Tribute to Phil Vasyli who made 'The Carnage'
Phil Vasyli (RIP) with Nathan 'Carnage' Corbett / Photo: Supplied

It was 2005 when I had the honor to meet this man and his family. It was the biggest year of my fight career.

I won 3 world titles at 86 kg in three different organizations.

Victory Amongst Soldiers

The brand VAS was just hitting the fight scene.

I’d seen the brand on other fighters from MMA to Muay Thai, but never had met the people behind it.

Little did I even know that Phil’s children Aron and Lauren where training with my friend Roy Luxton at ‘5 Rings Dojo’, my gym at that time.

Roy said: “Bro, you got to meet them, they are super cool and have the VAS brand.”

The crazy thing about that, was that I knew of the brand and saw it on some fighters, but I didn’t like what those fighters represent. I was kind of like “no, not my image”.

Amazing people

But then I finally met the man himself Mr Phil Vasyli and his family. Straight away I was like “wow, these people are amazing.”

Such kind hearts and such cool dudes, that being Phil and his son Aron.

I was like “I’m going to do all I can do, to make this brand come alive, and be the face of what VAS was.”

Welcome to my World!

Their signature-expression, the one that I took on with pride. I was like “let the bodies hit the floor!”

Man of his word

Not knowing Phil for longer than a few hours, he showed his generous giving side.

We where all out one night at Shooters night club in Surfers Paradise having a few drinks and letting the hair down.

Phil said to us with Roy: “Hay I’m going to fly you to the Bahamas for Xmas New Years with my family.”

As a man of his word he did just that.

12 December 2005 I fought Magnum Saki for the WBC world title on the Gold Coast wearing my new VAS sponsored shorts with the skulls. Few days later we set off in business class to the Bahamas.

Family spirit

My relationship from then just grew and grew becoming more than just a sponsored fighter, but a family member, a friend, a brother.

There was so many things that this man did for me over the next 10 years.

Phil gave me the financial stability in my life when fight prize money wasn’t nearly enough too follow your dream of being the best you can be.

He believed in me so much that it wasn’t a money matter, it was supporting someone who he felt worthy of being supported.

He would support me as a big brother and often I would say “You are like a father to me”, but he would always say “just say big brother, much cooler and younger.”

Financial support was only one part of the things he did for me. He became my mentor.

We would have lengthy long chats about life, business and much more. I’d value those times more than anything else.

For a man who had international businesses and was always traveling, working and pretty much busy most of his days, he would always reply to my emails. He would always give me his time when he had it. He never asked for anything in return.

He taught me so many of life’s lessons and was always filling my cup with wisdom.

What a man to have behind you!

Phil Vasyli was the man behind ‘the Carnage’, myself.

If I was to honor my past 10 years to anyone, it would be this man from 2005 to 2014.

Phil was my strength when I was down, he was always there as my friend. He was my brother to laugh with. He was the most powerful, beautiful, caring, generous and courageous man who I ever meet.

I will forever be grateful for all he had done for me.

He’s right there

Often when I’m having challenging moments, his voice speaks to me. It feels like he’s right there. When I close my eyes, I hear the sound of his voice as clear as if it was coming straight from his own mouth.

Behind every champion there is a man

Phil Vasyli was my man. He left us a year ago now, but he is always in my heart and in all my actions.

My 2016 European tour starting on March 17th is in his honor.

If you want to thank somebody for creating ‘the Carnage’ – thank this man.

Rest in peace my mentor, father and hero.

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Nathan Corbett

Nathan Corbett aka ‘Carnage’ is an 11-time world champion in Muay Thai from Gold Coast, Australia. During the fighting career he knocked 44 opponents out in 59 victorious bouts out of 65 fights in total, as well cemented his name in history as the ‘elbow master’. Corbett is a regular contributor to FIGHTMAG, where he writes the ‘Carnage Diary’.