Saiful Merican (left) will not fight in the Revolution 27 muay thai bout at One World Hotel on May 31 due to a recurring elbow injury . - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Saiful Merican will not feature in Evolution 27 later this month after suffering a recurring elbow injury.
The 27-year-old, nicknamed “The Vampire”, had eagerly anticipated going toe-to-toe against Australia’s top muay thai prospect Dane “Daddy Kool” Beauchamp at Evolution 27 at the One World Hotel here on May 31.
Saiful also missed out on a fight against Thai veteran Rambaa Somdet for the WBC muay thai title last month after the latter suffered an injury.
“I’m really gutted to miss the fight. I’ve been training hard. It’s the first one I’ve had to give up on, but as a fighter, you have to listen to your body. That’s the most important thing. Fighting is not like dancing where you can do it every two days,” said Saiful, who is also a mixed martial arts (MMA) exponent.
He initially picked up the elbow injury during training last year.
Saiful’s doctors have advised him to take an eight-week break, which will lead in to the fasting month in June.
Since the 27-year-old does not fight during Ramadan or during the Hari Raya period, the break looks likely to extend until August.
“Training for the MMA and muay thai is different. If it was the former, I think I still would have been able to fight as I can do takedowns, but muay thai is different ... you fight standing up,” said Saiful.
“It is a long break, but I will use this time to heal and give my body some rest before the next round of fights,” he added.
“But, as tough as it is, I’d much rather take those eight weeks to rest rather than take a fight and get sidelined even longer ... it’s like forcing a car to go long distances and then ending up in the workshop for months.”
Taking Saiful’s place in the below 61kg bout will be fellow Malaysian Amir Naseri.
The five other Evolution 27 fight cards feature five Malaysian fighters. Peruvian Frank Paredes Vilchez takes on Tony Bulgaria in the below 65kg with Ali Yaakub set to clash with Ghot Seur Noi of Thailand in the below 58kg category. Thailand’s Jom Kitti takes on Iranian Vahid Sor Keawsuek (below 65kg) while local boys Kai Chee and Vesul square off in the below 72kg category and Faizal Ramli takes on Aussie Bruce Macfie in the below 75kg tilt.