Namkabuan Muay Thai

Legendary muay Thai boxer Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyuth passed away Wednesday at the age of 48 after a battle with lung cancer. Namkabuan, whose real name was Kampiaw Sijantuek, was considered one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport holding the Lumpinee Stadium junior lightweight championship for six years before retiring with the belt.

Starting his career in the shadow of his older brother, the famed boxer Namphon Nongkeepahuyuth, Namkabuan would also make a name for himself as an all-time champion credited with a career record of 266-15-2. Known as "The Ring Genius" for his exceptional defense and "The Plowman" for his ability to catch opponent's kicks and run them across the ring on one leg before delivering a strike, Namkabuan fought many of the top boxers in what's considered muay Thai's golden age of the 1980s and 1990s. Among those he beat during his career are Thai boxing legend Sakmongkol Sithchuchok and Dutch kickboxing star Ramon Dekkers.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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