Anissa Meksen Vs. Phetjeeja: 4 Keys To Kickboxing World Title Victory At ONE Friday Fights 46
Fans and pundits alike are buzzing over the ONE Interim Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing World Title battle between French-Algerian legend Anissa “C18” Meksen and Thai prodigy “The Queen” Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom.
Owning a combined 309-11 professional record, these elite competitors will square off on the stacked ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawanchai vs. Superbon card later this week, and their respective styles guarantee a ferocious battle for as long as it lasts.
Above all, both of these athletes are relentless strikers, so the action will be intense from the moment the first bell rings.
Before they come to blows at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, we break down the biggest keys to victory in this fast-paced World Championship clash.
#1 Phetjeeja’s Hands
Phetjeeja has plenty of weapons in her arsenal – but none as punishing as her boxing attack.
As well as being a lifelong Muay Thai practitioner, “The Queen” has extensive experience in boxing, with a decorated amateur career and an unbeaten 5-0 slate as a professional.
She’s the type of power puncher who is rarely seen among women’s athletes, and she can finish with concussive headshots or punishing body blows.
What makes it worse for her rivals is that Phetjeeja is not a brawler who relies on her physical attributes to get the job done. Instead, she’s a technical puncher, using feints and mixing up her targets to find openings.
The Thai phenom’s biggest shot is her left hook, but she packs a lot of power in her right hand, too, and she only needs one clean connection for her opponents to start to wilt.
#2 Meksen’s Defense And Counters
As a sharp boxer who has never been stopped in a fight, Meksen can feel confident going toe-to-toe with most opponents, but it’s a riskier proposition against Phetjeeja.
In this matchup, the kickboxing icon can use her excellent defense and counter-striking to make her foe pay for any aggression.
“C18” is an expert at controlling the distance, and from there, she uses her lightning-fast speed and reflexes to fire back when she makes her opponents miss. If Phetjeeja lunges in too much, Meksen will get a read and be ready to evade and launch back with her own strikes.
And when Meksen does reply, she does it with volume, rarely letting her rivals off the hook with a single shot. This could help the 35-year-old rack up significant damage while Phetjeeja is potentially overcommitted.
#3 Phetjeeja Cutting Off The Ring
One way Phetjeeja can stop Meksen from evading and countering is by cutting her off and trapping her against the ropes.
This is “The Queen’s” go-to strategy – as most opponents instinctively retreat from her heavy punches – but it will be harder against someone as composed as “C18.”
This means the 21-year-old must be smarter in her approach to deal with one of the most savvy and experienced opponents she’ll ever face.
If Meksen tries to retreat and then circle away before she gets hemmed in, Phetjeeja can use her kicks to close the door on those exits.
“The Queen” can then uncork her rapid salvos while her foe has no space to move backward. As we’ve seen time and time again, few can escape this position unharmed when the Thai’s explosive bombs start flying.
#4 Meksen’s Left Kick
It’s not a done deal if Phetjeeja can get close because Meksen is also incredibly dangerous, but there would certainly be less risk if the latter can control the distance with her kicks.
The decorated seven-time Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion has a versatile kicking game that gives her options in both offense and defense.
If she wants to stop the Thai’s forward charge, “C18” can use her fast push kick to put the brakes on, or she can slow her down with chopping low kicks. With more space to work, Meksen can then use her fast left kick to the body to keep “The Queen” at bay and accumulate damage.
If Phetjeeja starts to drop her guard to deal with it, Meksen can whip up her left high kick to the head in an instant.
Most importantly, the veteran superstar won’t do this from a place of fear like many of Phetjeeja’s former foes. Rather, she’ll kick and counter confidently and powerfully, knowing these tactics have worked consistently against top-flight opposition for 15 years.