The world is coming together in Dubai for the World Expo 2020 & MUAYTHAI is one of the sports taking centre stage.

Muaythai Fight Night Expo 2020 will see the opening of the Royal World Cup series, a joint event under the umbrella of the world governing body IFMA, the National Federation of UAE, the National Olympic Committee, the Sports Ministry, the WMC and is an event that will take athletes on the #RoadToBirmingham for the World Games 2022. It is the first time that a muaythai competition will be featured at the World Expo bringing together the best men and women athletes from all five continents. 

The Royal World Cup is a world class event for which a special trophy has been created to journey through six countries. On its maiden voyage, the Opening event as part of the World Expo in Dubai will feature qualifications for the World Games 2022 in addition to the world title fights. The event will feature all aspects of Muaythai with a cultural showcase of the sport’s traditions and heritage through demonstrations of the traditional Wai Khru, Muay Boran and certainly the live Pi Muay band.

The opening event of the Royal World Cup in Dubai as part of the Muaythai World Expo Fight Night will see the best of the best going toe to toe for the world title belts as well as the right to claim the coveted Royal Trophies.

The athletes have been curated from the best of the best, having either made their way through the qualification journey from national championships to continental to world championships or having shown exceptional talent such as the Thai Fighter of the Year.

The home country of the UAE will be represented by Asian champion Ilyas Habibali, the local pride will take on Aaron Ortiz the Pan American champion for the light heavy weight world title.

The mother land of the sport Thailand will be represented by Nattapon Saenkla Thai fighter of the year who will take on the IFMA World and European champion Gusein Tagirovich Aliev from Russia.

In IFMA’s full gender equality pursuit, there will be two women’s title fights with the Asia Pacific champion Yolanda Schmidt from Australia facing IFMA gold medallist Sveva Melillo from Italy and the world champion Anaelle Angerville from France against the Pan American champion Bekah Irwin from the USA.

The intercontinental title fight will be between Valentin Thinaut from France against Bobirjon Tagaev from Uzbekistan.

FMA recently signed an MOU with the National Identity Foundation of Thailand under the chairmanship of his Excellency General Surayud Chulanont and the National Identity Foundation will travel to this event led by M.C. Nawaphansa Yugala who will be presenting the Royal Cups to the winning athletes of the event together with the representatives of the Royal family in Dubai.

The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) will be supporting this event on the cultural side and Khun Suprnaee Guptasa will be representing NSDF together with a representative from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

H.E. Abdullah Saeed Amer Al Neyadi, Chairman of the UAE Muaythai Federation and Asian Vice President stated “The UAE is proud to have been granted the opening event of the Royal World Cup and it is an historical moment to have muaythai as an official part of the World Expo”. He wished the athletes the best of luck and stated that the world-televised event would be a great showcase of muaythai in all its beauty.
The winners of the six Royal World Cup event series will then convene on the 5th of December in Thailand to compete for the traditional King and Queens cups. This event is a fantastic opportunity to connect the Kingdom of Thailand together with other Monarchies of the world, and showcase muaythai at its highest level. This series will feature only the cream of the crop, all vying for the Royal Trophy.

The Chair of the IFMA Athletes Commission Janice Lyn stated, “This is truly an event for champions of champions, bringing together the world expo, the royal world cup, the world games into one mega event. To ensure fair play, he top referees and judges from around the world will officiate the event.”