By January 2011, European fight gear distributor Muay Thai Combat signed an exclusive contract for distribution, joining up with the branding team to develop marketing strategies.
On February 2011, YOKKAO BOXING launched the YOKKAO Fight Team sponsoring and signing the best and greatest of Muay Thai Fighters from around the world such as Buakaw Por Pramuk (today Buakaw Banchamek), Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Saenchai PK SaenchaiMuayThaiGym, Yoddecha Sityodtong, Ekapop Sor Klinmee, Tham Sityodtong, Dzhabar Askerov, Cedric Muller, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Jordan Watson and Liam Harrison.
Together with the new existing Fight Team, YOKKAO BOXING began partnering with the best Muay Thai Camps in Thailand. YOKKAO partnered up with Por Pramuk Muay Thai Camp in Chaoechanegsao, Sityodtong Muay Thai Camp in Pattaya and 13 Coins in Bangkok recognizing them as the first official YOKKAO Training Centers in order to promote and set a new standard to fans and the where to go for the best Muay Thai Gyms in Thailand.
Together with the best Muay Thai Fighters in one side and the best Muay Thai Camps in the other, YOKKAO developed the first Muay Thai Equipment collection completely made together with Fighters and Trainers suggestions.
The staff behind the brand, made up of a professional team of ex-fighters produced the best gear in quality and aesthetic style.
THE YOKKAO THAI FLAG GLOVES
Moved by the passion for mother country Thailand, YOKKAO launched the first pair ever of Muay Thai Gloves representing the Thailand Flag.
An easy idea that nobody and no other brands thought before. The YOKKAO Thai Flag Gloves became the gloves worn by the best Muay Thai Fighters from Thailand: Buakaw Por Pramuk (today Buakaw Banchamek), Saenchai, Yoddecha Sityodtong, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Singdam Kiatmoo9, Kem and Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, Diesellek and Wanchalerm Auddonmuang, Singdam Kiatmoo9, and many others.
MUAY THAI COMBAT FAN EXPO 2011
In February, 2011, YOKKAO and European fight gear distributor Muay Thai Combat announced the ”MUAY THAI COMBAT FAN EXPO”, the first Muay Thai Expo in Europe featuring the YOKKAO Fight Team composed of the best Muay Thai Fighters in the world who presented the first YOKKAO GEAR Collection, met with fans, signed autographs, exhibited training techniques and showcased skill in sparring sessions.
From 12th to 15th of May the YOKKAO Fight Team broke the records of attendance in the martial arts arena in Italy with Buakaw Banchamek, Saenchai PKMuayThaiGym, Dzhabar Askerov, Ekapop Sor Klinmee, Tham Sityodtong, Antoine Pinto and Jordan Watson. The video of Buakaw sparring with Saenchai, uploaded to Youtube by a fan of YOKKAO, broke records overnight by generating more than 2,000,000 views.
THE FIRST YOKKAO TRAINING CENTER OUTSIDE THAILAND
Following the return of success through all the YOKKAO Training Centers in Thailand, YOKKAO extended the Training Center project to all over the world in order to suggest his fans professional gyms where to learn the real Muay Thai with high quality and comfortable equipment.
On the 16th of May, 2011, Muay Thai Combat s.r.l. partnering up with Mr. Valerio Cecchetti inaugurated Muay Thai Combat Gym in the Republic of San Marino becoming the first YOKKAO Training Center in the World outside Thailand fully equipped with YOKKAO Gear handmade in Thailand. For the occasion, the YOKKAO Fighters Buakaw Banchamek Saenchai PKMuayThaiGym, Dzhabar Askerov, Ekapop Sor Klinmee, Tham Sityodtong, Antoine Pinto and Jordan Watson were present at the opening training with gym’s members and signing the wall of the Gym with their autographs.
THE FIRST YOKKAO SEMINAR
Together with his Fight Team YOKKAO built up the YOKKAO SEMINAR concept: a Muay Thai Seminar to be held by Famous fighters teaching not only the standard techniques but also skills who made them champions.
