Singdam KO?!

Yeh, I know! That was unexpected!

But let’s take a closer look at this…

I thought I’d share my take away points from Singdam’s shock KO defeat to Russia’s Kazbek Kabulov at Yokkao 25 in Hong Kong.

If you have’t seen it yet, here’s the fight I’m talking about below:


It may appear like a lucky single shot that won Kabulov the fight, but here are some objective observations…

1.  Although outpointed in the round, Kabulov appeared very stable and balanced throughout. He wasn’t being hurt or phased by anything Singdam was hitting him with. Kabulov just wasn’t beginning to flow yet, hadn’t found his timing and range.

2. On the final exchange, Kabulov employed a fight style reversal, shifting from elusive to an aggressive style – making the spinning hook kick effective on Singdam, who was aggressively hunting forwards.

3. The choice of a spinning hook kick was also a “tricky style” technique, that added to the deception.

4. Singdam was caught (literally) off guard as this was a sudden change of style and pace from his opponent – one he’d under estimated and had been scoring well against up until this point.

5. Singdam also under estimated his opponent’s mobility and speed, as he hadn’t seen any evidence of it so far in the round. He believed the spinning kick was coming lower to the mid section, and dropped his elbow to cover this.

All of this resulted in a dramatic change of fortunes in the very first round.

Russian fighter Kazbek Kabulov is no stranger to throwing these rear-leg spinning kicks, and has the patience to rely on his power to stop opponents. Whether that comes in one shot, or an accumulation of several to the same target.


It’s always worth reviewing fight footage of your upcoming opponent to see what their habits are, and what fight style methods they use.

I encourage you to ask yourself some questions about your next opponent:

1. What predominant fight style do they use? Aggressive/Elusive/Counter/Tricky

2. Can they switch styles during the fight?

3. Which fight style to they struggle the most with?

4. Which fight range do they prefer? Long/Medium/Close/Clinch

5. Which fight range do they struggle most with?

6. Which stance do they fight out of? Orthodox/Southpaw

7. Do they switch stances during a fight?

8. What are their top 3 combinations

9. How fit are they – what sort of pace can they sustain?

10. How powerful are they – what shots have they KO’d opponents with?

11. How robust are they? Can they walk through shots and have they been KO’d?

12. Are they psychologically composed, or do they lose their temper or panic?

Then ask the same questions of yourself, and compare the results. And be honest, we’ve all got stuff we’re crappy at. Facing up to it will help you inform your training in preparation for this opponent, and minimise the amount of in-fight learning you need.

I’m not suggesting you should spend a load of time working on something you’ll never be good at, rather minimise your weaknesses and sharpen your strengths.


Some of the training areas highlighted from these questions can be addressed very quickly in the short-term. Others will need a longer-term, more planned approach.

The stuff that takes longer to improve will be your biggest differentiator over your fight career. Others will find it harder to match you, as it’ll take longer for them to catch up.

So don’t disregard a quality because it’ll take too long. Begin your training investment now. Although this particular quality may not be ready by your next fight, it’ll come to bear soon enough. Keep preparing a little better every time.

It’s important to learn lessons from any defeat. And it’s obviously better to learn from the defeat of others if you can – especially someone as formidable as Singdam. And of course, ANYONE can loose. We’re all human.

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram:


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