The first-ever ONE Super Series World Champion will be crowned on Friday, 18 May, in Singapore, and Muay Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao plans on being that man.
Gaiyanghadao competed in ONE’s first-ever Muay Thai bout in Manila last January against Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri. Now, he’s ready to become a ONE Super Series World Champion.
Gaiyanghadao (365-46-9) takes on Dutch-Surinamese kickboxer Sergio “The Samurai” Wielzen (46-18-2, 1 NC) at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, with the inaugural ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Title on the line.
Despite winning virtually everything there is to win in the sport of Muay Thai, including multiple Lumpinee Stadium World Championships, Gaiyanghadao is determined to add the ONE Super Series Title to his list of honours.
“Even though I have won many Muay Thai world championships, I am still very excited about the chance to win the ONE Championship belt,” said the 34-year-old.
“I am thankful that ONE Championship has chosen me to take part in the first world title fight for ONE Super Series. I will do my best to make my family, my fans, and all of Thailand proud.”
Gaiyanghadao faces tough opposition in the form of Wielzen, a Lion Fight Lightweight World Champion and two-time W5 World Champion. The 30-year-old Dutchman has respected knockout power and a dynamic style that has seen him claim victories over noted names, including Ognjen Topic and Anuwat Kaewsamrit in his career.
Gaiyanghadao says he’s very mindful of his opponent’s skills, and has a lot of respect for his opposite number.
“My opponent for this fight is very strong,” he said.
“He is experienced, and has a lot of power. I am not taking this fight lightly, and I am fully focused. I do not have a particular game plan. As always, I will go in and see how the fight develops. It is going to be a fun fight.”
Despite competing in well over 400 professional Muay Thai contests, Gaiyanghadao’s first experience in ONE Championship gave him the opportunity to compete in front of the biggest audience in his career.
His bout at the sold-out Mall of Asia Arena was aired to a potential global audience of billions, and the Thai legend says that fact inspired him to success.
“The feeling is still fresh in my mind,” the Thai recollects.
“Competing in front of such a huge crowd, and then being able to showcase my skills, it was an amazing feeling. I felt nervous, but excited at the same time.
“Fighting in those small gloves was a new thing for me. I felt sharp and powerful,” he explains. “And then, remembering how massive the arena was, it makes me even more excited now to come back and do it again.”
That bout was in mixed martial arts gloves, but this time Gaiyanghadao will be wearing the more familiar boxing-style gloves of the ONE Super Series, as he looks to compete for his latest world title.
And ahead of the contest, the 25-year veteran of Muay Thai says he’s ready to lay a marker down in ONE Championship for the sport, and establish himself as the top name in ONE Super Series. In short, he plans to win, and win emphatically.
“I am in the best shape of my life, and I feel great,” he stated.
“I am faster, stronger, and more experienced. It is going to be an exciting contest for sure, but I am looking to end it quickly.”