“The Baby Shark” Petchdam Petchyindee Academy earned the biggest win of his career on Friday, 10 May, as he was crowned the inaugural ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion.
In front of a raucous home crowd inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, the 20-year-old phenom engaged in an instant classic with French-Algerian striker Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT.
Although the co-main event bout came to an abrupt end in the fifth round, the Thai hero was awarded a technical decision victory, along with the gold.
In a wild back-and-forth battle, Petchdam Gaiyanghadao – defeats Elias Mahmoudi via technical decision to win the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, May 10, 2019
The back-and-forth contest got off to an inauspicious start.
Just seconds into the clash, Mahmoudi threw an elbow during the first exchange, which is an illegal strike in the kickboxing rule set. That caused a pause in the action to allow Petchdam time to recover. Also, the apologetic French-Algerian was issued a yellow card.
Once the bout was restarted, “The Sniper” attacked with a stinging series of combinations, including an overhand right that clubbed his foe. He continued firing strikes at “The Baby Shark,” who tried to figure out the distance between him and his taller opponent.
The second round saw a much more even exchange of strikes. Petchdam finally started to settle into a better rhythm, while the 21-year-old French-Algerian competitor still used his reach to keep his very active opponent at the end of his kicks and punches.
Mahmoudi had his best moments when he was able to trap the local hero against the fence and unload a barrage of punches in succession. Unfortunately, he was not landing with as much accuracy at distance, which allowed his rival to ratchet up the pressure with his own blistering combinations.
That high volume output continued into the third round. Petchdam — a WBC Muay Thai World Champion — started to hit his targets with more regularity, but he still struggled to stop Mahmoudi whenever he returned fire.
In many ways, the two flyweights were going after each other with similar strategies. A kick to the body or head was usually followed by a multi-punch combination with both “The Sniper” and “The Baby Shark” connecting on several occasions.
Petchdam attacked his French-Algerian rival more aggressively in the fourth round, clearly in search of the knockout.
With 48 knockouts on his resume, the Thai was looking for the finish. However, each time he started to gain some momentum, “The Sniper” countered with a well-timed combination to slow him down.
Mahmoudi’s reach was arguably his best weapon all night, as his long limbs provided him the distance necessary to push “The Baby Shark” backward during many of the contest’s biggest exchanges.
With three minutes remaining in the fifth and final round, Petchdam and Mahmoudi were looking to leave everything in the Circle for a chance to claim the inaugural gold.
The punches and kicks flew in the opening moments of the period, but an accidental kick went low on Mahmoudi, which dropped him to the ground. The clock stopped to give him time to recover, but “The Sniper” could not continue, which brought an abrupt end to the riveting match-up.
Because the bout had already gone into the fifth round and the illegal shot was deemed accidental, the judges’ scorecards were gathered to determine a winner.
In the end, Petchdam earned the victory by technical decision to become the inaugural ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion.
With the victory, Petchdam earned the 94th win of his career and established himself as the king of the ONE Super Series kickboxing flyweight division.
The co-main event was an awe-inspiring battle through four-plus rounds, and perhaps fans could see these two marvelous talents square off again at some point in the future.