By Ryan McKinnon
Josimar Tulloch of Krudar qualified for the National Team after his win over Kevon Singh of Lanna MMA in October of 2018. He went bell to bell with Singh, in an extremely intense and highly technical bout. It was obvious from his performance that Tulloch entered the National tournament with the clear intention of qualifying for the National Team, and representing Canada on the highest stages of international competition.
Josimar has a style well suited for Olympic Muaythai; he brings a high output, elite conditioning, and mixes up technique well in competition. Going into the tournament with nothing but gold on his mind, he accomplished his biggest goal of 2018 when he defeated Braian Vanucci of Argentina in the Male Elite 54kg division. Muaythai Canada spoke with Josimar to get an account of the tournament in his own words.
Muaythai Canada: Tell us about the events leading up to the Pan Ams in Argentina.
Josimar Tulloch: This accomplishment, trip, experience to me was magical. The fact that I won the Canadian Nationals on my birthday, then winning gold in Argentina a country I favoured practically since birth was sweet and so fulfilling. I am so grateful for every one of my contributors/supporters who assisted in making this trip possible. My heart is filled with so much gratitude and joy due to each of them. After arriving in Argentina I realize how difficult it would have been without the help of their donations. There was so much that went into this experience, it is truly hard as an amateur athlete financially. I wish I could list all their names but at least as they read this they will know how much I appreciate them.
MTC: What was Argentina like. Describe how it felt to be in that environment.
JT: Argentina! What else can I say this was a dream come true. At first, I have to admit I was a little disappointed maybe because I had my own vision of what the country would look like based on my experiences in Ecuador. Well, I guess that’s what you get when you assume. It was rainy and gloomy as we arrived so the weather kind of set the mood. It wasn’t until the next day when the sun came out did I get to see the light of the city. I think Spanish is a beautiful language and listening to it 80% of the day was amazing. As we walked around Plaza De Mayo I started to get a feel of the city’s energy. It was filled with history, architecture, pride and art. It may not be the best comparison but from my perspective, it felt like Manhattan in Spanish.
MTC: What was the tournament like overall?
JT: The tournament by far was the best tournament I have had in my fight career. Why? Because it had so much riding on it. The energy in the Club Atlanta facility was filled with National pride. What I mean is that each country that was represented came with the intention of honouring their flag. It woke me up, even more, to know that Muaythai is universal and the culture is strong globally. I enjoyed watching the fights not just because I love fighting but to see what each country had to offer. This was primarily the best of the best and it was great to see the techniques, the IQ (fight intelligence), and the Wai Krus. To me just being in an environment doing Muaythai full time made me appreciate and love the sport even more.
MTC: What was it like traveling and supporting your Canadian teammates?
JT: I am immensely proud of our team I believe we represented our country and the sport well. It has been said that this was probably the best Canadian team, and I’m proud to be a part of that. Our energy was great and in sync. If the readers could have only been there to witness a point where it was 7 of us cheering for Canada as about 50 people cheered for Argentina. So much so that the US team said forget it, let’s help out. “Can-a-da, Can-a-da, Can-a-da!” So with that being said it was a wonderful experience – and if you ever see one of the members of the team yell out “Canada!” and we will respond “EH!”
Josimar earned gold on December 16th during the final day of competition. It was exhausting to watch as Josimar gave it his all against the hometown favourite. Both athletes had to dig deep going into the third round, knowing that they were most likely tied, each earning one round a piece. At this point, these two well conditioned athletes had almost nothing left in their respective gas tanks, and were now competing solely on heart and love of country. It was late in round 3 when Josimar scored a standing 8 count against Vanucci, securing the first of 4 gold medals that Canada would take home.
Josimar’s performance at the Pan Ams was superb, and we are very fortunate to have him representing Canada at IFMA events globally. We are wishing him a very healthy and successful 2019, and look forward to seeing what else he will achieve in the year ahead.
Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast and website, found at www.thebloodyballet.com.