Sinsamut Klinmee has never been short of inspiration during his journey through Muay Thai.
The 26-year-old rising star – who will follow his impressive debut with a lightweight matchup against Islam Murtazaev at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on July 22 – grew up in a famous Thai fighting family and always wanted to follow in their footsteps.
The family’s gym in Pattaya was a hive of activity, and this drew the young Sinsamut into “the art of eight limbs.”
He told ONE Championship:
“When I was a child, every morning, I would see the gym members return from their running. I watched them train every morning. When I came back from school, I still saw them training. So, I started imitating them.
“Also, my close relatives like my uncles are all Muay Thai Champions. My uncles are famous Muay Thai fighters. You may have heard the names Yokthai Sit Aor, Rambaa Somdet, and Tappaya Sit-Or. We have WBC and WBA [boxing] World Champions in our family.”
With so many elite Muay Thai and western boxing stars around him, it seemed inevitable that Sinsamut would follow a similar path.
However, he was motivated to succeed for financial reasons, too, as Muay Thai could give him the power to become more independent.
“I admired [the older athletes] and always dreamed of becoming like them. I liked to cheer for them when they fight. I was always excited to watch them fight. So, I feel like training Muay Thai was fun for me. I was not reluctant to do it.
“My mother also supported me in a tricky way. She always told me, ‘If you want to buy something, go fight and use your fight money to buy whatever you want.’ So, when I wanted a bicycle, I went to fight to earn money and finally bought it by myself.
“My first fight was in a Pattaya bar when I was 7. I got 100 baht for that fight, plus tips from tourists. In just one fight, I could buy a cool bicycle that captured the eyes of all my friends at school. I was so proud of myself.”
Sinsamut Klinmee’s Older Brother Prepared Him For Elite Competition
While he had many role models in combat sports, Sinsamut Klinmee says one person was the most important influence – his older brother, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee.
Sudsakorn is a famous Muay Thai Champion in Thailand and initially gave Sinsamut tough love to prepare him for the ring. Now, he’s one of the coaches who helps him achieve success on the global stage.
“My brother is ten years older than me, so he was much bigger than me when I was a child. One time when we were sparring, he hurt me so badly that I was sent to the hospital. He always hurt me because he intended to make me stronger.
“That’s when I was young, but when I become an adult and I challenged him, he said, ‘I’m old, I can’t fight you anymore’. Now he has become my trainer and I have learned a lot from him.”
The life of a fighter isn’t easy, but Sinsamut’s brother has been there and done it, meaning he can offer important advice when it’s needed.
Even during times when Sinsamut doubted himself, Sudsakorn believed in him.
The 26-year-old added:
“Of course, my brother has always been my greatest inspiration. He always supports me and tries to find a matchup for me. He’s the reason I still fight today. Many friends of mine who started at the same time as me have already quit, but I haven’t quit because my brother always encourages me to go forwards.
“When the fight [with Holzken] was over, he cried and sent me a Facebook message saying, ‘I’m happy with you.’ When I read it, I burst into tears too. He said that I finally made it and that my dream has come true. I have been trying to show that I am really good and make him proud. So, I’m really happy for making my brother proud with that successful debut.”