Nora Chompunich is a bundle of energy, and she has found the perfect stage to unpack her dynamism – ONE Championship.
The announcer, who goes by NARA, is a key instrument in the rock concert experience at all ONE Championship events. Her textured voice transports athletes from the ramp to the Circle over hypnotic beats and flashing lights.
But her infectious energy and upbeat personality is not something new. It is a product of a lifetime steeped in musical influences.
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Born and raised in Missouri City, Texas, USA, Chompunich took a deep interest in music from an early age. She gravitated towards singing, which became her outlet for creative expression as she got older.
“My musicality came from when I was younger. I [was in] the choir from third grade till the twelfth grade,” she says. “Growing up in America, I was singing all throughout high school.”
The ambitious vocalist had a natural talent. She even auditioned for American Idol and sung her way into the show’s Top 60.
Encouraged by her sterling run on the modern pop bandstand, the vocalist ventured into the music industry in her parents’ homeland of Thailand when she was 24 years old. A year later, GMM Grammy – the biggest record label in the country – signed her to a five-year deal.
In Thailand, she channeled all her energy into the music.
Chompunich released eight albums and performed on Asia’s hottest music festivals. She also birthed her MC NARA moniker in clubs alongside famous deejays.
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Ultimately, that paved the way for her to join The Home Of Martial Arts.
During one of her gigs at a Singaporean nightclub in 2017, Chompunich was approached by a ONE Championship executive about potentially announcing for the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“It came out of nowhere,” she recalls.
“I was an MC for a club one night, and someone came up to me and asked, ‘Hey, would you like to be the voice of ONE Championship?’
“Prior to that invitation, I had been to several ONE Championship events, so I knew that it was a great opportunity. I was like, ‘Of course, I would love to do that!’”
For someone as musically gifted as Chompunich, the master of ceremonies strove to hit the right notes in everything she did. In her audition for the role, she prepared a studio recording of her vocals – an effort that left the company’s leadership team so impressed, they offered her the position shortly after.
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Congratulations to Janet Todd on her recent bout in Kuala Lumpur. She looked stronger and sharper than ever. My ONE Championship family is awesome…I’m so blessed to be surrounded by such high caliber athletes…more importantly though, they are class act people. Such power and grace.????????????????❤️ #onechampionship #mma #JTTodd #warriors #weareone
Chompunich, who now sets the tone for every ONE Championship show, knew the transition would be challenging. However, the magnitude of this new mixdown did not fully play out until her first live event.
“Doing it live and doing it in the studio, it’s a world of difference,” she explains. “When you are at the actual event, you can feel the vibe of the people. You know when to go harder or pull back based on the crowd reaction. It’s a totally different ball game.”
Now comfortably settled in her role, the energetic MC has become known as ‘The Voice Of ONE Championship.’ Although some folks may not be able to sync her voice and her face, Chompunich does not mind.
“For me, it’s all about the music and the sound,” the 40-year-old continues. “I’m not motivated by fame, and I never liked my privacy to be taken away from me. I just enjoy my work here and the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
Chompunich’s musical tastes and background have clearly factored into her work as an MC. She incorporates an unbreakable hip-hop flavor into her ring introductions, a fresh style that sets her apart from other announcers.
Unique vocal talents aside, the ringmaster prepares thoroughly for each event. To her, the little details matter. The right timing, pitch, and tone are all equally instrumental in putting on an intoxicating show for the fans.
“I have this notebook where I write down each and every fighter’s name, their [entrance] music, and their pronunciations,” she reveals.
“I read the time of the drop on the music in seconds, and I time it. Then, I write down when I say the fighter’s country, name, and everything. So, when the show starts, I actually read the script in my own handwriting.”
Fans can hear Chompunich deliver her riveting introductions once again on Sunday, 13 October. She will rock the mic at the promotion’s historic 100th event ONE: CENTURY in Tokyo, Japan, which has her both excited and slightly nervous.
For her, the challenge of preparing for a double-header is not something she takes lightly. However, it is also something that should not be taken too seriously.
“This time in Tokyo, it’s two events in one day,” she says. “It’s going to be fun, for sure.”
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.