“The Hero” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex (201-71-4) has grand plans for 2019 after a successful debut year in ONE Championship.
The Muay Thai legend began his tenure in ONE Super Series with an entertaining back-and-forth battle against Chris “The African Warrior” Ngimbi at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in May and won by unanimous decision.
His first year in The Home Of Martial Arts ended with a stunning KO victory over Luis Regis in the main event of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS on 7 December – the promotion’s final event of a marquee 2018.
FULL BOUT Muay Thai icon Yodsanklai put Luis Regis to sleep with a THUNDEROUS triple uppercut combination!Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 7 December 2018
“I’m very happy with the outcome of the last event,” says Yodsanklai, who picked up the finish at 2:08 of the opening stanza.
A swift knockout in round one suggests a straightforward victory, but the Fairtex Gym representative knew his opponent would be a challenge.
The rangy WFO Muay Thai World Champion still managed to give Yodsanklai some trouble for as long as the match lasted.
“I had to try and stay close to him, always keeping my eyes on him,” he adds.
“He caught me with a good punch early in the first round.”
Yodsanklai earned the moniker of “The Boxing Computer” for his strategy and near-perfect technique, and he showed his ability to solve the Regis puzzle quickly. Power and accuracy, combined with an unorthodox shot selection took him to success.
“Not many people know this, but I am right-handed, so my stronger, more dominant hand is my lead hand,” he explains.
“I switched to southpaw because my left kicks are stronger than my right.
“I throw that combination often. I’ve knocked several opponents out with uppercuts.”
Yodsanklai’s second bout in the ONE cage was also his second in 4-ounce gloves. His perfect 2-0 record in the world’s largest martial arts organization suggests they compliment his style perfectly, but “The Hero” admits that he is still adjusting.
He reveals he has been cautious in his approach to using the new tools of his trade.
“Many people think the 4-ounce gloves would be a big advantage for me because I am well known for strong punches, but the truth is that it makes it more dangerous for me,” he explains.
“With these, either of us can get knocked out with a single punch. The smaller gloves almost become an equalizer, but I like them because they are new and exciting – and for some reason, I don’t feel as tired using 4-ounce gloves.”
Why they call Yodsanklai "The Boxing Computer."Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 15 December 2018
Yodsanklai has found a new lease of life in ONE Championship. A brief retirement in 2017 is now well behind him, and he says he is fired up to increase his activity in rings and cages across Asia in 2019.
If he gets his wish, we could see a lot more of Yodsanklai, and that will delight martial arts fans around the world.
“ONE Championship has been very good to me from the beginning,” he says.
“After my first event with ONE in Singapore, I felt the most motivated that I have felt in many years. They have a very professional team, they take good care of all their athletes, and I hope to grow with them well into the future.
“I hope to have at least five to six fights in 2019. I’m very motivated to fight regularly now, so I hope my next fight will be within the next two months.
“Hopefully by the first half of 2019, ONE will give me the opportunity to win a ONE Championship belt.”
There is one potential bout that has captured fans’ imagination more than any other – a true battle for the ages that would pit two of the greatest strikers of all time against one another on the global stage for martial arts.
Kickboxing superstar Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan (98-2-2, 1 NC) is the name on everybody’s lips. “The Hero” will not rule that match out, but will not guarantee it will happen, either.
“I have plenty of experience in Muay Thai and kickboxing, but my preference will always be Muay Thai,” admits Yodsanklai.
“But, from what I understand, Giorgio would never fight me under Muay Thai rules.”
Even if that match-up does not come to fruition in 2019, Yodsanklai will be back to thrill fans of ONE Championship at the start of 2019, and there are plenty of other world-class athletes for him to face on the roster.
“The Hero” will be motivated to face them all in search of World Title glory.