‘I’m Still Strong’ – Nong-O Aims To Silence Retirement Talk With Victory Over Nico Carrillo

Nong O Hama Jonathan Haggerty ONE Fight Night 9 8

Former longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion and current #1-ranked contender Nong-O Hama knows he’s at a crossroads in his decorated career.

This Friday in Asia primetime, the 37-year-old legend will return to Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium to square off with surging Scottish phenom Nico “King of the North” Carrillo in a bantamweight Muay Thai clash at ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawanchai vs. Superbon.

With an incredible 265 career victories to his name – including eight thrilling World Title wins in ONE – Nong-O admits that he is nearing the end of his illustrious competition days.

To that end, the Thai told onefc.com that his showdown with #5-ranked Carrillo is a true make-or-break matchup:

“It’s very important. It’s the most important because it’s the fight that will decide if I, at 37 years old, still can fight [against the elite] or not.”

Given the high-stakes nature of this bout, Nong-O has made sure to check every box in his meticulous preparation.

He recognizes that Carrillo – an athletically gifted striker who used to compete at featherweight – packs some serious power and is coming off back-to-back knockout wins in ONE Friday Fights.

With that in mind, the veteran has placed an extra focus on elusive movement and defense during this training camp:

“I have to be careful of his attacks because he can throw weapons very violently. I will focus more on dodging and defending. I don’t want to trade with him directly. But If I can see an opening, I’ll go for the knockout.”

Despite his 25-year-old foe’s dangerous knockout power, Nong-O is confident that he still has plenty of fuel left in the tank.

Above all, he’s aiming to keep his top spot in the bantamweight Muay Thai rankings and prove the doubters wrong:

“I read some comments, and some of them say I’m old and I’m going to lose again.

“These insults have fueled my determination to win even more. I will prove to them that even though I am old, I’m still strong and hungry for victory.”

Nong-O Targets Rematch With Haggerty: ‘I Want My Gold Back’

Nong-O Hama is hungry for more than just a victory at ONE Friday Fights 46; he’s also on a mission to regain the 26 pounds of gold he once held.

After a spectacular 10-fight unbeaten streak in ONE, the Evolve MMA representative suffered his first promotional defeat in April at the hands of current bantamweight Muay Thai king Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.

Nong-O is now fighting with a chip on his shoulder, determined to exact revenge against the Brit and reclaim the World Title:

“My goal is I want my belt back. I won’t say his name. I just want my belt back. Because everyone keeps saying his name, and they’ve already forgotten that I used to be an eight-time ONE World Champion.”

As much as he’s dying for a rematch with “The General,” the former titleholder admits that he can’t assume a rematch is in the cards.

For now, he plans to keep doing what he’s been doing for the past two decades – competing and winning against the best of the best.

Nong-O added:

“I’m a warrior, fighter, and striker. I don’t have the right to choose who I want to fight. I can fight anyone in my division, but the important thing is that I want my gold back.”

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