Suwanan Boonsorn has been quietly establishing herself as one of Thailand’s top mixed martial artists. Rika Ishige might make more headlines but it is the 23 year old who has been beating better opponents than her more glamorous compatriot.

Boonsorn is coming off back to back wins at Full Metal Dojo 16 and Deep-Jewels 23. Her reward is a spot on the Rizin 18 card where she faces reigning super atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki in a non title bout.

Hamasaki is many people’s pick to be the best pound for pound female fighter on the planet. It’s a huge challenge for Boonsorn but the Thai is taking it all in her stride,

“I have been busy with the Asian Championships and preparations for the upcoming SEA Games, so I still haven’t had a chance to fully watch any of her fights. I will be sitting down soon though to study some of her matches and see what her strong points and weaknesses are. I know she is good on the ground, but doubt that her Muay Thai or striking skills will be as good as mine so will likely look to use those more at first.”

Gulf in experience

The gulf in experience is vast. While ‘Amp’ has had just four fights Hamasaki is a veteran of 20 and has beaten the likes of Seo Hee Ham, Mizuki Inoue, Emi Fujino, Mei Yamaguchi, Jinh Yu, Mina Kurobe and Kanna Asakura winning titles with Jewels, Invicta FC and Rizin.

Amp is a veteran of around 100 Muay Thai matches and has a 5-1 pro boxing record. She has also represented Thailand in jiu-jitsu so her competitive experience goes well beyond the four MMA fights.

She also sees a couple of things on Hamasaki’s record that makes her confident she can pull off the upset,

“She has been stopped two times by punches so we will most likely look to try and use that to our advantage. If she does take the fight to the floor I feel I am more than ready now with all my jiu-jitsu experience, I am ready to do whatever it takes to get the win.”

Switching strategy

Boonsorn is coming off a submission win over Emi Sato at Deep-Jewels 23.  She went into that bout with a specific game plan but was able to switch strategy when an opportunity presented itself,

“We originally planned to try and keep the fight standing up and use my Muay Thai skills but it led very quickly to an opening to go for the submission so I took full advantage and got the win very quickly,” she said.

Boonsorn still competes regularly for the Thai national team in jiu-jitsu team though and says this is the reason her MMA career hasn’t really taken off,

“It is not so easy to fight MMA all the time as I am always working hard with the national team. I just competed in the Asian Championships in Mongolia where I won three gold medals in different brackets and am working hard to prepare for the SEA Games.”

Massive opportunity

However a win over Hamasaki would instantly establish her as one of the best pound for pound female mixed martial artists on the planet. It’s a massive opportunity and the Thai feels she is well equipped to take advantage of it,

“I still need as much experience as I can get but feel now I am ready to take on anyone. My best weight is 48kgs but any weight around that I can fight, I am determined not to let any of my fans down.”