Nong-O Gaiyanghadao has been absolutely unstoppable since joining ONE Super Series in April 2018.
The Singapore-based Thai came out of retirement, started competing in ONE Championship’s all-striking branch, and promptly won six consecutive matches – including the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title, which he proudly wears around his waist.
Though Nong-O may seem invincible, each of the bantamweight Muay Thai contenders in ONE’s Athlete Rankings would love a crack at him.
But the Evolve MMA star won’t let his belt go without a fight, and he’s kept an eye on all five of the warriors who are directly behind him. Here, Nong-O shares his thoughts on each of them.
#1-Ranked Contender Sangmanee Sathian MuayThai
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao: He is a good, technical southpaw. He has good and accurate kicks, he is young and fresh, and he has a lot of experience in the ring.
It would be a tough fight for me if he challenges for my title, but it would be a good fight for everyone watching. I don’t think I need to change my style for him, but I have to prepare my body and make sure that I have power for all five rounds.
#2-Ranked Contender Bobo Sacko
NG: He is big. I think he is bigger than me from what I saw in his fight with Kulabdam.
He is one of the foreign Muay Thai athletes who has a lot of techniques. He has good punches, good kicks, and a very brave heart. He took a lot of hits from Kulabdam, but he still stood to fight.
I can say that he is dangerous and would be the most difficult opponent for me from all five ranked contenders because I would be disadvantaged by his size, for sure.
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#3-Ranked Contender Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai
NG: If I have to fight with Kulabdam, I have to be careful about his punches, especially in the small gloves. The rest I think I can handle.
I have to prepare my body and power as well for at least two months – not only to fight with him, but for every fight because I am not that young and I don’t want to lose when I am at this age. It is difficult to come back [from a loss].
#4-Ranked Contender Alaverdi Ramazanov
NG: This guy can fight and knows how to fight. I learned a lot about him because we were already [scheduled to face each other] before COVID-19.
He is quite tall but slim, with very good footwork. It would be difficult to reach him for kicks, punches, or elbows. I think I saw some fights of him where he has weak points in his stomach. I prepared my game plan to slow him down so I can catch him easier.
#5-Ranked Contender Muangthai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym
NG: As his nickname “Elbow Zombie” says, I have to be careful of his elbows and also his knees. I don’t think it would be difficult because ONE’s referee normally separates quickly when both athletes come to clinch.
To be honest, fighting with a Thai is less of a worry than fighting with a foreigner because I can predict them. Foreigners are more difficult. Sometimes, they come with spinning elbows or unpredictable weapons, which Thais normally don’t use.