Orchard Hills fighter wins gold at Muay Thai Festival in Bangkok

Bailey Collins won gold at the WBC Muay Thai Festival in Bangkok. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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When you’re dedicated to your craft, you’ll do almost anything to become successful – including running around in the baking hot Bangkok sun in a sauna suit.

19-year-old Bailey Collins travelled to the bustling Thai capital earlier this month to represent Australia at the WBC Muay Thai Festival.

Competing in the 54kg division, the Orchard Hills resident had to weight cut four times in three days in order to battle the best of the best in the ancient martial art.

Speaking with the Weekender, Collins said it was “probably the hardest thing” he’s ever done.

“I had to run in a sauna suit and have hot baths, just to drop the weight,” he said.

“Upon landing over there, I had 3kg to cut and then every other weigh-in after that I had about 1.5kg to cut.

“I put the sauna suit on to run in and, because it’s so hot over there, it’s easy to cut weight. However, sometimes I didn’t have enough energy to do it, so I’d just sit in a hot bath instead and sweat it out.”

Collins’ commitment to dropping enough weight paid off, with the young plumber winning all three of his fights to take home the gold for Australia.

Up against fighters much older than him, Collins did his country proud by taking them down one by one on in front of some wild and woolly Bangkok crowds.

“My first fight was against Sri Lanka, which was probably the toughest because we fought outside in the car park and it was so hot that I was overheating,” Collins said.

“The second fight was against the US, that was hard too but I think I adapted to the heat by then.

“My third and final fight, I took on a 33-year-old from Portugal. I fought him inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, the most famous stadium in Bangkok.”

After six weeks of intense training at Machete Muay Thai in Jamisontown, Collins said he went into each fight with confidence and a positive attitude despite being only relatively new to the sport.

“You’ve got to be confident because if you’re not, you’re going to lose,” he said.

“I’ve been fighting for two-and-a-half years and have had 14 fights since then.

“I started Muay Thai for fitness for rugby league. I needed something to do in the off-season, so I started this and have been enjoying it ever since.

“My sponsors, local businesses JP Health and Nutrition and The Lads Lounge in Werrington, have been incredible on my journey so far.”

True to his commitment, Collins is already back in the gym, preparing for his latest fight in Melbourne next month.

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