Next Friday, 31 January, the man who is arguably ONE Super Series’ foremost entertainer – inside and outside the ring – will compete under Muay Thai rules for the first time since his year-long run through the kickboxing ranks.
The 21-year-old’s switch to a new sport was hugely successful and took him to the inaugural ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title, but there is no doubt he is best suited to “the art of eight limbs.”
Petchdam started training in Thailand’s national art at the age of 8, claimed 92 of his 94 professional wins in the sport, and earned Lumpinee Stadium and WBC Muay Thai World Titles.
Its rules also allow him to make the most effective use of his best weapons, including the left kick that has brought two of the most spectacular KOs in ONE Championship history.
“I’m feeling really confident about returning to Muay Thai and getting to use my complete arsenal again. I am used to the rules here,” he says.
“It is relaxing for me. I don’t feel as much pressure when I fight Muay Thai because I’ve been doing it since I was a child. It is second nature to me.”
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that “The Baby Shark” is all set up to claim an easy win at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
“Momotaro” holds titles in both disciplines and has already picked up a pair of spectacular wins in The Home Of Martial Arts, including a record-breaking destruction of one of Petchdam’s countrymen.
- Momotaro Plots Another Quick KO To Shock Petchdam In Manila
- How Petchdam Made His Dad’s Dream Come True
- Top 5 KOs From The Heroes Of ONE: FIRE AND FURY
Last September, the 29-year-old from Tokyo, Japan, knocked out Muay Thai legend Singtongnoi Por Telakun in just 41 seconds to score the fastest finish in ONE Super Series history. His fast hands and aggressive style were just too much for the Lumpinee Stadium and WMC Muay Thai World Champion.
Petchdam has seen the match and is impressed by his opponent’s skills, but feels he holds the key to victory.
“His speed and punches are going to be his biggest assets. I can’t underestimate him,” he says.
“I don’t know how the fight will end, it just depends on how everything plays out. One thing is for sure though – I can’t lose.
“I’ll be focusing on keeping more active in this fight and using my left kick. He’s got the punches, and I’ll be waiting to counter. He likes throws combos. I’ll be waiting to counter his punches with my elbows. I don’t plan to trade but will instead pick my shots.
“I’m training really hard for this one. I think my training will be an advantage over him.”
The main card of ONE: FIRE AND FURY is sure to see Petchdam return with one of his vibrant hairstyles and high-energy walkouts. All that he needs to complete the list of things that established himself as a fan favorite in his native Thailand and around the world is another KO.
If he can do that, he hopes he can begin a run that will take him all the way to the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title, but that does not mean he is finished as a kickboxer.
“I just want to get my confidence and motivation back, then I will return to kickboxing,” he says.
“I want my World Title back!”