On September 27th, 2011 YOKKAO announced that Buakaw Por Pramuk (today Buakaw Banchamek)and Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee would have hold the firs tow YOKKAO SEMINARS on December 2011: one in Republic of San Marino and another in Milan. The events broke the world record attendance for a Muay Thai Seminar with 983 people.
In June 2011, YOKKAO Boxing announced on Facebook to their global fans that the brand would begin promoting the biggest Muay Thai and K-1 rules event ever seen before named, YOKKAO EXTREME.
YOKKAO EXTREME SELECTIONS ITALY
In November and December of 2011, YOKKAO partnered up with local Italian promoters to host the YOKKAO Extreme Selection, an 8 man tournament in 3 different weight categories: 65, 70 and 81.6kg. The winner was granted access to YOKKAO Extreme on Saturday the 21st of January, 2012.
MARKING THE MUAY THAI HISTORY
21st of January, 2012, YOKKAO made its mark in Muay Thai history when it held YOKKAO EXTREME in a sold out event with 12,000 attendees at the Forum di Assago in Milan (Italy). YOKKAO EXTREME was and is still considered by fans as the biggest Muay Thai and K-1 rules event ever.
YOKKAO EXTREME was graced by the presence of the best fighters during that period: Buakaw Banchamek, Dzhabar Askerov, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Fabio Pinca, Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym, Cedric Muller, Pajonsuk Por Pramuk, Giorgio Petrosyan, Armen Petrosyan and the Italian fighters who won the YOKKAO Extreme selections promotion held throughout 2011.
Philip Villa established YOKKAO as the premiere promoter of Muay Thai and kickboxing events in the world with the success of YOKKAO EXTREME 2012.
THE ORIGINATOR OF MUAY THAI CARBON SHORTS
Introducing an innovative material for Muay Thai Shorts that resembles carbon fiber material and in a new fitted style design, YOKKAO launched the first pair of “YOKKAO Carbon Shorts” at YOKKAO Extreme 2012. The shorts were worn by Buakaw Por Pramuk (Buakaw Banchamek) during his fight against Dzhabar Askerov, and instantly became the most requested Muay Thai short ever.
70% of the best Muay Thai Fighters in the world fought at least once in the YOKKAO Carbon Shorts.
BUAKAW AND YOKKAO IN SURIN
After a dispute with his previous Muay Thai Camp, Por Pramuk in Chachoengsao, Buakaw moved to Surin, a province in northeast Thailand. During that occasion, YOKKAO’s staff convened at Surin to help Buakaw in setting up his new Gym with YOKKAO heavy bags, kicking pads, Muay Thai gloves, focus mitts and a brand new YOKKAO ring completely handmade in YOKKAO’s factory in just 72 hours.
On March 17, 2012, following the move to Surin, YOKKAO announced on Twitter that Buakaw would return to training under his new name “Buakaw Banchamek”.
MUAY THAI COMBAT CAMP
From June 2nd until the 14th of June, 2012, Valerio Cecchetti (YOKKAO TRAINING CENTER Muay Thai Combat Gym Rep.of San Marino) and YOKKAO, came together to host the “Muay Thai Combat Camp” in Republic of San Marino. The event set a precedent by becoming the first international training camp in the world to host Muay Thai Fighters and trainers from Thailand that included Saenchai, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Tham Sityodtong, Phon Sityodtong, Ekapop Sor Klinmee and Imwiset Pornnarai. Fans arrived from all over Europe to partake in this rare occasion to be trained by the best in the sport. During the 12 days, the camp also took the opportunity to hold the YOKKAO Extreme 2013 pre-selections.
MUAY THAI COMBAT MANIA RICCIONE
On top of the Combat Camp, YOKKAO collaborated with leading online fight equipment store, Muay Thai Combat to launch the brand new event series, “Muay Thai Combat Mania” in June, 2012. This was a YOKKAO sponsored fight event that was to be headlined by the participation of at least two top tiered fighters from the YOKKAO TEAM along with the best local fighters.
Through Saturday the 14th of July, 2012, Muay Thai Combat promoted “Muay Thai Combat Mania Riccione” at San Martino Square in Riccione.
