BY FALAH ABDULLAH Follow on Twitter
The 2004 and 2006 K-1 World MAX champion, Buakaw Banchamek, affectionately known by his adoring fans as Buakaw Por Pramuk, has made the career leap to football after signing with Thai Division Two club, RBAC FC.
Banchamek who is still an active professional kickboxer and had his most recent fight in late December last year, held a press conference to announce his shocking decision.
"I'm a football lover since I was a kid, to be a professional footballer is also my dream. When the manager gave me this chance I didn't hesitate at all. After my first training session I have to admit that I still can't adapt well. But I'll try my best," he said.
The 31-year-old registered as a student in Rattana Bundit University and the institution's affiliated football club RBAC FC jumped on the chance to sign the striker.
"As a striker, I aim to score as much as I can," he added.
"I'll give my all every time I get a chance to play. To all defenders, beware my hard approach as I'm a boxer after all."
Banchamek is a renowned Muay Thai fighter and is scheduled to fight Lee Sung-Hyun in Azerbaijan on February 23rd in the semi-finals of the K-1 World MAX 2013 World Championship.
The intriguing link between football and martial arts can also be traced to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where current Featherweight champion Jose Aldo was known to be keen on becoming a professional football player in his youth.