World Lethwei Championship

World Lethwei Championship (also known as WLC) is a Lethwei promotion based in Yangon, Myanmar.[5]

World Lethwei Championship
TypePrivate
IndustryLethwei promotion
FoundedAugust 2015
Headquarters,
Key people
Erik Alonso (CEO)[1]
Zay Thiha (Chairman)[2]
Sein Phyo Hlaing (Executive Director)[3]
OwnerMyanmar Lekkha Moun Co Ltd[4]
Websitewww.wlc.com.mm

The promotion revolutionized the millennia-old Burmese martial of Lethwei with new innovations to showcase it to the world.[6][7] WLC events combine the historic traditions of Lethwei with live entertainment, pyrotechnics, enticing fighter entrances, music and dancers.[8]

The first World Lethwei Championship event was held on in Yangon, Myanmar. The promotion has produced events all around Myanmar with shows being held in Hpa-an, Yangon, Naypitaw and Mandalay.

HistoryEdit

FormationEdit

The success of ONE Championship's mixed martial arts events in Myanmar caught the eye of Zaykabar Company Vice-Chairman Zay Thiha, who decided to bring world-class Lethwei events the world.[9] The businessman started Lekkha Moun Co in 2015[2] and the World Lethwei Championship was officially founded in August 2017 by Zay Thiha and investors, as a subsidiary of Lekkha Moun Co.[10]

Inaugural eventEdit

In 2017, WLC signed Myanmar's top Lethwei fighters Tun Tun Min & Too Too.[11] The first WLC event, titled WLC 1: The Great Beginning, was held on 3 March 2017 at Mingalardon Event Zone in Mingaladon Township, Yangon, Myanmar.[12][13]

Signing Dave LeducEdit

In March 2019, the promotion announced that it had signed Lethwei superstar Dave Leduc[14] to an exclusive contract.[15] The exclusive contract would make it impossible for him to defend his various titles from other promotions.[16] Leduc held a press conference at the Karaweik Palace in Yangon to announce that he was vacating three of his four Lethwei world titles.[17][18]

For Leduc's promotional debut at WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs, the WLC signed former UFC welterweight Seth Baczynski.[19] Leduc knocked out Baczynski with punches to win the inaugural WLC Cruiserweight Championship.[20] Since the event had a significant viewership success on UFC Fight Pass and won awards in Asia, Leduc received a $50,000 bonus for his performance and marketing efforts.[21]

International expansionEdit

While on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Dave Leduc announced that the organization had plans to host an historical event in the United States.[22] At the pre-fight press conference for WLC 11: Battlebones, WLC executive director Sein Phyo Hlaing revealed plans to expand globally in 2020,[3] beginning with Cambodia,[23] Thailand, Japan and the United States.[24][25] As the promotion expands internationally, it plans to sign even more free-agents with recognizable names to compete in Lethwei.[1]

ONE Championship partnershipEdit

In 2017, the WLC entered into a partnership to share fighters with the mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship.[26]

Women divisionEdit

Cambodia's Nou Srey Pov became the first female winner in World Lethwei Championship, defeating Shwe Sin Min and Shwe Nadi in 2018. [27]

In 2019, WLC announced it will commit to the female Lethwei division with a dedicated female match at every event. It held its first female fight after the announcement featuring France's Souris Manfredi and Eh Yanut from Cambodia at WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs on 2 August in Mandalay, Myanmar.[28] Manfredi became the first winner of the newly created women’s division by defeating Yanut.[29]

BroadcastEdit

MyanmarEdit

Sky Net was the first television channel to broadcast the WLC events live in Myanmar and were then delayed telecast in over 40 countries worldwide.[30]

In 2018, WLC signed a broadcasting deal with international broadcaster Canal+ for exclusive broadcasting rights in Myanmar.[31][32]

Outside MyanmarEdit

The end of 2018, the WLC marked Lethwei history by signing a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship[33] and having its first Lethwei event broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.[34][35]

World Lethwei Championship is also available in over 100 countries through broadcast deals with Fight Network,[36] Arena Sport, Fox Sports, Star Sports, Bayon Television, Titan Channel, Sport Extra and StarTimes.

