The announcement that Smilla Sundell would be competing in kickboxing next came completely out of the blue. It clearly caught the attention of Jackie Buntan who lost to the Swedish teenager in a Muay Thai match last year.
Buntan has won her last two fights and wants to challenge for the ONE Championship kickboxing title next. She will be an interested spectator when Sundell fights Milana Bjelogrlic at ONE Friday Fights 18 this week,
“It should be interesting to see her style translate into kickboxing, especially with the bigger gloves. She has power behind her, she’s super long. I feel like she could possibly do well just because she has that nasty habit of smothering you. But it depends on who she’s competing against.”
ONE Women's Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Smilla Sundell is a FORCE 😱#WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/QqVIeOoMWE
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 14, 2022
Sundell was able to smother Buntan by constantly moving forwards during their five round Muay Thai fight at ONE 156. She might not be able to employ these tactics quite as effectively in a kickboxing bout.
But Buntan says she would still prefer to rematch Sundell under Muay Thai rules if given the choice,
“If I do get to compete against Smilla again, I would like to compete in Muay Thai and be able to go back in there with her and fix the mistakes that I had to fix. I’ve been fixing them, testing myself, and challenging myself. But it’s also whatever is right at the moment, but I think I would prefer Muay Thai.”
The weekly events at Lumpinee Stadium have been getting good ratings in Thailand. Buntan has been tuning in to the broadcasts from the US and likes what she has seen so far,
“I think they’re doing a great job with ONE Friday Fights. They’re putting out a bunch of fire fights, at least every card I’ve seen.”
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While fans in Thailand might be more familiar with the Friday night events than the Amazon Prime cards in Buntan’s homeland it is the other way around. She thinks American fans tend to only watch the events that are broadcast live on the major streaming service.
Buntan would like more people to start watching the Friday night fight cards and thinks American fans would be in for a pleasant surprise,
“I think people who now know about ONE Championship just think of what you see on Amazon Prime. But I think they’re in for a surprise and a treat that these same stars are able to compete on ONE Friday Fights.”