Two time former World Muay Thai Champion Quentin “Dragon” Chong is spending time with us in Las Vegas. Quentin is training Kim for her upcoming debut in our February 23rd Smoker Event. The fight will be aired as a special event on HDNet following the live IFL broadcast on February 29th. Earlier today we had the chance to catch up with Quentin and get his story.
Where are you from originally?
Hong Kong. My dad is South African and Chinese. He went back to South Africa for work when I was 7. My parents worked in the shipping industry. My dad was a packer. One day a Chinese ship came in and they asked if he spoke Cantonese. He said yes. He went to the ship and took the order. He told them to hire his wife my wife because she speaks different dialects. Eventually they opened their own division handling Chinese ships. It became the biggest in the company.
What got you into studying Muay Thai?
I started training Kung Fu at age 5. I met my cousin from Thailand when I was 17. I had been doing San Da Kung Fu, Chinese kickboxing and he got me into Muay Thai. Later I met a Thai guy who came to South Africa. His name was Manop “Nong”. He stayed at my gym for six months teaching then went back to Thailand. One day he called me up and said come to Thailand and fight. So I did. I broke my opponent’s leg in the first round and got hooked. He showed me the art of Muay Thai and introduced me to all of his teachers. We ended up training all of the time. After one of the fights I was asked to sit on the executive committee for WMC the World Muay Thai Council as a representative for South Africa. Later they asked me to stop fighting and to help run and promote Muay Thai in South Africa. In 2000 out of 4 fighters we won 2 bronze medals in the world championships.
Muay Thai now is the biggest Martial Art sport in South Africa.
Did you compete professionally?
Yes. I had 19 fights. 17 fights were first round knockout, one third round knockout and once I lost on points. I won the world title twice in 2001 and 2002.
(Quentin looking over a knocked out opponent)
How did you meet Kim?
I met her when Randy was doing a movie (The Scorpion King) in South Africa. Kim wanted to train Muay Thai. All the people on the production recommended my gym. We trained for a month.
(Kim lands a kick on Quentin)
How did you end up in Las Vegas training her for her first Muay Thai fight?
After our first session she told me she wanted to fight and asked what I thought. I said she needed a lot of work. I said if she ever fights I will come up to Las Vegas to train her.
What do you think of Kim’s potential as a fighter?
I think she has good potential. She has a lot on her plate compared to most people. Trying to run an empire. her fighters, the gym and everything else. I had the same problems when I fought. I think if she continues fighting she will be good.
What are her strengths?
Punches. But her kicks and knees are also very good.
What are you working with her on?
Trying to keep distance and finding the gap to land her strikes. Trying to keep her composed, especially for her first fight.
Anything you want to add?
It’s great to be here. I want to thank Randy and Kim for everything and the Xtreme Couture team for welcoming me to Las Vegas.