‘They Love Muay Thai’ – Nong-O Reflects On Successful Seminar Tour In North America
As ONE Championship continues its first full year of United States primetime events and gears up for its first show on U.S. soil this May, fans in North America are seeing much more of the organization’s Muay Thai superstars.
That includes longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama, who’s been one of the biggest combat sports stars in Asia for almost two decades.
The Thai legend will next defend his gold against Jonathan Haggerty at ONE Fight Night 9 on April 21, but in the meantime, he took his talents across the globe to Canada, where he taught Muay Thai seminars in four cities around the country.
It was a unique experience for the 36-year-old striker, who was visiting North America for the first time.
He traveled to Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto, while sessions included everything from cardio to technique and even the chance to spar one-on-one with the Muay Thai icon.
For Nong-O, it was also a chance to see the growing interest in “the art of eight limbs” overseas – something he took great pride in.
He told ONEFC.com:
“This trip has been great because people here really want to learn more about our sport. They’re very friendly, they like to work hard, and they love Muay Thai.”
The visit was also a treat for those in attendance at each seminar.
After all, Nong-O is one of the greatest Muay Thai competitors in history, and he made time to answer questions, take photos, and teach the finer points of striking to students at all levels of the sport.
That personable approach was not lost on the host gyms, who spoke glowingly about the Evolve representative. Moreover, they viewed his visit as an incredible opportunity to continue elevating “the art of eight limbs” in North America:
“It’s just a special experience to share with our community. Not everyone can get the chance to go to Thailand or other parts of the world to train with these megastars of the sport.
“With a lot of hard work and coordination, we were able to collaborate with all these other gyms around Canada and people from our community, and be able to push Muay Thai forward with the help of Nong-O.
“If people can take even one thing from these seminars, it’s beneficial to them – and helps grow our sport even more.”Tony Manoharan, head coach of Diamond Muay Thai + Boxing Toronto
Nong-O Praises Haggerty Ahead Of World Title Showdown
Now back in Thailand following his Canada-wide seminar tour, Nong-O Hama is busy preparing for the eighth defense of his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title.
The Thai is undefeated since joining ONE Championship, and he somehow continues to get better with each appearance, scoring knockouts in his last five fights.
His next outing will come against former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan Haggerty, and Nong-O is not taking this matchup lightly:
“I’ve been watching Haggerty for a long time now, going back to his World Title fights against Rodtang. He’s very skilled and uses many different Muay Thai techniques.
“The main thing I’ve noticed is that he uses a lot of elbows, especially spinning back elbows, so I will need to look out for those.”
The reigning bantamweight Muay Thai king certainly has reason to feel confident given his sensational run of form, but he knows his next challenger is plenty dangerous.
After all, the 26-year-old Haggerty is vowing to hit harder than ever and showcase a new level of knockout power now that he’s moved to a higher weight class.
With that in mind, Nong-O offered a quick description of how the British superstar differs from many of the other strikers he’s faced in ONE:
“He’s young (laughs) and he’s strong. So, I’ll need to be ready.”