ONE: FULL BLAST promises an exciting night of action from start to finish, and the main event clash between Saemapetch Fairtex and “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai will close out the card in style.
The bantamweight Muay Thai battle — which airs this Friday, 28 May — has all the makings of an instant classic, with an ultra-aggressive knockout puncher going up against a slick counter-striker who thrives on pressure.
Both #1-ranked Saemapetch and #3-ranked Kulabdam want to earn a shot at divisional king Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, while the loser will be eliminated from World Title contention. There’s a lot at stake, and the result could go either way.
Before these Thai superstars meet at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we break down four major factors that could make all the difference in their matchup.
#1 Kulabdam’s ‘Left Meteorite’
It doesn’t take an expert to decipher “Left Meteorite’s” game plan, but it certainly takes one to stop it.
Throughout the fight, Kulabdam will look to charge at Saemapetch with his famous straight left – one of the most unstoppable weapons in the sport.
The #3-ranked contender will often just wade in, fists swinging, on the hunt for a KO and with offense the only thing on his agenda. While “Left Meteorite” does have the ability to throw combinations — setting up his powerful southpaw backhand with jabs, hooks, and uppercuts from his lead hand — he is equally happy to open with it and catch opponents off-guard.
One of his most effective methods of manufacturing a clear route to the chin is by aiming his straight left to the body to force his rivals to lower their guard. At that point, he quickly returns back upstairs to smash his fists into their faces.
As one of the most feared punchers in Muay Thai, Kulabdam can end any fight in an instant. He proved that with a sensational first-round knockout of “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort at ONE: NO SURRENDER III, and he’ll be looking for a highlight-reel moment this Friday.
#2 Saemapetch’s Speed
While Kulabdam’s left hand is a scary prospect, it is also predictable, and Saemapetch is a master tactician who possesses phenomenal quickness.
He will have prepared diligently to defend the knockout-inducing punch, but his best bet isn’t to hide from it. Instead, he should use his own assets to get there first.
The Fairtex representative is equipped with great boxing and a perceptive eye to determine his foe’s movements. With “Left Meteorite” so confident in his output, he often cocks his left hand back early to pump it out – and that’s where Saemapetch can attack.
If the #1 contender can strike quickly down the pipe with his stiff jab, or even with his own left cross, he will likely reach his targets before the opposing hammers land.
“The Steel Locomotive” Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym used heavy volume and beat Kulabdam to the punch en route to a dominant unanimous decision win. There’s no doubt that Saemapetch took note and will look to replicate the game plan.
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#3 Kulabdam’s Low Kicks
If Kulabdam cannot find a home for his punches early, he may look to hinder his rival by employing damaging low kicks.
Like everything that’s delivered by the two-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, his left kick is thrown with immense force.
While attacking Saemapetch’s lead leg is unlikely to be an immediate bout-ender, it could set the platform for Kulabdam’s hands to come back into play.
The Fairtex athlete thrives on footwork and pivots to turn himself off the ropes and out of danger. If “Left Meteorite” can limit those options by damaging his opponent’s means of movement, it may be easier to keep him hemmed in.
Moreover, if Saemapetch becomes a more static target, Kulabdam will be able to unload his punches with even more ruthlessness.
#4 Saemapetch’s Evasion And Counters
The #1-ranked contender is one of the best at making his foes miss — and then making them pay.
Saemapetch deals with kicks well, whether he’s checking and firing back from low kicks or leaning back and countering high kicks. It’s not often an opponent gets one for free without shins and fists flying back in their direction before they’ve even realized they missed their mark.
He also has excellent head movement, which could be crucial. Kulabdam is never afraid to commit to his punches, but the bigger the swing and miss, the more time the Fairtex man will have to counter.
Finally, Saemapetch likes to slip outside punches and then fire back with either rapid combinations or single, concussive elbow strikes.
If he can continue to frustrate “Left Meteorite” by making him miss the target, then there’s every chance a fight-ending counter will be the reward.
Read more: 5 Big Reasons To Watch ONE: FULL BLAST