Sam-A Gaiyanghadao weathered an early storm before showing his striking caliber to capture the inaugural ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
???? ONE STRAWWEIGHT KICKBOXING WORLD CHAMPION ????In a back-and-forth five-round thriller, Muay Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao ???????? earns a unanimous decision victory over Wang Junguang!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEMOGHowToWatch????: Book your hotel ???? bit.ly/ONEhotelplanner????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, December 6, 2019
At the start of the bout, Wang pushed the pace and unloaded a barrage of hooks at the 36-year-old Evolve athlete. The Chinese star then showed smart evasiveness as he leaned back to avoid the head kicks from the former ONE World Champion.
Wang continued his fast-paced, high-energy attacks in round two. But as time wore on, Sam-A started to time his opponent and pierce through his guard with slick, sharp left hands. While Wang’s work may have been more eye-catching, Sam-A’s strikes were more damaging – he cut through the Chinese athlete’s defenses and scored on the back foot.
In round three “Golden Boy” pushed forward and Sam-A worked the counters, often with his back against the cage. The multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion also made better use of his kicks and forced Wang to the canvas after a snapping low kick to the calf spun the Chinese athlete. But Wang returned the compliment moments later as he dumped the Thai to the canvas from the clinch.
The man from Thailand continued to adopt a counter-striking approach in the fourth round, and Wang continued to push forward throwing big shots. But while the Chinese star focused on power and volume, Sam-A focused on speed and accuracy.
Still looking for counters, the Thai hero clipped his opponent with left hands at close range and powerful roundhouse kicks from distance. Wang kept his forward pressure but found many of his shots missing the mark as Sam-A evaded most of the Chinese star’s attacks.
Sam-A opened with a series of powerful kicks at the start of round five. But once again “Golden Boy” stepped forward and unloaded another salvo of strikes in a bid to overwhelm the Thai.
Fortunately for the Singapore-stationed athlete, his strikes looked significantly faster and sharper as he connected with a series of lead left hands. But the man from China caught Sam-A’s exposed chin with just a minute to go and pushed the pace until the final bell. With neither man able to land a decisive shot in the last round, the bout went to the judges’ scorecards.
All three judges scored the kickboxing contest for Sam-A. The win not only earned him the inaugural ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title, but it also meant he became the first two-sport, two-division World Champion in ONE Championship history.