Two-time K-1 Max champion Buakaw Banchemak (formerly Por Pramuk) got his first taste of mixed martial arts today when he trained with BJJ black belt Adam Kayoom at his Q23 Academy in Bangkok. Buakaw recently left the Por Pramuk camp which had been his home for over a decade and is involved in an ongoing contractual dispute with them.
He has made numerous TV appearances in Thailand recently to discuss his issues with Por Pramuk, who reportedly only paid him a tiny fraction of the purse money he earned during a career which saw him win numerous honors including winning K-1 Max two times and becoming Thai Fights champion last year.
For the time being Buakaw remains estranged from the camp where he made his name and is training in Surin but during a recent visit to Bangkok he decided to take the opportunity to train from the most respected Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) teacher in all of Thailand.
Kayoom is a Muay Thai World Champion himself, although he has never competed on quite Buakaw's level. He is, however, a legend in South East Asian circles as he has his own school in Bangkok, the Q23 Academy, and his extensive list of BJJ honors include being named Australian National Champion, Cyclone Cup Champion, South Brazilian Champion and New South Wales Champion.
He also has a reputation as being one of the best BJJ teachers in the region and if Buakaw does decide to add to his Muay Thai arsenal by learning the ground game the Q23 Academy is a great place to start. For his part Kayoom feels that the Thai legend has what it takes to succeed in a second combat sport,
"Buakaw has a lot of potential. He's very sharp, listens very well to instructions and is able to apply it (the techniques) quickly and very well. And on top of that a real gentleman. Very respectful. A real champion. He was very friendly to my friends and students in and out of the academy. It was a real pleasure to have him on the mats."
Kayoom is the best MMA fighter that Malaysia has ever produced and with black belts in BJJ and Taekwondo and world championships in Muay Thai he has all the tools to succeed as a mixed martial artist. Expect to see him in action at ONE Fighting Championship 'Destiny of Warriors' in Kuala Lumpur on June 23rd.
For his part Buakaw is likely to return to Muay Thai action in Pattaya in April 17th when he fights Frenchman Mickael Cornubet. The dispute with Por Pramuk has yet to be settled but the possibility of one of the most successful fighters in K-1 history learning the ground game is sure to excite MMA fans.
For more information about Q23 Academy visit: www.thailandbjj.com.