BANGKOK – Ashley Nichols has earned her most impressive victory to date by taking the World Professional Muay Thai Federation super flyweight title in Bangkok.
The five-round unanimous decision win over homegrown Saifar Sor.Sparat came during the Prince’s Cup, one of three massive Muay Thai tournaments held in honour of the country’s royal family.
The 26-year-old even received an honorary picture of Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn himself, as well as the belt.
“It’s a huge milestone,” said her coach Chris Kew, of MAS Thai Boxing in Cambridge. “She’s the first Canadian woman to hold a professional world title in Thailand.”
Like the former champ, Nichols too likes to fight in the clinch. But she changed her approach and focused on boxing and low kicks in the title bout. The strategy paid off.
“Ashley kept the pressure and the work rate hard and didn’t give her opponent a chance to clinch or throw elbows,” said Kew. “It was a long time coming.”
Nichols trained for four weeks in Galt before a three-week camp at Kaewsamrit Gym in Thailand. She plans to stay on for another month in preparation for her next challenge — the World Combat Games in St. Petersburg, Russia in mid-October.
After that, Nichols hopes to continue to pursue mixed martial arts and may train in California under Brazilian Jiu Jitsu guru Cesar Gracie.
MEDLER GETS TUF: Kitchener’s Derek Medler has applied for a slot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s upcoming The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia. The ongoing reality show has produced some of the biggest stars in the UFC and this edition will feature Medler’s 170-pound welterweight class as well as middleweights (185).
Medler hasn’t fought in a few years due, in part, to injuries but is healthy and remains undefeated with a perfect 7-0 record. The former Wilfrid Laurier University running back is considered one of the top welterweights in the country outside of the UFC. If he clears the application process, tryouts begin in September and the show is expected to air early next year.
RINGSIDE RESULTS: Waterloo resident Lucas Rowe, who trains under Syd Vanderpool, has picked up two wins through the first two days of the Ringside World Championships in Independence, Missouri. The annual tournament, now in its 13th year, is a pugilist party featuring some 1,500 boxers from the United States and Canada.
Rowe defeated Mike Goins of Columbus and Florida’s Charles Mahdi at 152 pounds in the men’s open 19-40 category in his first two bouts. The tournament wrapped up Friday night.
Puslinch’s Paul Rasmussen (201 lbs.) also picked up a win in the men’s open division. Kitchener’s Alan Yescas and Tanvir Kahlon and Elmira’s Terrell Piper all lost their matches on the opening two days.
JABS: UFC lightweight Aaron Riley has retired. He went 3-6 with the promotion. … Bellator will broadcast its first pay-per-view card on Nov. 2 and the outfit is hoping to attract some nostalgic fans by pitting former UFC veterans Tito Ortiz against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event. … Here’s a great quote from Jose Aldo at a recent UFC news conference. When asked if the featherweight champ feels the responsibility of holding the strap he replied: “Yes I feel the burden of the belt. It weighs nine kilos, it’s great!” … Aldo and challenger Chan Sung Jung both made weight Friday and will square off for the title today at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.