The event was streamed for free online on the Muay Thai Combat website, crashing the website due to the unexpectedly large number of viewers. The main event of Muay Thai Combat Mania Riccione was headlined by Eddie Martinez of Sitan Gym from USA, against the YOKKAO Fighter Imwiset Pornnarai from Thailand.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR 2012
After the positive reception in Riccione, YOKKAO promoted “Muay Thai Combat Mania Pattaya” on the 30th of December in 2012 at the Pattaya World Boxing Stadium. The event was headlined by Kem Sitsongpeenong vs Yodsanklai Fairtex. Completely sold out within the 1st week of the announcement, the fight has been touted by countless Muay Thai lovers as the 2012 Fight of Year. On 12th of March in 2012 following the success of the event, YOKKAO took to Twitter to announce that YOKKAO EXTREME 2013 would be held on 26th of January 2013, returning to Forum di Assago in Italy.
YOKKAO EXTREME 2013: THE STREAMING RECORD
In January 2013, YOKKAO EXTREME PPV streaming reached 8937 subscribers from all around the world who all tuned in to watch Yokkao Extreme 2013 LIVE from the Forum d’Assago in Milan (attendance 12,000 people). The PPV sales set a new precedent for streaming revenues of Muay Thai events.
YOKKAO EXTREME 2013 lit up the stage with two-colored cubes on either side of the giant LED screen with the Yokkao Angels, dancers chosen to further invigorate the event. The outstanding fight card was headlined by Andy Souwer vs Dzhabar Askerov, Aikpracha Meenayothin vs Frank Giorgi, Muay Thai Living Legend Saenchai vs Diesellek Uddonmuang, Houcine Bennoui, Tham Sityodtong, Ekapoop Sor Klinmee and the best fighters from Italy.
MUAY THAI COMBAT MANIA YOKKAO 5
Originally set to be hosted on Reunion Island, the event was moved to Thailand in the Pattaya World Boxing Stadium on the 15th of November, 2013 due to issues arising with the local promoter Maximin Lafuteur of Reunion Island.
In one week, YOKKAO managed to salvage the whole event by moving it to Pattaya, and inviting fighters who were already contracted by YOKKAO from Reunion Island. The event, headlined with a matchup of a highest level between Muay Thai Living Legend Saenchai vs Singdam Kiatmoo9, saw a sold out crowd at the Pattaya World Boxing Stadium.
YOKKAO AFFILIATE TRAINING CENTERS
In 2013, YOKKAO signed a multiyear agreement with Australia’s SRG Thai Boxing Gym owner’s Luis Regis and Eduardo Azambuja. SRG Thai BoxingGym marked the opening of the first YOKKAO Affiliate Training Center in Sydney, Australia. The same year, YOKKAO also signed a multiyear agreement with Ring Mall Gym, which became the first YOKKAO Affiliate Training Center in Korea.
MUAY THAI COMBAT MANIA YOKKAO 6
After the success of YOKKAO 5, YOKKAO partnered up with Sitsongpeenong owner Timothy Dharmajiva to promote Muay Thai Combat Mania YOKKAO 6, headlined by Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs Wanachalerm Uddonmunag. The event saw yet another sold out crowd at the Pattaya World Boxing Stadium on January, 3rd, 2014.
In the same event, the Australian Toby Smith, made fight news headlines by defeating Lumpinee champion Thongchai Sitsongpeenong, becoming the second only “farang” fighter to have won against a high profile Thai Fighter in YOKKAO history.
MUAY THAI COMBAT MANIA YOKKAO 7
On the 19th of February 2014, YOKKAO promoted Muay Thai Combat Mania’s YOKKAO 7 at Pattaya World Boxing Stadium, marking the third sold out event in a row at the Pattaya World Boxing Stadium. The event was headlined by Muay Thai Living Legend Saenchai vs Victor Nagbe.
MUAY THAI COMBAT MANIA YOKKAO 8: TOTAL MUAY THAI ACTION IN UK
On September 12th, 2013, YOKKAO announced on Twitter the signing of a partnership with UK SuperShowDown promoter, Brian Calder to promote YOKKAO 8 on March 8th, 2014 in England.
