Saketdao Petpayathai returns to fight under Muay Thai rules for the first time in over six years this Friday on ONE: ‘Reign of Dynasties‘ Part II. He faces Chinese fighter Zhang Chunyu in Singapore.

Saketdao is a former Lumpinee champion at three different weights, a former Rajadamnern featherweight champion and has won WBC and WPMF titles. He had his last fight in the stadiums back in 2014, losing a points decision to Pakorn PKSaenchaigym, before moving to Singapore to teach at Evolve MMA.

It was after trying out other martial arts in Singapore that he embarked on a new journey as a mixed martial artist. He won three out of four MMA fights but struggled with a knee injury,

“I was struggling with a knee injury and had to take some time off for that to heal, as soon as it was ok I was back training and slowly got myself back into fighting shape and have been training all the time,” he said.

Really happy

Saketdao spoke of how it feels to finally get the opportunity to fight for ONE Championship under Muay Thai rules,

“I am really happy to have got this chance to fight Muay Thai rules again. It is a chance for me to test myself and see if I have what it takes still,” he said.

However Saketdao is not ready to abandon his MMA ambitions,

“It’s great to be able to fight Muay Thai again, but I haven’t forgotten MMA. I really enjoy fighting MMA, it is a style of fighting that has everything and I love training and fighting MMA, but Muay Thai is in my blood, so I am glad to have got this opportunity.”

Ready to return

Saketdao has had his training routine interrupted by Covid-19 as well as that injury but says he is ready to return to the ring,

“I am 100% ready for this fight. I had already recovered from the injury and was training hard for a fight just before the pandemic took hold and that was unfortunately cancelled. I kept training though and have been working very hard since this fight was made, so I will be 100% ready on the night.”

Saketdao feels his experience could be a key factor,

“He has a hard punching style and is very strong. I will need to use all my experience and Muay Thai style and technique, as I have a lot more experience than him.”

Big names

However he knows his opponent has already been in with some big names from the world of Muay Thai,

I am sure I can beat him, but I know it won’t be easy as he is a former kickboxing champion and has fought many big names, including Thai superstars Buakaw Banchamek, Superbon Banchamek and Kaew Fairtex. I haven’t fought Muay Thai in a long time, but I am not scared, because the fight is under Muay Thai rules.”

Saketdao is grateful for the opportunity to showcase his Muay Thai skills again and revealed another reason that he is determined to get the win.

“I really have to win this fight and also show people the style and charm of Muay Thai. I want to promote Thai way of fighting around the world and that is why it is very important for me to get the win against Chunyu.”