Kota Miura has a big fan following in Thailand. The son of a Japanese footballing legend, he was mobbed by female fans ahead of his recent TKO loss to Buakaw Banchamek at Rajadamnern Stadium.
But one Thai mixed martial artist was not particularly impressed by Miura’s latest win. He submitted Bunchuai Phonsungnoen, a Muay Thai fighter who appeared to have limited MMA experience, in a mixed rules fight.
The Super Rizin event was broadcast live by True Sport in Thailand and Shannon Wiratchai was clearly watching. Afterwards he set down a challenge for Miura:
Wiratchai holds an MMA record of 10-6. He has not fought since 2020 but still had a simple message for Miura,
“Kota-kun. Whenever you ready to test yourself with REAL Thai MMA fighter. Just let me know.”
Miura’s record currently stands at 2-0 as the loss to Buakaw was an exhibition kickboxing match. His main claim to fame is that his father, Kazuyoshi Miura, made 89 appearances for the Japanese national team scoring 55 goals.
He also has over 700,000 Instagram followers while fighting and winning on the same card as Floyd Mayweather yesterday won’t have done anything to diminish Miura’s burgeoning public profile. The 20 year old’s star is definitely on the rise but both his MMA wins have come at the expense of an opponents making their debuts.
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By contrast Wiratchai is a veteran of 14 ONE Championship fights who has been on the roster since 2012. In 2020 he beat multiple time Muay Thai champion Fabio Pinca by split decision, snapping a run of four defeats.
He has been in with some big names at lightweight including former champion Shinya Aoki and former title challenger Amir Khan. Wiratchai has also faded former featherweight champion Honorio Banario and is clearly not impressed by the calibre of Miura’s opponents.
Bunchuai was basically unknown, even in Muay Thai circles, before his submission loss to Miura last weekend. It is not clear whether Miura’s opponent had any MMA experience prior to the contest.
Wiratchai, for one, was not impressed. He challenged the photogenic social media star to take on a ‘real Thai MMA fighter’ and clearly feels he is the perfect man for the job.