In just a few days at Powerplay 39, Chris Bradford will make his return to the promotion when he takes on Thai sensation and multiple time Heavyweight champion Pinyo Kadamduan in a Full Thai Rules contest. The owner of some of the most devastating ‘hellbows’ in the sport, Chris is relishing the opportunity to throw some knees and elbows with a credentialed and willing opponent.
As Chris prepares for the next instalment of his storied career, he’s taken some time to reflect on what made him fall in love with the sport to begin with:
“I don’t really talk about in detail but I was very violent kid! I got into a lot of trouble and was a bit lost a lot of the time. Ironically the way that I had to escape violence was to get into professional violence. Some of my old friends know my past but what I have turned around and become today makes me the better man I am that stands in front of a crowd and when I perform and I’m very content happy with that”
The sport in essence gave Chris a platform of stability, discipline and commitment, which has helped shape the man he is today. There were of course people along that journey who have helped influence his career and teach him vital interpersonal skills which are crucial to success in this sport:
“Definitely one of the biggest people to influence my career was my trainer Charn in Thailand. Now I know you say and hear about people going on about Thai trainers but I didn’t love and respect him for the fact that he taught me how fight. He taught me the tradition and humbleness of Thai boxing. He told me how to treat and respect every human with equality, be willing to offer time and patience to another person and respect everyone that is taken the time to talk to you and teach you. It was a massive learning curve for me, one I’ll never forget and always cherish”
Chris’s martial arts story is one of great success with the complimentary challenges that every professional fighter has to face and ultimately overcome in order to achieve their goals. With such a storied career, one may ponder why Chris continues to torture his body in preparation to fight and put it all on the line when he enters the ring. What does Chris Bradford fight for these days…? Well Chris’s response may be one of the most motivational I have ever come across:
“I love this question…
Firstly I fight my peace in myself; as I’ve stated, I find in the moment of total carnage total chaos, the violence, the fear and adrenaline, total and utter peace. It calms me and keeps my solace when I’m in times of despair and makes me the humble person I am.
Secondly I fight to inspire and entertain. I want my students to have no fear and total understanding of what happens when they enter the ring, also to show them how and lead the way. While doing that I am also trying to entertain the crowd and hopefully bring something to the forefront that they will remember when they go home and talk about the show they have been to, for many days onward”
So, Chris will put it all on the line again come November 24 when he enters the Powerplay ring and continues the search for inner peace whilst entertaining a ruckus and passionate crowd. Powerplay itself came to Chris at a difficult time in his life however he embraced the opportunity and quickly tuned himself into a household Powerplay name:
“Powerplay has been a long time coming and when given the opportunity I welcomed it. I was in a spot where I was battling a terrible past relationship and still paying the price financially and Joe understands what I bring to the table so he was able to pay me accordingly. This set some great things up…
Joe calls me and says “I’ve got a fight for you”.
“Sweet don’t bother telling me who it is cause I don’t care, I’ll just fight no matter who it is”
Usually he laughs and says…
“Wish more people where like you lol”
And then I hang up the phone and then few weeks out I’ll find out who I’m fighting.
Fighting Steve McKinnon was an absolute honour and a really good thrill and I proved I deserve to be on the world stage. He did just out point me, but I felt a real threat and almost stopping him at one stage it was a real good, hard, tough fight, which I’m always wanting.
My second fight I had a shocking lead up with broken bones, broken noses, still feel I totally won the fight and still don’t know why didn’t get the decision …but let’s just move on from that one and I won’t leave it in the judges for my next fight, guaranteed”
Next up is a real challenge in the form of Thai sensation Pinyo Kadamduan. If Chris plans to not leave it in the judge’s hands, he’ll have to put away maybe the toughest opponent he has faced to date. On that basis, Chris is all too aware of the challenge that await come November 24:
“Usual story with the Thai tricky, elusive being a southpaw he likes to chop the leg and I’m well aware of a few tricks up his sleeve as he obviously has, knowing him from the past. I have visualised what I’m going to execute, and long as I stick to that, I’m content”
Pinyo has won numerous Heavyweight Muay Thai tournaments in Thailand and has a wealth of experience along with a granite chin and legitimate KO power of his own. The dangers he poses are diverse and devastating, but that’s all in a days work for Chris:
“Every opponent is a danger to me because almost all my opponents have had more experience than me. So he will be no different. Like a fire raging in the fireplace you touch it, and play around with it, you get burnt. Yet you keep it at bay and keep it confined and you dictate and control it, and if need be throw water on it, you can put it out”
As he has on so many occasions before, Chris will turn to a familiar setting occupied with familiar faces he prepares for battle. From Chris’s perspective, preparation is less about focussing on his opponent and more about preparing himself to go to war:
“I have total faith in my gym, my support crew and also my pad holder Tom Smith. Mick Sibert will be coming down to give me a little bit of help with his big body, and also have a bunch of guys raising their hand around Victoria to help me repair also.
This fight isn’t actually about him; it’s about me, my preparation my mental state and my focus. All that and stay injury free, guaranteed to be a great fight”
When competing at this level, a committed and understanding support crew is an essential element of success. Chris is somewhat blessed to have a fantastic team around him whom all contribute to a foundation that allows Chris to focus and ultimately succeed:
“My pad holder Tom is able to catch anything I throw so that gives me creativity. I need that in freestyle pad work. Himself and my boys around me in my gym know me well enough now to know what I’m doing right or wrong and TTMT is build on self belief, never forget that anyone.
Mick Sibert will be coming down to work with me a little so having a big body will be good.
Put my girl Eden’s undying support in, along with my brother from another mother Josh Preston and also Stan around me, all the fighters and members from my gym and I have a good solid foundation”
Full Thai Rules is a genuinely mouthwatering prospect for fans in attendance, and one that Chris himself is relishing as it will free him up to unleash a barrage of elbows that should they connect, will bring an early conclusion to this much anticipated contest. The elbows, and genuine power of which he has bucket loads, will be the difference from Chris’s perspective:
“I feel power will be a good thing for me. Thai’s are strong, but I’m working hard in the gym at the moment on strength mixed with speed so I expect to be good and strong and fast. I’m not going to lie, you will see more than one elbow thrown from me, I want to entertain and I’ll take any chance in face of danger, as I have no regard for self safety”
Amongst the advantages that Chris may have in this fight, the hometown crowd will definitely be one. The support will help pump Chris up pre fight, boost him up when he’s engaged in battle and cap celebrations should he get the job done on the 24th! As expected, Chris is gracious for all of the support and truly humbled by the people who continue to stick with him on this journey:
“I love to have you all there to support AK again, who is going to be finally throwing his favourite weapon the elbow. The way you support me is truly appreciated every time I’m in the ring whether it’s a win or a loss I will never be forgotten always remembered. Let’s all get there together on the 24th make it… ‘One more time into the fray, live an die on this day’
Stand tall, Walk forward”
Chris would also like to thank the following sponsors:
- ‘IL Matto Pizza & Bar’ – Salvo
- ‘Bloom Venue’ – John and Mick
- ‘Versatile Windows’ – Clint
- ‘Aaron McCurdy Constructions’ – Aaron
- ‘Your Style Rendering’ – Buzz
- ‘The Breakwater Shed Cafe’ – Jason
- ‘Wise Monkey Tattoos’ – Hayley
- ‘Hotondo Homes’ – Andrew
Article by Josh Warner