The pressure will be on the 21-year-old in his hometown of Bangkok, Thailand, but he believes the passionate support of his fans will help him to achieve victory – just like he did when he won the gold in May.
16 AUGUST. BANGKOK. Petchdam Gaiyanghadao – defends his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title against Dutch destroyer Ilias Ennahachi! Stamp Fairtex begins her quest for a mixed martial arts World Title against undefeated phenom Asha Roka! Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Smokin' Jo Nattawut and Samy Sana vs. Dzhabar Askerov in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals!: Bangkok | 16 August | 7PM | ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onegold19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, July 17, 2019
“I’m feeling a little bit of pressure because I don’t want to lose in Thailand. It is also my first time fighting the main event, and it’s a World Title defense too,” he says.
“I want to ask the Thai people to come and cheer for me once again. In my last fight, the support I received from Thai people helped me win.
“I could hear them from the audience cheering me on – it motivated me to keep going.”
On the surface, it would seem like Petchdam has nothing to worry about. The Ubon Ratchathani native has won all four of his matches in The Home Of Martial Arts including three by knockout.
He also has experience from 115 bouts, but he admits he is still a novice when it comes to the kickboxing ruleset.
“I’ve only fought kickboxing twice now, I really need to train harder and get my speed up,” he explains
“My last fight was still too Muay Thai style. I need to adapt my style more to kickboxing. I wasn’t busy enough, and I need to be faster.
“I’m also studying the rules set too, to try to catch up.”
When he won the World Title, Petchdam faced another man whose martial arts roots were in Muay Thai. This time, however, he will meet a true kickboxing specialist.
Ennahachi is new to ONE Super Series, but he is one of the kickboxing world’s elite competitors with a dazzling résumé.
The Dutch-Moroccan is a six-time World Champion who holds an outstanding 34-3 record in professional competition.
SMOOTH boxing from Thai phenom Petchdam Gaiyanghadao – Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
“The Baby Shark” has his 23-year-old rival well-scouted, and despite the problems he expects to face in the Circle, he is confident his preparations will give him the tools to end the contest in style.
“I’m not going to be careless going into this fight,” he adds
”My opponent is a highly accomplished kickboxer with more experience than me. He competes exclusively in this rules set, and has been doing so for a long time.”
“I think the biggest danger he possesses will be his speed, but that he might not be as hardened as the Thais that I face regularly in competition.
“I think that if I can get in and land a close shot, there might be an opportunity for a KO.”
Although he is focused on working on some new skills and adapting his techniques, Petchdam’s most dangerous weapon has transferred over well form “the art of eight limbs.”
His world-renowned left roundhouse kick was his weapon of choice for two previous knockouts in ONE Super Series, and he used it to great effect against Mahmoudi, so he expects it will cause a lot of problems for the man from Utrecht, too.
Combined with the cheers from the passionate Thai fans, one of ONE Super Series’ most exciting young athletes believes he will have everything he needs to get his hand raised once again.
“My left kick is going to be my biggest asset going into this fight. I think it will work well against Ennahachi,” Petchdam adds.
“I am asking for the support of the Thai people to come to see me at the Impact Arena and cheer me on, and to help cheer on the other Thai athletes on the card too.
“Thank you for your support, and helping to keep us motivated.”