Earlier this year, a rumor surfaced that two time K-1 MAX champion Buakaw Por. Pramuk was potentially leaving K-1 MAX at the end of this year. Now, that rumor has popped up again based on a quote from Buakaw’s trainer Banluesak Cheanyim: “Buakaw’s contract will end after this tournament and he’ll probably fight in Europe afterwards.” Buakaw also visited China recently for the opening of a new Por. Pramuk gym where he indicated that he might be fighting more in China in the near future, leading some to speculate that his K-1 obligations were coming to an end. Buakaw addressed this rumor earlier this year and denied it, but as it persists, it it worth addressing.
A large factor in this discussion is the K-1 idea that you can only have one Thai fighter in the organization at a time. The fact that Thailand, home to many of the best stand-up fighters in the world, is subject to this ridiculous quota, while no other nation is treated the same way is unfortunate, but is, sadly, a long held belief in K-1. The idea is that if Buakaw is to leave, that will free things up for a new, fresh Thai star to take his place – likely the top 10 ranked Yodsaenklai Fairtex.
While Yodsaenklai would be a great addition to K-1 MAX, the departure of Buakaw would be unfortunate. It’s still far too vague to know the truth, but it will certainly add some extra intrigue to Buakaw’s run at becoming the first ever three time MAX champion on October 26.