Rob Powdrill

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Rob Powdrill is here to fuckshitup

International Kickboxer Magazine, July/August 2014

Rob Powdrill is one of the stalwarts of Australian Muay Thai. With a swag of titles to his credit and forays into both MMA and boxing, Rob has been around the traps – the long way. He tells JARROD BOYLE about training in Thailand, why fighting ruins your working life, how much fun you can have with just one nostril and why you should never tie your shorts to your groin guard.  

How old are you, Rob?

I’m thirty.

What do you weigh in at?

Anywhere between 78 – 86 kilos.

That’s a pretty significant range.

I started out at 78, but just to get opponents, to stay busy, I went up to 86. I’m fighting between 80 and 85 at the moment. My last one was fought at 81 [kilograms].

When – and who – are you fighting next?

I’m fighting Steve Behan from Adelaide on Knees of Fury this weekend in Adelaide. It’s Full Thai [Rules].

What does your record stand at:

I’ve had, let’s see (counting can be heard)… 57 kickboxing fights, 8 MMA and 3 boxing.

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What titles do you hold?

I’ve got an IKBF state title, a WMC state title, a WMC Australian title, three ISKA Australian titles, a WKN Australian title, an IKBF South Pacific title and a WMF World title.

How did you get started in Muay Thai?

I was working in a factory and there was a Muay Thai gym around the corner. I decided to rock up one day with some of the guys I worked with.

How did you find the training?

Awesome! I jumped in for a fight after 2 months. I think that’s what got me hooked.

How did you go?

I won on points; it was modified Thai. I was 19.

What do you do for work?

I’m a brickies’ laborer.

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How has professional fighting impacted on your working life?

Screwed me in my working life. I’m qualified to be an advanced scaffolder in the mines but I can’t go away because I’m scared of missing out on fights. Which means I’m stuck doing laboring jobs here in Perth.

Where are you currently training out of?

Mungkorn Mai in Perth. I think it means ‘dragon’. The head trainer is Bill Seth; I just started with him last October. He’s awesome. I’d taken a year off training to get work sorted out, but I’ve given up on that. I started training at Mungkorn Mai because it was was closer to home. My comeback fight was on his show, as well.

Did you retire for a while?

I wasn’t retired; I just tried to get a proper fucking job and shit. I went away to work in the mines, but I missed fighting. Now I’m back where I was before.

What’s your parents attitude to it?

Mum wasn’t too keen at first, but now she’s like the loudest one in the crowd.

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Do you play any other sports?

I still play AFL footy.

How did you get into MMA?

A week out from a show, I got a call-up. I agreed on a week’s notice. And I won it.

How did you find it in comparison to Thai boxing?

Believe it or not, it felt safer; less getting hit. If anything, I didn’t pay enough to the wrestling side of things. If something comes up I’ll still do it, but I prefer stand up. I wouldn’t mind trying out the Wayne Parr’s CMT.

It looks pretty rough!

I reckon it’d be sweet. The atmosphere in the cage is a lot more crazy than the ring itself. It’s the small gloves side of things, I guess. I like big, hard-hitting fights. Take the gloves out of it, and it’s nothing but hard hits.

Check out the monicker on the shorts

Check out the monicker on the shorts

What about boxing?

I like punching, but I like kicking heads as well. I’d probably jump in for boxing fights. Basically, I just love fighting. I won two [of my fights] and lost one. I lost the last one. The last bloke was older, but real experienced. He’d had lots of amateur fights and he outskilled me a bit. It was a pretty even fight. He just landed the better shots.

Did boxing help with your other disciplines?

It was good to take the time to get my hands together. Instead of throwing one or two shots and a kick, now I’m throwing five or six and back and forth with my kicks.

Which one is most difficult?

They’re all different in their own way. People sometimes ask, ‘Are you temped to throw a knee?’ The answer is, not really. It’s like the difference between tennis and football, I guess.

Which one’s the hardest?

Muay Thai. You’re wearing the most devastating strikes, no matter what. You can grapple, but you’ve still got to stand there and wear it. Sure, you’re wearing gloves, but elbows, knees; there’s no pads on there.

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What’s the worst injury you’ve suffered?

A broken nose. I’ve lost count of how many times. My septum is so deviated, I’m only breathing through one nostril. Chicks dig it, but. It’s right up there with scars, the old bent nose.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened during a fight?

Just before a fight, my mate tied my groin guard onto the string at the front of my shorts. I went to adjust the shorts and the g-string was right up me. It was an accident; he just grabbed the wrong string. I had to take my pants off on the side of the ring while someone went to find me someone else’s sweaty box to wear. The worst part was standing there on the side of the ring with no pants on while everyone was waiting to watch me fight. They had to cut it off with scissors and everything.

Did you win?

I won.

Toughest opponent?

Probably have to throw out Charles August. He smashed me the first time we met. I met him in an eight-man eliminator last – we were swinging on each other pretty hard. I ended up getting the win back.

The man even has his own memes

The man even has his own memes

Most memorable win?

Maybe against Kim Olsen. I KOed him in about a round and a half. When I first started out, I came up against him and it was a draw. 7-8 years later, I came up against him again. I went to Thailand and trained my ass off, expecting to get touched up, but I KOed him pretty quick. He’d progressed a lot since we first met; I felt I had to be ready for him.

Have you fought and trained in Thailand?

One fight at Rangsit Stadium. The Thai I fought was five or six kilos smaller, but he was still eager to fight me. I finished him with a flying elbow in the third.

When I’ve been there to train, I trained at Kaew Sam Rit in Bangkok. At first my mate was there with Toby Smith, so I went over to catch up and train with them. I’ve been there twice since. You train 3 hours in morning and 3 hours in afternoon, 6 days a week. Over there, I got close to as much done in a week as I would over here in a month.

What’s the difference between fighting in Australia and fighting in Thailand?

Not much. There’s a lot more of the spiritual side of things in Thailand.

What are your goals now?

It would be nice to get a big pay… I’ve got a world title now. I just like fighting… it keeps me out of trouble!

How’s your body?

Considering I’ve been playing footy since I was nine and fighting for ten years, I’m doing pretty well. Aside from the nose I can only breathe through one nostril… no niggling injuries. I reckon I’ve got another ten years in me, easy.

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