With the inaugural ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 28 February, the legendary Thai and the young phenom will both bring their best to try to claim the gold.
Only one of the title hopefuls can leave with the belt around their waist, but both men have a range of weapons that could get the job done. These could be their keys to victory.
#1 Sam-A’s Trademark Left Kick
Sam-A’s left kick from southpaw stance is his trademark technique, and he has used it to break down hundreds of opponents over the past two and a half decades.
He will look to sap the 20-year-old’s energy and redress the balance of the 16-year age difference by attacking Ogden’s body with his trademark strike. If he can wear Ogden down, the Evolve representative has the experience advantage that should allow him to build a big lead on the scorecards.
The ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion’s heavy body assault can also serve as a deterrent to the Aussie, as his midsection will be peppered any time he overreaches to land a right hand.
If Ogden does try to catch and counter, Sam-A can send his kick head-high in an instant – just like he did when he dropped Joseph Lasiri in ONE’s first-ever Muay Thai contest – and potentially end the match early.
#2 Ogden’s Powerful Hands
Ogden is sure he can push the pace on the 36-year-old Thai and put him under pressure with his dangerous boxing offense.
The man from Boonchu Gym is dangerous when he goes on the front foot with his punches, and he lets rip with his powerful right hand behind a jab or lead hook.
He has finished other, experienced Thai opponents before when his money punch has landed to the head or body, and his coach John Wayne Parr is confident he can score a telling blow this time, too – especially when it is amplified by competing in 4-ounce gloves.
#3 Sam-A’s Crafty Counters
The risk any opponent faces when charging at Sam-A is that they will walk right into his accurate counter-attacks.
With well over 400 bouts to his credit, the two-division Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion has encountered every type of offense many times, and his composure under fire is unrivaled.
His subtle footwork and head movement allow him to slip away from danger as his adversaries attack and he then unloads with his left straight or left elbow to capitalize on their momentum with minimum effort – as Daren Rolland and Sergio Wielzen found out to their peril.
#4 Ogden’s Unorthodox Techniques
Ogden was trained in Bangkok – the home of “the art of eight limbs” – and learned how to match the natives in their own style, but with just a tenth of Sam-A’s experience, it is unlikely the Aussie will be able to overwhelm his foe with a conventional Muay Thai attack.
However, he has other tools in his locker he could unleash to add some variety into his offense and surprise the veteran nak muay.
The WPMF Muay Thai World Champion’s curveballs include spinning back kicks to the body and head, which Sam-A is less used to dealing with. If they land, Ogden could disrupt the Thai’s usually unshakable rhythm, or even put him down.