Try Thai Fight Club if you’re looking for one seriously extreme night in Bangkok.
Their videos of street fighting will give you a taste of what to expect at one of their fortnightly fracases.
The terrifying street boxing matches have boomed in popularity with hundreds of spectators jeering on the fighters under a freeway bridge in the Ekkamai area.
Shirtless amateur fighters even have their own weight divisions and referees to prevent punches to the back of the head and Adam’s apple.
Thai local, Joe, organises the Thai Fight Club punch-ups online and has a YouTube channel dedicated to posting footage of the scraps.
‘Everything is free. Free to watch and free to fight. The atmosphere is amazing,’ he told PackThailand.com
‘Spectators are guaranteed to have a good time and everything is 100% safe as there is a medic on hand to deal with emergencies.
‘Everybody is a winner when they fight. You have to be brave to step inside the ring.’
The fights take place under the freeway near Ekkamai district.
Competitors wear gum shields and thin gloves but no protective head gear. They are allowed to kick, punch and grapple.
They battle it out on rough concrete ground against somebody in a similar 5kg weight band.
Clashes last for three minutes before the fighters are separated. They can use moves from Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Judo and other martial arts.
Despite the popularity of events, not everyone is happy.
Police have launched an investigation into the fights after being tipped off by local media.
Officers made checks to establish whether the matches were illegal.
Although Muay Thai is a national sport, unlicensed boxing became illegal in Thailand in 1899.
Police Commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn said they would prosecute anybody holding illegal matches.
‘The fights are dangerous because the only protection for the fighters are thin gloves and teeth guards,’ he said.
‘We will find and prosecute anyone organizing illegal boxing matches that are not sanctioned by official bodies.’
Evereyone’s a winner
Joe defended the fights.
He said that although police had raised concerns about the lack of matting on the hard concrete ground, they agreed that no crime was being committed.
Joe said that they are not breaking any laws as unlike in traditional boxing matches, the Thai Fight Club brawls have no winner or loser.
‘One of our rules is that nobody wins. The fights last for three minutes and after that the guys are separated and they shake hands.’