For most of the Asian audience, Chris Shaw is a strange and unique specimen. He’s the only Scottish fighter on the ONE roster and he fights in Muay Thai.
Europeans usually have much bigger representation in Kickboxing, and the ones that do practice The Art of Eight Limbs usually stay on their continent. Only the best of the best ever dare to make the trip to Asia to challenge the masters of the sport.
Shaw has definitely earned that right.
The Little Bam
Shaw’s early life didn’t have much direction. After the divorce of his parents, he spent much of his time on the street with friends, stirring up trouble with the police.
In his own words, he didn’t care what he did or anybody else. He did what he wanted, when he wanted. He was so set in his ways that even the death of one of his friends due to a drug overdose did little to faze him.
His parents kicked him out of the house when he was 16 and he had to live at different friends’ houses until he got back to his feet.
Only one person in his life was able to make a difference. His then-girlfriend gave him an ultimatum. Either he drops the wanna-be gangster act or she walks.
Fortunately, Chris chose to give up the booze and the negative influences in his life. But he still needed an outlet to put his energy and time into. This is when he discovered Muay Thai.
The sport gave him discipline, stability, and a path back to being accepted by both society and his family. It also allows him to serve as an inspirational story for teenagers with a similar situation.
The Uphill Climb
Shaw’s Muay Thai career reads like a role-playing game. He starts at the bottom rung of the ladder and had to work his way up step by step. No line-jumping on this campaign, he takes the longest possible route and makes the most out of every second.
He’s fought in Power of Scotland (POS) and Yokkao, where familiar faces like Liam “Hitman” Harrison made his name before heading over to this side of the world.
He has notable victories over Rambo Phet Por Aor, a Muay Thai veteran that’s beatean Petchpanomrung Kiatmoo9 and Muangthai PKSaenchaigym. He’s been in wars with Craig Dickson, Nathan Bendon, and current ONE athlete Superlek Kiatmoo9.
He clawed his way up to become #1 in Scotland and then did some more climbing to become #1 in the UK. Finally, he became the ISKA European and British Champion.
With more than 40 fights on his record and with all the names he’s beat and gone to war with, there’s no doubt he deserves to represent the West in Muay Thai.
Never Back Down
The best way to describe Shaw’s style is brave. He’s not a brawler because his striking favors accuracy over power, he’s not a pure technician either since he doesn’t utilize angles or footwork into his offense.
He stands smack dab in his opponent’s red zone and just trades. It doesn’t matter how powerful or how many shots he takes. He stands and trades without losing any composure, seemingly oblivious to the amount of blood running down his face.
No other match showcases his style as perfectly as his ONE debut. He was up against UK killer Rodlek PK. Saenchaimuaythaigym, who previously beat Liam Harrison and fellow Scotsman Andrew Miller. But Shaw wasn’t fazed in the least.
He had faced other veteran Thai fighters and was confident he had the style to finally score a win over Rodlek.
The fight didn’t disappoint, as Shaw took everything Rodlek had for him and didn’t back down. He even avenged the cut on his head by bloodying the Thai.
The fight didn’t go his way, but it was one of those fights that you wish had more rounds. There was a feeling of wanting to know how far they’d be able to take it if everybody let them.
Look forward to seeing Chris Shaw return in ONE Super Series. Perhaps one day, we’ll see him fight Nong-O or whoever has the belt by then.
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