It was a massive 2019 for Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy who, after spending more than a decade competing strictly in Muay Thai, switched gears and tested his skills in kickboxing.
The Ubon Ratchathani native had some extraordinary highs and lows in his new sport, but he still considers the experience a valuable one.
“I think it was a successful year for me,” the 25-year-old states. “I’m really happy about everything I did this year.”
The year started off with a bang for the Petchyindee Academy representative.
Earlier this March at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in Yangon, Myanmar, Petchmorakot made a successful debut in his new sport. He out-struck Japan’s Kenta Yamada en route to a unanimous decision victory and subsequently earned a spot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
Then, in the tournament, he was immediately thrown into the deep end. The Thai drew legendary kickboxing sensation Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan in the quarterfinal round and originally defeated him at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON in Singapore this past May.
However, following a review by the ONE Competition Committee, the result was changed to no contest and an immediate rematch was ordered.
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When they met the second time around in the main event of ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July, the Italian legend walked away with a unanimous decision victory and eliminated the Thai from the field.
Petrosyan – who has long been considered by many as the best pound-for-pound kickboxer on the planet – went on to defeat “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut and Samy “AK47” Sana to claim the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship and the monetary prize of $US1 million.
Even though Petchmorakot was honored to share the ring with “The Doctor” on two occasions, he would like to face him once more — except this time, in his natural sport.
“It was a great experience to fight kickboxing and to be a part of the Grand Prix,” he says. “I’d like to rematch Petrosyan, but under Muay Thai rules.”
Petchmorakot took the loss in stride, but overall, he considers his foray into kickboxing a complete success.
While he appreciated the experience and the opportunity to compete in a tournament comprised of the world’s best kickboxers, he was thrilled to end 2019 in his natural martial art.
This past November at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS in Singapore, he defeated Britain’s Charlie “Boy” Peters in highlight-reel fashion.
The Petchyindee Academy representative finished the year on top and, from the sounds of it, he would prefer to continue his career in “the art of eight limbs.”
“I want to stay with Muay Thai. I’m Thai, it is what we do. Thai people should stay with Muay Thai,” he states. “There is no pressure for me to fight in Muay Thai. It is second nature. I enjoy it a lot more.”
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 22, 2019
With that in mind, Petchmorakot has big hopes for 2020.
The two-division Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, who begins his third year under the ONE Super Series banner, wants to remain active so he can continue to earn more money and fulfill his goal of constructing a new home.
Also, he feels the time has come for him to begin his quest towards a ONE World Championship. As for possible opponents, he leaves that in the hands of his manager and the promotion’s matchmakers.
“It’s a brand new year, a new start. I want to fight as much as possible so that I can build a new house,” he says. “I also want to fight for a Muay Thai World Title. I am ready.”
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