Panicos Yusuf is a renowned name in the Muay Thai community but he’s more than that, he’s a family man, a dedicated coach to his fighters and master of his own gym. For Panicos the end is nowhere near sight, he has a vision, one that will see him once again push his limits.
For many years Panicos has dominated the Muay Thai ring. He became a prominent figure with very few walking away victorious. Despite racking up the wins, it was actually the loss of a fight that got his blood pumping.
“It just meant that I could go back to the gym that I could keep training, keep learning. I’d got the buzz for fighting again.”
Before his loss, Panicos had won over 20 consecutive fights an impressive feat that most fighters could ever imagine achieving.
While his love for Muay Thai was restored his passion for expanding his knowledge wasn’t. Turning his glove to MMA, Panicos made his first debut at Tankō Fighting Championships 2 in December 2016.
A move which had caught the attention of his fans and of those in the MMA business. The question was could this champion fighter learn new techniques? Could he master the differences between Muay Thai and MMA? Essentially could he actually walk away victorious?
Yes, he could. Within the first round, Panicos had his opponent, Ben Dearden verbally submitting. His unrelenting blows and his adrenaline fuelled punches ensured him the win.
Following his success, there has been much talk about his future. A recent rumour suggested that he was retiring from Muay Thai in favour of MMA. However, it would seem that the fire for Muay Thai hasn’t gone out. Panicos quickly released a video squashing any rumours suggesting retirement.
Instead, he will be dividing his time between both MMA and Muay Thai, right up until the passion fades. For now, the sport still enthrals him much to the happiness of his Muay Thai followers. Sadly to the Muay Thai fighters who still have to face him in the ring.
It’s been a whirlwind of a career that Panicos has successfully built for himself but fighting isn’t his only job. Alongside his debuts in the ring, Panicos is also a Muay Thai trainer. He dedicates his time sharing his knowledge and skills to aspiring fighters. Including the fast rising Muay Thai fighter Dan Butler.
Whilst being both trainer and fighter, Panicos also has his own business, All Powers Gym. Beating the odds (as per) his gym began attracting a multitude of fighters all wanting to train with the very best.
He has done what most dream of, he’s taken his passion and turned it into a career. A career which also supports his wife and his daughter who he cherishes more than anything. It’s also something that he shares with both his wife and his daughter, making his work even more special to him.
“For a long time my wife carried us so I could do what I wanted to do. I love my wife, she’s amazing and she’s really what got me going.”
Last year proved to be a good one for Panicos. He found the passion for Muay Thai again, he found the passion for MMA, he retains the passion for training fighters and he gets to do that with the unrelenting support of his wife and daughter.
2017 for Panicos will see him enter both cage and ring as he divides his time between MMA and Muay Thai. Retirement for this legend of an athlete doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. There is still fire in his belly. We can all revel in another year of bouts that are sure to keep all of us on our toes.
Originally Posted on Tanko