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Artur Saladiak

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Artur Wining the WLC World Lethwei title

Artur Saladiak is a Polish born martial artist specialising in Muay Thai, K1 and Lethwei and the current WLC World Lethwei Championship, Light middleweight World Champion.

Born 15 March 1991, in Miroslawice , Zachodniopomorskie ,Poland. In Poland he started a Career in Football, playing at a good standard as a goal keeper, until struck by a knee injury which finished his career. In 2005 Artur and his family moved to the UK to make a better life themselves, Artur by now had put on some weight and decided to seek a gym and get into some shape. He found a gym in his home town of Ilminster, in Somerset and under the eye of Matt Follain, started to train in K1. Artur was no stranger to a fight after having a hard life in Poland, he took to the sport instantly and within a few months he had his first amateur fight, winning the fight on Points.

After a year or so Artur started to outgrow the small club and Matt decided it would be best for Artur to link up with a new coach. they approached Sonny Perez of FSC Muay Thai in Honiton and Exeter and asked if he could join the growing talent at their gym, gladly Sonny accepted and Artur began to train Muay Thai and look to establish himself a career.

Within a few weeks Artur took on the then UK ranked No5 at 85kg, Artur was giving away around 3kg but wanted to fight and did so very well taking a decision win after a hard fought contest.

It became apparent that for Artur to Succeed he needed to drop down the weight categories to be successful and Sonny and the FSC team started to do this and Artur went from strength to strength.

Opportunities started to come for Artur, taking on all comers fighting on the biggest UK shows, Tanko, Thai fight , Yokkao and taking good scalps and victories along the way, beating ranked fighters as he moved down the weight categories.

People started taking note due to his inclusion of Thai Fight, a fight show held in the famous O2 arena in London, where a team of Thai hero's fought the pick of the UK talent. Artur fought the very skilled Antoine Pinto (Antoine is the youngest ever foreign fighter to have fought at the famous Lumpini and Rajadamnern stadiums 11 and 12 years old) and fought very well. He narrowly lost on points but he gained a huge amount of respect taking on the 75kg legend from Bangkok.

Shortly after Artur settled at 72.5kg and became UK ranked for the first time in a weight class that suited him.

After fighting 12 times in a year he then started finding opponents hard to come by, taking fights as a last minute replacement several times just to get fights, even one time taking a fight on the bus on the way up to watch stable mate Jake Purdy fight on Yokkao in Bolton, giving away a huge amount of weight Artur stopped his opponent in the second round. Artur was being avoided by fighters in the division.

In June 2017 he was given the chance of a lifetime to fight under Lethwei rules when he was approached by the World Lethwei Championship (WLC) to fight one of the best Lethwei fighters in history - the previously undefeated Soe Lin Oo. Fighting under new rules, the winner could win on points unlike traditional Lethwei where the winner can only be awarded after a knockout, although head butts were still permitted and the fight takes place with only bandages on the hands.

Artur travelled to Yangon, Myanmar and fought his heart out against the relentless local hero and won the fight via a points decision, something the locals and people in the know thought was unlikely. On the back of this decision Soe Lin Oo offered Artur an immediate rematch in August under traditional Lethwei rules, Artur accepted the challenge and returned to fight the hero a second time, this time cutting his opponent several times with big elbow strikes but unable to knock him out. Artur claimed a very respectable draw, the Myanmar fans warmed to him and the WLC saw a new hero in the sport a foreign star in the making.

Back in England Artur still struggled for fights people didn't want to fight someone who's style is neither Thai, or K1 and is a mixture of great skills and violence.

In September 2017, at 10 days notice, he got the chance to fight the best Middle weight fighter in Muay Thai Youssef Boughanem, the current WBC world champion, current Ratchadamern stadium champion, current Lumpini champion (the first foreign fighter to ever hold both stadium titles) Thai fight world champion and Max Muay Thai world champion.

Artur wasn't 100% prepared and he fought bravely but was overwhelmed by the occasion despite giving it his best shot. The fight would be for the Phoenix fighting championship world title but Youssef stopped Artur in Round 3 with some heavy low kicks.

This defeat only fuelled Artur more , he had been in with the very best and now he knew he had nothing to fear from any fighters in the division.

Next up came another trip to Myanmar, this time to fight Romanian/British fighter Alex "Bodyhammer" Banchamek. Artur, now at home with the Lethwei discipline, dominated the fight and won a points decision .

Back home in England at the start of 2018 Artur was determined to make it his year. He signed up to a Kard Cheuk fight in the UK against a tough opponent. Like Lethwei, excluding head butts, Kard cheuk or Muay Boran as its sometimes referred to is fought with ropes on the hands instead of gloves and the only way to win is with a knockout. Artur's opponent managed to survive to the end and took an 8 count but the fight was declared a draw.

Then came the news he had been waiting for - the WLC had been in touch to offer Artur the chance to fight for the Light middle weight world title. This would be a chance to make some history in the Lethwei sport and also for the WLC to begin their journey to bring Lethwei to the rest of the world.

Artur would fight Yangon hero, Saw Ba Oo, a fighter very much on the up. ver the last 2 years he had put together a string of good results and forced himself into the position to fight for the World title, he had earned a reputation as a hard come forward fighter who is relentless in his pursuit of his opponent,fby ighting on WLC and ONE championship.

Artur trained like a man possessed in the UK at the FSC gyms in Honiton and Exeter before travelling out to Yangon to finish his preparation at the Phoenix Lethwei gym in Yangon. The fight took place in the capital Naypyidaw at the Wunna Theikdi stadium on June 2nd 2018, the preparation and the excellent fitness of Artur proved to much for Saw Ba Oo and Artur finished him off in round 4 with a huge body punch. His opponent crumpled and bravely made it to his feet, but was unable to continue. Artur was crowned the World Lethwei light middleweight champion, he looks forward to defending this title many times in the future.

References[edit | edit source]

British Muay Thai rankings http://thaifighter.co.uk/live-rankings/ World Lethwei Championship https://g.co/kgs/LvrrST FSC Muay Thai gym http://www.fscmuaythai.co.uk Artur fighter profile on Social media https://www.facebook.com/artursaladiak/ Ending Soe Lin Oo's run https://www.mmtimes.com/sports/26350-saladiak-spoils-soe-lin-oo-s-unbeaten-record.html News paper clippings from world title https://eurosport.interia.pl/sporty-walki/news-artur-saladiak-mistrzem-w-najbrutalniejszej-odmianie-kickbox,nId,2591166


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