At first glance of Michael Corley I thought to myself, this guy looks to nice to be fighting Muay Thai. He seems like the kind of guy who would help an elderly lady cross the street. Never judge a book by its cover. I guess in my eyes a fighter should look mean with a shaved head, and a bunch of tribal tattoos.
He isn’t as well known here in the United States like other American fighters Kevin Ross, Ky Hollenbeck, etc. because he has been doing most of his fighting abroad in Thailand, & Malaysia. He’s fighting Marco Pique December 23rd in Suriname & is coming back for his first fight in the United States since 2008.
He will be fighting a very good opponent in Chike Lindsey who recently defeated Malaipet. Michael Corley’s bout with Chike Lindsay is the headliner at Bangkok Fight Night 12 which will be taking place on February 17th, in Atlanta, GA.
TMT: Have people abroad underestimated you because you are American & supposedly don’t look like a fighter?
Michael Corley: Sometimes. Some abroad fighters think that Americans are weak in Muay Thai even though many are making waves internationally…Hollenbeck, Ross, Schilling, Washington etc
TMT: What is your background? Were you living in Thailand for awhile?
Michael Corley: I’m from Spring, Texas and started out doing Amateur Boxing. 2003 is when I started fighting Muay Thai. After a month or so trip to Thailand in 2008 I knew I wanted to be there for a long time. After the Bangkok IFMA’s in 2009 the Fairtex Camp in Bangplee had an opening for Manager position and I applied for it while I was there. I ended up getting the position and started there beginning of 2010 and worked til April/May 2011.
TMT: Michael, How did you go about getting on the show “The Challenger Muay Thai?”
Michael Corley: When I was living in Thailand I was taking advantage of all the fight opportunities I could. I started making a little name and got to participate in a Challenger 8man Qualifier in Pattaya which had eventual Challenger Show Castmates Jay Woodham, Antoine Pinto, and Faizal from Malaysia. I did well in that to get there attention and then I just kept fighting in different shows til I got the call.
TMT: What gym & trainer are you training with for this fight in Suriname? Do you train out of Fairtex?
Michael Corley: I no longer train out of Fairtex because I got a great opportunity to teach/train in my hometown of Spring, TX where I am living now. There aren’t many Thai Boxing gyms in the area, so I am using a boxing coach and having some Thai Boxing training partners of mine do some Thai padwork/Sparring with me. After this bout in Suriname I am going to be spending some time with my old USA Coach Kirian Fitzgibbons and his Team for upcoming camps.
TMT: I saw a picture of you with some bad stiches that needed to be redone. What’s the story behind that?
Michael Corley: Those were probaply pics of when I fought at Lumpinee and the Toyota Cup in Saraburi. I recommend not getting stitches in Thailand at the stadium/temple/fair grounds your fighting at if you get a big cut. Go to the hospital…trust me. It’s cheap and you won’t look like Frankenstein. They use wide gauge thread or something that doesnt look right or heal right when you get it done at the stadiums haha.
TMT: You didn’t fight with Marco Pique on the show right? Are you and Marco Pique friends & have you sparred with him? Are you pretty familiar with him as a fighter?
Michael Corley: No, Me and Marco didn’t fight on the show but I have seen him train and fight in person. He’s a solid fighter. We got to hang out just recently at the Challenger Finale in November. I rematched Colossa again and he rematched Mosi. He’s a good guy and we’ll put on a good fight and hang out afterwards Im sure.
TMT: Any added pressure fighting in Marco Pique’s backyard of Suriname?
Michael Corley: No not too much. I think I need to bring the fight to him and try not to leave doubt in the judges eyes.
TMT: Why isn’t “The Challenger Muay Thai” aired here in the USA?
Michael Corley: I’m not sure…I know Contender did only 2-3 episodes or something when it aired in the USA and then got pulled. I think with the good shows 2011 USA Muay Thai had, it would be a great time to air it here. I wish it would, there was some awesome matches on there. I believe they are going to replay it in the UK and Australia soon.
TMT: Any last words for the fans?
Michael Corley: I can’t wait to finally fight in the USA. I will be fighting a very good opponent in Chike Lindsey in his backyard of Atlanta. I have not fought here since 2008! Thanks to everyone who has supported me!