With ONE: NO SURRENDER III just one day away, the excitement for the main event is through the roof – especially since two of the seven World Champions of the night will be competing in the headliner.
“The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort takes on “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai in the semifinals of the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament this Friday.
The winner of this match battles Saemapetch Fairtex in the finals, and the victor there gets a shot at reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
Like many fans of The Home Of Martial Arts, Filipino athletes are likewise pumped for the clash.
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio favors Sangmanee, mainly because of his experience.
“I think Sangmanee will win this fight,” Eustaquio said.
The Team Lakay star thinks familiarity will be crucial for “The Million Dollar Baby” as he has been with ONE Super Series longer than Kulabdam.
“I am not that familiar with his foe, but for me, his advantage is his age. I think he’s ripe for stardom and confidence plays a big role in each fight,” Eustaquio continued.
“Sangmanee has been with ONE longer so he’s more familiar with the organization – I think that’s a big factor in this match.”
Like Eustaquio, Filipino Muay Thai specialist and rising strawweight stud Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan favors the seven-time Muay Thai World Champion, though he also thinks the two-time Lumpinee World Champion in Kulabdam could surprise fans.
“I know Sangmanee is a very strong athlete and he’s very crafty in the ring, but I don’t know what to expect from Kulabdam,” Catalan said.
Catalan also shared how Filipinos can break into the ONE Super Series division – because except for Ryan “The Filipino Assassin” Jakiri, no other athlete from the Philippines has competed on the grandest stage for strikers.
“It won’t be long,” Catalan said.
“I know we haven’t seen a Filipino in ONE Super Series since Ryan Jakiri lost, but maybe we just have to build more on striking fundamentals and maybe one day we’ll see more fighters in the Super Series.”
Watch ONE: NO SURRENDER III this Friday, on One Sports, One Sports+, or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). Also, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.