‘He’s My Number-One Rival’ – Sam-A Anticipates Epic Rematch With Prajanchai For Interim World Title
With more than 350 career victories on his resume, legendary Thai striker Sam-A Gaiyanghadao isn’t done yet.
Next, the former two-sport and two-weight king is set to battle old foe and #1-ranked contender Prajanchai PK Saenchai for the ONE Interim Strawweight Muay Thai World Title in the main event of ONE Friday Fights 22 on June 23.
This highly anticipated showdown will be Sam-A’s second consecutive fight at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as his second fight since returning to ONE after a two-year stint away from the organization.
Back in 2021, the Evolve MMA representative was still a reigning two-sport ONE World Champion – until he ran into Prajanchai, an iconic competitor in his own right.
That evening, Prajanchai scored a thrilling majority decision win on the strength of an early knockdown, capturing his compatriot’s ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title in the process.
This past March, though Sam-A returned to ONE with a spectacular knockout win over Ryan Sheehan to put him in position for a crack at 26 pounds of gold – and a shot at redemption against the man who took his gold.
The 39-year-old told ONEFC.com:
“After I lost to [Prajanchai], I always wanted a chance to redeem myself. Because I still believe I made a mistake too early in our last fight. I got hit too soon and that forced me to change my game plan. I really want to correct my mistakes.”
Indeed, Sam-A will soon have his chance to fix any mistakes he made in the pair’s first meeting.
But beyond improving the technical aspects of his game, the rematch will be different in one significant way — it will take place in front of a Thai crowd in the packed Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, adding an element of excitement that was missing in their first encounter.
“I think this time will definitely not be the same, because we are going to fight at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. In our first fight, due to COVID, we had to fight in silence, an almost empty stadium, with no audience allowed to cheer for us. But this time we will have plenty of cheering from our fans that will enhance the energetic vibes. It will be an exciting fight, for sure.”
Sam-A Sends Clear Warning To Prajanchai
After already squaring off with Prajanchai PK Saenchai for 15 action-packed minutes, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao knows just how skilled his fellow Thai is.
Because even though Prajanchai lost the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title to current titleholder Joseph Lasiri in May 2022, the Italian hasn’t yet defended his belt. This leads Sam-A to name the 28-year-old as the division’s top dog.
With blazing speed and all-around skills, the Thai legend sees no obvious holes in his younger opponent’s game.
“Prajanchai is the most dangerous opponent in the strawweight division. He’s my number-one rival right now.
“His strengths are his attacks, and his footwork is really fast. He has good fight IQ and he is well-rounded, too. ”
While there’s certainly no bad blood between the two Thai stars, that doesn’t mean they won’t go to war on June 23.
To that end, Sam-A sent a parting message to his upcoming foe:
“Prajanchai, let’s go all-out in the ring. We will forget that we are brothers up there. Each of us will do our best, and we will be brothers again after the fight. I’ve been waiting for this match for two years. And now, I have a chance to go against you again. I’ll give it my all.”