“Coban Lookchaomaesaitong®” was born Banlu Anwiset on August 4, 1966 in Buriram, a small city in Northeastern Thailand. The middle child of a farming family of seven, he found an interest in the life of Muay Thai Kickboxing. For Coban, Muay Thai is not just a profession. It’s his culture and way of life.
Coban began training on his own at the age of 11. He made himself a heavy bag by packing a 100-lb canvas rice bag with sawdust and rice hulls. Driven by instinct and watching local fights, Coban shadowboxed, and worked combinations on his bag. His first fight was when he was 11 years old. It was at a fair sponsored by a Buddhist temple (there are many such fairs in Thailand). He stepped up to the scale, got his weight and entered the ring. He fought well, but the result was a draw. He didn’t quit; he continued to fight and improve. With the little money he earned, he supported his education and helped his family.
As luck or fate would have it, one year later, a physician named Sam Rhung Jong Gon (whose brother was a Muay Thai Kickboxing fighter, and himself a ringside doctor and judge) had relocated to the Public Health and Recreational Center in Buriram. He saw Coban training, and invited him to train at the Center. He provided Coban with a heavy bag, and encouraged him to train. While other kids at the Center were playing soccer, Coban trained Muay Thai everyday before and after school. By the time he was 15 years old, he had fought at least 35 fights.
When Coban was ready to attend high school, Sam Rhung Jong Gon was ready to move on himself. As his last gesture of mentorship and friendship, he sent Coban to Camp Lookchaomaesaitong, where, according to tradition, he adopted the camp’s name as his fighting “last name.” He used Coban as his fighting “first name,” which means “Cowboy.” It had been given by his elementary school teacher because Coban’s nickname was “Ban” (short for Banlu) and he used to herd buffaloes. He spent the next nine years at the Camp. During this time, Coban ascended through the ranks and gained fame as a naturally tough fighter with instincts for Muay Thai kickboxing. He won his first World Championship at the age of 19 at Lumpinee Stadium (1985).
When Coban was 24 years old, Camp Lookchaomaesaitong closed down (it has since reopened). Coban’s promoter at that time sent him to Bangkok to train in three camps: Ghed Bangchong, Pad Apon and Meung Suring (he kept the name Lookchaomaesaitong out of respect to his original camp). In that year, he won his second Lumpinee title (1990), his third World Championship in The Netherlands (1990), and his fourth in France (1990). A year later, Coban went on to win his fifth World Championship in Bangkok (1991), sixth in England (1991) and seventh in Australia (1991).
In 1994, Coban went to California, where he earned three additional belts. In his entire career, he as had over 270 fights.
One of Coban’s most renowned fights in Muay Thai was with world champion Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers. They fought a total of four times and their fights are ranked as one of the best by fans during the “Golden Age” of Muay Thai. Coban holds much respect for Ramon. Tragically, however, Ramon passed away in 2013. Their history as fighters and respect for one another was even remembered by Ramon’s father who visited Coban while he was in New York City, shortly after his son’s passing.
When Coban is not teaching at his Muay Thai camp, you can find him refereeing Muay Thai bouts throughout the tri-state area.
Below you’ll find videos of Coban during the height of his fighting career. Some of these videos you won’t find anywhere else on the Internet. Relive these classic fights!
Coban v. Dekker III
Coban Lookchaomaesaitong Highlights 1
This highlight was made by Coban’s fan and friend in Brazil Michael Cyffert.
Coban Lookchaomaesaithong Highlights 2
This highlight was made by Coban’s best friend Supachai Prasertphong.
Coban v. Sornarin Wennakornpatom
Coban: Sornarin was a great fighter. He almost became a Lumpinee Champion. I fought him twice. First time, I won by decision. This is the second fight; I won by knock out.
Coban v. Palannoi Kiatanan
Coban: Palannoi was a great fighter and a Lumpinee Champion.
Coban v. Barndon Sitbangprachan
Coban: I fought Barndon twice. First fight I lost. This is the second fight, and my first Lumpinee Championship. I was bald because I had to be a monk for my Grandfather’s passing.
Coban v. Oliver Harrison (full fight)
Coban: I fought his brother Humphrey Harrison too. They are both good fighters, big and strong.
Coban v. Tommy Faldenberg
Coban: This was my first fight in Amsterdam, Holland.
Coban v. Sul Auc
Coban: This was my first fight in Germany.
Coban v. Noppadet ~1992 (part 1/2)
Coban: This fight was in Ayuttaya (old capitol of Thailand). Noppadet is my friend. We went to Germany together for a fight. He won his fight but hurt his leg. I carried him on my back in the airport. After we came back, his leg got better, then we fight each other this fight.
Coban v. Noppadet ~1992 (part 2/2)
Coban: I left kicked him a lot. His side hurt after awhile.
Coban v. Dekker I
Coban: “Ramon Dekker was popular with Thai people and a great Muay Thai fighter from Holland. Dekker knocked out many big name Thai fighters. So, it was a big deal for me to fight Dekker.”
Coban v. Dekkers IV
Coban: “I was supposed to fight Didat!! In the morning of the fight, I took my weight with Didat. But in the evening when I got on the ring, Ramon Dekker was there! I was confused and mad. I step on the ring already. I don’t walk away from a fight.”
Coban v. Muangsurin
Coban: “This is old fight, before Dekker…I think 1990 something…I don’t remember. Muangsurin is big name with heavy hand. They call him saklek (the wood club to crush papaya salad)”
Coban v. Pena
Coban: “This is my first fight in U.S. I was in good fighting shape.”
Coban v. Oliver Harrison (highlight round 5)
Coban v. Danny Bill
Coban: “Danny has very good techniques. He fights good. It was hard to get inside. I fought with broken finger. I was lifting a rock when I was landscaping at home. Damn! LOL Anyway, last round, I get knee on chest. I cannot breathe! Damn! LOL”
Coban v. Joe Villa