Buakaw Banchamek will make his eagerly awaited return to Rajadamnern Stadium on August 19th. The two time K-1 max winner has been booked to face Kota Miura in an exhibition kickboxing contest.

Buakaw has not fought in Rajadamnern since 2004. Back then he was a successful fighter on the Muay Thai scene but had only just made his kickboxing debut.

Three months later his life would change forever when Buakaw beat Masato to win the K-1 Max tournament:

Famous father

He went on to win the K-1 Max tournament two times and Buakaw has also won a kickboxing tournament with Kunlun. He returned to Thailand to compete with Thai Fight and has become one of the most recognizable sporting stars in the country.

Buakaw is also booked to compete in bare knuckle boxing at Rajadamnern but this bout with Miura is billed as ‘exhibition kickboxing’. It remains to be seen whether this will be a competitive fight or just a glorified sparring session.

Miura was booked to compete on Rizin 37 last weekend. He is the son of one of Japan’s most successful football players, Kazuyoshi Miura, and his decision to become a professional mixed martial artist has made headlines there.

He is coming of a successful MMA debut at Rizin 33. Miura beat Yushi by soccer kick in a performance which would have made his footballer father proud:


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New direction

Miura does not appear to have ever competed in kickboxing or Muay Thai before. So if this was a competitive fight it would be a bit of a mismatch but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

The event will also feature music with Thailand’s ‘godfather of hip hop’ Joey Boy performing. Rajadamnern Stadium has had a complete makeover in recent months with a state of the art sound system and lighting rig installed.

The stadium has also permitted female fighters to compete for the first time in its history. It opened its doors in 1945 and has remained a mecca for Muay Thai fans ever since.

Everyone in the industry suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic with no tourists coming to Thailand. The first major clusters in the country originated in the two main Bangkok stadium and it has taken a long time for the sport to get back on its feet.

But Muay Thai is back in a big way and with a modern twist. So is Buakaw and he will be competing at Rajadamnern again for the first time in 18 years.