Tharoth Sam secured a bronze medal at the recent GAMMA World Championships in Bangkok. The Cambodian mixed martial artists achievement was recognized by none other than the Prime Minister of Cambodia.
Hun Manet was elected as Prime Minister in August, succeeding his father who had held the role for 18 years. He took to Facebook just now to congratulate the 33 year old on her achievement,
Tharoth Sam is a ONE Championship veteran but was returning to competitive MMA after an extended absence. Her last fight was in 2017 but she has also been busy working as an actress and training police officers in Cambodia.
Sam featured alongside Angelina Jolie in First they Killed my Father. She is also believed by many to be the inspiration for the cartoon movie character Raya, with many fans pointing out the similarities between them.
Writing in Khmer she said that,
“I don’t think that I would dare tome back to the Cambodian national team in mixed martial arts category after missing every competition for four years. I have been busy taking care of my parents who are old and it required a lot of strength and courage to come back.”
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She faced Meline Asoyan in the semi finals and lost by decision. It isn’t clear whether this will be the start of a comeback for Sam, who has a pro MMA record of 4-2.
She fought three times for ONE Championship, winning one of those bouts. Sam is coming off back to back wins in pro MMA for Full Metal Dojo but it has been six years since her last fight.
It isn’t clear whether entering the 2023 GAMMA tournament is the start of a comeback for Sam. It certainly helped her make fans in high places with the Cambodian Prime Minister among the first to congratulate her on her bronze medal.