ONE Championship will give fans an electric bantamweight Muay Thai main event when it returns to Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, for ONE Friday Fights 2 on Friday, Jan. 27.
Sangmanee PK.Saenchai and Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai will run back their 2020 meeting from the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament, and it is sure to produce fireworks.
The two talented Thais recently spoke to ONE about their upcoming rematch at the iconic striking venue, with former two-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion Kulabdam making it clear that he expects a big performance under its bright lights.
“I haven’t fought at Lumpinee Stadium for three or four years. I’m glad to be able to fight here again because it feels like I’m back home where I made a reputation in Muay Thai. Lumpinee is the nation’s legendary stadium. Not every fighter would be eligible to fight here. You need to have a fan base and be well-known as the best fighter, so you are chosen to be here. And most importantly, from my previous fights at Lumpinee, I always did a good job. No matter if I won or lost, I felt like I could perform well here at Lumpinee,” Kulabdam said.
In the first meeting, “Left Meteorite” stunned Sangmanee with a first-round knockout. The shockingly fast finish surprised everyone. And upon reflection, Kulabdam says that it was being viewed as the underdog that spurred him to hunt for the KO.
Now ready for the rematch, he enters with the confidence of knowing he can defeat his talented compatriot.
“Before my first fight at ONE, most people thought that I couldn’t fight with Sangmanee. I kept those criticisms to myself and concentrated on my training. I was determined to beat him because I was underestimated a lot. And for this upcoming fight on Friday, Jan. 27, I am super ready to face Sangmanee again. Let’s see who will perform better in the Circle,” Kulabdam said.
His opponent plans to put up a fight, however. Sangmanee is ready to put the loss behind him and level his series with Kulabdam.
And his recent victory over Zhang Chenglong at ONE 161 has given him the belief that he can start a streak at ONE Friday Fights 2 and become a contender in the stacked bantamweight Muay Thai division.
“For me, this is a good opportunity to get revenge. That loss has been on my mind for a long time. I watched that fight when I was KOed over and over to find out what mistakes I made. I take everything that happened in that fight as a big lesson, and I’ve tried to fix it. In this upcoming fight, I am confident that I am good enough to go against Kulabdam, for sure,” Sangmanee said.
Muay Thai in four-ounce gloves leaves little room for error.
Knowing this, Sangmanee has tried to tighten up his defense ahead of the rematch, as he has noticed Kulabdam’s growing variety of offensive attacks.
“Many of my weaknesses in the game have been fixed. I’ve been training more on my speed and self-defense, as well as my other weapons. My trainer has also watched that clip to see how to adjust the game plan, and we got a plan for better defense and counterattacks. I admit that Kulabdam has made a lot of improvements in his skills as well. His punch is absolutely dangerous, but now, I see that he has added leg kicks and other weapons that are just as scary. So, I won’t be careless,” Sangmanee said.
The development of both men since their last outing three years ago should make this rematch an unmissable affair.
U.S. fans can watch the first six bouts live on FanDuel TV at 7:30 a.m. ET. The event will also air live and free via watch.onefc.com, ONE’s YouTube channel, and ONE’s Facebook page.
The final five bouts air live and free on watch.onefc.com, ONE’s YouTube channel, and ONE’s Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. ET.