Mitch D’Orico (white helmet) and Koston Lillies (yellow helmet) practising their craft at Chilliwack’s Traditional Muaythai School. (submitted photo)

Mitch D’Orico (white helmet) and Koston Lillies (yellow helmet) practising their craft at Chilliwack’s Traditional Muaythai School. (submitted photo)

Chilliwack hosting Muaythai Gladiators event

The event includes 12 matches and 24 amateur athletes, some using full Muaythai rules

Twenty-four Muaythai athletes from across the province are coming to Chilliwack for the Muaythai Gladiators event.

Twelve matches are lined up for Sept. 24 at the Landing Sports Centre.

All of the athletes are amateurs. All are adults and most are stepping into the ring for the first time.

“Matches consist of three two-minute rounds with one minute rest in between rounds,” said James Bergin, Owner of Chilliwack’s Traditional Muaythai School (7870 Enterprise Drive #2) and the Fraser Valley Muaythai Series. “Most matches will be modified Muaythai, with no elbow strikes and no knees to the head. More advanced matches will be full Muaythai rules, with full use of elbows and knees.”

That is significant.

Never before in B.C. have full Muaythai rules been used. Bergin said it’s now possible because there’s a provincial sports organization (PSO), Muaythai BC, sanctioning and overseeing all Muaythai fights in the province.

“It means that there is now structure in place for the safety and well being of the athletes as well as a competition pathway that can take them to provincial, national and if they were ready, Olympic levels,” Bergin explained.

Without the PSO, he said Muaythai wasn’t being done to its full potential.

“Some of the required elements of a PSO include long term athlete development, along with a national coaching certification pathway, as well as all of the policies and procedures needing to be in place to ensure athlete safety and fairness of competition,” Bergin said. “Once all of those elements are in place, we can safely introduce the use of elbows and knees, which was previously restricted.

For spectators, there will be two brief intermissions after every four fights, and Bergin said there will be sport-specific information, vendor booths, social media opportunities, and refreshments available.

“This event is the first of its kind in the Fraser Valley,” he said. “This card is 100 per cent stand-up Muaythai action with amateur athletes putting it all on the line. These competitors are hungry and driven to show people their skill level which will result in an action-packed show.”

Tickets are available at the door, or at Eventbrite.ca. Tickets are $43.50 for general admission.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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