On January 31 at WLC: Battlebones, highly decorated Muay Thai competitor Naimjon Tuhtaboyev successfully took his Lethwei career to new heights, edging out a split decision victory over the dominant and menacing champion Too Too in the main event. This win earned him the World Lethwei Championship’s middleweight crown on top of taking out the pound-for-pound best fighter.
Too Too entered the bout with the middleweight strap, as well as an immensely impressive record of 39 wins, 26 draws, and no defeats. Because he was undefeated, the undisputed middleweight champion, and the winningest fighter in the promotion’s history, the Burmese national was often referred to as the sports consensus pound-for-pound best. Despite all of this momentum, Tuhtaboyev was eager to snatch every achievement from the hands of the champion, and he did just that.
The pair first met back in 2014 under Muay Thai rules, and on that day it was Naimjon Tuthaboyev who walked away with the victory. Although Thai kickboxing and Lethwei share slightly similar rules and set of skills, their second fight would be much, much different.
Tuthaboyev told The Body Lock before the scheduled contest: “I am better [than him] in every way. There is no way he is better than me. I am so confident going into this fight.”
Becoming middleweight champion would not only please Tuthaboyev and his camp but the people of his native Uzbekistan: “[I am] looking forward to bringing the very shiny gold lethwei belt back to Uzbekistan. The people there will be so proud and so amazed.”
It soon became undoubtedly clear that the Muay Thai fighter wasn’t just interested in representing himself and his team, but the entire nation of Uzbekistan, and after five grueling rounds – featuring plenty of headbutts and electrifying combinations – Tuthaboyev was crowned champion.
Full results from WLC 11: Battlebones:
- Naimjon Tuthaboyev def Too Too via split decision to win the WLC middleweight title
- Somiong Luktupfah def Sok Rith via TKO (body shots)
- Souris Manfredi def Tran Thi Lua via KO
- Samuel Toscano def Saw Kaung Htet via split decision
- Hein Tun Aung def Em Sothy via unanimous decision
- Saw Hla Min def Tun Lin Aung via TKO
- Eh Mwe def Thar Win Tun by KO
- Lin Htet Naing def Zin Bo via unanimous decision.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.