Interview – UK’s Muay Thai Phenom Julie Kitchen Seeks Win in U.S. Debut
Kitchen is apart of the newly formed Muay Thai Premier League, which will debut in Long Beach, CA Sept. 2. This will be Kitchen’s first Muay Thai match in the U.S.
She has 51 wins in kickboxing; having held ISKA, WMC, and WPMF titles. Her last match was a win over Nam Pimnipa to become the WBC Welterweight champ in Thailand this past April. Her opponent in Long Beach is Czech fighter Martina Jindrová (37-5).
How did the offer from the Muay Thia Premier League come about?
I have worked with Clifton Brown before when he was part of the Risarc promotion team in Jamaica for the “Champion of Champions 2” event
where I fought for the WMC world title against Angela Parr.
I like the way the team worked and I was looked after very well. He mentioned last year that he was planning something big for the sport and invited me to take part.
It was a huge risk for me to enter, as I am at the end of a very successful fighting career and am currently looking at different ventures, but in my heart I knew I had to be involved.
As a fighter I have never avoided an opportunity to prove myself and this is an epic challenge for me. Many feel that I have done enough in my career to be named the best ever female fighter under full rules Muaythai ,but I would still like to stamp my authority in the MPL and show the up-coming future of women’s Muaythai as well as the fighters of my generation that I am still a fighter of high caliber.
As well as the women’s league, the UK also has a fantastic representation for the men’s divisions with Michael Dicks, Liam Harrison and Jordan Watson, who all have a great chance of winning their categories.
Who is your first opponent in the league and what do you know about her?
My first opponent is a fighter from the Czech Republic called Martina Jindrova.
Martina has a great fight record, has had more fights than me and holds a lot of titles and has good skills, she has mostly fought under K1/Kickboxing rules so I am expecting some good speed in her striking and combination work.
I watched her fight Valentina and she looked very Thai style, comfortable in the clinch and was well balanced . I think she will be a good test for me and I think we will prove to the world how technically good a female fight can be. I am feeling great at the moment due to a new strength and diet plan called “yan plan” developed by a natural body building champion Jan Czerwinski and I
have improved my focus by mind coaching with Vinny Shoreman.
3) How do you feel about the league putting a focus of female Muay Thai?
Women’s Muaythai in general is in a state because our talents are not being recognized on big shows and we are stated to be useless in comparison to the male Muaythai scene.
This is because there are far too many girls being labelled as the “best ever” just down to 1 performance and against 1 opponent. Then when spectators come to view “the best” on their regional shows, they are usually witnessing a lower league of fighter. Sorry to appear negative, but these are the hard facts!
Hopefully the MPL and the quality of females in the MPL will be the answer.
I feel that being a NO1 fighter should be measured and justified by a career of bouts against a good constant standard of A-class opponents over a length of time, someone who is willing to defend titles and offer rematches instead of avoiding decent matches.
The 63kg female category is a very exciting one, it is stacked with talent at the moment and deserves 100% effort in promoting alongside the men’s divisions.
The girls in the league are all brilliant fighters, on a good day, I stand a great chance of beating all of them, but you cannot predict the outcome of any Muaythai fight at this level.
It hasn’t always been easy but if I had the chance to do it all over again,I would because I love the sport,most of the people in the sport and the travel opportunities.
4) Where do you see female Muay Thai in the next few years?
I honestly can’t see it changing, there is a fantastic new breed of talent that in time will take over the likes of myself, Germaine (de Randamie), Chantal (Ughi), Jorina (Baars) etc etc, but they are already slipping under the radar of media help.
Valentina (Shevchenko) and Martina (Jindrova) who are both in the league are shining examples of what is to come, but the realism is that they will always earn and be publicised less than the new upcoming male superstars such as Jordan Watson from the UK who is undoubtedly set for stardom and big earnings within the sport.
5) How do you think female MMA has effected Muay Thai? Is it a good
thing or a bad thing?
I am not a huge fan of MMA, but it is creating opportunities. Gina Carano is flying into movies and exciting opportunities, yet wouldn’t stand a chance in a Muaythai fight against the top 5 women in the world, but how can we knock someone who is living the dream? Congrats to Gina for having the knowledge and sense to make the switch to MMA.
I have often been asked asked to compete under MMA rules, but I am always being told that I would have to start at a lower level, which at my age is impossible. I watch a bit of MMA and most of the girls prefer to stand up, so give me 6 months and I’ll take on Gina if any promoter wants it.