Saturday, June 11, 2011

Roger Huerta and Mike "Quick" Swick are Opening a new MMA Gym here in Phuket Thailand!

It seems that Phuket, Thailand is the new MMA Farm, or as guys in Orange County like to call it, the "Pharm."  Guys come here to train and do three month MMA and Muay Thai camps all the time and it's the perfect place in the world to do it, and an even better place to open a gym for it.

I wonder how the guys at Tiger Muay Thai, especially Ray Elbe are going to feel about Roger Huerta and Mike Swick opening a new MMA Gym in their home turf, Phuket.  Especially since both trained at TMT.

Roger Huerta
Mike "Quick" Swick
But aside from that, you still save money on rent, accommodation, and food.  So including training, your entire monthly budget including sports massages, eating out 4 times a day, and training can still be under $1,000US.  Which is normally just the cost of rent back home.

Relaxing on the beach with Roger Huerta in Phuket

"So just getting the word out there for those that all ready don't know. Mike Swick and I have teamed up and are going to be opening a gym here in Phuket Thailand. more news to come. thx guys for the support." - Roger Huerta via Facebook Wall Post

Some people ask, why go to Thailand to learn MMA?  Well, it's definetely not because it's cheaper.  American Kickboxing Academy where Mike Swick trains in San Jose is $129US (3,870THB) a month for MMA.  Here in Phuket, Places like Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team all charge the same price which is around $316US (9,500thb) per month.  That's crazy isn't it!?

So why are training prices DOUBLE the prices in America?  Well, first competition, there are only a few MMA gyms out here, so hopefully when more pop up, prices will go down.

Plus since you'll be living at the camp, you'll be training twice a day, up to 12 times per week, where at home, you probably would have just trained a few nights a week after work.  When it comes down to it, here's the secret on how gyms make money.  They want to you sign up, pay in advance and then stop coming.  Which is why Phuket is the perfect place for MMA and Muay Thai Gyms to make money.

Currently Tiger Muay Thai has around 200 paying guests, and during high season they can go up to 400 per month.  Even though TMT is a huge gym, if everyone who paid monthly actually showed up to each class, it would be a madhouse and there wouldn't be enough trainers, bags to kick, or even room to stand.  So luckily for TMT there is Patong, where training goes to die.  Although I'm sure the owners of Tiger didn't plan it, Patong makes them money.  Guys who paid for 3 months of training will go drinking over the weekend, hook up with some local Thai Bar girls and end up missing half of their classes the next week.  Some will just stop coming to train all together, while others will crash their motorbikes and not be able to train even if they wanted to.  Guys who saved up to stay out here for 6 months often blow their money in two and have to go home to work just to come back and do it all over again.

So that's the secret behind why Phuket, Thailand is going to be the next MMA Gym Farm.  If you're one of the mature, focused smart ones, you can enjoy great weather, nice beaches, good cheap food, and a great place to train.  For the 80% of the rest of the people who come, you can help support the local bar girls, alcohol and tobacco industry and the gyms who will happily keep your money even though you stopped training weeks ago.

Update:  Mike Swick decides to open the gym on his own without Roger Huerta.  I'm not sure the details on why but it was a dick move on Swick's part for telling Huerta 4 days before his fight.  Fighter's will often unplug their cell phones and internet for a week leading up to the fight so they can focus, but for whatever reason Mike Swick decided to ruin Roger Huerta's week with the news right before his fight.

Warm Regards,

My Fight Camp


  1. Zak KinionJune 18, 2011

    Are you still down there in thailand? I was going to visit for a few weeks, probably a month from now. How far away is phuket top team from tiger muay thai?

  2. Hey Zak - I'm here in Phuket until August 14th or so, when were you planning on coming?

    Phuket Top Team is on the same street as Tiger Muay Thai, about 300 meters down the road, which is about a 10 minute walk.

  3. Loved your post, and it's ooooo sooooo true, that's just how they make money. Good for me I'm one of the smart ones. Don't care a damn thing about Patong. When you're there and pay as much for the training you might as well go for it get the most out of it. Love the MMA classes. Wasn't that much impressed with the muay thai classes though, but that's just me. It seems a lot of the Thai trainers have lost their spark a bit along the way. As in the MMA section there is really an awesome vibe mostly put there by Ray and his co-instructors JJ and Wiktor. Going back in a couple weeks actually for the third time. If going for muay thai only I would recommend Sinbi muay thai by the way. Just saying. Anyways, just stumbled by accident on yr blog and it was a good read ;-)

  4. Whats the name of this new gym??
    Does KC muay thai have a website?
    Email me please

    1. Jesse - here's the update. Roger Huerta first teamed up with Phuket Top Team and was teaching there while working on his gym. Good chance that it would be somehow affiliated with American Kickboxing Academy, AKA.

      Currently however, Roger Huerta is teaching at Tiger Muay Thai, which recently built an indoor padded MMA and Jiu-Jitsu setup in Phuket.

      Not sure what Huerta's plans are anymore. Opening in gym in Thailand is a pain in the ass so I don't know if it's just taking longer than previously thought or if he is going another route.

      KC Muay Thai doesn't have a website, but their facebook is

  5. Thank you.. after looking around and reading what you have to say about all of the gyms I have since made up my mind to go to Phuket Top Team.

    1. I'm sure you'll have a great training camp there Jesse, tell Boyd and the guys there I said what's up.

  6. Hey Dude love the blog get caught up for hours reading late at night. Have you had/heard any experience with dragon muay thai? Also their outback hostel. I was thinking for checking that out april/16 and have not seen it mentioned. Thanks, -Graham

    1. Hey Graham glad you enjoy the blog! When I was at TMT there was a huge rivalry with Dragon, but I think it's died down now. It's fine to go to as a Muay Thai only gym from what I remember. Either way, have fun and enjoy your trip!


Hey if you've read this far, you might as well at least leave a comment. Even just to say what's up! If you have any questions about training in Thailand just ask it here in the comments and I'll answer so everyone can benefit from it.