Jonathan Haggerty says "crazy" Sam-A war in 2019 is his most brutal fight yet: "He snapped my nose in the second round"

(From left) Jonathan Haggerty and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao.
(From left) Jonathan Haggerty and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao.

Jonathan Haggerty has featured in some brutal fights under the ONE Championship banner, but per the two-division king, none can compare to his first world title victory on the global stage.

After announcing his arrival with a commanding display over Joseph Lasiri, the Londoner booked himself a shot at then-ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao.

While 'The General' looked every bit impressive against the Thai striking legend, the Evolve MMA representative had his moments, particularly in the second round of their showdown inside the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

After being on the receiving end of Jonathan Haggerty's trademark elbows and knees inside the opening round, Sam-A broke the Englishman's rhythm with his firepower upstairs, alternating between punches, knees, and, elbows that busted Haggerty open deep in the second frame.

Though the rest of the fight was mainly dictated by the English striker, Sam-A simply had no quit in him. Despite clearly tailing in the contest, the divisional king gave it his all until the very end.

In an appearance on the Sky Sports MMA Club Podcast, Jonathan Haggerty touched on Sam-A's never-say-die attitude as one of the main reasons why he'd always look to that fight as his most brutal fight yet under the ONE spotlight.

He said:

"I’m not sure if you’ve seen the Sam-A fight, I was involved in my second fight in ONE Championship, it was against the champion Sam-A. I literally had a five percent chance of winning that."

He added:

"And he snapped my nose in the second round, and it was blood everywhere. It was more of a brutal fight, I’d say, the Sam-A fight. So, if you get a chance, go back and watch that one. It was crazy."

Much has changed for Jonathan Haggerty since his iconic fight vs Sam-A

Though Jonathan Haggerty proved his world championship caliber against the Thai striking veteran, he suffered back-to-back losses against Rodtang Jitmuangnon that forced the flyweight Muay Thai gold to switch hands.

However, since his move to the bantamweight ranks, the Englishman has gone on a 6-0 run and claimed the Muay Thai and kickboxing world titles with back-to-back knockout wins over Nong-O Hama and Fabricio Andrade.

He defends his Muay Thai throne next against Superlek Kiatmoo9 at ONE 168: Denver on Sept. 6.

Fans eager to get a Circle-side experience of ONE Championship's second on-ground show in North America can purchase their tickets here.

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Edited by Anurag Mitra
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