Kumandoi Petchjaroenwit will become the latest Thai fighter to get to showcase his skills overseas, when he fights on Rizin 26 in Saitama on New Years Eve. Most fighters would want an easy introduction to the overseas scene but he is facing arguably the best kickboxer on the planet, Tenshin Nasukawa.
Although not considered one of the very top names in Thailand, Kumandoi a former Omnoi stadium champion still has a very strong pedigree and experience fighting at the top level in the stadiums. One of the stars of One Songchai promotions, he has beaten some big names including former sports Authority of Thailand boxer of the year winner and Rajadamnern 115lbs champion Puenkon Tor Surat.
In his younger days he even beat former Tenshin foe Rodtang Jitmuangnon, albeit outside of the main stadiums. Kumandoi is known for his all round, exciting, action packed style but this will be his first ever fight outside of Thailand and under a ruleset that he has never previously competed in.
He will have to adapt quickly against one of the best kickboxers of the current era. Another hurdle for Kumandoi to overcome will be the weight, his best weight is around 54kgs usually with a same day morning weigh in, but this time it will be 58kgs with a day before weigh in.
Although the odds appear to be heavily stacked against Kumandoi, in many ways it is a ‘no lose’ situation he finds himself in. If he loses it will not be a massive surprise and if he puts in a strong performance, he will have instantly increased his worldwide profile.
He has already got another fight lined up as part of his Rizin contract and, if he manages to pull off what would be considered a big upset, instant stardom awaits.