SponsorshipEdit

EventsEdit

# Event Date Venue Location
13 WLC 14: Lethwei Showcase 25 September 2020 Undisclosed location   Chiang Mai, Thailand
12 WLC 12: Hideout Battle 28 August 2020 Undisclosed location   Chiang Mai, Thailand
11 WLC 11: Battlebones 31 January 2020 Thein Pyu Stadium   Yangon, Myanmar
10 WLC 10: Fearless Tigers 4 October 2019 Mandalar Thiri Indoor Stadium   Mandalay, Myanmar
9 WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs 2 August 2019 Mandalar Thiri Indoor Stadium   Mandalay, Myanmar
8 WLC 8: Karen Spirit 5 May 2019 Chit Tu Myaing Park   Hpa-an, Myanmar
7 WLC 7: Mighty Warriors 22 February 2019 Mandalar Thiri Indoor Stadium   Mandalay, Myanmar
6 WLC 6: Heartless Tigers 29 September 2018 Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium   Mandalay, Myanmar
5 WLC 5: Knockout War 2 June 2018 Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium   Naypitaw, Myanmar
4 WLC 4: Bareknuckle-King 17 February 2018 Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium   Naypitaw, Myanmar
3 WLC 3: Legendary Champions 4 November 2017 Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium   Yangon, Myanmar
2 WLC 2: Ancient Warriors 10 June 2017 Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium   Yangon, Myanmar
1 WLC 1: The Great Beginning 3 March 2017 Mingalardon Event Zone   Yangon, Myanmar

ChampionsEdit

World ChampionsEdit

Division Champion Since Defenses
Cruiserweight   Dave Leduc August 2, 2019 (WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs) 0
Middleweight   Naimjon Tuhtaboyev January 31, 2020 (WLC 11: Battlebones) 0
Light Middleweight   Sasha Moisa August 2, 2019 (WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs) 0
Light Welterweight   Antonio Faria February 22, 2019 (WLC 7: Mighty Warriors) 1
Women's Bantamweight   Souris Manfredi August 28, 2020 (WLC 12: Hideout Battle) 0

Myanmar National ChampionEdit

Division Champion Since Defenses
Light Welterweight   Saw Htoo Aung September 29, 2018 (WLC 6: Heartless Tigers) 0

World championship historyEdit

Cruiserweight ChampionshipEdit

Weight limit: 79 kg (174.2 lb) to 83 kg (183.0 lb)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1   Dave Leduc
def. Seth Baczynski
WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs
Mandalay, Myanmar
August 2, 2019 907 days
(incumbent)

Middleweight ChampionshipEdit

Weight limit: 71 kg (156.5 lb) to 75 kg (165.3 lb)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1   Too Too
def. Michael Badato
WLC 3: Legendary Champions
Yangon, Myanmar
November 4, 2017 818 days 1. def. Vasyl Sorokin at WLC 4 on February 17, 2018
2   Naimjon Tuhtaboyev
def. Too Too
WLC 11: Battlebones
Yangon, Myanmar
January 31, 2020 725 days
(incumbent)

Light Middleweight ChampionshipEdit

Weight limit: 67 kg (147.7 lb) to71 kg (156.5 lb)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1   Artur Saladiak
def. Saw Ba Oo
WLC 5: Knockout War
Naypitaw, Myanmar
June 2, 2018 426 days
2   Sasha Moisa
def. Artur Saladiak
WLC 9: King of Nine Limbs
Mandalay, Myanmar
August 2, 2019 907 days
(incumbent)

Light Welterweight ChampionshipEdit

Weight limit: 60 kg (132.3 lb) to 63.5 kg (140.0 lb)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1   Antonio Faria
def. Saw Htoo Aung
WLC 7: Mighty Warriors
Mandalay, Myanmar
February 22, 2019 1068 days
(incumbent)
1. def. Francisco Vinuelas at WLC 14 on September 25, 2020

Women's Bantamweight ChampionshipEdit

Weight limit: 51 kg (112.4 lb) to 54 kg (119.0 lb)
No. Name Event Date Reign Defenses
1   Souris Manfredi
def. Maisha Katz
WLC 12: Hideout Battle
Undisclosed location
August 28, 2020 515 days
(incumbent)

RulesEdit

The WLC uses the modern Lethwei rules also known as tournament rules first established in 1996 by the Myanmar Lethwei Federation.

