‘Get Redemption And Regain My Confidence’ – Sitthichai Hungry To Bounce Back Against Masaaki Noiri

Marat Grigorian Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong ONE 165 1

Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong has experienced many incredible moments in his storied career, but he’s still amassing more of them in ONE Championship. 

After more than 160 professional fights, the Thai icon will face his first Japanese opponent in Masaaki Noiri at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video, and he can’t wait to throw down with the former K-1 World Champion in U.S. primetime on Friday, June 7. 

The bout will pit two of this generation’s leading kickboxers against one another at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, and it has all the makings of an epic battle. 

Sitthichai told onefc.com:

“When I heard the news that Masaaki Noiri had signed with ONE, I learned that he was a Japanese superstar like Takeru. It made me feel excited. Even though I didn’t know him very well, I knew his skill level would be high. 

“When I was informed that I would be fighting him, I thought, ‘Wow,’ because he will be my first Japanese opponent. Throughout my career, I never had the opportunity to fight a Japanese fighter. Moreover, he is a Japanese superstar. So that made me even more excited.” 

Some other firsts are motivating Sitthichai for his next outing. 

On the positive side, he will compete at the packed-out Impact Arena for the first time in front of his adoring compatriots, but he also has a new hurdle to overcome.  

Sitthichai was finished by fellow superstar Marat Grigorian when the pair met at ONE 165 in January – his first stoppage defeat since he moved almost exclusively to kickboxing in 2014. 

Pushed by both elements in different ways, “Killer Kid” is hungrier than ever to get back on track and prove he still belongs among the upper echelon of the stacked featherweight ranks:

“This is my first time fighting at the Impact Arena. And my opponent is a Japanese superstar. I cannot describe my joy at being able to fight in such a huge global event. It makes me feel like the organization still values me and I am still needed by them. 

“This fight is very important to me. I need to bounce back to the winner’s side because I want to become one of the best fighters in the world again. 

“This is a great opportunity because he is a very famous fighter. If I beat him, I believe I will definitely be able to get redemption and regain my confidence.” 

Sitthichai Breaks Down ONE Newcomer Masaaki Noiri 

After winning a coveted Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Title in 2014, Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong switched to kickboxing, where he became one of the sport’s most dominant figures.  

While he was defeating the biggest names in Europe, China, and North America, Masaaki Noiri was doing the same in his native Japan, beating domestic and international opponents en route to prestigious K-1 World Titles in two divisions.  

Ahead of their matchup, “Killer Kid” sized up Noiri’s skill set:

“Masaaki is one of the best kickboxers in the world. His style is pure kickboxing. His strengths are his punches and kicks. He has a dangerous high kick. He is good both offensively and defensively. This is definitely not an easy fight for me – but I’m a legend too. 

“I think his weakness is he tends to absorb attacks rather than defend them because he wants to counter his opponents. So he doesn’t like to defend himself much. I will bring some of my heavy weapons to use with him in the ring.” 

Although he wasn’t immediately familiar with Noiri’s full body of work, Sitthichai has done his research to prepare for their contest at ONE 167.  He’s taken some tips from what he’s seen and believes his style bodes well for success on June 7.

Planning to unleash his feared southpaw weapons en route to victory, Sitthichai added: 

“I learned from the two fights he lost to Kaew Fairtex that he’s not good at fighting with southpaws, so I studied Kaew to learn how to fight with him. He is not good at defending himself from left kicks, so you can expect a lot of them from me. 

“I can’t tell you how this fight will end. It depends on what happens in the ring, but I will do my best to entertain our fans.” 

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