"Next week, Thailand will host its first major professional mixed martial arts event, with 9 fights and performances by 2 of Thailand's most popular music groups. For years, the country has unofficially banned #MMA in an effort to protect traditional Muay Thai kickboxing. MMA, one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, combines boxing with wrestling, jujitsu, taekwondo, Muay Thai and other disciplines. Attacks are allowed both standing and on the ground. In Muay Thai, fighters can use punches, kicks, elbows and knees from a standing position only. Muay Thai has been viewed as the sport of the masses in Thailand, and many fighters come from poor, rural areas. @aaronjoelsantos photographed Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, a local fight legend, loosening up with a punching bag at Bangkok Fight Lab in the Thai capital. Dejdamrong will defend his strawweight title in the MMA event next week, fighting Yoshitaka Naito of Japan." By nytimes on Instagram.
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