On Friday, March 2nd, 2018, Friday Night Fights will be the first Muay Thai promotion to stream LIVE on UFC Fight Pass. Proof of the continuing growth of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in the US! In this special episode, Vinny and Eric speak with Friday Nights Fights (FNF) promoter Justin Blair to discuss this historic event for US Muay Thai and the guys also speak with the two stars of the main event, Phoenix, Arizona’s Travis Clay and New Jersey’s very own, Ognjen Topic. Two top American talents facing off in the ring of one of the longest running Muay Thai shows in America, LIVE on UFC Fight Pass! Support the Sport, tune in, and continue showing these networks that it is worth their time and money to continue broadcasting Muay Thai. The promoters and fighters are doing their part to grow the sport, we have to do ours!
by Drew Winkler
Weight: 10 Oz’s
Colors: Blue and red
Material: 100% premium Cowhide Leather
Handmade in Thailand (HMIT)
Retail price: $109.99
Combat Corner was founded in 2007 by former professional MMA fighter Dan LaSavage. Since then, it has become one of the top manufacturers in martial arts equipment, sponsoring the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Ben Askren. They take great pride in the durability of their products, using only the finest raw materials to ensure lasting quality.
The CC Competition boxing gloves are only sold in blue and red, providing few choices. As for the color distribution, it varies depending on what part of the glove you’re looking at. For example, on the blue pair, the trimming is lighter than on other parts of the glove. This might bother some, but I personally enjoy the contrast. That being said, it’s only a minor difference. Aside from the trimmings and the top part of the glove, the rest is dark black leather, which allows the blue to really pop. On the thumb is a white insignia with an outline of Thailand and a caption reading, “Hand Made in Thailand” and beneath that, “Premium Quality.” The strap also reminds the customer of the quality and origin of these gloves as it features a similar insignia and a Combat Corner in gold stitching. In short, aside from a few distinguishing features, these gloves have a pleasantly simple appearance.
They’re made from 100% cowhide leather and multi-layered foams. The toughness of the leather makes them highly resistant to scratches and other kinds of superficial damage. As for the foam inserts, they are extremely durable and excellent at absorbing tough blows. You’ll typically want to avoid using competition gloves for bag-work as this particular activity tends to cause the greatest amount of wear and tear. But the combination of cowhide leather and multi-layered foam inserts makes them tougher and better suited for bag work than your usual pair of competition gloves.
Both the grip bar and outside padding on these are accentuated, even more so than on some 12 and 14oz gloves. This provides greater protection while punching and in situations where you’re forced to take kicks on the gloves. This makes sense considering they were designed with competition in mind, where the risk of injury is always heightened. So in terms of protection, these gloves score high. Another thing I noticed is that its Velcro surface extends under the wrist, providing a tighter fit. This feature makes these gloves accessible to people with varying wrist sizes. One drawback is that it tends to leave a lot of exposed Velcro, and since Velcro is a very coarse material, this can cause your opponent or training partner rug-burn when clinch fighting.
Initially, these gloves were extremely tight and provided little to no wiggle room. This made it harder to open and close my hands while wearing them, making the following tasks more difficult: closing your fists at the end of punches, spreading your hands when throwing elbows, navigating the clinch, and lastly, catching and parrying kicks. All of these require the ability to open and close your hands with ease. Thus, the initial tightness of the gloves was an inconvenience. That being said, this became less of a problem with time and continued use. Eventually, the foam inserts began to soften, the leather stretched a bit, and the gloves themselves gained a looser and more comfortable feel. In other words, the comfortability of these gloves really depends on how often they’re used.
Combat Corner’s 10oz competition gloves were clearly designed with efficiency in mind. The materials used to construct these gloves are incredibly durable, providing lasting quality and continued protection over time. The only drawback to this is that they’re initially very stiff, and, in comparison to other gloves, take longer to break in. But after a few months of consistent use, maximum comfort is added to their overall quality.
In this episode of the podcast, Eric & Vinny speak with USMF President Michael “Chase” Corley and Muaythai Youth Academy co-creator Patrick Rivera. Both of these gentlemen have played a major role in growing Muay Thai in the United States as well as pushing Muay Thai towards getting recognized by the USOC (United State Olympic Committee). Michael and Patrick both feel that the future of American Muaythai lies in establishing a template and/or path for our youth Muay Thai athletes to get prepared, from an early age, for both national and international competition. In this episode, we discuss the importance of the USMF’s Youth Development League, the upcoming Muaythai Youth Academy workshop at Patrick’s Valor Training Center in Stockton, California, and we also discuss the phenomena performance by 4 of America’s young female Muaythai athletes at a recent event in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Listen, learn, and believe, as the path to exponential growth of American Muay Thai is explained here on this podcast!
In this episode of The Striking Corner, Vinny and Eric speak with promoter, coach, gym owner, and entrepreneur, Eddie Cuello! Eddie has long been a friend of the podcast and The Striking Corner as Eric at one time fought on Eddie’s old Take On Productions promotion and also served as a commentator on various shows. In this podcast, the guys discuss Eddie’s growth from the days of Take On Productions to his new venture as a promoter of Triumph Kombat, as well as owning and coaching at his two locations of Rebel Thaiboxing in Long Island, New York in addition to other projects he works on. The guys talk East Coast Muay Thai, pro vs. amateur opportunities, Eddie’s PROMISE to fly Eric out to New York for the next Triumph Kombat Card, and Vinny teaches Eric to properly pronounce Madison Square Garden. Enjoy fight fans!
In the first episode of 2018, we decided we needed to start off the new year of The Striking Corner right! And who better to kick off 2018, then CSA Gym owner and head coach extraordinaire, Kirian Fitzgibbons! “Coach K”, as he is known to his many students and peers, is without a doubt one of the top striking coaches in North America, coaching the likes of Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolaños, Zoila Frausto, Zach Bunnell, Eddie Abasolo, Alexis Davis, Miriam Nakamoto, and the list goes on and on. Coach K has been a huge part of the growth of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America for quite some time. He knows all the players and has seen it all. He is very passionate about combat sports, his students, and his brand. He pulls no punches when giving his opinions, takes no bullshit, and we love him for it. Yet for some, his take no prisoners attitude rubs them the wrong way however the success of his gym, his fighters, and his system cannot be denied. In this episode, we discuss everything from his background in combat sports and defensive tactics to the state of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America. We also discuss why many fighters need to stop bitching, understand that in combat sports you have to learn to promote yourself and that there truly is no secret to success, it’s all about hard work, structure, and the occasional usage of the term “motherfucker!” Enjoy!
In this episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with the Head Coach of Boxings Works in Torrance, California and the USMF National Team, Bryan Popejoy. Bryan is considered one of the top Muay Thai coaches in the US and the guys we were definitely honored to have him as a guest on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss Bryan’s background in Muay Thai, the history of Boxing Works, the California Muay Thai scene in the 1990’s, the definition of “Traditional Muay Thai”, fighting with pads, and much more!