Elite strikers who call Thailand their home have been transitioning from the stand-up disciplines to the all-encompassing sport to bring a more diverse skill set to ONE Championship.
While Thai athletes like ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon have been teasing a transition to mixed martial arts, several of the country’s finest warriors have already proven that they can roll with the best of them inside the Circle.
Here, we take a look at five of the greatest victories from Thailand’s mixed martial arts heroes.
Dejdamrong Becomes The Strawweight King
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Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, May 11, 2017
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke dominated the Muay Thai scene in Bangkok several years ago. He was a multiple-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion and one of the sport’s biggest names, and then he extended his combat sports legacy to mixed martial arts.
After racking up four decisive wins on the global stage, the Singapore-based Thai challenged Filipino boxer Roy “The Dominator” Doliguez for the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Title at ONE: WARRIOR’S QUEST in May 2015, and he made history that night in “The Lion City.”
The two athletes engaged in a grappling competition for much of the opening stanza, but Dejdamrong controlled the action – especially in the last two minutes, as he secured top position and dropped ground strikes.
Though Doliguez showed glimpses of his grappling savvy, the Evolve representative clearly had the advantage. He spent the next few rounds dominating the grappling exchanges, attacking from top position, and battering his Filipino rival whenever the action returned to the feet.
In the fifth and final round, Dejdamrong continued to display his superior striking. The Thai brilliantly dodged the Filipino’s attacks, landed his counter-strikes, and methodically ripped kicks and punches at his foe.
Once the bout was over, the judges awarded Dejdamrong with the unanimous decision victory. Also, he claimed the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Title and made history as Thailand’s first World Champion in mixed martial arts.
‘The Smiling Assassin’ KOs Catalan
Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit followed Dejdamrong’s lead.
After a successful stint in Muay Thai, which saw him become a Northern Thailand Champion, the young Chiang Mai native made the switch to mixed martial arts and rattled off nine consecutive victories.
Despite running into some tough luck, he got back on track with an impressive first-round win over Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan in May 2019.
At first, Mitsatit was in trouble. The Filipino caught his leg kick and tried to take him down to the canvas. Though “The Smiling Assassin” twisted and maintained incredible balance to fend off the takedown, Catalan got onto his back, put his hooks in, and started to set-up the rear-naked choke.
The Thai escaped the attempt, but then “The Ilonggo” readjusted himself and threatened with a heel hook. Mitsatit cleverly rolled, and he was able to slide out of harm’s way and return to his feet.
Following a short injury timeout due to an accidental knee strike to the groin, the strawweight contest resumed. Soon, Catalan grabbed ahold of his Thai rival and rushed him against the Circle Wall for a takedown.
“The Smiling Assassin” adjusted his position, however, and he locked his foe in the clinch and fired off a plethora of knees. One of those knees caught the Filipino directly in the solar plexus, which crumpled him to the mat and ended the tilt in Bangkok.
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Wiratchai’s 21-Second Stunner
The Thai mixed martial arts pioneer stunned his Singapore-based Indian opponent with a knockout just 21 seconds into their lightweight match-up at ONE: IRON WILL, delighting the hometown fans in Bangkok.
Following the opening bell, “The Kerala Krusher” pushed ahead and put the relaxed Wiratchai on the back foot.
As Raju lunged forward with wild right hands, the Thai southpaw calmly dodged the punches and then saw his opening. He countered his rival with a picture-perfect right hook, which instantly turned off the Indian athlete’s lights.
The 21-second KO gave the hometown hero an emphatic victory, and it still stands as the second-fastest knockout in the history of ONE Championship’s lightweight division.
‘Tiny Doll’ Sets New Mark
In October 2018, Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige proved yet again that despite her small frame, she is plenty capable of finishing a top opponent.
Bozhena Antoniyar, who is a two-time Myanmar National Boxing Champion, utilized her heavy punches from the opening bell. “Toto” came out swinging with massive crosses and left hooks, and even when the Thai went for the clinch, she tossed her aside to continue her boxing attack.
Though the Myanmar athlete landed some leg kicks, Ishige started timing them. Just a minute into the first round, “Tiny Doll” saw a kick coming and immediately hit a double-leg takedown.
Ishige worked to the mount position and, when “Toto” tried to turn away for a sweep, she locked in a rear-naked choke.
Bozhena Antoniyar tried to roll out of the submission hold, but “Tiny Doll” held on tight. Then, with her rival pinned face-down on the mat, the local hero unloaded punches and elbows to the head, which forced the stoppage.
Along with her impressive win, the TKO was Ishige’s fourth finish in ONE Championship – the most by any athlete in atomweight division history.
Stamp Submits The ‘Knockout Queen’
Stamp Fairtex may have been the reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, but in August 2019, she also proved herself as a promising mixed martial artist, too.
The Thai striker faced then-unbeaten Indian star Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka in her first mixed martial arts bout on the global stage, and it was a near-flawless performance from beginning to end.
This was an epic clash of striking styles, as Roka – an Indian National Boxing Champion – looked to punch her way into range, while the Fairtex representative utilized her vast Muay Thai arsenal to counter with knees and hard rights.
Eventually, Stamp swept her foe to the canvas and went to work. The Thai unleashed a plethora of ground strikes from the mount position, and she even attempted an armbar and guillotine choke.
In the second frame, the Indian got crisper with her attack. She bounced forward with straight punches and quickly retreated, but Stamp’s knees, punches, and low kicks to the lead thigh started to take a toll.
Though “Knockout Queen” got off to an electric start in the final stanza, Stamp pulled her in for a clinch, kneed her, and then tripped her to the canvas. The Thai moved to the mount position, unleashed her ground and pound, and forced her rival to give up her back.
From there, the Thai striker secured a rear-naked choke and claimed the first submission of her mixed martial arts career.