In the lead up to this event on January 29th 2014, Pakorn PKSaenchaiMuayThaigym signed a multi year management contract with YOKKAO for all fights and seminars hosted outside Thailand.
YOKKAO 8 was headlined by UK YOKKAO fighter Liam Harrison vs Houcine Bennoui (France) along with the best fighters from UK.The action-packed fight between Liam Harrison and Houcine Bennoui put both fighters on the global stage as forces to be reckoned with. Fans called this the top Muay Thai fight between foreigners in 2014.
The success of YOKKAO 8 which hosted a sold out crowd at Macron Stadium in Bolton, sealed a solid partnership between YOKKAO, Philip Villa and Brian Calder to promote events in the UK.
YOKKAO 9: MUAY THAI EARTHQUAKE IN CHINA
On 24th of May 2014, YOKKAO broke new grounds in ring sport history attendance in China. YOKKAO 9 was hosted in the football stadium of Xinyang in the southeastern Henan province. It was attended by more than 10,000 fans who traveled from many regions of China to witness YOKKAO Muay Thai’s opening event in China.
YOKKAO 9 was the first Muay Thai & K-1 rules-based event to be hosted in a Chinese football stadium. To manage the overwhelmingly large numbers in attendance, army and police were present in force providing security for what turned out to be a successful event.
Headlined by YOKKAO Fighter, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee vs the Shaolin monk Yi Long, the event saw Muay Thai of Thailand pitted against the Shaolin Boxing of China in what was a memorable fight with Thailand’s Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee winning by points against Yi Long of China.
The day following the event, a false report began circulating online that the decision of the event was being revisited. To reassure fans of the report’s falsity, Yokkao made an official statement via its social media that the verdict of Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee winning by points was official and will hold its ground.
YOKKAO WORLD TITLE
On October 6, 2014, YOKKAO announced the first-ever YOKKAO World Title. Philip Villa and Brian Calder began promotions in England for the induction of two YOKKAO World Titles: 65kg and 70kg.
YOKKAO 10 & YOKKAO 11: THE POWER OF A DREAM!
On October 11th, 2014, YOKKAO and Brian Calder promoted 2 events in 1 night for the first time ever in UK: YOKKAO 11 headlined with the YOKKAO World Title -70kg match of Jordan Watson vs Mickael Piscitello and YOKKAO 12 headlined with the YOKKAO World Title -65kg match of Pakorn vs Greg Wootton.
The event reaffirmed the calibre of UK fighters and secured Jordan Watson with his 70kg World Title, while Pakorn went away with the Yokkao World Title at 65kg.
THE YOKKAO UK RANKING
To bolster promotions of the UK events, YOKKAO, Philip Villa and Brian Calder decided to introduce the YOKKAO UK Ranking based on a point score system valid at all fights hosted by YOKKAO. The first YOKKAO UK Ranking classes featured the best 65kg, 70kg and 71kg fighters in UK.
YOKKAO UK & US SEMINAR
On 23rd April 2015, YOKKAO UK announced an extensive YOKKAO seminar tour with Muay Thai stars, Saenchai and Pakorn. The response was instant and relentless with phone calls and emails pouring in from all over UK. Following this, a US seminar tour was also confirmed in partnership with the famous Sitan Gym and Rami Elite Gym in New York and Philadelphia respectively. With the success of the YOKKAO seminar held in New York earlier in February, Saenchai, Pakorn, Manop and the YOKKAO staff took to the roads with another series of YOKKAO seminars in May. Over the course of three weeks, the team visited a dozen cities with full house attendance at 18 seminars between the UK and USA. The promotion set a record with sold out tickets for every single one of the seminar.
1000SQM FACTORY IN BANGKOK METROPOLIS
On 15th June 2015 a new 1000sqm factory opened in Samut Prakan, just an hour south of downtown Bangkok, becoming the official YOKKAO Headquarter. The operations of the factory, which specializes in product R&D, is headed by a team of professional craftsmen.
