Sean Clancy: Beating Superstar Pongsiri ‘Would Mean Everything’

WBC Muay Thai World Champion Sean Clancy

WBC Muay Thai World Champion Sean “Clubber” Clancy enjoyed a breakout year in 2019. Now, he plans to build off that momentum and experience even more success in ONE Championship.

The next step will come on Friday, 11 September, when the Irishman makes his promotional debut at ONE: A NEW BREED II, which was previously recorded in Bangkok, Thailand.

That evening, fans will see Clancy stand toe-to-toe with four-time Muay Thai World Champion Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight clash.

The World Champion versus World Champion affair will serve as the night’s main event – and Clancy will also be making history as the first Irishman to ever compete in the promotion’s all-striking branch, ONE Super Series.

“What better place to represent your country than on the big stage of ONE Championship?” the 31-year-old says.

Clancy’s arrival to The Home Of Martial Arts comes after his magical run on the global Muay Thai circuit.

The 31-year-old won the WBC International Title in March 2019, claimed the WBC Super-Lightweight World Championship four months later, and then capped off his year with a WBC Muay Thai Fighter Of The Year accolade.

That, along with his stellar 43-20-1 professional record, earned him an invitation to ONE Championship.

“It’s not just the minutes going through your preparation. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears, and it’s the years, weeks, and months going into this moment,” Clancy says. 

“To test your skills on the big stage and represent your country, you can’t put it into words, honestly. It’s everything for a fighter in this position.”

While “Clubber” is looking to make a memorable promotional debut, his opponent is hoping to spoil the welcome party and earn some redemption for himself.

Pongsiri, who holds an incredible 153-33-11 professional record, endured a difficult start to his own life in The Home Of Martial Arts earlier this year.

The 29-year-old PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative suited up in ONE’s featherweight division, which proved to be too big. He couldn’t overcome the immense reach, height, and strength advantages of his adversaries, suffering a pair of tough, yet competitive, losses.

Those results led Pongsiri to move down a division and join his more natural weight class. Clancy knows the Thai will be motivated to start strong at bantamweight and unleash all the weapons that made him a four-time Muay Thai World Champion.

“Pongsiri is a very aggressive fighter. He has strong hands and he comes forward,” the Irishman says.

“He likes to throw his punch combos and finish them off with a kick, and he is a very strong ‘stand-there’ type of fighter.

“He doesn’t appear like a person who steps into the ring with fear, and that doesn’t bother me. I always say to people about myself: ‘A man with no fear is a man to fear.’ Do to me what you can. We’re both stepping into the ring knowing the dangers involved.”

Just like Pongsiri, Clancy is a fearless competitor who doesn’t like to take a backward step.

The Irishman, who represents both Siam Warriors in Ireland and Yodyut Muay Thai in Thailand, always aims to stay in his opponent’s face and unload whatever strikes he can set off quickly and effectively.

“My fighting style is to move forward. Like everything in life, you just got to keep moving forward. I wouldn’t say I’m a backward person. There’s one direction in my mind – that’s moving forward,” he says.

“Whether it’s punching, kicking, or throwing those elbows, every moment you just need to make sure you’re answering. Weapons, for me, are whatever in the moment that comes to my mind to hit him with.”

Between their go-forward styles and their desires to make an instant impact in ONE’s bantamweight division, both athletes in this main event are ready for fireworks – for as long as their fight lasts.

“Clubber” hopes to ignite the biggest firework of them all. A victory over an established veteran like Pongsiri could help him crack the division’s rankings and send a message to the top contenders in the weight class.

“Winning means everything because it’s testing who you are, and testing your skills, your preparation, your training, everything,” Clancy says.

“To win on the main stage, you can’t put it into words. To win against a fighter like Pongsiri, who is well-recognized and is well-known throughout the fight scene here, would mean everything. It shows I am ready to go with the big boys here.”

Read more: A Deep Look At The ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Division

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