Eddie Farrell is the definition of a combat sports fighter. The Australian is a highly decorated Muay Thai fighter along with his wife Brooke, and they have won numerous world titles between them. A few years ago, Farrell completed his transition to Lethwei and has fought some of the sports best within that short time frame.
He spoke to The Body Lock about his Lethwei career, wanting to fight Dave Leduc and potentially competing in Bare Knuckle Boxing.
Wanting to fight Leduc
The ancient sport of Lethwei is a bloody, brutal yet beautiful form of art being expressed by more and more athletes each and every year. Competing bare knuckle with the addition of headbutts can inflict severe damage on both participants and is a risk only a select group of people are willing to make.
Fighting in Lethwei while juggling a successful Muay Thai career is challenging, but Eddie Farrell wouldn’t change it for the world. He hasn’t competed in the sport since November 2017, where he lost a controversial split decision to Saw Nga Man. Despite this, the 29-year-old is making his return to Burmese bare-knuckle boxing and is excited about his upcoming bout.
“My next Lethwei fight will be in the U.K actually, in England, on July 27. I think its the first time they’ve brought Lethwei to a western country so it’s pretty cool.”
Farrell is correct – it will be the first time Lethwei has been brought to a western country. The British Lethwei Association, which is the sanctioning body of the sport, was officially founded this year, and it only makes sense to celebrate with a major event.
The event is being held at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, England, and will be under the World Bare Fist Boxing (WBFB) banner.
Unknown by many, the Australian is a former training partner of the best Lethwei fighter on the planet, Dave Leduc. He commented on Leduc’s upcoming bout with UFC veteran Seth Baczynski and the possibility of fighting his former teammate.
“I think Leduc will win. It is a better matchup for Leduc [because] the other guy [Baczynski] is 37-years-old and never fought Lethwei before. They want to market that he has beaten a UFC fighter.”
“I called him [Leduc] out and no response. I think it would be a good fight to test him with an aggressive opponent his size.”
As previously mentioned, Farrell has been in the ring with some of the best Lethwei fighters on Earth such as Too Too and Saw Gna Man, going the distance with both. He stated that his favorite fight was with middleweight champion Too Too, which was a great display of the ancient sport.
“He [Too Too] was a good opponent who came to fight, unlike Saw Gna Man who only wanted to clinch, body punch and win a controversial decision that got reviewed.”
Under traditional Lethwei rules, a fight that lasts the full five rounds is declared a draw. However in the World Lethwei Championship promotion, it goes to the judges, hence the two decision losses on the 29-year-old’s Lethwei record. He displayed his eagerness at the thought of rematching both Too Too and Saw Gna Man.
“I’d like to rematch both opponents as they both went the full five rounds, [which is] traditionally called a draw. I am entitled [to a] rematch.”
Thankfully for both the competitors and fans, the sport of Lethwei is slowly but surely seeping into western televisions, with sites such as UFC Fight Pass starting to promote events.
Along with the growth of Lethwei is bare-knuckle boxing, a sport that is rising in the entertainment industry. To recognize the similarities between the two sports is not rocket science, but the thought of fighters transitioning from one to another is electrifying.
“I got asked to fight Jimmy Sweeney, the current [BKFC] champion, but at too low of a weight,” disclosed Farrell.
The fight would’ve taken place at the O2 arena in London, England, and undoubtedly could have been ‘Fight of the Night.’
The future for Lethwei is looking brighter than ever as it expands into western culture. Eddie Farrell himself is at the forefront of the operation and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.
Lethwei will make its British debut on July 27 in Manchester, England. Stay tuned for more updated in the coming months.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.