Where one door closes, another opens.

Full Metal Dojo’s FMD11: Sweep all the Legs means many things to many people, but for a handful of emerging Thai fighters, it means opportunity.

With the recent departure of some of Full Metal Dojo’s most promising fighters to One Championship, the door has been opened for more emerging Thai MMA superstars to make their name.

Two former FMD fighters, Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai, and Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit fought in One Championship: Kingdom of Champions last weekend, as did Shannon Wiratchai who also rose up from the Bangkok MMA scene. This was a litmus test for Thai MMA, and for Full Metal Dojo. All three fighters won, ruthlessly, in the first round.

Their success has inspired the country and paved the way for more MMA studs to come through.

Full Metal Dojo owner John Nutt said, after announcing the FMD 11 fight card: “These cards are made like a DJ makes his set. He can drop a huge beat at any moment. There are no ‘main events’ per se – any of these fights could be the one.”

Six fighters will make their debut on Saturday and arguably the most fascinating of all is in the men’s Lightweight division. Frenchman FX “Shuriken” Leal de la Torre takes on Phuket Top Team’s Trevor McKenzie.


Full Metal Dojo 8 Ground and Pound

Muay Thai striker “Shuriken”, a friend of Jon Nutt’s, has been shown no favouritism as he faces a man who has spent six years wrestling in the US Air Force. It’s a clash of styles which so often sees the wrestler prevail, but can the flamboyant Frenchman land that telling shot to stifle the relentless attack of McKenzie?

Another two debutants feature in the all-women, catchweight clash: Thai Judo fighter Sunisa Srisan takes on Audreylaura Boniface, who hails from Malaysia. It’s worth noting that Audreylaura fights out of the same gym as One Championship MMA beasts Ann “Athena” Osman and A.J “Pyro”.

One Championship recently signed Pongsiri Mitsatit and one of his victims, Wisava Kaweewarakorn looks for a comeback win against Weerayuth “Oak” Pinyoporn, who was defeated in a grueling battle in FMD 10. These are two fighters, with strong amateur backgrounds, who will be desperate for a win here – expect a war.

Desperation looms large as teeing off the show, upon each-other, will be two bantamweight fighters who must win. Jaktan “The Man” Tangjan and Arthit “The Sun” Machungern are both coming off losses and this is a match of epic significance for both Thai warriors, who hail from the Hero Factory and Kings of the Sun gyms respectively.

Another Hero Factory fighter, and making his debut is Jirawat Aunjai who will fight Phairin Sukkamueang from Team Jomkwan in a battle of Bangkok gyms. In the second crosstown gym scrap, Egyptian Amr Elgohary, of Bangkok Fight Lab and Aussie, Liam “Panda” Lockyer, of Fighting Spirit Gym will face-off. Elgohary likes his rear naked chokes, and the Panda is making his debut, being undefeated as an amateur, and loves getting hit in the face. These gym battles are significant, since they are clamouring for the business of tourists, who are arriving in their droves and seeking some affordable MMA training.

Jon Nutt has made it no secret that he hopes to drive tourism in Thailand through Full Metal Dojo, and the message is clear: Thailand, you should go there.

Nutt may have some interest in the final fight on the card. It features Marcelo “The Latino” Tenorio, a man who fought and beat the FMD owner in the Dare Fight Sports promotion in 2012. Nutt candidly admits he lost “via exhaustion and Oreo cookies”, as he retired following a kick to his mid-section.

Marcelo is looking to utilize his Muay Thai skills against “The Jaguar” Askar Mozharov. Ukranian Askar is every striker’s nightmare, the man who wants to take the fight to ground where he holds multiple aces up his sleeve, an array of chokes and bone-breaking submissions. All of his pro victories have come via submission.

Submissions will be far from the mind of Tiger Muay Thai’s “Top Noi”, who returns to the Dojo to face fellow countryman Sawich “Phetchsamut” Maruang. Top Noi will be remembered for his incredible fight with “Y2K” Fairtex in FMD 10, where he fought valiantly before being knocked out whilst throwing a spinning elbow; a moment which was poetry in motion. Phetchsamut would be wise to utilize his judo skills and take the fight to the ground. Top Noi may have other plans.

Elsewhere on the card is a potentially explosive bout, in a battle of the Phuket gyms, Israel takes on Iran, as Ali Motamed (Tiger Muay Thai) locks horns with Toni Hitman (Phuket Top Team). Ali has had one pro MMA fight which he won via a first round rear naked choke, whilst Hitman, coming with an impressive amateur pedigree, makes his pro debut. Politics will be swept to the side here. The only bombs will be metaphorical, delivered through clenched fists. However, Full Metal fireworks are expected.

FMD 11 goes live on Saturday night from Insanity Nightclub, Bangkok.