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How we arrived at the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament final

Fans will be treated to the much-anticipated final in the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament (Representational Image)
Fans will be treated to the much-anticipated final in the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament (Representational Image)
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Modified 25 Aug 2020, 12:44 IST
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This Friday, 28 August, ONE Championship will bring ONE: A NEW BREED live from Bangkok, Thailand.

The event will be headlined by a massive ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship fight between divisional queen Stamp Fairtex and challenger Allycia Hellen Rodrigues. 

When ONE announced the tourney in July, fans of the striking art celebrated
When ONE announced the tourney in July, fans of the striking art celebrated

But first, fans will be treated to the much-anticipated final in the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament.

When ONE announced the tourney in July, fans of the striking art celebrated. 

For the first time, the promotion would have its highest-level bantamweight nak muays compete against each other for the chance to battle ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.

The action kicked off at ONE: NO SURRENDER II on 14 August, where Saemapetch Fairtex and Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym faced off in the first semifinal matchup.

The two had previously met outside of ONE three times, with Rodlek leading the series 2-1. Saemapetch, however, promised to enter the tournament as a new man – and that he did.

At ONE: NO SURRENDER II, the Fairtex Academy standout used his boxing to outpoint his aggressive rival en route to a majority decision win, etching his name into one side of the tournament final.

A week later at NO SURRENDER III, “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort faced “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai in the second semifinal.

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To everyone’s surprise, the man from Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai snuffed out his foe in the very first round. The stoic Kulabdam delivered quite possibly the best knockout of 2020 by throwing a stunning combination that ended with a train-stopping left hand.

That meant Kulabdam would meet Saemapetch in the final – but there was one problem.

On the same night that “Left Meteorite” stunned the Muay Thai world, ONE announced that Saemapetch had sustained an injury and could not compete.

Enter Rodlek. Then PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym was given a second chance in the tournament, this time in the final against Kulabdam.

The matchup is certainly enticing, as Kulabdam is known for his KO power and Rodlek is revered for his concrete chin.

Will Rodlek redeem himself and get the chance to compete for a ONE World Title? Or will Kulabdam stop “The Steel Locomotive” and earn the right to face Nong-O for the belt?

Find out this Friday, 28 August, when ONE: A NEW BREED goes down live on Hotstar, Star Sports Select, and the ONE Super App at 6 p.m. India Standard Time (IST).

 

Published 25 Aug 2020, 12:44 IST
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