Often, Cambodian athletes have a background in the nation’s traditional striking art of Kun Khmer, which gives them a leg up in learning – and rapidly improving at – every range of combat.
Here are the five greatest victories from Cambodian athletes on the global stage.
Rothana Finishes Fernandes In Exciting Two-Rounder
This thrilling flyweight tussle between Chan Rothana and Abro “The Black Komodo” Fernandes electrified the crowd at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in December 2018, especially when the Cambodian rallied for a second-round TKO stoppage.
Rothana showcased his constant evolution on the global stage by repeatedly battling back to his feet in the face of his rival’s wrestling attacks – and then making Fernandes pay in the striking exchanges.
The man from Phnom Penh’s unwavering gas tank came into play in round two, as he fended off “The Black Komodo’s” grappling offense. Fernandes tried to lock in a rear-naked choke, but when his attack failed, he had nothing left.
Rothana responded by ramping up his striking output. First, he dropped the durable Indonesian with looping hooks and then maintained the pressure with a barrage of punches and knees to secure the stoppage.
Em Scores Flawless Debut Win Over Kyselova
In the opening moments, the Cambodian-American charged in for a takedown behind a superman punch and quickly dumped her foe to the canvas with a double-leg takedown.
Though Kyselova tried to stem the flow of strikes by holding onto a headlock, “The Sweet Savage” scored with hard knees and then freed her head when she took back control.
Free to strike, Em opened the taps with a salvo of heavy punches to register a massive TKO victory in just 81 seconds.
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Sey Spoils Senduk’s Perfect Record
The Cambodian Top Team representative faced the then-unbeaten Indonesian in front of his home fans in Jakarta and endured a tough first round where he was controlled by the local hero.
However, Sey’s durability came to the forefront in the second frame. He found success on the feet with his Kun Khmer striking arsenal, and he came close to a finish near the end of the round when he bludgeoned Senduk with ground and pound from the mount position.
In round three, Sey was the more effective athlete on the feet and on the ground. Some well-timed sweeps knocked “Indra” off his feet, and the Kandal native blasted away with more ground strikes to score the unanimous decision.
Sichan Edges Out Umar In Frantic Battle
A HUGE win for Khon Sichan & Cambodian martial arts! ????????Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, 12 August 2018
Umar threatened Sichan with a triangle-choke attempt in the opening frame, but the Phnom Penh MMA and PRODAL Fight Gym representative replied in round two when he came close with a rear-naked choke.
Sichan scored with some powerful punches and kicks throughout the contest, and he edged the action in a back-and-forth final frame to claim his first win in The Home Of Martial Arts by split decision.
Srey Pov Takes Out Local Favorite In Big-Stage Debut
Srey Pov’s powerful striking was just too much for the Thai favorite. The Kun Khmer World Champion drilled “Tiny Doll” with hard left hooks and right hands from the start while shrugging off early attempts to close the distance.
The Cambodian was also strong in the clinch. Srey Pov did not allow the Bangkok native to take the action to the ground, and she continued to punish her on the feet in round two.
Ishige gave everything she had in front of her home crowd in the final stanza, but Srey Pov kept her at bay with punches and low kicks to seal the unanimous decision victory.