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One Incredible Year Sets the Stage for 2013

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By Sandy Hackenmueller

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Not a chance, when it comes to Friday Night Fights and the year 2012!

FNF is not an acquaintance of the ancient sport of Muay Thai, being the longest-running Muay Thai series in the US. But the promotion company was integral in introducing the fast-growing sport to fans nationwide, and in ways soon not to be forgotten.

The year 2012 brought many new things forward to fight fans through FNFMT. With a fresh new look, a new-and-improved website was launched in the beginning of the year. Great new features were added, including live blogging and real-time photos during fight events.

Soon a live audio blog was implemented, and to the surprise of fans new and old, live-streamed video was introduced earlier than projected. The year 2012 also saw the launch of a FNFMT channel on YouTube.

All were important, innovative ways to expand the audience of the sport of Muay Thai. But none more impactful than heading to Seattle in May, making FNF the only organization producing Muay Thai on a national level.

“I thought making the move cross-country to Seattle this year was good to expose their show to a new audience,” said California fighter Eric Luna, who fought on the west coast debut card. “I enjoyed it very much and hope the promotion grows in 2013.

“How would I sum up my 2012 FNFMT experience? In one word: amazing!”

With two shows in Seattle last year, other notable events included the highly anticipated outdoor show on Pier 84 in mid-Manhattan. “The Rumble on the River event was like no other event I’ve ever been a part of,” said NJ fighter Alex Stine. “Fighting is my passion and to fight outdoors in the world’s greatest city, in front of a huge crowd, is a feeling that words can’t describe.”

Fighting outdoors was a first for area fighters Jon Nace and Jafar Toshev. “It was a good experience. The show was very smooth running and the people were nice,” said Nace.

Toshev was new to fighting on an outdoor card, but not new to fighting for FNF. In 2013, he hopes to continue to be a part of some great cards. “I hope to earn my way to a title, and I would also love to take part of an 8-man tournament.”

The annual 8-man tournament was held in September. It was an event busting at the seams, as the crowd screamed for their favorite fighter – a fighter who would have to compete in three tough battles in one night in order to be crowned the champion.

Joe Cox, tournament winner from Missouri, was very honored to have been chosen as one of the eight nationwide competitors. And by the end of the year, he was chosen one more time – to headline a very important show, the Fight for Rockaway.

“I was honored to be headlining — not only for an amazing promotion but for such a great cause,” said Cox. The benefit was designed to help Crom Martial Training get back on their feet, and back into a home, after the disastrous Hurricane Sandy. “This made the fight an even better experience.

“Friday Night Fights is by far the most amazing organization I have fought for,” Cox continued. “Everything is set up perfect and runs so well. It is a much more professional feel than most shows I have been a part of.”

The year ended on a high note, and the season opener, set for January 18th, plans to keep the momentum going.

“I know the FNF staff and they accept nothing less than the best fights from the best fighters in all of North America. I expect to see some fights that will be considered classics 10 years from now,” said Stine.

“2012 was a great year for FNF and 2013 can only be better.”

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