Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Return of Ryan Roy

Ryan Roy is on the comeback trail. The Northern California fighter was a constant on the American Muay Thai scene until 2010 when injuries sidetracked his career. He was last in action in September of 2010 when he fought the current Glory middleweight contender Joe Schilling under the Push Kick Promotions banner. He went toe-to-toe with Schilling for 3 rounds before the fight was stopped due to a cut.

After a year of inactivity with a few fights falling through he began to notice a hip pain that eventually would sideline him after discovering the cartilage in one of his hip joints was completely gone. After seeing several specialists he went under the knife in 2013, after which, was told he might not be able to fight again. For the first time since, he is now ready to step back in to the ring.

We were able to talk to Ryan about his comeback and what we can expect from him in the future.

MTA: You haven't fought since 2010 Ryan. Can you tell us why?
Ryan: I haven't fought since September of 2010 because I had to overcome a major obstacle that's ever been in my way. I was going to fight at the War of the Heroes Promotion in Santa Clara, CA. about 6 months after I fought Joe Schilling, but the event got canceled at the last minute. I was also offered to fight on one of Lion Fight's first promotions but was already scheduled for the War of The Heroes so I missed out on both opportunities.

During 2011 I was waiting for an opportunity to fight, but nothing materialized. In January of 2012 I started noticing unusual hip pain that I had never felt before. I have been training Muay Thai since I was 17 and never took time off. I was always sore somewhere, so having a sore hip didn't worry me at the beginning.

Five to six months later the pain intensified to the point where it was preventing me from sleeping and making day-to-day life as a Muay Thai teacher extremely difficult. I ended up getting and X-ray in August of 2012 and discovered the cartilage in one of my joints was completely gone. I had bone rubbing on bone which was why I couldn't sleep and had severe pain. Over the span of 6 months I saw 5-6 hip specialists who all said my joint was shot and I needed a full hip replacement at 32 years old. I refused to except the possibility that I could never kick a bag or run on the concrete ever again. I learned of a hip surgery that was performed over in Europe, India, and Asia. Only a small portion of U.S. Orthopedists perform Hip Resurfacing.

A large portion of the femur bone is cut off and a metal shaft if placed in the remaining bone, during a full hip replacement. A Hip Resurfacing procedure preserves the majority of the bone and a titanium joint is implanted. My surgery was performed on March 5th 2013. I was able to start light Muay Thai training about 5 months post-op. Rehab was extremely painful but now my operated leg has more flexibility and strength than it did 10 years ago. I waited one year and a day to kick with my operated leg to let the implant be as strong as possible.

MTA: During your time away from the ring did you know you would be making a comeback at some point?

Ryan: There was never a doubt in my mind I would come back. I had no idea that would take over a year and half to feel 100%, but for the last 6 months I have felt great.
MTA: Were you completely away from Muay Thai or were you still involved in other ways besides fighting?
Ryan: I have never been away from Muay Thai since I started training in 1999. After fights I would take a week off at most and go right back into training. I teach 6 days a week and kept up my schedule even with the arthritic pain I had for over a year.
MTA: Now that you are making your return what is the main goal you would like to accomplish?
Ryan: I am grateful that after joint replacement surgery I am able to get back to the ring. A couple years ago I was looking at potentially never doing impact sports ever again. My goal and ambition is to fight as much as my body lets me. I feel like the last 4 years were stolen from me and I am getting a chance to make up for it. My career hasn't gone the way I planned but as long as I can get some more opportunities I can find peace in that.

MTA: Being that you have not fought in roughly 3 years, do you feel those years of not taking damage will add some time to your career?

Ryan: Yes, I feel extremely confident that not fighting for last three years will lengthen my career. I have been training Muay Thai since I was 18 but have never taken any serious damage in a fight. The worst injures I've had over the years always occurred in the gym. The year I had to take off after surgery gave my body a much needed rest from heavy impact.

MTA: If you could pick your comeback fight against anyone who would it be?

Ryan: I don't have my eyes on anyone in particular, but I've also never turned down a fight. I just want I get back into the ring.

MTA: Do you already have a fight set up or are you still trying to get it booked?

Ryan: Yes I am fighting at Taichi Palace on April 16th in Lemoore, CA.

MTA: For fight fans not familiar with you Ryan can you give us a little bit of background on how you got started in Muay Thai?

Ryan: I started training Muay Thai with the Fairtex gym in SF under Alex "F14" Gong in 1999. There has never been a gym like it in the USA. At one point there were 5 reigning ISKA / IKF world champions, including 2 former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern champions. From 1999-2003 Fairtex was the home for Ganyao "Dr. Knee" Sitphodang, Bunkerd Faphimai, Jongsanaan "The Wooden man", and Enn "The Quiet Storm". We had the some of the best Thai trainers in the world who were also active fighters as well. We had professional and amateur fighters with someone always getting ready for a fight. I had 6 amateur fights under Fairtex and then moved to Thailand where I stayed for 6 months and had 4 fights. I am an amateur and professional champion with a professional record of 9-5 with 4KO's. I have fought up and down the West Coast, Hawaii, Canada, and Thailand
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