Originally posted at HeadKickLegend.com
This is an interesting little development for North American fans of stand-up fighting - the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has developed a Muay Thai Advisory Committee. This committee will present the ABC with a proposed set of unified rules for Muay Thai at the commission's July 2010 conference. These rules would be used "in North America for all professional and amateur muay thai contests." Details of the rules are currently under negotiation.
The committee is headed up by Nick Lembo, who also was one of the main supporters of the unified rules of mixed martial arts, which you now see in use at the UFC and virtually all other North American MMA organizations.
What exactly would this mean for Muay Thai in North America? Well, for starters, it would give an air of legitimacy to what is a largely unknown fighting style in this area. Right now, Muay Thai and all kickboxing runs a very distant 3rd to boxing and MMA in the US where exposure and popularity are concerned. By gaining the ABC's stamp of approval, the doors would be open for more Muay Thai style shows to be put on. With the international success of The Contender Asia, there is perhaps a growing market for Muay Thai rules in the US. Already this year we've seen the announcement of the biggest Muay Thai show in the US in years - with unified rules in place will more shows like this follow?
It's silly to think that simply coming up with rules will suddenly increase the popularity of such a niche part of combat sports. But by granting athletic commissions the kind of rules needed to approve shows in their area, the ABC will open the door for an increased number of higher profile fighters and shows to take place. Don't expect to see huge changes overnight, but this is definitely a positive development for North American fans looking for local acceptance of Muay Thai and stand-up fighting.