I got the chance to catch up with Ian Houillebecq and Chris Whittle (YOKKAO UK Ranked #5) and get a feel for what they think about the upcoming YOKKAO fight. The event is set for YOKKAO 14 the 10th of October at Bolton Macron Stadium. Tickets have been sold out five weeks prior to the event, which goes to show the next level professionalism and Muay Thai marketing YOKKAO is producing. Here is what Chris and Ian had to say: Dom: Who helps you both mentally and physically prepare for a fight? Ian: My coach Dave he pushes all us guys he don't let us miss training when we have fights coming up making sure we are at the gym and pushing ourselves to be the best we can be! Chris: When preparing for a fight my coach Frankie Hudders is the one who prepares us, all of us. It is not just Frank but also the lads and everyone in the gym we are all behind one another in every fight we take! Everyone around me in fight camp help in their own way to ensure I'm in the best possible shape and state I can be whether that be the Gym, Family, Girlfriend, Friends whoever is involved. Together As One!
Dom: What makes this fight different from other bouts you have had? Ian: This fight is on the biggest stage in the UK. I've fought on big shows before but this will be the biggest and most exciting for sure!. Chris: Nothing, every fight I have is the same as the one before. Learning from each fight to ensure a better performance the next time. Dom: Why do you keep coming back to fighting? Ian: I love fighting! If I didn't fight not sure what I'd be doing. It's a great atmosphere in our gym that makes it a great place to train. Chris: Once you have a goal in life you have to fight and aim to achieve that goal. Seeing your inspiration achieve so much throughout their career made me want it more than ever. One day I will be World Champion, that's why I keep coming back. Dom: Where do you pull your inspiration/motivation from? Ian: My motivation is knowing my opponent will be training hard so I've got to prepare the best I can. Chris: Everyday watching the old school Frankie Hudders fight anyone (kaopon lek, Petrosyan, the lot..). But also making my Mum, Dad, Family and everyone supporting proud every time i enter the ring. When I’m training I'm putting in 110% knowing on the night I’m ready all the hard work is done. Dom: When you are in the ring and all the preparation is done, what sort of challenges do you have to overcome to make sure you get the win? Ian: I don't have challenges I just see how the fight is going and listen to my corner. Chris: The challenge is whoever is in front of me, no one is the same. Every fighter is different they have certain weakness and strengths. It's a matter of exploiting them and using their weakness to my strength. That's why having the best corner team is essential and I couldn't ask for a better team there right behind me. That's how we become on top, skills pay the bills. Dom: YOKKAO is great exposure for you as a fighter, how does that make you feel? Ian: It's great to be asked to fight on the YOKKAO show, like I said, it's the biggest show in the world! Chris: YOKKAO Team and Brian Calder are making massive waves in the UK Muay Thai scene and I am pleased to be a part of it. I am excited to be on one of the biggest shows seen on UK soil, top line up. Dom: Do you have anything to say to your upcoming opponent? Ian: No. Chris: I respect Houillebecq. Train hard. See you October 10th.. Well, there we have it. Both Ian and Chris both sound very prepared. Coming from extensive experience in some of the UK’s best gyms, their experience alongside YOKKAO is setting the stage for a very exciting fight! Head over to the newly refurbished shop to see our new and ever expanding range of training gear and apparel: yokkao shop - you can now have the luxury of being one of the first people in the world to have a pair of customised gloves and shorts!! Keep up to date with all things YOKKAO UK by heading over to: