Savvas “The Baby Face Killer” Michael is aiming to take out another legend on his way to the top of ONE Super Series’ flyweight Muay Thai division.
This Friday, 16 August, the 22-year-old will be back in action against eight-time Muay Thai World Champion Lerdsila Phuket Top Team at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in Bangkok, Thailand in the featured prelim bout that could steal the show.
The Cypriot cannot wait for the opportunity to step into the Circle for the second time against one of the most revered names in his sport, and just like in his debut on the global stage, he expects to upset a Thai icon in front of his compatriots.
“Whoever ONE wanted to line up, I was going to fight, but I am really happy I get to face another legend,” says the WMC Muay Thai World Champion.
“To me, Lerdsila is a huge name. It will be an honor to say I fought him, and I can’t wait to say I beat him.”
“The Baby Face Killer” defeated Singtongnoi Por Telakun by unanimous decision after a riveting contest in May, and his performance showcased why he is regarded as one of the greatest non-Thai proponents of “the art of eight limbs” in the world.
Like many of the elite training partners he shares the gym with, Michael has practiced martial arts since he was a child, and he has sharpened his skills in his sport’s birthplace since he was 18 to put himself on par with the best Thai competitors.
He has prepared for this contest with two men who will compete on the same card at the Impact Area – ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Petchdam Petchyindee Academy and Bangpleenoi Petchyindee Academy – and daily practice sessions with them have shown him he is a match for anyone in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“Lerdsila has fought many legends, but I don’t think he’s fought a foreigner like me,” Michael says.
“I‘m actually staying here and following the same path he has done. I believe in myself, and I know I am training with the best to beat him.
“Most guys go through fight camps, and they don’t have someone good to train with every single day. Every style I need, I have in the gym. My team is really strong.”
However, there are not many competitors quite like the man who goes by the moniker of “The Eel On Rollerskates.” Lerdsila is one of the most evasive and creative strikers of all time, and he excels in forcing his opponents into making mistakes before he capitalizes on them.
Still, Michael is confident that he has the diverse skill set to find a way to win, and the mental strength to avoid the Thai’s traps.
“A lot of people think that they know my style just because I have knocked guys out with punches,” he states.
“But look at my debut in ONE Championship. I was doing everything. I adapt to the situation, that’s what I want to prove here. I can box, I can clinch, and I can do everything.
“Lerdsila breaks his opponents’ focus with all his tricks and stuff. After a round with him, he has made them feel useless, but they are not useless — he just made them give up on themselves. I will not let him get into my mind, I will get into his mind first.”
The surging Bangkok resident knows that if he can take out another legend, then he would be in a prime position to challenge for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title, currently held by Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon following his recent win over Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.
Michael has no doubt victory will be his, and all he needs to do is enter the Circle, execute his game plan, and to put himself at the front of the queue to challenge for the gold.
“If I beat Lerdsila, I should get a World Title shot,” asserts “The Baby Face Killer.”
“I believe in the law of attraction. I have this vision of already winning. I’ve stood opposite him so many times in my head already, it will just be another time.
“We will have to go in there and see what shot will finish it!”