minute rounds.

The winner in pro categories will walk away with a record prize of VNĐ60 million (US$2,500).

WTGP founder Philip Tieu said it was his honour that after successful shows in different continents, MTGP has finally come to Asia, a strong hub of martial arts, especially his homeland of Việt Nam, home to many talented martial artists.

He said MTGP's mission was to give Vietnam's top muay thai athletes more opportunities to compete in high-quality competitions against the world's top fighters. They can show the world what they can offer.

Meanwhile, MTGP Asia President Đặng Quốc Thái said The Home Coming event, which is held to international standards, received strong support from the local authorities and  the city's muay thai federation and clubs.

He believed that HCM City would be a new MTGP centre of muay thai. The group, with its prestige and experience, will help improve the quality of Vietnamese athletes, seek talented fighters for international competitions and bring world-class events to entertain Vietnamese supporters through its strategic partner VTVcab.

Fighters pose for photo after the weight-in for the MTGP - The Home Coming, which will be held at HCM CIty's Rạch Miễu Gymnasium. 

MTGP showcases the best muay thai, K-1 kickboxing and mixed martial arts talent worldwide.

It has promoted more than 50 events at the highest level in the last decade in 15 countries such as in the UK, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Iraq and the Reunion Islands. MTGP is considered one of Europe's leading promotions, bringing opportunities to many talented fighters. Top world fighters such as Liam Harrison, Charlie Peters, Evan Jays, John Wayne and Damien Trainor are among competitors at MTGP events. VNS