Features

Jo Nattawut At His Best Thanks To Thai Training And American Mindset

August 12, 2019

“Smokin” Jo Nattawut has called the United States home for the past six years, but he never forgets where he came from.

The Thai superstar embraces his native land every chance he gets – including with trips back to “The Land Of Smiles” to train for each of his ONE Championship bouts.

As always, the 29-year-old returned to Bangkok for the last couple of weeks of his training camp for his ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinal against Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, which takes place this Friday, 16 August at the Impact Arena.

What are the odds Smokin' Jo Nattawut does THIS to Giorgio Petrosyan when they rematch in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals?

What are the odds Smokin' Jo Nattawut does THIS to Giorgio Petrosyan when they rematch in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals? : Bangkok | 16 August | 5:30PM | ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onegold19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, August 5, 2019

As much as he loves his team at Bangkok Boxing in the United States, there are a couple of huge benefits to his trips to his homeland.

First, by training at Luktupfah Muay Thai means he can acclimatize to the time zone and get into peak condition for his rematch with Petrosyan. It is also convenient because he will not have to travel far to the Impact Arena.

Perhaps most importantly, nothing can ever duplicate the kind of intense training he gets in Thailand, and that is one of his favorite parts about going home.

“[In America], I wake up, I go to work first [teaching classes], then I train, I rest, I train again, and I sleep all night. Then I wake up and do the same thing.

“In Thailand, you wake up, and you train hard. You take a nap, then in the evening, you train really, really hard, and then you rest. Your body is getting stronger and stronger so quick because you can recover longer. You train hard, you recover well, and then your body gets stronger much quicker.”

“Smokin Jo” missed that way of life before his first meeting with Petrosyan last April, but since he has made it an integral part of his preparation, he has gone 4-0 in The Home Of Martial Arts.

Another CRAZY KNOCKOUT on Friday and Smokin Jo' Nattawut will be on his way to the US$1 million ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix finals!

Another CRAZY KNOCKOUT on Friday and Smokin' Jo Nattawut will be on his way to the US$1 million ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix finals!: Bangkok | 16 August | 5PM | ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onegold19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, August 11, 2019

Besides the training, the 29-year old Thai native has plenty of other reasons to return home whenever he gets the opportunity.

The added bonus outside the gym is that he gets the chance to spend time with the people he loves most and experience everything that is not part of life on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

“I miss a lot of stuff. I miss my friends and family, and life there is so chilled,” Nattawut says.

“Life in the United States is much busier. In Thailand, everybody smiles a lot, and they have a lot of fun times more than here. Still being here [in the United States], there are a lot of opportunities, and I want to do a lot of stuff here.

“I miss hanging out with my family, but as a fighter, you miss so much. You miss family parties, you miss friends, you miss everything because of training.”

One of the other things he pines for is his favorite foods, and he jokes that all he does is eat once he has done the business in the Circle.

Despite all the things he lacks in Georgia, he has found ways to stay close to his roots when he is thousands of miles away with his friends from Thailand who live close by in Atlanta.

What are the odds Smokin' Jo Nattawut does THIS to Giorgio Petrosyan when they rematch in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals?

What are the odds Smokin' Jo Nattawut does THIS to Giorgio Petrosyan when they rematch in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals? : Bangkok | 16 August | 5:30PM | ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onegold19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter

Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, August 5, 2019

However, his mindset is so different in his new home away from home, that he foregoes many of the usual celebrations to focus on training and sharpening his skills.

This focus is one of the biggest benefits of his move across the world, and it means he is always prepared to step up a gear when he returns to Bangkok and get into peak shape for whatever challenge awaits him in ONE Super Series.

“We have Thai people here and there is always all sorts of stuff going on. They have New Year’s here but I didn’t go. In Thailand, it’s so much fun, and here it’s still fun, but I’d rather go to the gym and work out,” Nattawut says.

“It’s life here. I can say I’m an American now, the way I think, the way I live, it’s different.”

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Bangkok | 16 August | 5PM | ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegold19