From the big smile to the terrific sunglasses, Master Thong has made quite the impression throughout his time in the sport, both as a trainer at Team Alpha Male and as a personality. You’ve probably seen him hanging around in the corner of Team Alpha Male fighters at WEC events, advising fighters such as Joseph Benavidez and former featherweight champion Urijah Faber in between rounds.
However, there is a good chance you haven’t seen him when he has some extra time on his hands. But UFC 145 lb. contender Mendes certainly has and he joined the HeavyMMA Podcast this week and discussed Thong’s affinity for animals, as well as a run-in with an opossum.
“He’s pretty crazy man,” Mendes said. “Did you ever see the video of him catching the opossum? Go on YouTube. It’s insane. The guy catches a opossum with his bare hands, and the opossum hits him and bites him and then it would play dead. He made a lasso because it got out of his hand one time and he lassoed it under a car. I mean, the guys pretty crazy.
“It like got out of his hand and went under a car. He couldn’t get it. We were all just circling around watching him. But he lassoed the thing under the car and pulled it out like it was on a leash. He basically had it on a leash for a little bit. Check out the video.”
But these experiences and humorous situations are hardly unusual, apparently. According to Mendes, Thong enjoys several other activities, such as taking a stick and thread down to the creek to catch fish, or he is simply content with keeping rabbits in the back yard. All of a sudden, it is not exactly mysterious why Mendes calls him the “Crocodile Dundee” of the team.
“The guy, he’s just crazy with animals,” Mendes continued. “He has a rabbit breeding thing going on in the back yard of one of (Urijah) Faber’s houses. I don’t even know where he got the rabbits, but, this last Spring and Summer, there was at one time, I think, 20 rabbits back there. They kept having babies, kept having babies. They’d eventually get out and run away, but he just loves animals.
“He caught the opossum. He makes homemade fishing stuff. There (are) creeks by the house, and he’ll (take) sticks and string and try to catch fish. The guys just nuts. But I love the guy. He’s a great trainer, but it’s definitely comical having him on the team.”