YOKKAO 14 - YOKKAO 15
YOKKAO made Muay Thai history once more with YOKKAO 14 – 15. The event quickly sold out after announcement, even before the official release of the event’s poster! Held in the regular venue of the Bolton Macron stadium on 10th October 2015, the event showcased the elite fighters of Muay Thai such as Saenchai, Jordan Watson, Liam Harrison, Singdam Kiatmoo9 and more.
The sold out crowd was treated to 19 fights including 7 fights of the YOKKAO NEXT GENERATION global initiative, designed to discover talent in the new generation. The event ended with 6 TKOS and 1 KO in an evening that Muay Thai lovers will never forget.
Following the opening of the YOKKAO Training Center in Rosario, Argentina, it was announced on 12th August 2015 that YOKKAO 16 would take place in the same city. This was the first YOKKAO event to take place in South America and the news ignited an excited speculation and discussion online over which fighters from the continent would participate.
On 18th November 2015, South American fans were treated to a night of Muay Thai action that was nothing short of spectacular. Pakorn defended the YOKKAO world title at 65kg successfully against challenger, Nicholas Vega. Despite getting cut with an elbow by his opponent, Pakorn’s superior techniques and experience got him a win over points. YOKKAO 16 delivered an incredible night of real Muay Thai with fans extremely happy to be part of YOKKAO history.
OFFICIAL YOKKAO TRAINING CENTER BANGKOK!
2015 ended on a great note with the announcement on 15th December 2015 of the new official YOKKAO Training Center Bangkok opening in the famous Sukhumvit district. YOKKAO Training Center Bangkok is the first Muay Thai camp to be located in the heart of Bangkok. The world class facility officially opened in January 2016 to much fanfare and has since become THE place to train with the best Muay Thai fighters in Thailand under the same roof.
YOKKAO 17 - 18
On Saturday 19th March 2016, YOKKAO returned to the Macron Stadium in Bolton for the seventeenth and eighteenth edition of the popular fight event. Two YOKKAO World Title bouts for 70kg and 65kg took place between Jordan Watson vs Sanny Dahlbeck and Liam Harrison vs Tetsuya Yamato respectively.
The main event saw Jordan Watson returning to reclaim his YOKKAO World Title -70kg from Sanny Dahlbeck after the latter’s win at YOKKAO 12 in the same arena. In what was dubbed “The Revenge”, both fighters gave an outstanding performance and the exciting matchup ended with Watson winning on points despite having his nose broken by Dahlbeck during the fight.
In the other World Title bout, Liam Harrison edged over Tetsuya Yamato by points in a very closely matched YOKKAO 13 main event to become the new YOKKAO World Champion at 65kg. It was truly a blend of energies made from motivation, progress, self-confidence and achievements that exploded in the newly canvassed yellow ring of the YOKKAO brand leaving Muay Thai fans breathless the entire night.
YOKKAO ACQUIRES LUMPINEE #1 MANACHAI
On 7th April 2016, the YOKKAO fight team acquired its first official fighter since the inauguration of the new YOKKAO Training Center Bangkok. He was none other than the number 1 ranking Lumpinee fighter, Manachai who had fought out of the Kiatmoo9 camp. After acquisition requests came in from many of the best camps across Thailand, Manachai eventually settled on YOKKAO Training Center Bangkok as his new home, signing an exclusive contract for 8 years.
Then, at the age of 19, Manachai already had an impressive 184 wins to his name from 265 fights, including 17 by KO. Since his joining, Manachai’s training had been closely monitored by the best in the business with Saenchai, Singdam and Kru Manop all involved to mentor who would be in the years to come one of the best Muay Thai fighter in the world.
YOKKAO FIGHTERS OUTCLASS RAJADAMNERN STADIUM
Back in Thailand, the YOKKAO Fight Team with members, Superlek, Rungarai and Petpanomrung from the affiliated YOKKAO Training Center Buriram scored 3 wins at Rajadamnern Stadium on 9th May 2016. Superlek Kiatmoo9 won his fight by KO in round 2; the 16 year old Rungarai Kiatmoo9 won by KO in round 3 to bag the Rajadamnern Champion title at 108lbs; and the main event saw Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9 winning the fight by points to become the new WMC Lightweight Champion (135lbs). One of the biggest victorious night for a Muay Thai brand.