RoundsEdit

Each bout can be booked as a 3, 4 or 5 round fight with 3 minutes per round and a 2-minute break in between rounds. Championship bouts are 5 round fights with 3 minutes per round and a 2-minute break between rounds.

JudgingEdit

In the event that a bout goes the distance, it will go to the judges decision. The 3 judges will score the bout based on number of strikes per round. Fighters have a maximum of 3 knockdowns per round and 4 knockdowns in the entire fight before the fight is ruled a knockout.

Weight classesEdit

Weight class name Upper limit Gender
in pounds (lb) in kilograms (kg) in stone (st)
Light Flyweight 105 48 7.6 Female
Flyweight 112 51 8 Male / Female
Bantamweight 119 54 8.5 Male / Female
Featherweight 126 57 9 Male / Female
Lightweight 132 60 9.5 Male / Female
Light Welterweight 140 63.5 10 Male / Female
Welterweight 148 67 10.5 Male
Light Middleweight 157 71 11.1 Male
Middleweight 165 75 11.8 Male
Super Middleweight 174 79 12.4 Male
Cruiserweight 183 83 13 Male

AwardsEdit

Notable fightersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b John Morgan (31 January 2020). "World Lethwei Championship plans 2020 debut in U.S., eyes free-agent signings". APMMA.
  2. ^ a b c Kang Wan Chern (25 May 2018). "The economics behind World Lethwei Championship".
  3. ^ a b Leon Jennings (31 January 2020). "THE WORLD LETHWEI CHAMPIONSHIP PLANS TO GO GLOBAL IN 2020". APMMA.
  4. ^ "Local Company List For Registration On (22-6-2016)In Yangon Region" (PDF). DICA. 16 May 2017.
  5. ^ "World's Largest Bareknuckle Fighting Organization Sets Event for 10,000 Seat Indoor Stadium". mymmanews.com. 23 May 2017.
  6. ^ Eric Kowal. "World's largest bareknuckle fighting organization sets event for 10,000 seat indoor stadium". My MMA News. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  7. ^ Ismail Vorajee (28 September 2018). "Cambodians test Lethwei mettle". Khmer Times.
  8. ^ Matt Eaton (16 May 2017). "World Lethwei Championship 1: The Great Beginning". The Fight Nation.
  9. ^ "Zay Thiha: Bringing Lethwei to the World". ROUGH Magazine. 11 August 2017.
  10. ^ "World Lethwei Championship: Biggest Int'l. Lethwei Competition in Myanmar". myanmaritv. 25 May 2017.
  11. ^ "၂၀၁၇ တြင္ က်င္းပမည့္ ျမန္မာ့႐ိုးရာ လက္ေ၀ွ႔ပြဲတြင္ ထိုးသတ္ရန္ ႏိုင္ငံျခားသားႏွစ္ဦးႏွင့္ စာခ်ဳပ္". DVB.com. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  12. ^ "World Lethwei championship to be held in Myanmar". sports360. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  13. ^ "ကမာၻ႕ခ်န္ပီယံရွစ္ ရိုးရာလက္ေ၀ွ႕ၿပိဳင္ပြဲ အဓိကတြဲဆိုင္းတြင္ ျမန္မာျပည္ခ်န္ပီယံထြန္းထြန္းမင္း အဂၤလန္ ႏိုင္ငံသား နီကိုးလက္စ္ကာတာကို အလဲထိုးအႏိုင္ရ (ရုပ္သံ)". Eleven Broadcasting. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  14. ^ Eaton, Matt (10 March 2019). "DAVE LEDUC SIGNS WITH WLC: "I WANT ALL THE BELTS"". The Fight Nation.
  15. ^ Misah Norouzi (13 March 2019). "DAVE LEDUC SIGNS WITH WLC, BARE-KNUCKLE FIGHTING ORGANIZATION". Fight Mag.
