As flooding ravages the northeastern Thai province of Ubon Ratchathani, the local heroes from ONE Super Series have rallied together and auctioned off some of their most treasured memorabilia to help benefit the victims in their homeland.
The widespread flooding is the worst the region has experienced in over 17 years. It has affected many districts, and thousands of people have already been evacuated from their homes.
Even with levels on the Mun River beginning to recede, many areas still remain heavily inundated. Those affected have a long way to go until their lives can return to normal.
Millions of baht have already been raised to aid in flood relief, with Thai stars from ONE Super Series and famed trainers from the Singapore-based Evolve gym doing their part to help.
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The national crisis hits close to home — especially for ONE Super Series featherweight star Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy, who hails from Ubon Ratchathani.
Fortunately for the 25-year-old, his village is located in one of the few districts not currently affected by the flooding.
“I feel really grateful the flooding hasn’t affected my village, but Ubon is my home and it is really hard for me to see it like this. I needed to find a way to give back,” he says.
Humbled by the support he received via his Facebook auction, Petchmorakot was thrilled to see his shorts and competition gloves go to a foreign buyer.
“I was so happy to see foreigners come together and help us make merit together,” he continues. “Even from a different country, they wanted to give back to Thailand.”
Superlek “The Kicking Machine” Kiatmoo9, who also hails from Isaan, rallied together with his peers in Buriram to give back to the community.
The 23-year-old received 8,100 baht for his custom trunks, and his teammates were able to raise an additional 4,600 baht for their apparel. In total, the village-based gym donated 12,700 baht to aid in the flood relief efforts.
“I wanted to do something to give back. So me, Rungnarai [Kiatmoo9], and Petpanomrung [Kiatmoo9] got together to do this,” Superlek explains.
“I felt compelled to help. The people affected by the flood are really suffering, so I thought of a way to give back.
“I’m not sure how much it is going to help, but we all must do our part to give back — even if it is just a little.”
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Fresh off his victorious promotional debut at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH from earlier this month, “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai put his custom shorts up for auction, too.
The 20-year-old remembers clearly what it was like to grow up with nothing. Overcoming poverty through Muay Thai motivated the rising star to give back.
“My heart goes out to the victims. I really wanted to help in any way I could. The people affected by the flood are really suffering,” he says.
“I don’t have a lot to give, but my heart is in the right place. We’re Thai people — together, we must do anything we can to help each other.”
Merry christmas! #EvolveMMA
Also on board with the fundraising efforts is the most decorated Muay Thai athlete in history, Petchboonchu FA Group.
The legend auctioned off his most prized possession — his Rajadamnern Stadium Muay Thai World Championship belt. This priceless piece of Muay Thai memorabilia was sold to an international bidder for a whopping 80,000 baht.
Petchboonchu, who is also a trainer at Evolve, collected an additional 31,000 baht from the Singapore mega gym, and his friends contributed an additional 40,000 baht.
He traveled to Ubon Ratchathani to personally hand over the 151,000 baht directly to flood victims.
“I was really determined to sell my title belt and donate the money to the flood relief,” he says.
“The money is going specifically to the Tan Sum and Warin Chamrap districts, where the flooding is at its worse.”
Newly signed bantamweight “Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Sathian Muaythai Gym also auctioned off some memorabilia of his own.
Using just his personal Facebook page, he managed to collect a whopping 6,500 baht for a custom t-shirt and the shorts worn during his last match at Rajadamnern Stadium, where he bested fellow ONE Super Series competitor Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon.
There is still lots of work to be done, and these Thai heroes will continue to work hard to uplift their compatriots.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped donate money, and to encourage others to keep helping,” Petchboonchu adds. “It doesn’t matter the amount, we can all do our part.”