Petchmorakot Petchyindee and Jimmy Vienot duked it out across five close rounds for the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title on Friday, 20 May, and it took a split decision to separate them when all was said and done.
Petchmorakot ultimately defended his throne in the main event of ONE 157, but his challenger’s impressive ONE Super Series debut proved that he belongs with the best strikers on the planet.
It was an assured start for Vienot in round one. Both men probed with long-range strikes in the opening minute, and “JV01” used that time to get a feel for Petchmorakot’s rhythm while scoring with hard low kicks and lead hooks.
The Frenchman also responded well to his rival’s kicks, using catches and counters to show that he should be respected in this showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In the second round, Vienot picked up right where he’d left off. The five-time Muay Thai World Champion repeatedly caught Petchmorakot’s body kicks and dumped him to the canvas to assert his dominance.
The reigning king fired back with straight punches, but he struggled to find a real foothold as “JV01” appeared strong out in the open and inside the clinch.
With determination in his eyes, Vienot caught another of the Thai’s kicks and sent him tumbling to the ground, but this prompted a change in tactics from the Petchyindee man.
Petchmorakot stepped on the gas and tried to press forward, and while “JV01” stifled most of his trademark knees and elbows, the reigning king landed more leather on the Frenchman when they traded punches.
The championship rounds started off in a predictable fashion, with Vienot catching a kick and sending his opponent to the deck – but things were turned on their head shortly after.
As the challenger missed with a right high kick, he was met by a stiff right hook in reply. Petchmorakot’s punch dropped Vienot for an eight-count and earned him some crucial points on the board.
Vienot tried to claw back in the rest of the fourth round, sweeping Petchmorakot with a well-timed low kick and rushing forward with his hands. However, the experienced Thai stayed safe and put a 10-8 score in the books.
The World Title still hung in the balance heading into the final frame, and both men came out throwing heavy leather. Petchmorakot landed a sharp left hook during an exchange, but once again, “JV01” put him down on the canvas with a sweep.
The Frenchman also stayed busy with his jab and kicks, though the Petchyindee athlete seemed content to back out of trouble – presumably thinking he’d done enough to snatch the win in the previous stanza.
Those contrasting strategies certainly made things interesting, and it was neck and neck as the strikers went to the judges’ scorecards.
The results then reflected how tight the contest had been, as Petchmorakot narrowly retained his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title via split decision.
With the win, the Thai dynamo pushed his incredible record to 165-35-2 (1NC) and sealed his third consecutive World Title defense on the global stage.
On top of that, the 28-year-old earned a US$50,000 performance bonus from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.