Little Tiger and the State of Female Muay Thai Pinweight Championships
Who’s the Champ?
This post is an attempt to straighten out the female Muay Thai Pinweight Championship picture, as it stands, but it is pretty complicated and not the easiest to follow. But if I don’t write it, it’s even harder to follow so I thought I’d give it a try.
Last night Little Tiger of Japan fought for and won the vacant WMC Pinweight Muay Thai Championship belt. Pinweight is my weight class (45.45 kg, 100 lbs) or at least the class closest to my actual weight, though I seldom face opponents that size – I follow it as closely as I can. The fight was in Tokyo against Porkaew Tor. Niyomsuk from Thailand whose name I recognize as a prominent fighter from reading Muay Siam and seeing her name frequently, but I’ve never seen her fight. The win was by TKO in the 2nd round. Little Tiger is also listed as the WPMF world champion by virtue of beating the Thai fighter named “Pizza” (who I like very much), a fight that was for both the WMC and WPMF titles in September of 2013. Pizza is pretty good. In fact, after her loss Pizza turned around and beat Little Tiger definitively in a rematch in Thailand, a really nice performance, which you can see below. I think the fight in the video is for the WMC title – so it looks like there is a little organizational switching back and forth. Lose one belt, win another. Win one belt, vacate the title, etc. In their second fight it looked like Little Tiger was just not prepared to handle the low clinch and Pizza dominates:
Little Tiger fought for the “vacated” WMC belt on Sunday, which she had lost to Pizza only a few months before (video above), but Pizza has apparently vacated the title by switching sports in order to focus on boxing (perhaps for 2016 Olympics; just ruminating, but how cool would that be?) so now Little Tiger stands as the WMC Pinweight World Champion, for what it seems is the 2nd time (the highlight video at bottom shows her as champion in 2012). As I mentioned previously, Little Tiger is also listed as the WPMF Pinweight Champion but this is not without complication, also. The site also lists The Star Sor. Kliminee as the “Interim” WPMF Pinweight world champion, by virtue of beating the Japanese version of PhetJee Jaa (a very young phenom with a bazillion fights), Saya Ito, on December 4th of 2013. This is Star who I fought in a very close fight two months ago in Pattaya, 12 days before fighting Mini-Flyweight Champion (?) Lomanee Sor. Hurin . You can see my fight with Star below – I consider it one of my best – I wrote about it here.
Again, I’m not sure why there is an Interim Champion, and also a full champion for the WPMF, but it looks like Little Tiger currently holds both belts in a way. I updated the WMC titles wikipedia page as the WMC website does not seem to have a functioning rankings page.
To recap, Little Tiger currently holds both the WMC and WPMF world titles at Pinweight (45.5 – 100 lbs), while Star Sor. Kliminee holds a legitimate claim as challenger to a title. Perhaps Little Tiger will face Star in the near future and solidify the WPMF championship, or Pizza will come back from boxing to face Little Tiger and fight a rubber match between them.
For me it all doesn’t really matter much. I’m just happy that I’m fighting opponents at championship level at my weight class (Star), and a few above my weight class by one or two degrees (Lommanee “Cherry”, Cherry [a different Cherry], Tanonchanok). It’s pretty amazing.
About Little Tiger
Charlie of has a very nice short piece on the 30 year old Little Tiger for those interested in her background and how she came to fighting, and above is a highlight reel of some of her fights. Charlie also interviewed Little Tiger where she talks a little about how much she likes to fight and train in Thailand. For those following me I’ve had an eye on Little Tiger’s countrywoman Erika Kamimura, even studying her left hand, dreaming of one day being good enough to fight and beat her; a big dream. Erika is currently the WPMF Mini Flyweight champ. At the time I began focusing on Erika I didn’t even fully realize that there was a weight class below that, Pinweight. And honestly, at my size I could fight in a weight class below even that, if one existed (44 kg – 97 lbs). There are a few of us at this weight, I suspect. Maybe these sanctioning bodies can make a division.
[Update: Charlie of cjsreport.blogspot.com tells me that Little Tiger fought and lost to Erika back in 2007. This is the awesome video I think selling a copy of the fight. It is full on Japanese in style]