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The Fighters - Thailand Dangerous Part 7

THAILAND | Saturday, 15 August 2009 | Views [291]

He rushes in, senseless, lost in the rush of adrenaline and the fear of the fight. The poise he exhibited in training disappears. Tizoc throws a few overhands that catch his opponent, a stocky Thai fighter with a bulged forehead, but his opponent jabs, snapping Tizoc’s head back. He comes to his senses a bit, stepping back, and assesses the situation. Jake, Mike, and I quietly sit ringside while Bryce and sensei shout from the corner. Jordan is somewhere, preparing for his fight. 

And somewhere within the tension, Tizoc connects, and again, and again. The opponent’s arms limp to the side, wobbling, held up by the tension of the red ropes behind him, and the referee steps in. I’m up, screaming from the back of my throat without realizing it. Under the confusion, Tizoc violently jumps onto the ring ropes, which helplessly snaps under his weight. It takes nearly twenty minutes to repair. 

Tizoc strides out of the ring, silently strutting to where the rest of the team invites his dignity. Foreigners and their girlfriends snap photos faking kisses and molding bodies into extravagant fighting poses. He’s an instant hero. As the energy depletes, Tizoc settles in with a sigh, wishing Jordan good luck.

Jordan enters the ring, naturally, poised, but possessed with the confidence from the interview. His opponent (as generally the case) has a significantly smaller build, but the Neanderthal visage displays raised scars from his battles. It’s always terrifying looking into the ring at Jordan. While he never affects me much in training, there’s always a sociopathic fearlessness in his eyes. The human center of the brain suddenly turns off, it seems, and in the moment all ability to understand emotion disappears. It’s almost too natural for him. 

What’s more, it almost always ends the same way. Jordan’s fists aimlessly attack every vulnerable point in the opponent’s body until they break down into a motionless bag of bones. Perhaps I expended my excitement on Tizoc, but I can’t rouse myself up as much after Jordan’s dominant performance. I walk to ringside where the wooden eyes of the beaten opponent glares back at me. The foreigners rush to take photographs with the winner, posing with fists up. All these photographs are carbon copies of each other. The Thai gets taken out on a stretcher, but no one else notices.

That night, Bryce and Jordan manage to sneak alcohol into the rooms. We all quietly make our way to the roof, where we look over Thailand’s naturalism. Eventually the familiar feeling of alcohol kicks in, and the city below us blend together with the celestial sky.

Tags: fighters, martial arts, muay thai, thailand

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