The United States Muay Thai Open (USMTO) at SUNY Old Westbury in Westbury, New York, was one of the most well run tournaments I have had the pleasure of going to. Completely action packed Muay Thai bouts with competitors from all over the United States and abroad. Sanctioned by the United States Muay Thai association (USMTA), every fighters well-being was of the utmost importance and it showed. A packed house both days, these talented young fighters put on a display of athleticism that will lead them to professional careers.
Three rings and over 300 competitors, one might think this could have been a show with a ton of glitches. On the contrary, this show ran so smoothly, between the officiating and the USMTO owners being on hand the entire weekend, the fighters got a big taste of a big event. The respect between fighters and their coaches was palpable, before and after their matches, the fighters bowed and embraced each other in kind words of encouragement and congratulations. There is no other sport where respect is one of, if not the most important aspects of the game, or fight game, it was truly an honor to be able to watch with pride, and excitement. The youngest competitors being 8 years old were one of my favorite parts of the whole event. They were so happy to be fighting on that kind of platform and so respectful of their opponents, win or lose they took it and learned to fight another day. In my eyes there was only winners at the United States Muay Thai Open, anyone who got into one of the three rings gave it their all, and with such passion, you could see how much fun they were having. The championship belts bestowed on the winners were beautiful, a prize the winners had displayed on them while walking around talking with their coaches teams and families. On hand to call all the action, the talented Larry Legend was the voice for the weekend and if you have not heard Larry before this, you certainly will not forget him after.