Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) Thailand is set to return with an electrifying third event on Saturday, September 3, 2022, live from Central World Live in Bangkok. The event is set to begin at 7am ET/4am PT, and will also be available worldwide on the BKFC app via tape replay at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
BKFC Thailand 3 Preview
Main Event – Buakaw Banchamek vs. Erkan Varol
The BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth main event features one of Thailand’s most famous athletes debuting in a new sport, and is set to face a stiff test in a fellow highly-experienced striker.
Widely considered to be one of the best Muay Thai fighters of all time, Surin native Buakaw Banchamek is set to test his skills in bare-knuckle boxing. In Muay Thai, Buakaw has been a two-time Omnoi Stadium champion, a Lupinee Stadium Toyota Marathon champion, a two-time Thai Fight champion, while also becoming the WMC junior middleweight and Kunlun Fight junior middleweight champion. He also was a two-time K-1 World MAX champion in kickboxing. After retiring in 2019, he returned to competition this year, earning a decision victory in Cambodia to bring his overall Muay Thai record to an impressive 240-24-12. After mastering “The Art of Eight Limbs”, fans will see whether he can also conquer bare-knuckle boxing with only his two fists at his disposal.
According to BKFC Thailand CEO Nick Chapman, Turkey’s Erkan Varol is “quite possibly the toughest opponent of Buakaw’s career”. Varol has challenged for a number of world championships in kickboxing, garnering an 88-33 record in the sport. Along with being known for front-flipping into the ring before every fight, he has also shown to be an extremely aggressive fighter with knockout power in both fists, making for an explosive main event fight.
Co-Main Event – Inaugural Featherweight Title
The inaugural BKFC Thailand featherweight champion will be decided in the co-main event that could either crown one of the youngest champions in combat sports or see the first fighter to reach three wins with the promotion.
Once Pongpisan “Ton” Chunyong steps into the ring, he will become the only fighter to compete in all three BKFC Thailand events. He has yet to see the judges’ scorecards in the sport, picking up a third-round TKO at BKFC Thailand 1: The Game Changer and a first-round KO in his last fight at BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact. After accruing a 90-fight boxing career, Chunyong has proven to always be willing to answer the call to fight, which is truly a fight promoter’s dream. Combining that with his fan-friendly non-stop action fighting style, the Luktupfah Gym fighter could make for an admirable champion with a win.
Still just 19 years old, Surasak Seansuek Sukkhamcha is no stranger to the BKFC ring himself. In the promotion’s second-ever fight, Sukkhamcha picked up a dominant unanimous decision win to show everyone that he is a name to watch. Training out of the famous Venum Fight Camp, he already has 60 professional fights between bare-knuckle boxing and Muay Thai. A win would make him the youngest male champion for a major combat sports promotion and likely launch him into superstardom among Thai fight fans.
Chaloemporn Sawatsuk vs. Dominic Ahnee
The second-ever American to compete with BKFC Thailand will take on a former prison fighter and movie star with a notable following in a light heavyweight clash at BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth.
Prior to moving to Thailand and training out of Phuket Top Team, Dominic Ahnee was a fire chief and MMA fighter from Maui, Hawaii, USA. Known as the “Playa With A Passport”, Ahnee earned a 9-6 professional record in MMA as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist. After being retired from combat sports and traveling the world over the past few years, he is ready to test his hands and his chin in his return in the BKFC Thailand ring.
Chaloemporn Sawatsuk is truly a fighter at heart. While serving time in prison, he earned acclaim through his success on the prison’s fight team. Outside of prison, Sawatsuk has 115 professional fights across Muay Thai and boxing, earning the WBC Asia light heavyweight and ABF Asia welterweight titles. Along with his fighting career, he has also starred in the critically-acclaimed A Prayer Before Dawn, a biographic film about life in Thailand’s prisons. As a result of both endeavors, the Nakhon Sawan native has amassed a big following on social media, having hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of video views on TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube.
Steve Banks vs. Ahmed “Koko Hammer” Abdelfattah
In the only heavyweight action of the night, a familiar fan-friendly face returns to the ring against a hungry newcomer looking to prove himself.
Steve “Panda” Banks made his BKFC Thailand debut at BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact in a rematch against a former Muay Thai foe. After getting knocked down in the first round, the American came out quickly in the second round to score a knockout with a devastating left hook. The Phuket Top Team-trained fighter simply loves to fight, and has top-level experience across nearly every combat sport imaginable. He is both a fan and fight promoter’s dream, living by the motto: “Just line ‘em up, and I’ll knock ‘em out”.
