Your first Muay Thai Fight will be a nerve-wracking experience. Standing opposite your opponent for the first time will be unlike any feeling you have previously felt.
In all honesty, the fight is the easy part, its the physical & mental preparation that is most taxing in the build-up to your first Muay Thai fight.
In this post, I outline 7 tips you can implement in your training to help you perform better and minimize your nerves in the build-up to your first Muay Thai fight.
Don’t Cut Too Much Weight
Weight loss and weight-cutting are very different things. Weight-cutting consists of dehydrating the body to make weight for a fight. Although this enables you to compete in a lower weight class, your body needs sufficient time to rehydrate to perform effectively.
You will likely weigh in on the same day for your first muay Thai fight. Performing a weight cut will leave you dehydrated during your competition and could leave you more susceptible to unnecessary brain damage.
For your first muay Thai fight, you should always fight close to your natural weight to minimise the chance of dehydration and prevent injuries.
There is enough stress surrounding your first fight without worrying about making weight during fight week.
For your first fight, you should fight close to your natural weight. If you do need to drop a weight class, lose weight slowly during your preparation. Why not run a combat specific exercise & nutrition plan.
Train Under The Competition Ruleset
You should strive to recreate the competition environment as closely as possible during training. If your fight is 3x2minute rounds or you are fighting with MMA gloves then you need to adjust your training accordingly.
Make sure you’re used to sparring in your gumshield and groin guard. Unfamiliarity can cause increased stress and decreased performance.
Follow The Game Plan
You have a trainer for a reason, so listen to their advice. They will devise a game plan that utilises your strengths and exploits your opponents potential weaknesses. I
‘ve witnessed many fights that have been won by a fighter utilising one technique effectively.
A good game-plan should be fluid and ready to adapt. Stay calm and follow any adjustments your corner asks for in between rounds.
Have an Interclub or Smoker Fight
Gyms have to promote a safe environment for both hobbyists and Muay Thai fighters. Seeing people brawl and throw heavy shots is frowned upon in most Muay Thai gyms.
Light sparring is good, but how can you win a Muay Thai fight if you cant up the intensity and level of aggression required to win your first fight.
Compete in an interclub first to see how you react to a higher intensity and getting punched in the face.
Strength & Conditioning Will Be Essential
It’s not uncommon when watching an amateur fight that the fighter with the best conditioning emerges victorious. When the technique of fighters is similar, it usually comes down to who has more gas in the tank in the final round.
After my first muay Thai fight, I was physically sick in the locker rooms afterwards as I was unprepared for the level of conditioning required.
You should run a combat specific strength & conditioning program for optimal performance.
Focus On Your Recovery
One aspect that is often underlooked is recovery. Poor recovery will increase the chance of injuries and lead to decreased performance.
Focus on nutrition, sleep and hydration to ensure your recovery is optimal.
Increase Your Training Intensity
If you’re only going to train two times a week for your first muay Thai fight, then you’re in trouble on fight night.
The intensity and level of aggression in a contest is different from anything you will experience in the gym.
Fight-team classes are a great way to train with other fighters looking to sharpen their skills before about. It would help if you increased both the intensity and volume of your training when in fight camp.
Follow the seven tips above to help you prepare for your first Muay Thai fight. Your first fight should be an enjoyable experience, so remember to have fun! The hard part is the training and recovery in the build-up to the competition.
If you’ve trained hard and committed yourself during training camp, there’s nothing else you can do. Remember to focus on your recovery and listen to your instructors guidance. CHOK DEE!
Let me know in the comments below your first muay thai fight experiences!