Thai ONE Super Series star Petchdam Kaiyanghadao had a memorable first year competing under the ONE Championship banner.
The 20-year-old delivered a pair of incredible performances as he ended both his flyweight Muay Thai bouts in spectacular fashion with his lighting left leg.
Petchdam made his ONE Super Series debut at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER. He promptly knocked out Australia’s Josh “Timebomb” Tonna with a kick that scored twice in the course of just one strike to score a remarkable stoppage win.
Michael Schiavello on Petchdam Gaiyanghadao – 's knockout year in ONE Super Series Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 15 December 2018
Petchdam’s powerful kick to Tonna’s midsection landed on its intended target, but Tonna’s move to tuck his head also resulted in the Thai’s knee connecting flush on the Australian’s chin, knocking him out.
If his first stoppage win in ONE Super Series was somewhat unorthodox, there was no such confusion over his second finish, which came at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in October. This time, he connected with a textbook head kick for a highlight-reel knockout of Kenny Tse in Bangkok.
His 86-second finish set the benchmark for quick finishes in ONE Super Series, and is yet to be surpassed.
Fans have taken to Petchdam instantly, with the 20-year-old’s charisma, hairstyle and spectacular Muay Thai technique making him a hit with fans across Asia.
The man himself is clearly loving every minute.
“I love the whole experience of competing for ONE Championship,” he enthuses.
“They take such good care of us. The food is amazing, they take care of all of that, so we don’t have to think about it, I get lots of merchandise, and the hotel is always so nice, too.”
Petchdam has been competing since the age of 10 when he embarked on a Muay Thai career that has seen him rack up a remarkable 92 wins to date.
But he admits that being a part of ONE has taken his career to a whole new level as he showcases his striking greatness to a global audience. He has even been happy to swap his old Muay Thai gloves for bouts contested with four-ounce mixed martial arts gloves.
“Competing for ONE is great on so many different levels. I don’t have to cut weight, and feel there is less pressure with the absence of the gamblers at the stadiums,” he says.
“Testing my skills against foreigners is fun, too. They are skilled and strong, so I can’t be careless, and the small gloves keep me on my toes.
“The defense with small gloves is so much different. When you block, the punches can still go through.
“The three-round format works great for me too. I still train as hard as I do when fighting five rounds, so I don’t have to worry about getting tired.”
It is clear that Petchdam is enjoying being a part of ONE Super Series just as much as the fans are enjoying watching him in action.
That should augur well for an exciting year for the Thai star in 2019 as he looks to stay as active as possible, competing both on Thailand’s famed stadium scene and ONE Super Series.
Indeed, he says he would compete for ONE as often as its matchmakers are prepared to book him.
“If I could, I’d fight for ONE every month,” he says.