Introducing the First YOKKAO Junior World Champions!
The first YOKKAO Next Generation Kids took place recently on 26th November at the Barnsley Metrodome. Event organizer, Peter Spensley and YOKKAO UK promoter Brian Calder, delivered an immensely successful and unforgettable show that set the high bar for all future Muay Thai junior competitions. Over 100 fighters -some as young as 6- took part in the full-day event that saw the crowning of the first YOKKAO Junior World Champions, Joe Ryan and Ellie Barker. The 2 fighters got in the ring and proved their deserving place as the earliest members of the YOKKAO Kids Fight Team. [caption id="attachment_3971" align="alignright" width="350"]Ellie Barker YOKKAO CHAMPION 14yrs -52kg Ellie Barker YOKKAO CHAMPION 14yrs -52kg[/caption] Joe fought a Muay Thai bout at 56 kg against Jayden from Holland in a rematch after meeting in the Unified World Championships in Italy back in 2015. The fight took place over 5 1.5-minute rounds with Joe repeating the same results by winning on points to be inaugurated the first YOKKAO Junior World Champion. This fight also extends Joe’s amazing undefeated campaign to 34 wins over the last 3 years since his debut. Ellie went on the stage later at 5pm to take on a late replacement Annie from Scotland’s WG2 Gym over 5 1-minute rounds at the weight of 52 kg, above her own 50 kg. Taking on heavier opposition was something that she had gotten used to, since she had run out of opponents at her natural weight. Unfazed and determined, Ellie won on points to become the inaugural YOKKAO Intercontinental Champion, having defended her WTKA European title 5 times. The new YOKKAO title joins her impressive collection of belts from British, Europe and other world championships. Both fighters were back training just 24 hours after the event, showing the dedication of the young champions in their pursuit of excellence. Nothing worth having comes easy and when it’s the highly-coveted YOKKAO World Champion titles, defending them becomes a constant battle. Ellie and Joe will put their newly-acquired titles on the line for the next YOKKAO Kids event scheduled for 10th February 2018. Ellie is set to face fellow northeast fighter Anya from Erawan Gym while Joe’s title challenger is still in the midst of selection. Age is just a number. For teenagers, Joe Ryan and Ellie Barker, they have already achieved far more than what many people do in a lifetime. The future is looking bright for the 2 newly-crowned YOKKAO Junior World Champions and it’s exciting to see how far they will go in the world of Muay Thai and fight sports. The next YOKKAO Kids show is now confirmed for 10th February 2018 at the same location and has already opened for registration at kids@yokkao.com. Fewer slots have been planned, so parents and gyms are advised to send in their applications fast as the card will fill very quickly. After the tremendous success of the first Kids event, preparations are already underway to expand this initiative globally. Along with promoters, Peter Spensley and Brian Calder, YOKKAO is intent on increasing the international standards of Muay Thai for all levels, young and old. Watch this space and stay connected by signing up for our Newsletter sending your e-mail to news@yokkao.com to receive all the latest updates.