Up-and-coming MMA fighter Marco Viedas took another step in his journey recently, winning his amateur muay thai debut by unanimous decision.
In action at the big annual Muay Thai Challenge presented by Muay Thai Kai Singthong and its renowned Lion Muay Thai Kickboxing Gym, at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver Nov. 24, Viedas was impressive as he lived up to his new fight name, The Machete.
Viedas’s nickname, given to him by Parksville Taekwondo Academy (PTA) founder Master Murray Fee, is a great fit “because his razor sharp kicks seem to slice right through his opponents.”
“Master Song put this event on, and he is the real deal when it comes to traditional muay thai,” explained PTA coach/master Brett Fee, adding “we have connected with Master Song over the years at tournaments, and he always wanted Marco to fight on his cards, so last Saturday we finally made it happen.”
Viedas it should be noted is undefeated in five tournaments, with a tournament record of 9-0, “so it was time for him to step in the ring for his first recorded amateur bout.”
Fee said the venue is well known to Muay Thai fighters and fans in Vancouver, “and it was a packed house.”
Viedas was the fourth bout of the 10-fight card, and his opponent was Damon Chase, a willing combatant out of Kamloops.
This being Viedas’s first recorded fight, Fee said he wanted to make sure his young charge had an opponent around the same age and experience level. Viedas is 18, Damon is 19, and for both of them it was their first recorded amateur fight.
“The first round saw Marco come out circling and landing his jab,” Fee said. “Once he established the jab, we went on to punish the body and legs with his powerful round kicks. The crowd was oohing and awing when Marco landed his hard kicks, as most fighters do not kick at the level Marco does, with his years of Taekwondo training.
“It looked like a car ran into the left side of Marco’s opponent’s body, from taking repeated right leg kicks,” said Fee.
Viedas won the first round. The second round he says was much closer, as Chase began to make adjustments to the kicks, and was closing the distance better.
“Marco had to adjust as well, and rely more on his boxing and clinch game. A much closer round, but Marco still narrowly won the round.”
The third and final round saw Viedas take over again, “and he was simply too much,” said Fee, recalling how Machete landed a spinning back kick followed by a jab and right cross combination that starched Chase’s shorts as the saying goes and allowed Viedas to back his opponent up and control the ring for the remainder of the round.
The judges ended up scoring a unanimous decision in Viedas’s favour, and just like that he’s undefeated at 1-0 as an amateur.
Worth noting is that since August Viedas has been training three days a week with the pros at Impact MMA in Nanaimo where he’s taken a liking to training with the likes of Graham Spencer who is the #3 ranked featherweight in Canada, and Antonio Carvalho, both of whom are under contract with the UFC.
“It’s great training and exposure to some high level guys for Marco,” said Fee.
Until then, “it will be important for him to continue to learn and grow,” said Fee, explaining “MMA requires such a dynamic and diverse skill set, which is why it is so important not to rush athletes along in this sport. Development is the key to continued and long term success, and this is the strategy that we have been employing since day one. I’ve had Marco as my student since he was 12 years old, and he is now 18. Most MMA fighters do not hit their stride until their mid to late 20’s. If you look at it like this, then you start to see the big picture, and how important the safety and development of the athletes are in the long term.”
Viedas, 18, graduated from BSS last year and is now working as an instructor at the dojang that’s been such a big part of his life for so many years.
“I was pretty happy,” he said easily when asked how he graded himself, “but I have a lot of things I want to work on; basically just keep trying to improve every time out.”
Viedas continues to train ju jitsu and wresting, and will be competing in a grappling tournament in Port Alberni early in the New Year.