Han Zi Hao’s 2019 has been a year of experience and learning opportunities.
The 24-year-old Chinese national started the year with the rare opportunity of challenging Nong-O Gaiyanghadao for his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship but failed to outscore the Muay Thai legend after five rounds.
The Mad Muay Thai Gym gym representative is not foreign to overcoming challenges both inside and outside the ring.
“When I arrived in Thailand, I could not speak a word of Thai,” Han said.
“I quickly realized that living in a foreign country was not as easy as I imagined. After the first week or so, I began to miss home. I felt so far away from home in this new country. Sometimes I would cry while hiding under the blanket.”
Moving to Thailand and being away from his family when he was only 14-years-old made him homesick, but training reminded him of the reason why he moved.
“When I trained, it was okay because my mind was occupied,” he said.
Longing for his family is just one of the obstacles Han had to overcome.
“There were only three Chinese kids in the gym, and the rest were Thai,” Han said.
“To be honest, we were bullied sometimes. After all, we were kids struggling in a foreign country. The other guys had more confidence because it was their territory.”
Han would not allow anyone nor any circumstance to prevent him from excelling in his passion. After 10 years of sharing the ring with some of the biggest names in the sport, he was crowned as the Top King Muay Thai World Champion which eventually led him to sign with ONE Championship.
Han proved his skills on the biggest stage by winning three consecutive bouts. He plans to improve his 61-17-0 further in the new year all for the sake of his family and country.
“I want to honor my hometown and my country with this profession,” Han said.
“I want to grow stronger so that I can provide a better life for my family.”
ONE: A NEW TOMORROW will be headlined by Rodtang Jitmuangnon defending his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title against Jonathan Haggerty while Stamp Fairtex looks to take another step closer to the mixed martial arts world title when she faces Puja Tomar.