  16. ^ Thiha (25 March 2019). "မြန်မာ့ရိုးရာလက်ဝှေ့ချန်ပီယံ ဒေ့ဗ် (Dave Leduc) နဲ့ စာနယ်ဇင်းမီဒီယာများတွေ့ဆုံပွဲ". Yoyarlay.
  17. ^ Eaton, Matt (26 March 2019). "DAVE LEDUC CLEARS THE DECKS FOR WLC". The Fight Nation.
  18. ^ Rae, Steven (28 March 2019). "Dave Leduc vacates three Lethwei titles; will fight exclusively for World Lethwei Championship". The Body Lock.
  19. ^ Jason Burgos (2 May 2019). "UFC VETERAN SETH BACZYNSKI SIGNS MULTI-FIGHT DEAL WITH WORLD LETHWEI CHAMPIONSHIP". Sherdog.
  20. ^ "Leduc lifts wlc cruiserweight belt by ko against baczynski". www.fightmag.com.au. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  21. ^ Matthew Carter (2 January 2020). "WLC 9 Bonus : Dave Leduc Scores Belated $50,000". Lethwei World.
  22. ^ Matt Eaton (29 October 2019). "DAVE LEDUC SAYS LETHWEI IS COMING TO THE USA". The Fight Nation. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020.
  23. ^ Steven Rae (13 June 2019). "The WLC is looking to expand its horizons, and Cambodia may be the first stop". The Body Lock.
  24. ^ Nyi Min Han (15 May 2020). "The Next Four Countries to Host World Lethwei Championship". Combat Overload.
  25. ^ Matt Eaton (30 January 2020). "WORLD LETHWEI CHAMPIONSHIP IS GOING GLOBAL IN 2020". The Fight Nation.
  26. ^ "World Lethwei championship to be held in Myanmar". Sport 360. 16 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Srey Pov wins again in Burmese Lethwei". Khmer Times. 4 June 2018.
  28. ^ Gerald Ng (21 January 2020). "SOURIS MANFREDI EYES HISTORY AS THE FIRST FEMALE LETHWEI CHAMPION". FightMag.
  29. ^ "Yanut comes up short in WLC debut". Khmer Times. 4 August 2019.
  30. ^ "WLC Lethwei Challenge In Naypyidaw To Be Broadcast Live". MyanmarDigitalNews. 1 June 2018.
  31. ^ "WLC-7: "Mighty Warriors" to take place in Mandalay". Myanmar Digital News. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  32. ^ Eric Kowal (11 August 2017). "Middleweight World Lethwei Champion Too Too to defend against Ukrainian star Vasyl Sorokin". MyMMANews.
  33. ^ TFN Staff (4 January 2019). "Lethwei Is Coming To UFC Fight Pass". The Fight Nation.
  34. ^ "2019 UFC Fight Pass schedule includes PPV prelims, boxing, Lethwei". MMAfighting. 31 December 2018.
  35. ^ "World Lethwei Championship Lines Up Big Card for UFC Fight Pass Debut". The Fight Nation. 31 January 2019. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020.
  36. ^ [World Lethwei Championship] Anthem Sports Entertainments Fight Network inks distribution in middle east, retrieved 17 September 2020
  37. ^ Callum McCarthy, Europe office (15 October 2019). "Lethwei, Myanmar's best-kept secret, is preparing for the global stage". Sports Business.
  38. ^ a b Matthew Carter (2 January 2020). "2019 Lethwei World Awards". Lethwei World.
  39. ^ "SPIA Asia 2019 Winners". Spia Asia. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  40. ^ "NATIONAL WINNERS 2020" (PDF). Asian Academy Awards. Retrieved 15 October 2020.

External linksEdit