Eight-time Muay Thai World Champion Lerdsila Phuket Top Team is one of the most successful athletes in his sport, and he plans to score his fifth consecutive ONE Championship victory on Friday, 6 December.
The Thai legend, who is undefeated in The Home Of Martial Arts, is set to make his promotional return against Algerian striker Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS, which emanates from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Lerdsila will be facing a man in Muay Thai flyweight action who is nearly half his age, and while that might seem like a daunting proposition to most veterans, the lighthearted Thai is just looking forward to having some fun and entertaining the global fanbase.
After all, that has been the key to his success for the past three decades.
Lerdsila, who has 190 career victories, last tasted defeat back in November 2015. Since then, he has maintained an impressive four-year-long unbeaten streak.
Although the Thai loves getting his arm raised, winning is not his number one priority.
“Winning is important to me, but it isn’t the most important. It can’t be the main thing,” the 38-year-old says. “It is like number two, or maybe number three. But number one is to always do my best.”
During his younger days, Lerdsila made a name for himself in Bangkok’s stadium circuit with a memorable 19-bout winning streak.
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Maintaining such dominance against the world’s best in the mecca of Muay Thai is a difficult undertaking, but the electric striker accomplished this feat and was handsomely rewarded for his efforts.
“In Thailand, it is really hard to stay undefeated for that long because we fight so often and always against really good opponents,” he explains.
“After winning 10 fights in a row, the promoter awarded me with a gold chain. I got another one at 15 fights, but I fell short of achieving 20 in a row.
“There was a lot of gambling back then, and there were big incentives to win, so it put a lot of pressure on me.”
Once he stepped away from Bangkok’s stadium circuit, Lerdsila experienced a major breakthrough on the international scene. He captured the world’s attention with his slick striking and lightning-fast reflexes.
The Phuket native’s cheeky demeanor, along with his speed and agility, confused his opponents. Ultimately, that led to more victories — yet still, getting those wins were not his top priority.
“Fighting abroad without the gambling made me feel a lot more relaxed. The promoters just want a good performance. Winning isn’t the focus, entertaining the fans is,” he explains.
“My style is pretty rare, so I made that my focus and not about winning or losing. It’s my identity, and I want to maintain that.”
With his laid-back attitude, superior quickness, and explosive competition style, Lerdsila has gone on a four-year undefeated streak, which includes a quartet of stellar performances in ONE Super Series.
This coming Friday, he will look to close out 2019 with another memorable showing.
While claiming victory is not necessarily at the front of his mind, he is not placing any added stress onto himself. That, in turn, could very well be the key to unlocking his 191st career victory — and his fifth in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“In all sports, we believe winning is the most important thing and how it will affect our performance,” he offers.
“For me, I don’t put pressure on myself and, in its own way, it helps me win. My style is fun. I don’t like to be too serious.”