His name means ‘shadow of the moon’ or ‘moon’s shadow’ (NGAO – shadow; PRAJAN – moon).
Standing at approximately 148 cm / 4′ 10.5″ and at thirty four years of age (born 1977), Ngaoprajan is not your average Rajadamnern fighter. There is a Thai term gae leaw, which means old (already). In Thailand, this term is generally used to describe anyone over the age of thirty. In the Thai sphere of muay thai, you can drop about five years off the age and use it to describe someone who is considered on the downslide of one’s career.
During my approximate one year stay at Chuwattana, I remember Ngaoprajan fighting regularly. This meant, roughly every four to six weeks, less an extended break after an injury. When I asked him why he continued to fight at his age, he responded with (and I apologize if my memory is in the form of a paraphrase), “It’s better than being a farmer”.
Outside the ring, Ngaoprajan is polite and kind, sort of an unassigned ambassador of the gym. He always made the Foreigners feel welcome. He was (I’ll assume, still is) the sort of guy who would have one hundred baht (approx. $3 USD) in his pocket and offer to buy you lunch, leaving him broke for the day. At times, he would correct me on the bag, work my hands and spar western boxing with me. He didn’t have to do any of this. He was a fighter, not a trainer/fighter hybrid you see at other gyms. The night before my Queen’s Cup fight in 2009, when everyone else I asked for advice basically told me to not worry about fighting a much taller opponent and just teep a lot, Ngaoprajan showed me, on the street, how to elbow someone’s inner thigh when they’re trying to knee you in the face. I used it the next night and successfully escaped a KO and who knows what else considering the size of my opponent.
In the ring, Ngaoprajan is a brawler. I wouldn’t call him a technical fighter, but he’s an exciting one to watch. For example, he’s the type of nak muay where by rounds two or three I might be thinking, “Ah man…….” then out of nowhere comes a lightening fast body shot and a dropped opponent. I suspect this is why, last I witnessed, the gamblers seem to love him. He’d step in the ring typically with guys half a head taller than him and ten years younger and you wouldn’t know what to expect. You’d know he’s capable of KOing the guy he’s in with, but can he pull it off? And when? How?
The following video was found in a folder marked June 1, 2009. That’s pretty much all I’ve got. No clue who he’s fighting, what round this is, nothing other than the date and the venue, Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok. I thought about not posting this clip, for lack of information, technical quality and context, then thought, “Whaaaaaat?”. A great KO and a taste of what’s to come on MBSB.
Ngaoprajan Chuwattana (Blue)
*Ngaoprajan has been known to fight Western boxing under the name Ngaoprajan Sithsaithong.