Who Ya Got? Previewing The ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament

ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament participants Sangmanee, Kulabdam, Saemapetch, and Rodlek

The brackets for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament have been filled, and a pair of explosive semifinal bouts are on the way.

First, Saemapetch Fairtex and Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym will lock horns at ONE: NO SURRENDER II on 14 August in Bangkok, Thailand.

Next, “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort and “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai will meet at ONE: NO SURRENDER III on 21 August in the same city.

The two winners will then face each other in the final. Once a tournament champ is declared, the victor will take on reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.

Before the action kicks off in Thailand’s capital, let’s break down the four athletes who will be featured in the semifinal round.

Saemapetch Fairtex

Saemapetch Fairtex

Saemapetch joined the world’s largest martial arts organization in July 2018 when he defeated Deividas “The Lithuanian Savage” Danyla at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS.

He then toppled both Ognjen Topic and the man who would go on to become the current ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion – Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov.

Saemapetch’s only loss in ONE came at the hands of Nong-O, so if he emerges from this tournament, he’ll get a chance to redeem himself against the division’s reigning World Champion.

Of course, he’ll have to get past Rodlek first, which will be no easy task. These two athletes have already fought three times in Thailand, with Saemapetch winning just once.

If he wants to claim victory in this battle, the Fairtex standout will need to utilize his most dangerous weapon – his straight left punch, which he loves to hide behind his peppering jab. The southpaw does have a tendency to drop his right hand, though, which Rodlek will aim to capitalize on.

But if Saemapetch manages to avoid Rodlek’s powerful hands, he could find himself in the final against the winner of the 21 August semifinal.

Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym

Thailand's Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym and Scotland's Chris Shaw compete in ONE Championship

Rodlek joined ONE Championship a year after Saemapetch, and he’s yet to taste defeat on the global stage.

Since 2019, the Thai star has defeated Liam “Hitman” Harrison, Andrew “Maddog Fairtex” Miller, and Chris Shaw.

The #5-ranked bantamweight kickboxing contender is known for his granite chin and his love for pressing forward, which should make for an intriguing duel with Saemapetch, who will look to counter off his back foot with left punches and kicks.

Rodlek also has two wins over Saemapetch, which will give him the mental edge come 14 August.

If the man known as “The Steel Locomotive” can keep away from his rival’s left punches and kicks while landing his own trademark right hand, he could find himself in the tournament final.

Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort

Sangmanee Sathian MuayThai defeats Kenta Yamada at ONE A NEW TOMORROW

“The Million Dollar Baby” only joined ONE in November 2019, but he is certainly not lacking experience.

Since signing with the promotion, the #1-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai contender has defeated Azize Hlali and Kenta Yamada – both by unanimous decision.

Outside of ONE, he’s a seven-time Muay Thai World Champion, holding titles from Bangkok’s esteemed Rajadamnern and Lumpinee Stadiums.

Sangmanee is a technical fighter who loves to push forward and tenderize the body of his opponents with left kicks. Given that Kulabdam has a left punch that can stop any bout instantly, this contest could come down to whoever lands from the left side first.

If “The Million Dollar Baby” can stay away from the powerful punches of Kulabdam and score points with his kicks, he’ll have a good chance to reach the final.

Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai

Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai fires his trademark left hand at Bobo Sacko

Kulabdam’s promotional debut came in September 2019 when he defeated Bobo Sacko via unanimous decision at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH.

“Left Meteorite” isn’t as well-known as Sangmanee in ONE, but in Thailand’s Muay Thai circuit, he holds almost as many accolades. Namely, three Muay Thai World Titles, two Lumpinee Stadium Fight Of The Year awards, and a Sports Writers Association Of Thailand Fighter Of The Year award.

The #3-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai athlete also put together a seven-bout knockout streak at Bangkok’s Channel 7 Stadium, an impressive feat for anyone competing in Thailand’s most popular Muay Thai venue.

With a nickname like “Left Meteorite,” those accomplishments shouldn’t come as a surprise. Kulabdam has knocked out a who’s who of Muay Thai stars, including Muangthai “Elbow Zombie” PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym.

In the tournament semifinals, Kulabdam will have to be wary of the pressure and left kicks from Sangmanee, but if he can find a way to land his straight left punch or left elbow, a trip to the final could be in the cards.

Read more: Full Bout Cards Revealed For ONE: NO SURRENDER II And III

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