Although the two heavyweights will likely weigh similarly, Egypt’s Ahmed Abdelfattah will be a whopping seven inches shorter. The 35 year old Abdelfattah will be making his bare-knuckle boxing debut, but, like his opponent, has found success in multiple combat sports. Along with being a boxing national champion, he is also undefeated in seven fights as a kickboxer, and previously held the heavyweight title for MMA promotion AUFC. Also known as “Koko Hammer”, Abdelfattah had his eyes on Banks’s last fight and now steps in to face him confident that he found the plan to defeat his opponent.
Maseng vs. Phop Perfect – for the King of the Streets Superfight Championship
Following on from the viral success of the last match between street fighters at BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact, a new challenger has appeared to try to prove the true ruler over the street fighting kingdom. The winner of the fight will win the King of the Streets Superfight Title and receive the brand-new official King of the Streets BKFC Thailand trophy.
After a highly-anticipated buildup with his bitter rival Naeem Binhar, Sornchai “Maseng” Kantiphong was able to grab a unanimous decision victory in the Fight of the Night at the aforementioned BKFC Thailand 2. The win seemed to further cement his claim of being the “number-one street boxer”. Along with a 6-2 amateur record, the 26 year old lightweight also has ten fights in the street fighting promotion Fight Club Thailand.
After watching the Naeem-Maseng fight, Jakkaphop Rathanamangsang, better known as “Phop Perfect”, made it clear to everyone that no street fighter can claim to be the best without going through him first. Maseng responded and accepted the challenge, leading to the matchup for the official King of the Streets. The 28 year old Phop is undefeated in six professional fights across MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai, and, like Maseng, got his start fighting competitively at Fight Club Thailand. This will be his first sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing fight.
Mikhail Vetrila vs. Luis Paulo Terra
Two highly-experienced light heavyweights will go toe-to-toe in a fight that promises to be action-packed with potential title implications..
Affectionately known to Thai fight fans as “Street Fight Mike”, Mikhail Vetrila made his BKFC debut in the main event of BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact, competing for the inaugural BKFC Thailand light heavyweight championship. Despite being the underdog facing a home-country favorite opponent, former world boxing champion Sirimongkhon Lamthuan, the 30 year old Russian “Lion” Vetrila put forward an impressive performance despite losing a majority decision. Now, the brash Tiger Muay Thai-trained fighter with over 50 professional fights will look for his first win in the promotion as he works his way back to the title rematch that he feels that he deserves.
Luis Paulo Terra comes into his bare-knuckle boxing debut previously holding three kickboxing championships, an intercontinental Muay Thai title, and a Fatality Arena MMA title, while also being undefeated as a professional boxer. The 32 year old “Rato” owns a training gym on the coast of his home nation of Brazil, and has competed and trained all over the world. He will hold a two-inch height advantage over his opponent, who had a massive eight-inch advantage of his own in his last fight.
Pipat Chaiporn vs. Frankke Srisang
Both fighters in this featherweight contest are looking for their first win in bare-knuckle boxing, with one having already competed and the other making his debut at BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth.
Pipat “Mike” Chaiporn returns to action after dropping a decision at BKFC Thailand 1: The Game Changer. Despite the loss, Racha Muay Thai Camp’s Chaiporn could be seen smiling and clearly having fun throughout the course of the fight. The former IBF Asia super bantamweight and junior featherweight champion amassed a 47-13-2 record in the sport of boxing before making the decision to take off the gloves and knuckle up.
Managed by current BKFC Light Heavyweight Champion Sirimongkhon Lamthuan and training out of Singha Manasak Gym, Kritsana “Frankke” Srisang brings a wealth of Muay Thai and boxing experience into his bare-knuckle boxing debut. Along with a three-inch height advantage, Srisang is also 10 years younger than his opponent. Despite not having fought in bare-knuckle, he will be able to rely on the lessons of his manager, who has fought and won fights in both of BKFC Thailand’s events to date.
Usanakorn Thawinsuwannawang vs. Chesu Nuval
A former world boxing champion will look to build on previous momentum against a former amateur MMA fighter in the second women’s fight at BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth.
Former interim WBC super flyweight champion and undisputed WBC bantamweight champion Usanakorn Thawilsuwannawang returns for her second outing with BKFC Thailand on the heels of an impressive performance in her bare-knuckle debut. In the opening fight for BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact, she showcased a massive amount of power before finishing her opponent with punches to the body in the third round.
