By Sean Madden
Every year, the Thai Boxing Association – Sanctioning Authority (TBA-SA) hosts the Muay Thai World Expo Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. This tournament is widely regarded as the toughest tournament in the United States for amateur Muay Thai athletes, with competitors coming from nearly every state in the US and a strong showing from Canada as well. The tournament is divided into three divisions: Novice (0-3 fights), Class B (4-9 fights), and Class A (10+ fights). This year, Easton Muay Thai will be sending 4 athletes to represent us in the World Expo Tournament! The fighters and their respective divisions are:
1. Liz Gerrity: Women’s Class B, 132 – 137lbs
2. Ashley Acord: Women’s Class A, 112 – 117lbs
3. Steve Eisman: Men’s Class B, 137 – 142lbs
4. Wes Argrow: Men’s Class A, 172 – 179lbs
Muay Thai World Expo Schedule
The tournament begins with official weigh-ins on Thursday, June 22nd. Once the fighters weigh in and get medically cleared, seeding within their brackets begins. The first round of fights will begin on Friday morning, which will narrow the brackets down. Saturday will be the semi-finals of each division and Sunday will be the finals of all divisions. If the fighters make it to the finals, they will need to weigh in again on Sunday morning, with a slight weight allowance from their initial weigh in. Having to re-weigh makes this tournament especially grueling, because fighters will need to maintain their weight through the weekend, while fighting multiple times. However, the rewards are equally promising for these competitors. For the Class A athletes, winning the division means an automatic spot on the International Federation Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA) USA Team for 2018! The IFMA Tournament is considered the “Olympics of Muay Thai” at the moment and is far and away, the toughest Muay Thai competition in the world. Ashley and Wes will have a chance to earn their spots on the 2018 IFMA USA Team by winning the TBA Tournament!
The training for our competitors has been strenuous thus far, and will only increase in intensity in the last few weeks before competition. The body must be physically and mentally prepared for multiple days of competition and weight cutting. Head Fight Team Coach Tony Cummings is overseeing the training of our four fighters, so they are in good hands as they get ready for the biggest competition of the year!
What: TBA Muay Thai World Expo Tournament
When: June 22-25, 2017
Where: Des Moines, Iowa