YOKKAO FIGHTER FAH BECOMES FIGHTER OF THE YEAR!
YOKKAO fighter, Fah YOKKAOSaenchaiGym was awarded the Muay Thai Thailand Female Fighter of the Year on 15th May 2016, after winning a fight in Mini Buri just outside of Bangkok. Fah’s father is the renowned trainer, Kru Manop, one of the most experienced Muay Thai trainers in the world. Kru Manop is best known for working with “living legend” Saenchai and seeing through his last 200 over fights.
YOKKAO NEXT GENERATION MELBOURNE
On 27th August 2016, YOKKAO took to the stage in Melbourne, Australia with the Next Generation global initiative to uncover new talent in the new generation. Save for Singdam’s match against Australia’s own Jake Moulden, the sold out event was a historical first for YOKKAO with an all-women fight card. The 18 female fighters put on 9 exciting all women bouts to the delight of the attending crowd
YOKKAO NEXT GENERATION MEXICO
YOKKAO’s continual talent search globally took them next to the city of Xalapa in Mexico on 24th September 2016 with another Next Generation event. The events have become very popular with Muay Thai fans around the world and YOKKAO remains dedicated in discovering new talents and assist them in reaching international levels. The global initiative which started in 2015 had already led to events throughout Thailand, China, Australia, Argentina and Mexico, giving the Next Generation fighters a career boost and international media exposure.
1.7M VIEWS IN 10 DAYS
YOKKAO Instagram account received more than 1.7M views in just 10 short days in September 2016, setting a new record for any Muay Thai brand in the world. YOKKAO IG account is updated frequently with the latest news and content, from events, to elite fighters training, and sneak peaks of the latest gear, apparel and accessories. YOKKAO’s strong media following extends to its Facebook Page and YouTube channel, with record number of likes and views of any Muay Thai brand globally.
YOKKAO 19 - 20
YOKKAO continued to sell out for its popular fight events at the famous Macron Stadium in Bolton UK with YOKKAO 19 & 20. Attendees from all parts of England and Europe described the night as “the real deal for Muay Thai”.
At YOKKAO 19, Liam Harrison faced Fabio Pinca in a fight 11 years in the making. The clash between 2 of the greatest modern Muay Farangs had been heavily anticipated and the result was one of the best fights of the year. Fabio Pinca took the win on points, scoring clear shots with middle kicks to overcome Harrison’s speed and technical skills.
On the same night at YOKKAO 20, Manachai showcased his pure Muay Thai skills on an international stage. Fighting the same way he would in the top stadiums of Thailand, Manachai to take home the win over opponent, Panicos Yusuf, by points. The fight, along with Jordan Watsons’s bout against Ben Hodge, were streamed LIVE over YOKKAO’s Facebook page reaching the incredible number of more than 200,000 people and generating more than 50,000 views with almost 1000 comments.
YOKKAO established not only itself as the Premiere Muay Thai Promotion outside of Thailand, but set the country of England and their fighters at the pinnacle of Muay Thai. As a testament to the success of the Bolton events, UK promoter Brian Calder and YOKKAO already began planning for YOKKAO 23 – 24 in the same arena as soon as the evening ended.
YOKKAO SEMINAR HUNGARY
On 21st to 23rd October 2016, YOKKAO seminars continued their ever popular Muay Thai tour with a stop in Budapest, Hungary. Conducting 5 sold out seminars over the course of 3 days, Hungarian fans were given a taste of authentic Muay Thai in the exclusive technique development workshops, and a chance to spar with the “living legend” Saenchai and Kru Manop.
YOKKAO 21 & 22
On 28th October 2016, Hong Kong fans were treated, literally, to a double treat at YOKKAO 21 – 22 with the best Muay Thai fights while they feasted in a BBQ party! Held in an outdoor venue in partnership with ATMA YOKKAO Training Center, the event featured fighters from Thailand, USA, France, China and Australia going up against the best that Hong Kong had to offer. It was an explosive and exciting night for Hong Kong fans who had a chance to witness the Muay Thai Living Legend Saenchai live in action. Saenchai gave a brilliant display of Muay Thai mastery and emerged the winner against USA fighter Ognjen Topic by unanimous decision.