Fighting out of Marrok Force and representing her home nation of the Philippines, Chesu Nuval is set to make her professional combat sports debut at BKFC Thailand 3. The 28 year old “Catwoman” Nuval does have fighting experience, however, sporting a 5-1 record in amateur MMA. She is also garnering a notable social media following as a gaming content creator.
Suban Malopho vs. Somchai Ainthida
BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth is set to host a pivotal bantamweight matchup between two talented strikers in two different stages of their careers.
Stepping in on short notice, 25 year old Somchai Ainthida comes into his bare-knuckle boxing debut with 70 boxing bouts under his belt, holding a 50-19-1 record. “Game” Ainthida trains alongside Somiong War, the winner of BKFC Thailand’s first-ever fight, and is learning tips and tricks from the decorated Muay Thai practitioner’s experience.
Racha Muay Thai Camp’s Suban Malopho will make his bare-knuckle boxing debut after a long 133-fight journey in combat sports. The 39 year old “Mangpang” Malopho has impressive records in both Muay Thai and boxing at 108-12-3 and 9-1 respectively. He is excited to return action at his “old home” of Bangkok.
Tai Emery vs. Rung-Arun Khunchai
Many of BKFC Thailand’s fights in its first two shows pit Muay Thai fighters against boxers. These matchups have proven to be exciting, and the first women’s fight on the BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth card looks to do the same.
Prior to her start in combat sports, Australia’s Tai Emery began her athletic career as an all-star defender in one of the premier women’s American football leagues. While many men have made the foray from football to combat sports, the 35 year old Emery is one of the first women to do so. Training out of one of the best gyms in the world, Tiger Muay Thai, Emery has experience in Muay Thai and is especially talented at boxing. While she will make her American BKFC debut soon, she will take the gloves off for the first time in this fight. She is also in the process of embracing her Maori heritage, an indigenous Polynesian group mostly found in New Zealand. The process includes receiving unique hand-made tattoos and taking part in a powhiri, or welcoming ceremony.
Rung-Arun Khunchai will come into the fight with a significant competitive experience advantage in combat sports. A 60-fight veteran of both Muay Thai and Muay Boran (the bare-knuckle version of Muay Thai), the 29 year old “Pop” Khunchai is trained and managed by current BKFC light heavyweight champion Sirimongkhon Lamthuan. While she does hold a 40-15-5 record across the aforementioned sports, she will also be making her bare-knuckle boxing debut.
Sadudee Srimueang vs. Malinda Amarasinghe
The second fight of the card brings an interesting clash of fighting styles that will look to answer a lot of questions in the featherweight division.
Malina “Boyka” Amarasinghe is a master of the sport of Wushu with over fifty bouts to his name. He has won many national tournaments and represented his home country of Sri Lanka internationally in competitions. His fast and agile fighting style has carried over to the sport of Muay Thai, where he has over ten professional bouts and is a national champion, as well as karate and boxing. The 32 year old will make his bare-knuckle debut and try to maintain the same level of success in yet another combat sport.
Following a third-round TKO victory at BKFC Thailand 2: Iconic Impact, Sadudee Srimueang is attempting to continue the success he found in his last fight. The 28 year old former WBA and ABF boxing champion has specifically requested to face the toughest competition possible, with hopes of eventually earning a championship and fulfilling his dream of fighting in Las Vegas, USA. The Marrok Force MMA-trained “Sam” Srimueang promises to bring nonstop action.
Kantapon Petsang vs. Somphong Satho
BKFC Thailand 3: Moment of Truth will be kicked off by a middleweight showdown where an underground fighter will get to test his skills against a professional fighter for the first time in both of their bare-knuckle boxing debuts.
BKFC Thailand president Nick Chapman discovered Kantapon Petsang, also known as “Black Falcon”, in a super-secret underground fight card. According to Chapman, the hardcore atmosphere was reminiscent of the famous Clint Eastwood underground bare-knuckle fighting movie Every Which Way But Loose. Petsang put on an incredible performance, leaving the BKFC Thailand boss itching to sign him. Although this will be his first professional fight, the 30 year old Petsang has proven his toughness not only through the underground fighting scene, but also through his decorated military career, previously serving in The Royal Thai Army Special Warfare Command before becoming a personal bodyguard.
Somphong “Kun” Satho is also set to make his bare-knuckle boxing debut on short notice, although he does have the advantage of professional combat sports experience over his opponent. Satho holds a 13-6-2 record in professional boxing and trains out of Palangy Muay Thai alongside other BKFC Thailand fighters. He will look to put that experience to good use as his opponent comes out from the underground and onto the main stage.