Earlier this month, a highly debated news story in the world of MMA gained attention when Thiago Teixeira, a Brazilian boxer, had his Apex Fight Series class championship record removed. This decision was taken by the World Muaythai Organisation (WMO) after Teixeira made comments about the origins of kickboxing. The story has been trending on many of Thailand’s leading online sports betting sites. In this article, we will take a look at what these recent developments signify, and what might be the next actions in this ongoing saga.

The Backstory That Ignited Debate 

In a bid to gain international recognition for their homegrown kickboxing discipline, Kun Khmer, Cambodia is making waves in the combat sports world. The country had taken a bold step by dropping Muay Thai from its roster of sports for the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), opting to showcase Kun Khmer instead. This decision sparked a wave of controversy, resulting in Thai Muay Thai athletes withdrawing from the competition.

The repercussions of this move have extended beyond regional games. The International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) has responded by delivering a stern message: any nation that embraces Kun Khmer will face a ban from upcoming,  prestigious events. This announcement has further intensified the ongoing clash between the two disciplines, setting the stage for a captivating showdown in the combat sports arena.

Teixeira’s Controversial Actions

The Brazilian MMA star was fighting in Germany in early April in the Apex Fight Series held by the World Muaythai Organisation (WMO), where he landed a victory over Joe Craven. He celebrated by waving the Cambodian national flag, and later changed his name on Facebook to include ‘Khmer Heart’. The decision certainly irritated the governing body in Thailand, as they made the formal decision to remove his titles and ban him from future events that the company would be holding.

Teixeira’s Determination to Fight Back

The story looks set to rumble on for a number of months, as Teixeira has claimed that he will fight back against the titles and record lost following the decision by the WMO. However, the MMA star also announced that he would continue to compete, but will train to compete in the Cambodian style of kickboxing for his future fights.

The statement issued by the WMO, which prevented Teixeira from participating, claimed that his actions had brought disrepute to the sport and were politically motivated, showing a lack of respect for Thailand’s national sport. Following this initial declaration, the IFMA has stated that any country engaging in Kun Khmer will be ineligible for various significant international championships, including the World Games, Asian Martial Arts Games, and World Boxing Championship.

Teixeira Takes on a New Role

Despite the controversy, Cambodian officials are standing firm in their belief that the sport originated in their country. The dispute has been fueled by the appointment of Teixeira as the ambassador for Kun Khmer. However, this move has strained Teixeira’s relationship with Thailand, where he previously trained in Muay Thai and even has a tattoo of the MMA discipline. As Teixeira’s affinity for the Cambodian version of the sport grows, tensions between the two nations escalate, and his name change on Facebook only adds to the ongoing saga, promising to extend the narrative for months to come.

What Lies Ahead?

Teixeira doesn’t appear to be sitting down in his bid to regain his titles following the decision, as he announced on Facebook that he wishes to share the news with his fans back in his country. He requested Brazilian television outlets to contact him so that he can share the news with the world. The Brazilian has also claimed that he will fight to get back the titles that were stripped from him. But, a final decision isn’t likely to be made for an extended time, as it will likely require one of the organizing bodies to change their stance over the origins of the discipline. That looks incredibly unlikely to come in the near future, as the dispute over the origins of the sport has already gone on for generations. However, it may now become a more focal talking point across the globe following the announcement made to dethrone one of their most recognizable champions.