YOKKAO ACQUIRES TALENTED FIGHTER YODCHAI
On 22nd December 2016, YOKKAO announced the acquisition of the 21 year old fighter, Yodchai from the Lookboko Muay Thai camp in Sing Buri. At the time of acquisition, Yodchai has already had 147 fights to his name, scoring 109 wins. He will be training under the supervision of Kru Manop, Kru Petchdam (Singdam’s brother and trainer) and he will be teaming up with the resident Muay Thai stars at the new YOKKAO Training Center in Bangkok including Saenchai, Singdam and Manachai.
YOKKAO reached another milestone on January, 18th 2017. The most trusted name in news, CNN International, arrived at the YOKKAO headquarters to film and interview the YOKKAO team on the brand’s rapid rise in popularity in such a short time span. The CNN series “Made in Thailand” which featured YOKKAO as one of 5 top up and coming successful businesses in Thailand, was broadcasted on the international news channel around the globe in over 200 countries.
YOKKAO US SEMINAR TOUR
YOKKAO Seminar went on a coast-to-coast tour in US that began on 3rd February 2017, stopping in a dozen cities that started with Fontana in California and ended in New York city. The seminars with Saenchai were structured in 2 hrs of Muay Thai techniques mixed with the unique Saenchai’s style, that has made him the most successful and famous Muay Thai fighter of all the time. After 2 hrs of hands-on training, some of the participants also had the lucky opportunity to spar with the living legend. With more than 2 weeks on the road to packed gyms at every stop, the tour concluded on 19th February with a resounding success.
YOKKAO 23 - 24
On 25th March 2017, the immensely successful YOKKAO 23 – 24 was held in Bolton that remains a much talked-about fight night. Fans poured into the Macron Stadium from around Europe to witness two YOKKAO world titles defense in the sold out event. Both title holders, Jordan Watson and Liam Harrison defended their belts successfully against their opponents in the 70kg and 65kg bouts respectively. The crowd was also treated to the phenomenal fight between Amy Pirnie and Dakota Ditcheva, which many tout to be the best female fight of the year.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & WALL STREET JOURNAL
YOKKAO hosted the 2 big names in media in April when the production crews from the 2 outfits spent two days filming for an upcoming show. YOKKAO Training Center Bangkok was elected as the focal point of the segment on Muay Thai, solidifying the brand’s place as one of the best facilities for training Muay Thai.
Philip Villa partnered with YOKKAO UK promoter Brian Calder and event organizer, Peter Spensley for the YOKKAO Kids talent-search initiative to help shape the future of Muay Thai in discovering young talents and putting them on the global stage. The first YOKKAO Kids event took place on 26th November 2017 at the Barnsley Metrodome with immense success 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.
NOW ON AMAZON.COM
In March 2018, YOKKAO launched an official store on Amazon.com to meet the increasing demand for YOKKAO products in the US. USA, Canada and Europe were the first international Amazon sites to carry YOKKAO products. The partnership offers fans a trusted online marketplace from which to purchase authentic YOKKAO products.
PRIVATE YOKKAO SEMINAR FOR WIZ KHALIFA
On 24th April 2018, YOKKAO hosted a private seminar for American rap star, Wiz Khalifa at Hollywood’s Unbreakable Performance Center. The famous celebrity was presented with a one-of-a-kind YOKKAO boxing gloves created specially for him. Featuring Wiz’s name in graffiti-style fonts, and designs inspired by the heavily-inked star’s tattoos, the stylish gloves are certainly befitting the trendsetting celebrity.
MANACHAI WINS WBC WORLD TITLE
On 29th October 2018, YOKKAO hosted its first WBC title fight where Manachai fought against Julio Lobo from Brazil for the vacant WBC Muay Thai world welterweight title on YOKKAO 34 in Hong Kong. Manachai won the fight by decision to clinch his first world championship belt.
