It is common knowledge that in Thailand gambling drives Muay Thai.
If you are stepping into the ring, almost anywhere in Thailand you are having odds placed for or against you and there is money on the line. What is the best way to make the gamblers upset? Ruin their betting lines.
Jason Woodham has played the foil to the gamblers before and it is a pretty good story. You might recognize Jason from Instagram and facebook doing the Muay Thai Muppets training videos with Ziggy Darwish.
Jason isn’t your modern-day fighter that is looking to gain recognition. He is the type of fighter that fights to test himself. If you have seen any of his fights one thing becomes clear, the man is willing to go out on his shield every single time. No easy fights for anyone that steps in the ring with him.
He started his career at Mungkorndam Camp England in 1999 and has had 86 fights. His record stands at 53 -33 with 66% of his wins ending by knockout. From 2009-2012 he lived in Thailand and was a full time professional fighter at Lamai Muaythai Camp in Koh Samui. He has fought all over the world and is a former WMC MAD world champion, IMKO English champion, Kohpagnan Super 4 champion, and WMC I-1 super fight champion, but you wouldn’t know it. Why? Because you he doesn’t walk around boasting about it.
If you look at his Instagram profile, there is no mention of his championships. It is quite funny because it says “Retired Tuk tuk driver Basher”. No ego, but all heart when it came to stepping in the ring. That’s what makes a real fighter.
I asked Jason what Muay Thai was about for him because despite accomplishing quite a bit, he doesn’t seem try and bask in any type of glory from his fighting days.
“Muay Thai for me had to be a challenge or it was pointless. I have to look at myself in the mirror every day and be proud of myself and inside know that I took on the best of the best,” said Jason. “Maybe I didn’t beat them all but I gave them a fight they would never forget. For me that was my legacy. For a real Muay Thai fighter the question isn’t how many fights have you won, the question is who have you fought and if you held your own against the big dogs then you are a true champion.”
One of Jason’s more entertaining moments in the ring came in 2011 when he took a fight in Koh Samui.
It was Jason’s last fight before leaving to film the reality show The Challenger, which featured other top Muay Thai fighters such as Jordan Watson, Antoine Pinto and Tum Mardsua.
Jason stated that he wanted to enter the house in high spirits with a win. The gamblers knew Jason’s fighting style and as Jason put it himself “My style was as an aggressive walk forward fighter, so they normally knew if I couldn’t put somebody away in three rounds I would run out of power.”
Because of this Jason’s opponent was the favorite to win the fight. Jason and his opponent were trading strikes early and as the first round neared the end Jason dropped his opponent with a right hand. Despite this the gamblers thought his opponent was going to weather the early storm and win. In the second round it looked as if they might be right. Jason’s opponent began to utilize the clinch more and started to connect with knees to the body. Jason tried to fight outside the clinch, but his opponent was adamant to keep it in the clinch and was pushing Jason around the ring.
After the referee broke up the clinch about midway through the round Jason unloaded a jumping knee as his opponent was walking forward and put him to sleep. His coaches Paidang Devy and Nokweed Devy saw the opening for the knee, told him to unload it and Jason did just that.
If you look near the bottom of the bleachers in the video you can see the gamblers are not very happy after the knockout. That is how you make a gambler very upset, mess up their betting line.
You can’t teach that type of tenacity, a lot of fighters go into a fight knowing they are expected to lose and figure they don’t need to try to win. Jason Woodham as not that type of fighter, he was going to give you hell trying to win regardless of anyone’s expectations. It was go hard or go home.
You can watch Jason’s knockout win below.