Ky Hollenbeck seems to have taken on the role of the “all around nice guy” of American Muay Thai. While some fighters aren’t known to pull any punches when it comes to talking about things that may bother them, Ky seems to be the more soft spoken and affable of America’s current Muay Thai elite. Consistently praising his opponents, while also taking every fight as a learning experience that will further fuel his growth as a Muay Thai fighter, Ky rarely, if ever, speaks ill of opponents or has a negative opinion on anything for that matter. Maybe it’s because Ky doesn’t come from the somewhat chaotic hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, the concrete jungle of New York, or the sandy adult playgrounds of Las Vegas. Maybe it because Ky lives and trains in San Francisco; the birth place of an American Renaissance that culminated with the 1960’s Summer of Love but still remaining synonymous with the bohemian free loving, free thinking, and laid back philosophies of modern American counterculture.
Ky Hollenbeck is far from ever being labeled a “hippie” but his unique and unorthodox fighting style, which currently has him enjoying an undefeated Muay Thai record of 25-0, is definitely in tune with the uniqueness of his hometown.
I had never spoken to Ky before conducting this interview you are going to listen to below, and while Ky has pretty much always been a nice guy, the criticism he sometimes gets is anything but nice. Because of his unique fighting style, more traditional Muay Thai practitioners tend to scoff and downplay his accomplishments. However, in the end, as different as his fighting style may be, he is consistently defeating seasoned Muay Thai fighters and only looks to continue doing so. Being a traditional Muay Thai practitioner myself, I have to admit that I sometimes don’t think Ky’s style is the prettiest demonstration of technique I have ever seen but regardless this is a sport where what you do in the ring, and not what people say outside it, is what really matters. And in that case Ky has truly earned every accolade he has attained in his career.
I found Ky to be a very down-to-earth guy that loves to fight, loves to represent his country, but overall looks to continue to learn from every fight and every opponent. He is definitely a genuine character and I definitely became a bigger fan after speaking with him. He is a great ambassador for the sport and has without any doubt earned his place as one of America’s top nakmuays. Check out the interview below!