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Mark Burnett takes The Contender worldwide

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 14th 2006 2:34PM
David IsmaloneThe man television writers call the devil, Mark Burnett, has yet another show up his sleeve. Mr. Reality is taking The Contender worldwide.

Instead of boxing, the international edition of The Contender will feature Thai boxing. Yes, martial arts fans, it's The Contender Muay Thai. You're going to have to wait for it to show up on YouTube though. The show will only air in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Like its US predecessor, the show will feature sixteen fighters from around the world competing for the title of "contender." The show will be directed by Thai boxer and actor David Ismalone.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the world of Thai boxing or Muay Thai, the sport is similar to American boxing expect for the part where you can get kicked in the face. Thai boxing uses a combination of kicks and punches plus you can throw elbow, knees and whatever else you got on that body of yours to defeat your opponent. The sport is massively popular in Southeast Asia and gained a little Stateside momentum with the release of the film Ong Bak. It's also the sport that helped Jack Osbourne lose all that weight. While you can find some great gyms teaching Muay Thai in the states, it often gets translated into cardio-kickboxing or something else far less exciting, but far more Curves-friendly.

As someone who has studied Muay Thai, I have a personal plea for you US cable network programmers out there. Can't you pick this up? It is Mark Burnett - Mr. Moneybags. You've got to have room for a little Muay Thai action. Spike? ESPN 8: The Ocho?

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This sounds awesome

November 14 2006 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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