Muay Thai icon Nong-O says he never lost faith amid rough losing stretch: “Discouragement never existed in me”

Former ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Nong-O Hama
Former ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Nong-O Hama

Former ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion and Thai legend Nong-O Hama turned back the clock when he defeated an opponent over a decade his junior at ONE Friday Fights 58 last week. The Thai icon defeated 'Left Meteorite' Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai via a unanimous decision in a three-round Muay Thai battle.

The win was quite special for Nong-O, who suffered back-to-back KO losses to Jonathan Haggerty and Nico Carrillo, respectively, last year. Before getting KO'd twice and losing his belt in the process, the 37-year-old icon was one of the most dominant world champions in ONE Championship. He was on a 10-fight winning streak and defended his belt a record seven consecutive times.

On his mindset after experiencing such a devastating skid in his career, the Thai former world champion told ONE:

“Discouragement has never existed in me. [Every day] I wake up in the morning and have to go to the gym and practice. I get to see my friends on the team. It's happiness. I have always loved the preference of training and the love of fighting.”

A loss is just as much a part of fighting as it is a win. It takes a true championship heart to remain wise after suffering devastating knockouts in a row. Nong-O is truly a legend amongst legends.

Nong-O admits to having been "very careful" against his fight with Kulabdam

Coming into his fight with Kulabdam, the Thai former world champion knew what dangers the 25-year-old phenom posed. Dubbed 'The Left Meteorite' due to his destructive left hand, it would be stupid to carelessly trade punches with Kulabdam.

Nong-O is fully aware of this and is prepared for it, telling ONE:

“For this fight, I planned the fight to be very careful with my punches. Be very careful with your weapons. Try to take advantage of the moment. I would like to admire Kulapdam very much. His heart is very good. I was just a little worried when I got hit by his younger brother's punch and had a broken wound. I admit that his weapons are really heavy.”

What's next for the former ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion is still yet to be determined. After a solid win over a streaking young gun like Kulabdam, however, we're seeing a possible resurgence for Nong-O soon.

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Edited by C. Naik
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