Reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao couldn’t be happier to make his highly-anticipated return to the ONE Circle.
The Thai legend is scheduled to face ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament Champion and countryman Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in the co-main event of ONE: COLLISION COURSE, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore this Friday, 18 December.
Nong-O has prepared himself completely for this fourth world title defense, and believes Rodlek is a worthy foe.
“I’m excited to get the chance to compete again, finally. But I can definitely feel the pressure. I haven’t been in the ring for a long time, so I hope I’m sharp enough because Rodlek is not an easy opponent,” said Nong-O.
“Physically, I’m a hundred percent ready. I still trained hard even with the pandemic going on. I feel physically strong and ready. I recently dedicated a lot of time to training, as the fight got closer.”
Nong-O captured the ONE Super Series title in May of 2019, after dominating China’s Han Zi Hao. Since then, he’s made three successful defenses of the belt. His finest performance came against rising phenom, Saemapetch Fairtex in November of the same year, where he dominated and then knocked out his younger counterpart with a sensational right cross.
Rodlek, on the other hand, took part in the prestigious ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament held earlier this year. He succumbed to Saemapetch in the first round of the tournament, but after the former pulled out of the four-man ladder due to injury, Rodlek took his place in the final round against Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek-Uthai.
In the finals, Rodlek was incredible, as he dominated his opponent en route to a wide unanimous decision victory.
All the while, Nong-O watched carefully from the sidelines, as the newest challenger to his throne rose through the ranks.
“The last fight I watched was him and Saemapetch. I thought that was a close fight that could have gone either way. It wasn’t an easy fight for Saemapetch. They were matched evenly,” said Nong-O.
“Rodlek is a great fighter. He’s a worthy challenger, otherwise he wouldn’t be here standing across from me in the Circle now. He got here through hard work and sacrifice, just like all great fighters. There is no way I am taking him lightly. I will treat him as the toughest test of my career.”
ONE: COLLISION COURSE is ONE Championship’s final live event of the year. The stacked card features a main event showdown between ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine and challenger Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica of Romania.
Nong-O vows to do his family and loved ones proud when he steps into the Circle this Friday night. He says he is grateful to be a ONE World Champion, especially during the time of this pandemic which has swept the globe.
“Being a world champion in ONE Super Series, getting to represent Thailand on the global stage, it means a lot to me, especially during these times when things are uncertain,” Nong-O concluded.
“I want to make my parents, my family, especially my sons proud. I am happy that I can make them happy. That to me is the biggest motivation heading into this fight.”