In this edition of our Fighter Spotlight Series, we get in the ring with 14-year old up and coming Muay Thai Junior Matthew Lyons, aka “The Lyon King”.
Matthew was introduced to martial arts at 11 years old. He recalls starting out doing MMA solely for self-defence and fitness, however during one training session he stopped to watch other fighters training in the fundamentals of Muay Thai…excited by what he saw, Matthew asked his father Shane if he could swap styles because Muay Thai looked much more fun than MMA.
Not long after, Matthew joined Matrix Gym at Biggera Waters, on the Gold Coast training under Peter Kent. Whilst he admitted to feeling a little nervous changing over to Muay Thai, he was also excited to learn a new art.
Matthew believes joining the Matrix Gym has been a credit to his ever evolving Muay Thai career and he feels his Muay Thai has improved and gone from strength to strength, particularly with having such a good team behind him. He loves the experience and self-confidence Muay Thai has given him.
Now fighting at 55kg with a current fight record of 17 fights (13-4-0), Matthew has amassed numerous titles and awards, including;
- IFMA Bronze Medal – IFMA Youth World Championships (2018)
- IFMA Gold Medal – MTQ State Championships (Sept 2018)
- IFMA Gold Medal – MTA National Championships (Jan 2018)
- International Siam Cup NZ Light Flyweight Champion (2018)
- Siam Cup Fighter of the Year Award 12-14 yrs (2017)
- Siam Cup Championship Title (Dec 2017)
- Siam Cup Trans-Tasman Champion (Oct 2017) – NZ
- Siam Cup Prestige Trophy (March 2017)
- IFMA Silver Medal – MTA National Championships (Feb 2017)
Whilst Matthew thinks every fight is an achievement, his most memorable bout was his first fight on the Siam Cup and winning his first belt. He is also proud of having the opportunity to train and fight in Bangkok, Thailand at the IFMA Youth World Championships at such a young age, as well as taking home the Bronze Medal, which he cites as his biggest career highlight so far – particularly since he fought above his weight, and was beaten by a Thai Opponent who went on to win the gold.
Presently, Matthew is undergoing a rigorous training schedule in preparation for his upcoming WBC Junior Title Belt on Destiny Muay Thai, which is a professional fight show in Brisbane. His fight camp involves a mix of technical training and strength work, under the watchful eye of Peter Kent and his team at Matrix, pad work with Luke Gornall, sparring with Angus and working with the Staiti family and Frank Giorgi, all of whom chip in to assist in refining Matthews technique and skill – all in all this works as a tremendous team effort towards Matthews ultimate goal of bringing home the green strap in October!
Pre / post-fight preparation and recovery is also an important part of Matthews routine, he firmly believes plenty of rest and careful nutrition play an important part in his success – although he does admit to a sneaky post-fight Krispy Kreme donut.
Matthew is inspired by many fighters and although he also enjoys a range of different fight styles – his clear favourite and close family friend is Nathan “Carnage” Corbett, 11-time Muay Thai World Champion. Carnage has been a valued mentor and inspiration to Matthew, along with Thai fighters Buakaw, Petchmorakot and Petchboonchu, also being on Matthews list of top fighters. Like his idols, Matthew aspires to become the WBC World Champion and to obtain Thai Stadium Belts at Lumpinee and Rajadamnern.
Of his golden advice for up and coming juniors, Matthew’s philosophy is to:
work hard, don’t hang out at parties. Work towards what you want – it is not sacrifice, it is working towards your goals and dreams. Eat well – still enjoy a few cheat meals but keep it all in moderation. Dream big, find a good coach and a good team”
To book Matthew Lyons for a fight, get in touch with our NRF Fight Management Team