The World Lethwei Championship (WLC) recently confirmed that WBC English Muay Thai champion Toby Bindon has signed for the promotion. Bindon is a rising prospect in the Muay Thai world and boasts a knockout rate of 80 percent.
His recent decision to transition to the sport of Lethwei and sign and multi-fight deal with the LWC may come as a shock, but the 26-year-old has an abiding passion for every martial art.
Bindon spoke to The Body Lock about his decision to join WLC and shared some insight into his plans with the promotion.
“I’ve known about Lethwei for a while,” Bindon said. “The first time I found out about Lethwei was after watching the Tony Jaa film Ong-bak, where he would fight in just his hand wraps or rope, so I started researching, and I came across ‘the art of nine limbs’ that was Lethwei. I used to watch footage of Dave Leduc, and Lethwei fights with my friend Greg. I would always say I’d love to compete in Lethwei for the WLC.”
The World Lethwei Championship was founded in 2015 has since been home to some of the most exciting and influential figures in the sport. WLC is now known as the pre-eminent organization that ‘the art of nine limbs’ has to offer.
“The WLC is the premier league of Lethwei fighting,” Bindon said.
“It is the largest promotion in the world for the sport. They look after their athletes very well from what I have been told and researched. They are also expanding Lethwei worldwide, so I want to be apart of that.”
For most people, the thought of wrapping your hands in thin linen and going to war with another human, particularly a Burmese titan, is utterly ludicrous.
Despite the world’s uncultivated and ignorant view of the sport, Bindon is delighted to put on a show for the Myanmar people and reach the pinnacle of Lethwei.
“Lethwei is the most free-form style of fighting and the most realistic striking art in the world, where you can use your entire body for combat.
“I was born into traditional martial arts where knuckle and bone conditioning was apart of my daily training routine, so choosing to compete in Lethwei appealed to me a lot. I also love the respect and honor that Lethwei stands for.
“I am a competitor and martial artist. Whoever the WLC fans and WLC would like me to fight, I will fight. I want to work my way up to the world title, that is the main goal, but we will take one step at a time, of course.”
Due to the fact Lethwei is bare-knuckle and includes the use of headbutts, it is necessary to condition your body suitably and accurately for the task at hand.
Bindon explained to The Body Lock that he plans to properly condition himself in preparation for his Lethwei bouts, and will incorporate plenty of neck training.
“There will be many adjustments made to my training which my team will all be playing a big part in. Headbutt strikes will be incorporated into my pad work, and lots of body conditioning; mainly knuckles, wrists and fingers. And of course, training my neck a lot.”
“I am a very explosive fighter with a lot of heart, which a lot of Lethwei fighters are known for. I am also very versatile and free in the way that I strike, which is why a lot of people know me as a knockout artist.”
The WLC released a statement exclusively to The Body Lock about their newest signing, and it sounds like the next wave of talent is just around the corner.
“We are going to sign the world’s best strikers. Toby is just the first of a whole roster of recognizable names coming in the near future.”
“We are excited to add Toby Bindon to the World Lethwei Championship family. He is a great fighter, super experienced and I am excited to see how his skills translate to the Lethwei ring. You can expect to see him in the World Lethwei Championship in the near future.”
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.