As its name would suggest, Muay Thai is a sport that originated in Thailand. It’s transformed the lives of many fighters in the country, including legendary striker Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.
However, while the 30-year-old has become one of the best in the world at both Muay Thai and kickboxing, his mission has stayed the same throughout his storied career.
“I never thought I'd come this far,” he said in a recent interview. “My dream is just to compete in foreign country. I want to show my Muay Thai skills to foreigners. To show them how dangerous Muay Thai is.”
Of course, the Thai warrior has been incredibly successful at spreading the striking arts across the planet. He’s won eight world titles in Muay Thai and Kickboxing while competing in more than 150 professional matches.
Now, he’s taken his skills to ONE Championship, which reaches an even wider audience.
For Sitthichai, it’s a great source of pride to represent his country and display his elite striking skills on the global stage of martial arts.
“When I get to this point, I'm happy, excited to see many foreigners admire and support me all along. This keeps me energized, motivated and ready to face all my opponents. And it allows me to try new opportunity, from being a Muay Thai fighter to be a kickboxer. Kickboxing has made me proud of being a kickboxer and making a name for Thai people. I'm so so thankful that people are always supporting me.”
Sitthichai says "Muay Thai gave me a good life"
Having reached the pinnacle of martial arts, Sitthichai understands that he owes everything to his country’s national sport.
“Muay Thai gave me a good life. Give me everything – fame and money. I was just a rural boy from a rather poor family. But Muay Thai helped me to make more money. I can buy whatever I want or something I never have it before. Muay Thai brought me to this point of great success. I feel very thankful for Muay Thai for making me what I am today.”
Next, Sitthichai is hoping to add another major accolade to his trophy case.
The superstar has been competing in the ONE Featherweight World Grand Prix. He will battle Georgian striker Davit Kiria in the semifinal round at ONE: Only The Brave later today.
A win would propel Sitthichai into the Championship Final, where he could win the tournament’s silver belt and earn the next ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title shot.
Additionally, an impressive performance could lead to a monetary reward that would give him another reason to be thankful for his Muay Thai roots