Features

How Phoe Thaw Started Chasing And Achieving His Dreams

Mar 2, 2019

Phoe “Bushido” Thaw may have gotten a late start to his mixed martial arts career four years ago, but he made up for lost time and has quickly emerged as one of the most exciting contenders in ONE Championship’s featherweight division.

The 34-year-old’s story, character, and skill amount to one massive inspiration for millions of people in his home country of Myanmar. He is proof that hard work and commitment can take you to the top, regardless of age.

Phoe Thaw's on a mission to inspire the next generation of Myanmar warriors ????????

Phoe Thaw's on a mission to inspire the next generation of Myanmar warriors ????????Yangon | 26 October | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18

Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, October 25, 2018

“Bushido” will continue his campaign for a ONE Featherweight World Title shot when he meets Indonesian pioneer Yohan “The Ice Man” Mulia Legowo at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in Yangon’s Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on Friday, 8 March.

Supporting him will be a group of young Myanmar warriors under his guidance, all of whom aspire to join The Home Of Martial Arts someday. Phoe Thaw’s vision of glory would see not only him, but also the members of Team PT become World Champions.

However, growing this seed is a tough task in Myanmar, where the featherweight contender’s modest rooftop gym is a leader in the country’s nascent mixed martial arts scene. 

Many people in the nation are more concerned with scraping up enough money for their next meal than lifting a World Title. “Bushido,” on the other hand, always harbored greatness in his heart.

Phoe Thaw put in long hours as a broker, a taxi driver, and a guard for the Japanese embassy in Yangon. He used his wages to fund a charity, which organized blood donations and delivered emergency relief.

Having had some experience in the ancient sport of lethwei, he was blown away when he first discovered mixed martial arts.

“In MMA, the one who can really succeed and become a champion is smarter than everyone else,” he says. “We have to absorb every kind of martial art from around the world.”

You won't believe all the ways Phoe Thaw has given back to his community.

You won't believe all the ways Phoe Thaw has given back to his community.Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 12, 2018

Phoe Thaw’s resume was not wasted in his new endeavor.

The charity taught him how he could help others, being a broker made him business savvy, and over the course of time spent as an embassy guard, he learned Japanese.

That served him particularly well during his training camp with Japanese grappler Shunichi “Rolling Star” Shimizu over the last two months.

Shimizu has fine-tuned the Yangon hero’s submission game and acted as a powerful motivator for his next match-up.

The biggest motivation, however, comes from Phoe Thaw himself and the sacrifices he has made to get to this point in his career.

“Without any sacrifices, we are not going to succeed, so we have to give up some things,” he says, describing the time away from his family and the savings invested in his gym, where he also lives.

“As long as I train harder year after year, I will become more popular and known as a fighter in Myanmar. Many eyes are looking at me, so I have lost my freedom and have to be conscious of my actions in my life.

“Wherever I go, whenever I talk to people, whatever I am doing, I have to inspire and motivate people. They count on me.”

Phoe Thaw is on a mission to represent lethwei on the global stage!

Phoe Thaw is on a mission to represent lethwei on the global stage!Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 12, 2018

The featherweight also takes inspiration from compatriot and two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang, who is set to defend his middleweight crown at ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March.

“I always try to copy what successful people are doing and seek opportunities for myself,” he adds.

Phoe Thaw has left a trail of highlight-reel moments in his wake, including an astonishing right push kick that knocked out Cambodia’s Sor Sey.

While he is celebrated inside the cage for his exciting martial arts style, he is revered just as much outside of the mammoth structure for his positivity and can-do attitude.

“Everybody said it was too late for me to start MMA, but it’s never too late,” he explains.

“Some people struggle their whole lives and never know what they want to be. When they know what they really want to be, they think it’s too late.

“No one knows about the future, but we can hope and imagine it. It doesn’t matter what time you start — the most important thing is that as soon as you know what you want to do, do it right away.”

Phoe Thaw continues to chase his martial arts dream on 26 October!

Phoe Thaw continues to chase his martial arts dream on 26 October!Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18

Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, October 8, 2018

Phoe Thaw is excited to compete in his hometown this coming Friday, where the electric atmosphere is inimitable.

A victory on 8 March would be huge for the Yangon hero’s status in the featherweight division, but more importantly, it will show the members of Team PT that winning at the elite level is possible.

“I want to get a World Title,” the local favorite says.

“If I cannot get a belt before I retire, one of my fighters from my team will get a belt in the future. To inspire everyone who wants to be a champion, that’s our dream. Team PT will get a World Title one day.”

Yangon | 8 March | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super Apphttp://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Ticketshttp://bit.ly/onevalor19