Sergio “The Samurai” Wielzen has been afforded a very rare opportunity.
The Dutch-Surinamese athlete will make his ONE Super Series debut on Friday, May 18, and could become the striking-only competition’s first-ever World Champion.
Wielzen will take on Thailand’s Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for the inaugural ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Championship. The historic battle takes place at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS, which broadcasts from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Wielzen is a highly decorated competitor who has taken on some of the finest talent on the planet. He is an It’s Showtime World Champion, a two-time W5 World Champion, and a Lion Fight Lightweight World Champion.
Despite those impressive accolades, he feels defeating Sam-A for the pioneering ONE Super Series world title would give him unrivaled prestige.
“This is going to be the biggest title I will be taking home,” the 30-year-old Amsterdam native says.
“The opponent and the title give me a lot of motivation, and a lot of focus. ONE Championship is a crazy big organization, and they will give me the chance to show the world what I can do.”
Wielzen has already sent shockwaves around the Muay Thai world, and has defeated some of the sport’s fiercest competitors.
For instance, he recorded a landmark moment in May 2010 when he knocked out Anuwat Kaewsamrit — a multi-division Lumpinee and Rajadamnern Stadium World Champion — with a head kick after just 30 seconds. The Thai legend has very few KO losses from more than 150 bouts, so to see him stopped so quickly was a huge shock.
“The Samurai” takes confidence from that encounter, as it shows he can overcome the odds regardless of the opponent that stands in front of him.
“It does not matter what background or nationality someone has, or how many fights they have,” Wielzen states. “I can beat anybody in the world in my weight class. That is my mindset.”
He will carry that mentality into battle when he meets Sam-A, an exceptionally technical, yet powerful rival.
Sam-A, a multi-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion who now trains out of Singapore’s Evolve MMA, reminded the world just how dangerous he is in January. He knocked out Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri in ONE’s inaugural Muay Thai bout at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES.
The two-round demolition of a world-class athlete was an emphatic display of the level the Thai star operates at. He masterfully illustrated the thrill and explosiveness of Muay Thai to ONE fans — many of whom were seeing the martial art in its pure form for the first time.
However, Wielzen is not fazed by his fellow world title challenger’s previous showing in the cage. If anything, it helped him to research the style he will be encountering, and also further cemented his belief that he can be the more dynamic, and unpredictable, athlete when they clash in Singapore.
“He did well. He just kept it simple, and did not use too much energy. But he did not do anything special in my opinion,” Wielzen explains.
“Every time I compete, I change up my style, so I think it is a good match-up. He has a strong, basic style, and I have a style that is also strong, but shifts in different directions, so he will not know what to expect.”
This clash of styles — Wielzen’s attacks you do not see coming, versus Sam-A’s techniques you expect, but cannot stop — should create fireworks when these Muay Thai specialists meet in the middle of the ONE cage.
The Dutch-Surinamese athlete is training as hard as ever for the gargantuan opportunity that is in his grasp, and he will do everything in his power to take his career to the next level by becoming the first ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Champion.
“When we get in there, it is going to be a war. Nothing else matters,” he says. “I will give my best so I can win and take this belt home.”