Nico Carrillo (ONE Championship)

ONE Fight Night 23’s Nico Carrillo: Promising Knockout of Saemapetch

Scottish Muay Thai fighter Nico Carrillo is looking to get a big win over the highly experienced Saemapetch Fairtex at ONE Fight Night 23 booked for Jul. 5. The winner of this fight will get a shot at the belt held by Jonathan Haggerty.

Nico Carrillo

“King of the North” Carrillo actually began in Western-style boxing before switching to Muay Thai in his teenage years. After a near-death experience in which he was stabbed, the Scottish athlete changed his lifestyle and was saved by martial arts.

He became one of Europe’s top athletes, winning the WBC Muay Thai European Championship during an 11-fight win streak. His success led to a contract with ONE Championship, where he secured knockout victories over Furkan Karabag and Muangthai PK Saenchai. These performances earned him a top-five ranking. In December 2023, he knocked out former champion Nong-O Hama, making him the number-one contender


Nico Carrillo is set to Saemapetch on Jul. 5. Saemapetch Fairtex grew up in extreme poverty, helping his parents collect bottles and plastic for resale. The mayor of his town introduced him to Muay Thai, which changed his life. He started fighting at age 11 and competed in the Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok three years later.

Since joining ONE Championship in 2018, Saemapetch has become a key figure in the bantamweight Muay Thai division, competing against top fighters and challenging for the World Title. Though he hasn’t yet won the title, both men are seeking a win so they can face Jonathan Haggerty with Muay Thai gold on the line.

On facing Saemapetch at ONE Fight Night 23, Carrillo questioned his opponent’s motivation. He said:

“He has no excuse for his weak performances. On the night, of course, anything can happen. But this has been going on for a few now in ONE for him. He’s only 29, I know he’s been fighting a lot of the time, though. But is his desire still there? Is it still burning like the first time he fought for the belt.

Regardless of that, I know I have a serious contender in front of me. At the end of the day, I’m holding my position. I’m number one. I’ve got something to defend, in my opinion. I don’t overlook him in any way. He’s up there as one of the hardest hitters in the division. But I’m at a stage in my career where I haven’t been beaten in a long time, and I’m very confident in my abilities that I can handle anything in my fights. I’m only getting better with age. I’m like a fine wine.

“A knockout is coming. That’s always the plan. I don’t get paid overtime. It will be calculated, and it will come. I will find it. I always do.”

When asked about potentially facing the Muay Thai world champion Haggerty, “King of the North” said:

“He’s said in interviews that I would be his hardest fight. He knows that. But he would rather not say my name so that a fight between us doesn’t happen or get built up. At this point, I feel like I’m the best fighter in the world. I’m the most hard-working. All I need is for ONE to make the right matchups, put me on the platform and let me prove it because I have done that so far every single time.”