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Stratford fighter turning losing lessons into Muay Thai success

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Oliver Moore learned from the early losses, and now the 19-year-old fighter from Stratford is ready to go on a winning streak.

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It started this month with a third-round knockout of a tough Mexican opponent as part of Bloodline Fight Sports’ Muay Thai card in Guelph.

“I was really, really happy with my performance,” Moore said. “It was dominant, it was aggressive.”

Moore and coach Joe Marchand — owner and head instructor of Stratford’s Fifth Round Muay Thai — spent nearly nine weeks preparing for the bout, both physically and mentally, and it paid off.

“We tailored it down and worked on specific things with movement and combo work,” Moore said. “I watched all the replays back, and it was probably my best fight, technically, that I’ve had.”

Moore was likely headed towards a win by decision, but a spinning elbow with 10 seconds left in the final round made it moot.

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“A big part of fighting is listening to your coaches, because they can see things I can’t,” Moore said. “At the end of a fight… I’m getting tired, my eyes aren’t going to be as sharp, so when I was throwing some boxing and Joe called for an elbow, she (Moore’s opponent) stepped into it.

“We were trying to make a statement with this fight.”

It was Moore’s first adult fight and first in Class A, a milestone marked by improving to 5-5 overall. The local martial artist — competing in the 57-kilogram division — hadn’t fought since February 2020 as a junior.

“It will always boost the confidence, but it shows me I’m fully capable of doing this again,” Moore said. “After two years off, you’re maybe scared and reluctant, and I was nervous because you never know what will happen after two years and how they’ve been training.

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“It was weird and strange, but it was amazing. I love that feeling.”

Moore is on a roll, having won five of seven fights, but it was three straight career-opening losses that set up this success.

“Some people would say it’s a bad thing to go 0-3, but I’m sure grateful for that experience because I know how to lose, and that’s an important part of fighting,” Moore said. “There’s so much risk, and things can change so quickly with one elbow or one punch or one kick.”

Moore already has another bout lined up for November in Toronto. The longer-term goal is to rack up wins and turn pro.

“This keeps the spirits high and momentum going and makes it a lot easier to go through hard training camps to fight potentially harder opponents in the future,” Moore said. “I’m able to take the lessons from those early fights and apply them now.”

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