How Edgar Tabares Used Taekwondo To Become A Muay Thai Star

How Edgar Tabares Used Taekwondo To Become A Muay Thai Star
Mexican Muay Thai artist Edgar Tabares will get thrust into the spotlight at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5. Tabares will make his ONE Championship debut against Rodtang Jitmuangnon for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship.

But his road to the spotlight started humbly when he was nine years old. The oldest of four siblings, Tabares began his martial arts journey in taekwondo. However, a shift in the family's financial forecast would see him pivot to the "art of eight limbs."

"When I was nine, due to the fact that I was bullied, my parents took me to taekwondo school. So I started with taekwondo. It was over two, maybe three years, but we had some financial problems. My father couldn't pay the taekwondo bills, so we had to move. And then my uncle, my professor in Muay Thai and my teacher, he told me that he would pay for my classes, and he told me, 'Hey, come on, let's train,'" said Tabares.

"I started with kickboxing and boxing. I did Muay Thai. But at this time, in Mexico, Muay Thai wasn't known. You'd ask, 'Muay Thai, what is that? Is it like karate? No, sorry.' So we started fighting kickboxing and boxing."

When he decided to chase his martial arts dream, his mother was apprehensive. However, the supportive family dynamic gave Tabares a solid foundation of trust and support to allow him to pursue his calling.

"Yeah, my mom wasn't very happy when I told her that I wanted to be a pro fighter. But she always supports me. My father, yes, he was like, 'If you are going to do it, you are going to be the best. You have to do your best. Give everything.' That was so good because they taught me that, and that's what I want to teach my daughter," said Tabares.

"In every step that I took, I was very careful. Because I am the eldest, I am an example if I say something. I am the person that my siblings follow. And when I started to take my career as a fighter seriously, the three other siblings became focused on me a little bit more."

Tabares found that his early taekwondo lessons paid off inside the ring. It gave him a solid base to work from and gave him an early edge on his opponents.

His coaches took note of his natural abilities and honed his game around what he was already bringing into the ring.

"Yeah, for sure. I was a taekwondo fighter. I was pretty good. But when I started kickboxing and Muay Thai, I was so elastic [flexible]. I don't know how to say it in English. My kicks were so good; it's very high-level," said the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title challenger.

"It was so good, and my teachers were like, 'Oh my God, you kick so good, and you only need to practice boxing because if you combine your boxing and your kicks, you'll be so cool.' It was good. It was something exciting because mixing kickboxing and Muay Thai techniques with strength and everything that taekwondo gives you it's something good. In my opinion, it's something."

The 28-year-old's string of successes has led him to the global stage. In ONE's U.S. debut on Prime Video, Tabares will get to show the world what he can do against "The Iron Man."

Although he cherishes the love and respect of Muay Thai, he is coming to shock the world and claim the gold Rodtang has proudly worn in recent years.

"I don't know if Rodtang is going to [read] this, but it's hard to knock me down. It's very hard," said Tabares.

ONE Fight Night 10 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, May 5. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.

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