Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy is glad to be back in training camp, and he’s even happier to have a fresh challenge awaiting him on Friday, 14 August.
That night, the 27-year-old Thai will square off against four-time Muay Thai World Champion Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym at ONE: NO SURRENDER II in Bangkok, Thailand – and the winner could potentially crack the promotion’s featherweight Muay Thai rankings.
When Thailand imposed COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year, Sorgraw returned home to the Buriram province and spent the lockdown with his friends and family.
But when the former Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion was offered the chance to compete on the global stage again, he jumped at the opportunity and went back to Petchyindee Academy in Bangkok to begin his preparations.
“I felt very happy coming back to fight again after such a long break from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the 27-year-old says. “I left home in Buriram and came back to the camp for training.”
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Though these two athletes have yet to face off in the ring, Sorgraw has seen his upcoming opponent compete numerous times on the Bangkok stadium circuit.
“I have never fought Pongsiri before, but I watched him fight many times. He is a stubborn fighter,” Sorgraw says with a laugh. “He likes to go crazy and walk forward. He normally motivates his opponent to fight back and fall into his game.”
Adding to the challenge for Sorgraw is the unpredictability that his foe brings to the table. Many athletes give away their next move with body language, but Pongsiri disguises himself very well, making him even more dangerous.
“He doesn’t have a sign as to which weapon he will use,” the Buriram native says. “It’s difficult to predict his game plan sometimes.”
However, the Petchyindee Academy representative should be up to the task.
He plans to exercise patience and let opportunities present themselves. Then, he will attack with his best strikes, including his boxing and the hard roundhouse kicks he displayed in victories over Samy Sana and George Mann.
“What I have to do is wait and fight back using my elbows, knees, or left kicks, which are my strongest weapons,” Sorgraw says. “I also have to fake him out with my techniques and confuse him.”
One factor working in Sorgraw’s favor is his height advantage.
The warrior is 11 centimeters taller than his adversary, and he recently witnessed a similarly tall teammate, Petchmorakot, utilize that length to defeat Pongsiri via unanimous decision and claim the inaugural ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship in February.
But even with that edge, the Buriram native refuses to be overconfident. He knows that in order to achieve victory at ONE: NO SURRENDER II, he must let the fight come to him and take his best shots in the right moments.
“I can not underestimate him even though he is shorter than me because he has a lot of power,” Sorgraw says of Pongsiri. “I will try to control the game the way I like to.”