Interview: Chris van der Meijde
Foto's: archief Clinton Brown / Chris van der Meijde
Langzaam loopt de countdown naar uur U als op 2 september in Los Angeles The MuayThai Premier League van start gaat. Een grote internationale MuayThai competitie met top vechters uit alle delen van de wereld. Verdeeld over een dames poule en vier poulen voor de heren zullen veertig vechters in actie komen om uit te maken wie de echte kampioenen in hun klasse zijn. Met oa Kulebin, Corbett, Aussie, Saenchai, Kaoklai, Levin, Harisson, Yodsaenklai en vele andere grote namen zal de crème de la crème van de MuayThai wereld zich verzamelen in deze nieuwe competitie. En met hoofdprijzen die oplopen tot 100.000 US dollar en TV uitzendingen bij grote TV stations over de hele wereld staat de MuayThai sport aan de vooravond van groot moment in zijn geschiedenis.
President / CEO van Warrior Caste Productions, het bedrijf achter The MuayThai Premier League, is Clifton Brown. Zelf een ervaren vechter met vijf wereldtitels op zak weet hij als geen ander wat echt MuayThai inhoudt. Benieuwd naar de man achter de Nieuwe MuayThai Premier League en wat ons te wachten staat met The MuayThai Premier League interviewde Mixfight.nl Clifton Brown om meer te weten te komen.
CLIFTON BROWN, CEO/PRESIDENT THE MUAYTHAI PREMIER LEAGUE
Hi Clifton, how are you doing?
I’m doing great. We are quite busy at the moment, preparing everything for the fans.
You are the President / CEO of The MuayThai Premier League which will have its
lift off on the 2nd of September in Los Angeles. You also had a big career as a
MuayThai fighter. How did you get involved in the MuayThai sport and at what age
did you start training MuayThai?
It’s a long and funny story, but I’ll give you the short version. When I was a kid, I
used to watch martial arts films and play a lot of video games. At 12 years old I
discovered Street Fighter, and it made a big impression on me. The last character
in the game was a fighter from Thailand named Sagat that I could never beat. It
made a big impression on me. Then at 16 I tried MuayThai for the first time with Thai
trainer Suchart. The training was really hard but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule yet.
At 18 I began to train every day, and a year later, I was living in Thailand.
When was your first fight, and what are your memories about that fight?
My first fight was in America in 1996 and I lost. It was a hard lesson to learn, that
being good would take a lot of sacrifice. Ultimately, this moment began my serious
commitment to the study of MuayThai.
CLIFTON BROWN MET DE WMC TITEL
You’ve had a lot of fights against some of the biggest names in the scene. Who did
you find to be your toughest opponent?
My toughest opponent from Thailand was Mot X Sitpholek. And my toughest foreign
opponent was Nathan Corbett, who I lost to twice. All other fighters who I have
fought at the world level were very challenging, so I take nothing away from any of
them, and what I learned in fighting each of them.
From which fight do you keep your finest memories?
My fight against Thongchailek in Thailand was one of my favourites as I found out
right before that my first child was on the way. I fought really well and won by KO in
the second round. Also, my fight against Manson Gibson because he was someone
I respected as a fighter, and had a legendary career. And lastly, both of my fights
against Kaoklai. He is a really tricky fighter, and forced me to adapt.
You trained and fought a lot in Thailand. How long did you live there, and in which
camps did you train?
I lived in Thailand for a total of 4 years, over many trips, and I’ve trained at many
camps: Chaiyai Gym, Lanna, Sityodtong, Sit Or, Nahkorn Tok Parkview, Por Pramuk,
Sor Vorapin, WMC Lamai, and more. About 20 camps in total.
You had a lot of fights in Thailand. What makes it so special to fight in Thailand
against a Thai?
For one, I love MuayThai. And while I certainly respect foreign fighters, and have
lost to some, Thailand is the birth place of the sport, and really the best place to hone
each of the MuayThai skills. So for me, this was the best way to improve myself.
How many fights you had, and which titles have you won?
I’ve had 56 professional fights, and have won the WMC World Title 3 times, the IKKC
World Title, the IMTF World Title, and Canadian and North American Championships.
CLIFTON BROWN MET ZIJN BELTS
You are now 34 years old and the President / CEO of The MuayThai Premier
League. Looking at the fighters who contracted for the The MPL there are some who
you’ve had big fights with like Jiri Zak, Kaoklai Kaennorsing, and Nathan ‘Carnage’
Corbett. Your active fighting career is over or … ?
As of right now, my active fighting career is over. I will never say never, but this
project requires as much work and focus as my fighting career, if not more. And it
is my goal to make sure that this is as successful as possible. So I’m giving Warrior
Caste Productions my 100%.