The Kiatmoo9 camp has form when it comes to converting Muay Thai fighters to champion kickboxers. Petchpanomrung Kiatmoo9 is the reigning Glory bantamweight champion and has beaten some of the biggest names in the division.

Superlek Kiatmoo9 is looking to emulate that achievement this week. He challenges Ilias Ennahachi on Friday and wants to bring more glory to the famous Buriram camp,

“This is important because it will be my first challenge for a ONE championship, and I need it to decorate my gym and for my family’s honor. I will make it happen,” he said.

Making adjustments 

Superlek admits he has had to make some adjustments after spending his entire career competing, with considerable success, in Muay Thai,

“I need to adapt my fighting style. Kickboxing focuses on punching and scoring, and the only way to earn a score is by hitting the target,” he said.

Clinching is out and elbows are not permitted. Superlek says it has been a struggle to get used to the unfamiliar rule set,

“When it comes to training for kickboxing, I focus on speed, trying not to break the kickboxing rules, and trying to put together combos to increase my chances of hitting the target.”

Successful transition 

Captain Petchyindee, who like Superlek is a former Lumpinee champion, recently won a kickboxing title with ONE Championship. It’s a path he hopes to follow,

“I watched Captain and I would like to congratulate him. I am glad to see his victory (and) I will be studying the style that made him become the champion in order to adapt it with my style.”

Ennahachi beat Captain’s teammate, Petchdam Petchyindee, to win the belt and Superlek has this to say about the champion,

“He is tough. He has agility and speed, many years of experience in kickboxing, and his head kick and his punches are also dangerous,” he said.

Relevant experience

While Superlek’s kickboxing experience is very limited, just the one fight to date, he has several hundred Muay Thai bouts to his name and an impressive collection of trophies and titles. He thinks this experience will be key,

“In my preparation, I always study for every single movement. My advantage is my experience in Muay Thai and my footwork. I will make him uncomfortable so he cannot move anywhere and use his agility.”

Rodtang Jitmuangnon makes his kickboxing debut on the same card. Superlek sees him as a potential opponent and believes that, if he wins this week, the two could face off in his next fight,

“If I win and Rodtang wins there is a high chance we could face each other in kickboxing. That will be the most exciting match for the audience around the country if it happened.”