‘My Game Plan Is To Win’ – Strawweight Muay Thai Queen Smilla Sundell Excited For Kickboxing Debut

Smilla Sundell wins the inaugural ONE Women's Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship at ONE 156

Teenage sensation Smilla Sundell is just one short day away from her highly anticipated return to action.

The reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion will square off against Serbian standout Milana Bjelogrlic at ONE Friday Fights 18, which broadcasts live in Asia primetime from the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 26.

But instead of competing in Muay Thai, Sundell will change sports and don the 8-ounce kickboxing gloves.

In addition to making her debut in a second combat sport, this will mark “The Hurricane’s” first taste of competition since claiming ONE World Title gold in April 2022. Because of those variables, “The Hurricane” is understandably feeling some pre-fight jitters.

Sundell said:

“This will be my first kickboxing fight. I’m so excited and also nervous for this fight. It feels like it’s been a long year. I had an injury and had some other problems, so that’s why I have been out.”

Still, the Swedish star isn’t overly concerned about the transition from Muay Thai to kickboxing. 

Though she won’t be able to use her slicing elbows or dangerous clinch game, Sundell can still employ her rib-crunching knee strikes. And after switching up her coaching and training alongside former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex, the teen feels prepared for Friday’s battle.

She said:

“I think it will be ok transitioning into kickboxing. I have been training normally. The only thing is skipping elbows and clinch, which I like. But I think my knees are enough.  

“Now, I train with Stamp Fairtex. I also got a boxing coach. I train a lot with different trainers. I switch around between three or four people.”

Smilla Sundell Breaks Down Milana Bjelogrlic

Smilla Sundell makes her return against a dangerous promotional newcomer in Milana Bjelogrlic at ONE Friday Fights 18.

And while her opponent may lack experience in the world’s largest martial arts organization, the Serbian nonetheless presents a serious challenge with her speed and natural athleticism.

The 18-year-old Muay Thai queen explained:

“I think she’s an aggressive fighter, and she looks strong, too. I think she’s got good boxing and low kicks. She’s fast.”

The Swede is also quick to admit that Bjelogrlic likely holds the edge in kickboxing experience.

However, Sundell believes the elite Muay Thai skills that she can apply to the sport, as well as her height and reach superiority, will prove to be the difference makers on Friday evening.

“The Hurricane” said:

“She might have more experience in kickboxing than me. Maybe that’s her advantage. But I think I should be ok. I’ve had so many Muay Thai fights already. I think it’s similar, so I think it won’t be a problem to switch over to kickboxing. And I think I’m taller than her. I will use my range.”

And regardless of her foe’s physical gifts or experience, Sundell’s approach at ONE Friday Fights 18 will ultimately be a simple one.

The teenage phenom stated:

“My game plan is to win, be aggressive, and do my thing.”

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