Capitan Recalls Muay Thai Journey: ‘It Was Love At First Sight’

Capitan Petchyindee Academy makes ONE Super Series history!

Capitan Petchyindee Academy has spent almost a lifetime achieving accolades in the sport of Muay Thai, but the explosive striker became a global star following his six-second knockout under kickboxing rules in September.

The historic ONE Super Series win also earned the Thai athlete a shot at ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov in the main event of ONE: UNBREAKABLE, which will go down this Friday, 22 January, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

After propelling himself into the spotlight, Capitan now faces the opportunity of a lifetime. And when he attempts to snatch the kickboxing gold away from Ramazanov, he’ll be carrying a deep-rooted history in Thailand’s greatest pastime.

Starting Muay Thai In The Countryside

Capitan was born and raised in the northeast province of Nong Bua Lamphu, Thailand, a region known for its agricultural landscape and small cavernous mountains that poke out from the otherwise flat, green surface.

Thousands of visitors every year visit Nong Bua Lamphu to explore the caves, and after some time, resurface from the depths and return home. For most residents of the province, though, there is no escaping the economic wormhole that runs through the region.

Nong Bua Lamphu is the poorest province in Thailand, where residents earn an average of US$114 a month. Aside from farming, there are not many opportunities for the area’s inhabitants. Not unless you take up Muay Thai, which was the case for young Capitan.

“I watched Muay Thai on Channel 7 and liked it since I was a kid,” he says.

“Then, when I was 9 years old, a Muay Thai instructor named Naklangnoi Sor. Kingstar built a gym near my house.”

Capitan went from watching the sport on TV to practicing the art at Naklangnoi’s gym. After just two months of training, the Thai native went from the gym to the ring.

“I grabbed a chance to fight in the annual temple festival, and that was my first fight. I was nervous, I had no idea what to do, and I was defeated. That was my first KO loss as well,” he admits.

Despite being knocked out in his first fight, Capitan stuck with the sport for good reason.

“I loved it,” he continues. “It was love at first sight, and I was attracted to it. I wanted to improve my skills to be like the fighters on TV.”

With that said, at 10 years old, Capitan left the northeast province to further his skills in the place where all nak muay hope to one day compete.

Succeeding In ‘The Art Of Eight Limbs’

After spending years building his name in Bangkok’s Muay Thai circuit, Capitan began to compete at the city’s esteemed stadiums.

By the time he was a teenager, he competed for the 135-pound Thailand Muay Thai Championship, the 154-pound Isuzu Cup Championship, and the 154-pound WPMF World and Thailand Championships.

The first highlight of his career came when he defeated Detrit Sathian Muaythai Gym for the vacant 154-pound Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Title in June 2019.

“The championship belt from Lumpinee is a goal for every Muay Thai fighter. They aim for a belt from Lumpinee, Rajadamnern, and Thailand. I was proud to bring myself this far,” Capitan says.

“I was proud to fight in front of a bigger audience. I took this chance to show them my skills.”

And that he did.

In fact, Capitan’s run was so impressive that it caught the attention of Nuttadej Vachirarattanawong, better known in the Muay Thai world as Sia Boat.

Renewing His Career At Petchyindee Academy

Just three months after winning the Lumpinee Stadium World Title, Capitan was approached by Sia Boat, the owner of Petchyindee Academy, and was invited to join the legendary camp.

“He was looking for a fighter who was a Lumpinee Champion,” Capitan says.

“He saw something in me and wanted me to join ONE Championship in the 65.8-kilogram weight class. And he saw that my weight was close.

“I accepted because my dream was to join ONE Championship, to show my skills to others.”

Little did Capitan know, the experience at Petchyindee Academy would change his career forever.

Once part of the fabled stable of Muay Thai World Champions, Capitan began learning new ways to build himself into a better fighter – not just through new training methods, but through new eating habits as well.

“I learned about building muscle, increasing power, breathing. Everything was new for me. That totally changed my fighting style,” the Thai star says.

“I never had any support with training like I do at Petchyindee. I never had the chance to join a big gym and get support from a sports scientist. I used to use traditional countryside methods for training.

“My performance increased, and my fighting yielded better results.”

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that his new training routine yielded record-breaking results.

Becoming Famous After A 6-Second KO

As promised, Sia Boat eventually got Capitan a bout at ONE: A NEW BREED III in September 2020. However, it would fall under kickboxing rules and be against Petchtanong Petchfergus, a six-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion with over 400 fights.

Capitan, knowing this would be his chance to showcase his skills on the global stage, accepted the fight without hesitation.

“To be honest, it was my first kickboxing fight. But I knew how to score. I also had experience in amateur boxing,” Capitan says.

Not even the Petchyindee Academy representative knew what the night would bring, though.

As the two men took the center of the ring and touched gloves, Petchtanong threw a lazy jab at Capitan, and the latter parried it down and sent a jab-cross down the corridor, instantly toppling the kickboxing great.

“The movement was smooth,” Capitan says. “It happened in the right place at the right time. I threw it automatically, like slap down, jab, and punch.

“Maybe he was not aware of it. Maybe he did not expect it. I knew it immediately because I landed with full force on his face.”

What was more incredible than Capitan suddenly sending Petchtanong’s feet higher than his head was that he had done it in just six seconds, instantly drafting his name into the ONE Super Series record books for fastest KO.

“It was amazing. He was number one in the world of kickboxing. But I defeated him,” Capitan says.

“People started knowing me. It was different from the past. Nobody knew where Capitan came from. They didn’t even know my real name.

“Now they know I am Capitan, who only fought once in kickboxing and had the fastest [ONE Super Series] KO in 6 seconds.”

Capitan’s Next Quest

On 22 January, Capitan will compete on the global stage for just his second time against a young and hungry World Champion looking to gain the respect of the Thai icon.

The contest will be Capitan’s chance to not only showcase his striking brilliance once again, but to bring full circle a career that started in a province that most people never get to escape.

The man from Nong Bua Lamphu began that journey almost two decades ago, but if you ask him, the real quest starts this Friday.

“Since I started my career, I earned four belts,” Capitan says.

“I am so proud for achieving my goals. But the next step is becoming a World Champion in ONE and keeping the belt with me as long as I can.

“I’ve come this far. My first step is here.”

Read more: How Muay Thai Gave Alaverdi Ramazanov A Purpose In Life

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