Malaipet Sasiprapa (144-27-6) has been a staple of Lion Fight Muay Thai since the promotion held its inaugural event dubbed “Battle of the Desert” in February 2011. At Lion Fight 12 on Nov. 1, Malaipet will look to capture the promotion’s very first welterweight title when he collides with Fabio Pinca (89-21-4).
From 2010 until Lion Fight 6, Malaipet faced a downturn in his career where he went 1-4-1. But, from the moment he stepped into the ring at Lion Fight 6, something changed. Malaipet had found his fire and captured a win over Justin Greskiewicz.
Including that fight, Malaipet has compiled a 5 fight win streak. His commanding presence inside the ring shows his challengers that he has plans of crushing their hopes to defeat him.
At Lion Fight 11 last month, Malaipet TKO’d Caio Uruguai in under two minutes. The Fresno gym owner credited his resurgence, not just to his friends, but to Lion Fight as well.
“I really love them, I really respect them. [Lion Fight] is not from the Thai country, but [they] love Muay Thai and they promote Muay Thai in America. That’s the thing I’m really proud and happy.”
“Scott Kent’s like family. Anytime, I’ll always fight his shows. I don’t know how times [I have], but them really take of us good and all the fighters are really happy. And any show I fight, I always do the best I can,” said Malaipet.
“Before, I didn’t care about myself too much,” Malaipet added. “I fought to pretty much have fun. I was a lazy person, I don’t want to train because I wanted to play around pretty much before. But now, I’m really serious about fighting…I know all my friends, they followed up on me, but I never paid attention. But now, I have to pay a lot of attention to all my friends. My friends and everybody who woke me up.”
The 32-year-old hails out of Surin, Thailand and holds various world championships including the Rajadamnern Stadium Championship. Once he was in America, Malaipet admitted that keeping up with the daily grind of running his own gym, training and competing began to wear him down and made him want to quit.
“Pretty much before when I fight in Thailand, we’re pretty much born to fight. You have to be a fighter. You have to make money. You have to make your name. You win or lose, it’s about honor. In Thailand, you’re looking forward [to it],” said Malaipet.
Somehow, grueling everyday life just started to catch up with him and made him lose his passion for putting on show stopping performances. However, Malaipet said from the very day he began competing under the Lion Fight banner, everything turned around.
“Now I come ready to fight in the states and I have a lot of people, like Lion Fight, who like how I am. And that’s the thing that woke me up. There were people like ‘Come on, wake up man. I want to see you. I want to see you win at Muay Thai,” Malaipet stated. “So you guys want to see that, I’ll do it.”
When he steps into the Lion Fight 12 main event to meet France’s Muay Thai champion, Fabio Pinca, Malaipet has every intention of being the one with his hand raised.
“I have more experience than him and Fabio, the thing I’ll tell you, is Muay Thai comes from Thailand. It comes from my country. He’s not from Thailand, but he love Muay Thai inside, like a Thai person. To me, that’s a good thing. I saw him fight and the guy have pretty good name…because he fought a lot of Thai guys and Fabio Pinca, now he’s fighting me. But somebody’s saying Fabio Pinca’s better than me. To me, I don’t listen to everybody else. To me, I say, “Ok, he’s good. I’m good. We’ll go in the ring and prove ourselves in the ring’.”
Ultimately, Malaipet said he plans to use combinations and Thai boxing that will confuse Pinca’s game plan and give him an edge. Fans shouldn’t be surprised if Malaipet finds a way to knock out Pinca in dramatic fashion.
Lion Fight 12 will take place this Friday, Nov. 1 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Joint Theater. Malaipet vs. Pinca will battle in the main event for the promotion’s inaugural welterweight title.
Tickets are still available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office. Call Ticketmaster 800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster.com for details. Doors open at 4:15pm PT on Friday, Nov 1.