The word savage gets used a lot in combat sports and a lot of times it doesn’t fit. When you are talking about Dave Leduc, it is the perfect word to describe him.
Lethwei has been growing in popularity over the last year and Dave Leduc has been a huge part of that growth. The Canadian born fighter has taken to the sport, embraced it and pushed its growth.
Dave originally started in Muay Thai and moved to Thailand to train and fight. He participated in the controversial prison fights that would be turned into a Showtime documentary Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom. The fights took place in 2014 at the Klong Pai Central Prison two hours north of Bangkok, Thailand.
In prison fights, inmates fight outsiders to win reduced sentences. The event was organized by the department of corrections and every fighter was hoping to reduce their sentence with a victory.
Leduc had no problem stepping into the ring and keeping a man from shortening their prison sentence. Leduc stated “they fight for their freedom,” adding, “I only fight for honor and glory.”
Dave Leduc literally enjoys violence.
Fighting Muay Thai and participating in prison fights is something most people won’t do. Leduc really became known as a savage after he entered the Lethwei world. For anyone not familiar with Lethwei, it is the most brutal sport in the world and Dave Leduc embraces the brutality.
Leduc got the call to make his Lethwei debut in 2016 at the Myanmar Lethwei World Championship he faced undefeated Lethwei champion Too Too, considered to be one of the best Lethwei fighters of his generation.
The promotion had to lie about his fight experience because he had less than 10 fights. Many saw him as an easy fight for Too Too, having no experience in Lethwei, but Leduc dominated Too Too and left him bloody. The two fought to a draw which garnered a lot of attention in Myanmar.
Dishing out brutal punishment is his only goal in the Lethwei ring
There are not many rules in Lethwei, but some of the key rules are that no gloves are used, you can only win by knockout or the fight is ruled a draw. The two craziest rules are that headbutts are allowed and that when a fighter gets knocked out his corner can call a two minute time out to revive him so he can keep fighting.
Most combat sports athletes would never even consider fighting under those rules an option.
His second fight wasn’t any easier, he fought to a draw with Tun Tun Min. For anyone not familiar with Lethwei this is the equivalent of taking on fighters the caliber of Daniel Cormier or Conor McGregor in MMA.
Leduc vs. Washington
Two draws were great for Leduc as it cemented him as a legitimate contender, but he really became a Lethwei superstar when for his third fight he rematched Tun Tun Min. The fight was for the Lethwei Golden Belt, the most prestigious belt in Lethwei. Entering the rematch people still expected Tun Tun Min to come out victorious. This time Leduc made sure to leave no doubt and won by TKO in the third round.
You have to be a savage to fight in Lethwei, it isn’t for the faint of heart. What makes Leduc the most savage man in all of combat sports? It isn’t just that he chooses to fight in the crazy world of Lethwei under the most brutal rules in combat sports, it is also because of his fighting style. He takes full advantage of headbutts, there hasn’t been a more active fighter with headbutts in Lethwei as Leduc is. His only goal in that ring is to make sure he inflicts as much damage on his opponents as possible.
When asked about why he loves fighting in Lethwei, Leduc responded:
“Lethwei is the most violent sport. All we do is stand in front of each other and slam our bones together. In Boxing, if there’s an accidental headbutt it’s a big deal. They even stop the fight sometimes and that’s for an accident! For Lethwei, Imagine if my sole goal is to headbutt you. If I land my head on your face, I’m drawing blood, and taking your manhood away.”
You have to be a savage to go through this type of training let alone step into the Lethwei ring.
In the normal world, Leduc would be considered a psycho, but you don’t become the King of Lethwei by being normal or average. You need a little psycho in you to fight Lethwei, let alone get to the top and stay there.
Leduc’s next fight is for the Myanmar Lethwei World Championship on August 19, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar. He will be taking on Thailand’s Diesellek Seepongsert, a former Rajadamnern and WMC champion.