At Lion Fight 12 on Nov. 1, Malaipet will have his chance to seize the inaugural Lion Fight world welterweight title when he wages war with France’s Fabio Pinca in the main event.
A former multiple-time world Muay Thai champion and current WBC Muay Thai welterweight champion, Malaipet has become known as a legend of the sport for his devastating knockout power and his ability to outclass his opponents. With 177 fights to his name, Malaipet said he feels honored and privileged to have the opportunity to be the first to fight for Lion Fight’s welterweight title on AXS TV.
Standing in front of Malaipet is Fabio Pinca, a highly trained Muay Thai practitioner who has picked up 89 wins and 33 knockouts over the course of his 10-year career. Knowing what an exceptional and experienced talent Pinca is presents a challenge that Malaipet can’t wait to tackle.
“I’m really happy that Lion Fight gave me this fight on the show,” Malaipet stated. “The one thing about Fabio Pinca is I think he’s a good match for me. I didn’t know about him that much before, But this guy, he likes Muay Thai. He’s been training Muay Thai for a long time now and he’s fought a lot of my friends in Thailand, a lot of Thai guys, and now he’s fighting me. I’ve been fighting Muay Thai for a long time and Fabio Pinca fights a real Muay Thai style and that’s good for me…This fight is going to be a good show for sure,” Malaipet promised.
When Malaipet makes his way back to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, his only mission is to be the one with his hand raised.
“This Lion Fight title fight, does it make me happy? Yes. I want the belt. Do I want the title? Yes, for sure, I want to get this title. I don’t want to say I’m better than him, or he’s better than me. But at the same time, he wants the title, I want the title. That’s why it’ll be about who will be smart in the ring – who can play the game. I’m 32 years old. People think I’m old, but I’ll show them in the ring.”
Fighting professionally all over the world since 1999, Malaipet knows how to handle business. Inside the ring, he’s collected 144 wins and dished out 53 knockouts to opposing fighters. To prepare for everything Pinca has in his arsenal, Malaipet has conjured up some weapons of his own for the Lion Fight 12 main event.
“This fight I have a special elbow and push kick because Fabio is scared of the push kick and he’s pretty much scared of elbows. How I know is, I talked to my friend and he fought him before. He said ‘Fabio, when you hurt him, he changes his mind. When you hurt him with a push kick, you just keep coming’.
“My plan is to pressure him,” Malaipet continued. “I want to make him angry. When he gets angry, he loses all of his mind. He can’t control himself. That is my goal for this fight.”
With their collision just weeks away, Malaipet has been training non stop while also running his gym, Malaipet Sasiprapa Muay Thai in Fresno, CA. His daily routine, which consists of 12-hour days spent training, is a testament to his work ethic and the pride he takes in his performances. As he continues to master his craft, he also works to teach those who have the same desire about the sport to excel as he has.
“I’m teaching all the time and push myself when I’m sparring with my students. Some are beginners, but I keep going. I work out with them and they’re happy. I think I’m ready for this fight because my body, it keeps busy.”
Currently riding a 5-fight win streak, Malaipet toppled Caio Uruguai with a single counter right hand punch at Lion Fight 11 to earn a TKO in the first round. His nearly effortless and flawless technique crushed Uruguai’s hopes of getting past a legend. After a fan vote and consideration from Lion Fight officials, Malaipet earned the coveted honor of Fight of the Night for his standout finish.
Since the Las Vegas-based Muay Thai promotion was founded, Malaipet has appeared on five of their fight cards. Without Lion Fight CEO Scott Kent, Malaipet realizes none of this would be possible.
“Once I met Scott Kent, he treated me really good. I’ll fight here forever. I don’t ever say no. No matter how much in pain or sick I am, I’ll always show up. I’ll always be in the ring.”
Exposure was limited for the art of eight limbs prior to Lion Fight making a splash on AXS TV. As Malaipet explained, most fans had to rummage through DVD’s and videos in hopes of finding one that featured their favorite stand-up sport.
As Muay Thai becomes more and more well-known to American fight fans with each Lion Fight card being aired in millions homes on AXS TV, Malaipet wants to be a true ambassador of the sport and give fans a reason to tune in and watch.
“Some of them don’t know Muay Thai’s background, but they love Muay Thai. Some of them learn it. But with the new show, I think people respect it a lot, the Lion Fight show,” explained Malaipet.
From the very moment Malaipet began training at age 8 in Surin, Thailand, his goal was to accomplish everything he could. He came to the United States in 2001 and made it his life’s work to train, teach and execute at a high level at all times. Most importantly, his main goal is to deliver to the fans.
“I only came here for fights, for Muay Thai, and to let people know Muay Thai; like a family, respect, train hard, fight hard and be prepared outside the ring.”
At 32-years-old Malaipet admitted that he has no intention of slowing down. With the Lion Fight world welterweight title just within his grasp, Malaipet wants to show the fans that he’s a world class athlete and capable of achieving it all.
“Everybody wants to see me on TV, so that’s why I go forward. I never say ‘Oh I want to quit or oh I want to stop.’ No, I’ll never say that. I only go forward.”
Make sure to get down to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office to purchase tickets for the full rules Muay Thai event that’s sure to be a sellout! Lion Fight 12 takes place at the Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 1st. Tickets are on sale now and available for purchase through Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and online at Ticketmaster.com.
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