Clinch Clinic – Phetjee Jaa O. Meekhun vs Nongbrai Gogiathuawaa
Above is the full video of Phetjee Jaa’s Loi Krathong fight (Nov. 6, 2014), where she gave up about 5 kilos to her opponent. She’s been banned from fighting boys any longer and her experience and strength has resulted in the female opponents she gets being much larger than she is – she’s gained a lot of notoriety from her defeat of boys on national TV before the ban. In this fight I was actually up on the corner of the ring, filming. I clinch a lot with Jee Jaa (I’m about 14 kilos heavier – 30 lbs) and she is a demon – throwing me around and giving me serious problems despite my size – and she’s probably the best female clincher in the world, despite being only 12 years old; she’ll turn 13 on New Year’s Eve this year.
In this fight she seemed to have some difficulty with her opponent’s size until she just turned it on and overwhelmed her in the 3rd. She was “coasting” a bit in the first round, kind of as a hustle for the gamblers, and comes out stronger in round 2. Her opponent was quite good though, so the difficulties are real, regardless of “coasting.” You can see how in the 3rd she changed dimensions, dragging her opponent forward to make space and also turning her, whipping her down. Below are GIFs of the final knees, one in regular time and one slowed down. Jee Jaa had just dispirited Nongbrai by throwing her to the canvas and launching a late knee that touched her opponent’s face. In the final move she ends it in a quick clinch ballet.
Her opponent’s will is fragile at this point and Phetjee Jaa’s technique is text-book. Jee Jaa closes the distance with her guard up and her elbows rise just as she reaches Nongbrai’s arms, extended in her own guard; Jee Jaa basically pushes in with her elbows up and parts Nongbrai’s arms, then Jee Jaa gets her gloves on the elbows and peels her opponent’s arms down to her sides, leaving her completely open down the middle. The Jee Jaa skips her own hips back and simultaneously yanks Nongbrai’s body forward, headfirst. Then she launches her straight knee, which lands sharp right at the low abdomen. This clearly hurts her opponent, who drops her left arm down to cover; but Jee Jaa is already pivoting 180 degrees and pulling her hips back deeply for another hard knee on the same spot. She used this drag back effectively earlier in the round, nullifying the waist grab that had some success against her in the earlier rounds, and here she just ends with it. Watching her live in the stadium it felt like Jee Jaa had just shifted from second to third gear and had quite a few more speeds she could access, if needed. I’ve been nailed by a few of Phetjee Jaa’s more earnest knees, but probably never one at full power. Very, very sharp knees, driven by the hip and coil of the body.
You can read more about Phetjee Jaa and my experience of knowing her in my Phetjee Jaa archive.