A lot of fighters take up Muay Thai for financial reasons, it is a way for young men to start earning money to support their family. But Thongpoon PKSaenchaigym says he was motivated more by revenge!
The charismatic Thai fighter has been a breakout star with ONE Championship this year. He has won three out of three at Lumpinee Stadium and the first two wins came courtesy of quickfire KOs.
His most recent victory was less emphatic with Thongpoon scoring a split decision victory over Yangdam Pumpanmuang at ONE Friday Fights 22. But it was enough to earn him a multi fight contract with the promotion.
Next week he faces Ellis Barboza at ONE Fight Night 17 and Thongpoon makes it clear that he didn’t start Muay Thai for altruistic reasons,
“I wanted to learn Muay Thai to beat my classmates. I had fought with them before and got beaten so I learned Muay Thai to get revenge.”
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In traditional Muay Thai the first two rounds is a feeling out process in which fighters tend to be tentative. The action picks up in rounds three and four but if someone has a substantial lead on the scorecards the final three minutes an be completely uneventful.
This format does not suit Thongpoon’s style at all. He is all about action and says that initially this made it more difficult for him to succeed,
“Everyone considered me a bad fighter because I only pressed forward and my style was not favored by five-round Muay Thai. So I was not a success in this field.”
Surprisingly Thongpoon’s aggressive style did not make him a fan favourite.
“Because my style is to go all-out from the beginning I always ran out of gas in rounds four and five. I got criticism from people that I exhausted myself too soon. ”
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His style would turn out to be tailor made for ONE Championship’s Muay Thai rules. The fights are three rounders which leaves no time for a feeling out process.
The results have been extremely impressive with Thongpoon winning his first two ONE Championship fights in 24 seconds and 21 seconds respectively. It is no surprise to hear that he looks up to a fighter who is also renowned for making a fast start,
“My idol is Rodtang. He is a persistent person like me. The most important thing is his persistence and effort. And he is a nice guy, friendly with everyone. He is my role model in life. ”
Rodtang is probably the top earning Thai fighter on the ONE Championship roster and made 10 million baht for his last fight. Having grown up in poverty Thongpoon would love to emulate his idol and can take a step in that direction by making another fast start next Saturday.