YOKKAO 35 - 36
YOKKAO marked its return to Italy with YOKKAO 35 - 36 on 26th January 2019. The sold-out event saw nearly 5000 fans from Italy and around the region convened at the PalaRuffini arena. It was one of the most dramatic and memorable nights in YOKKAO history with wild stoppages, some amazing comebacks and an unexpected twist of fate that kept our audience at the edge of the seats. Besides headlining acts featuring Saenchai and Singdam, the show also saw the crowning of Spencer and Yodchai as the WBC Europe and WBC International champion respectively.
YOKKAO 39 - 40
On 8 April 2019, YOKKAO announced that it will host its official event for the first time in Sydney, Australia. Having hosted three separate Next Generation shows in the past, YOKKAO 39- 40 marked the first full-fledged YOKKAO double event for the land down under. Organized in partnership with Luis Regis and Eduardo Azambuja from SRG Thai Boxing Gym, the event brought in top fighters like Singdam, Superbank and Spencer from Thailand while showcasing many of the country’s own fan-favorites and rising stars.
On 18 April 2019, YOKKAO announced the launch of its fighter management branch, YOKKAO Agency. YOKKAO Agency was started to provide top opportunities and help fighters achieve maximum potential and exposure at every stage of their career. The first to join the agency are upcoming fighters from the UK including Stuart Stabler and Ellie Barker.
SINGDAM WINS WBC DIAMOND BELT
On 27 July 2019, YOKKAO held its first Ireland event in Dublin where Singdam fought against Ireland’s Craig Coakley for the WBC Muay Thai Diamond Super-Lightweight title. The action escalated from the start, and it was clear that the Irish fighter had gone in looking for the knockout win. The experienced Thai fighter took the fight at his pace, scoring favorably with his signature strong right kicks and knees. Singdam won the fight via decision to clinch the WBC diamond belt.
YOKKAO SEMINAR US TOUR 2020
In August and September 2019, YOKKAO Seminar returned to the US for a 3-week seminar tour with Saenchai, Spencer Brown, Yodchai and Kru Jack. The team traveled in a rented RV over 13,000km from coast to coast and where they visited 20 gyms in 20 different cities. The epic road trip kicked off in New York and covered cities including Chicago, Nashville, Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles before finishing up in Seattle.
YOKKAO OPENS WAREHOUSE IN LAS VEGAS
In August 2019, YOKKAO opened its third international warehouse in Las Vegas, USA. The new logistic facility joins a global network of warehouses located in Thailand and Republic of San Marino. With the new warehouse, customers around the world can now expect faster delivery times and lower shipping costs with easy access to YOKKAO’s complete range of products.
YOKKAO Diamond Championship Title
YOKKAO announced the first-ever YOKKAO Diamond Championship title in January 2020. The inaugural YOKKAO Diamond title was contested between Saenchai and Shan Cangelosi at the main event for YOKKAO 45 - 46 on 25th January 2020 in Turin, Italy. Saenchai won by decision and became the first YOKKAO Diamond Champion in history.
WORLDWIDE RETAIL PLATFORM LAUNCHED
In 2020, YOKKAO launched its worldwide retail and B2B platforms dedicated to Asia, Europe and North America operating directly from the regional warehouses in Bangkok, Republic of San Marino and Las Vegas. The global network enables both retailers and distributors to get access to YOKKAO’s latest products with faster delivery times and lower shipping costs.
LIMITED EDITION COLLECTIONS
In October 2020, Philip Villa announced that all future YOKKAO collections will be produced and released in limited quantities. That is to say that once the items are sold out, they will no longer be restocked. The move to reduce the quantity of each design was to ensure that customers receive truly limited-edition gear that is unique and not mass produced.
MILAN FASHION WEEK
YOKKAO announced that it will debut at Milan Fashion Week where it will launch its F/W 2021 collection. The sportswear collection will feature the culmination of a project started two years ago in Italy between Italian designers, the YOKKAO Team in Thailand and YOKKAO's founder Philip Villa. The F/W 2021 collection launch at the Milan Fashion week marks the first time that a Thai boxing brand has taken over the fashion runway in Milan.