With a little less than two weeks left until he climbs back into the ONE Championship ring to defend his title, reigning ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy says he’s ready to face his ‘brother,’ Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in what he describes as an ‘exciting fight’ for fans.
Petchmorakot captured the world title with a five-round unanimous decision victory over Thai countryman Pongsiri P.K. Saenchaimuaythaigym earlier this year. This next bout against Yodsanklai marks the first defense of that belt.
The two will meet in the co-main event of ONE: NO SURRENDER, scheduled for Friday, 31 July in Bangkok. It’s ONE Championship’s first live show since February. The event, which will be held in a closed-door, audience-free venue, features some of the most exciting martial arts talent from Thailand.
Last week, Petchmorakot took the time out to speak with reporters ahead of this blockbuster showdown.
“Facing a legend like Yodsanklai is an honor. But I’m the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion, and I will do everything in my power to keep the belt around my waist,” Petchmorakot said.
“Of course, I am thankful to ONE Championship for giving me the opportunity to compete again. The fans will be looking for an exciting fight, and I want to give them one.”
The featherweight division in ONE Super Series is stacked with incredible talent such as Superbon Banchamek, Jamal Yusupov, Jo Nattawut, and Samy Sana, to name a few. Though Yodsanklai is ranked just fifth in the standings, Petchmorakot feels he’s a worthy challenger for the title.
At just 26 years of age, Petchmorakot is nearly a decade younger than Yodsanklai, and the champion believes he may have the youth advantage when the two lock horns at the center of the ONE Championship ring. Despite the circumstances, Petchmorakot says it wouldn’t be wise to underestimate his legendary opponent.
“Brother Yod is one of my idols. Even in ONE Championship, I always respect his skill. He will always be on top of my list. I’m much younger than he is, and I’m also slightly taller. I think my age and size will be a factor in this fight,” said Petchmorakot.
“But you can never count brother Yod out. He’s aggressive with his punches and has a lot of power. I can’t underestimate him. You can never count someone out who can throw three uppercuts in a row to make his opponent surrender.”
According to Petchmorakot, this will no doubt be one of the toughest challenges he will ever face in his career. For it to come against a man who he considers a hero of Muay Thai, Petchmorakot counts himself among the privileged few who are able to face Yodsanklai in the ring.
As such, he’s more than ready for the biggest test of his career.
“I’m getting more ready every day, waiting for fight night. I’ve got four trainers preparing me for specific areas of this fight,” said Petchmorakot.
ONE: NO SURRENDER is ONE Championship’s first live event since February. The promotion deliberated carefully on safety protocols necessary, and made the adjustments to its operations.
In the main event, reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon will defend his title against former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion “The Baby Shark” Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.
Also on the card is a ONE Super Series Kickboxing Super-Bout between striking superstars Superbon Banchamek and “The Killer Kid” Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Stamp Fairtex will also see action in a mixed martial arts contest against promotional newcomer, Sunisa Srisen.Published 21 Jul 2020, 21:03 IST