Run It Back: Revisiting Tawanchai Vs. Nattawut Before They Rematch For World Title At ONE 167

Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE Fight Night 15 58

Tawanchai PK Saenchai’s next ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title defense will come against a familiar foe in U.S. primetime on Friday, June 7. 

The Thai megastar is set to face “Smokin” Jo Nattawut for the gold at ONE 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga on Prime Video, eight months after beating his compatriot via decision in a hard-fought kickboxing clash last October.  

Last time, the always-game Nattawut stepped in on late notice to face one of the world’s most devastating strikers and tested Tawanchai’s mettle across the course of three blistering rounds. 

Before they run it back in “the art of eight limbs,” let’s revisit their first contest – and what it could tell us about the high-stakes rematch at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. 

What Led To The First Fight

Tawanchai was initially slated to put his Muay Thai gold on the line against Superbon at ONE Fight Night 15, but an injury to the challenger saw him withdraw from the eagerly anticipated super-fight.  

However, “Smokin” Jo answered the call with less than two weeks to prepare so that Tawanchai could still feature at the event.

The bout was switched to a three-round kickboxing clash with no belt on the line, but it was still a huge opportunity for the veteran Nattawut to prove he still belongs among the best of the best.

There was also the added intrigue of Tawanchai’s relative lack of experience under kickboxing rules versus Nattawut’s recent outings against the sport’s biggest names, including Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov and Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan

So, while the surging featherweight Muay Thai king still entered as the favorite, a victory was never a given against his durable foe. 

Round 1 

Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE Fight Night 15 14

If Tawanchai expected a slow-paced start from his late-notice opponent, he was in for a rude awakening.

The PK Saenchai man went after “Smokin” Jo with punches and kicks, but the 34-year-old stood his ground and replied with hard right hands and thudding shins to the thigh.  

Tawanchai’s left kick was a constant threat, and he followed it with his sharp left hand, but it was clear that Nattawut was determined to score the upset.

Round 2  

Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE Fight Night 15 50

Nattawut stunned Tawanchai early in round two, blasting the latter with a right hand and then a left hook, showing that his foe would be punished for any missteps.  

But the 25-year-old met fire with fire and unleashed his own hands, while also showing his technical acumen to open up gaps with his feints and teeps.  

Both men continued to land hard and often as the battle became a real firefight.  

Round 3  

Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE Fight Night 15 44

Tawanchai found the mark with his left kick inside Nattawut’s right hand repeatedly in the final stanza, but it didn’t deter the slugger from Thai Top Team. 

Though he was eating his foe’s straight punches and kicks at range, “Smokin” Jo countered well with low kicks and ended the round throwing hard flurries of punches on the inside, capping off a competitive nine minutes of action.  

Ultimately, Tawanchai earned the unanimous decision win, but Nattawut’s gutsy performance proved once again that he could go toe-to-toe with the best in the world. 

The Rematch At ONE 167

After they met in October 2023, Tawanchai won his long-awaited clash with Superbon to retain his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title, and Nattawut got back in the winner’s column against current #5-ranked contender Luke “The Chef” Lessei

Now ranked #3 and with the strength of his last performance still fresh in the minds of fans and matchmakers, “Smokin” Jo was the top pick for Tawanchai’s next challenger.  

But this time, things could be very different. 

Tawanchai won’t have to compete under a less familiar rule set after preparing for Muay Thai, and Nattawut’s skill set will not take him by surprise.  

On the flip side, “Smokin” Jo will benefit from a full camp, meaning he will be in better condition physically and sharper mentally to deal with the defending World Champion’s elite weapons.

With five rounds to separate them this time, there will be more chances for either of the concussive strikers to find a game-changing shot, and both men will be gunning for a more decisive conclusion with 26 pounds of gold at stake.  

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