Magnus “Crazy Viking” Andersson is hoping to capture the richest prize in the sport in his ONE Championship debut.
The 26-year-old Swede will challenge reigning ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy for the gold in the main event of ONE: A NEW BREED III, a previously recorded event that will air on Friday, 18 September.
Just the mere thought of putting the shiny belt around his waist nearly leaves Andersson speechless.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” he says. “It would mean the whole world to me. It is the biggest [title] you can get in the whole sport.”
That statement means something, considering Andersson’s decorated past.
“Crazy Viking” owns a plethora of belts, including a Swedish national title and the MX Muay Xtreme Title. However, his greatest achievement came just over a year ago.
In August 2019, he knocked out his former rival, Petchsanguan Sor. Thanasit, to claim the Lion Fight Super-Welterweight World Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.
That victory helped pave the way for Andersson to join The Home Of Martial Arts, where he hopes to achieve even greater success. Of course, that will be much easier said than done.
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The Swede will be stepping into the ring against Petchmorakot, who’s built an impressive reputation since joining ONE Championship in June 2018.
The divisional king, who owns a dazzling 161-35-2 (1 NC) combined record in Muay Thai and kickboxing, displayed his dominance by finishing the likes of “The Funky Drummer” Fabrice Delannon, Liam “Hitman” Harrison, and Charlie “Boy” Peters.
Then this past February, Petchmorakot made history by defeating compatriot Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym via unanimous decision to claim the inaugural ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title.
Andersson is very familiar with the defending titleholder’s skill set, and he knows he must find a solution for the Thai southpaw’s best techniques.
“I know he’s a very tricky fighter and very strong,” the Swede offers.
“He’s tall, and I know he has a good left side everything. His left straight punch and his left kick are very powerful, and even his clinching style is good.
“I need to move away from his strong weapons. The left kick, I need to block it or move away from it, and if we get close, I need to be very careful with elbows because if you get too big of a cut, the fight could be over.”
To prepare for the bout, Andersson trained under Tim Fisher at Revolution Muay Thai Phuket, which is home to teammates Felipe Lobo and Yurik Davtyan, both of whom are also scheduled for action at ONE: A NEW BREED III.
“Crazy Viking,” who owns a 4-centimeter height advantage, believes his boxing and movement will be tremendous factors in his quest for victory.
“I’m going to be [bringing a lot of] pressure and feinting a lot, and I will try to push a lot to the left so I am always outside of his front foot,” Andersson says of his strategy.
“[I want to] avoid the big power from his kicks, and I can counter and get a good angle for boxing or even for putting in the elbows. This is how I visualize the fight, but it’s going to be a big war, for sure.”
Andersson is hoping the World Championship matchup ends with a big knockout, and that’s what he’ll be shooting for throughout the fight.
At the same time, just defeating an elite talent like Petchmorakot will be a difficult task, so the Swede would be just as satisfied with outsmarting the Thai hero over the course of five rounds.
“If I knock him out, that would be the best feeling ever. But in my head, it’s more about winning. I just need to win,” Andersson says.
“I don’t have any idea of how it will happen, but I know I will put on a big war and I want to show everyone how big of a heart I have when it comes to fighting.”
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