Rocky Ogden Honored But Not Overawed By Sam-A Challenge

Despite the odds being stacked against him at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE, Rocky Ogden is confident he can pull off an incredible result and win the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title.

This Friday, 28 February, the 20-year-old from Australia will go up against Sam-A Gaiyanghadao – an icon of “the art of eight limbs” who has won all there is to win in the sport and has more than 400 pro bouts under his belt.

However, Ogden is a World Champion in his own right, and as he explained to ONE Championship commentator Michael “The Voice” Schiavello in an exclusive interview just 48 hours before he is due to enter the Circle, he has no qualms about taking on such a great challenge in his debut on the global stage.

“I was very honored to get the opportunity to fight – not just to sign for ONE, but to fight for the World Title against Sam-A,” he says.

“As soon as you see that name, it’s definitely like, ‘Whoa!’ He’s a legend of the sport, so if you can take on the big names straight away and you can beat those guys, it just puts your name up there, too.

“Don’t take the easy route, you want to take the hard route straight away. We always take it on and see how we go.”

Though Sam-A is likely to be the toughest opponent of Ogden’s career, his confidence is well-placed because of his experience against his countrymen at a high level.

The Boonchu Gym representative captured the WPMF Muay Thai World Championship against a top Thai athlete when he was just 17, so he has no fear ahead of this contest.

“I’ve already had 25-plus bouts in Thailand against Thais and that definitely helps me out a lot,” Ogden says.

“I’m not just jumping in the deep end against a Thai. It’s definitely given me a bit of confidence. Hopefully, I can get this belt – it would mean so much.”

Check out the full video for more of Ogden’s analysis of the challenges he will face in the Circle and coach John Wayne Parr’s breakdown of how his protégé can get his hand raised.

Read more: John Wayne Parr Breaks Down Rocky Ogden Vs. Sam-A