ONE Friday Night Fights 66: 21-Year-Old Thai Fighter Seeks Global Roster Spot

June 4, 2024
2 weeks

One of the major thrills in combat sports is to see a fighter who has been grinding away to lock down financial security. In Muay Thai, many fighters have to fight frequently to build up their reputation and workload and make it to the top of significant promotions. Kongchai Chanaidonmueang, a 21-year-old Thai Fighter, has earned a spot in the ONE main event this weekend because of his high-level striking.

Kongchai needs to prove he can get back on track when he takes on three-time ISKA kickboxing world champion Akram Hamidi during a strawweight fight. Konchai has lost two of his past three fights, which has slowed his entry into the ONE rankings.

Both of Kongchai’s losses came to Kompet Fairtex. Online boxing news will show that Hamidi still has much to prove in the organization. He made an exciting debut by knocking out Jomhod Auto MuayThai in the second round. 

But Hamidi had more trouble in his second fight, losing by a decision to ONE strawweight Muay Thai world champion Prajanchai PK Saenchai. Kongchai will need to bring his best effort to win this fight. While Muay Thai has plenty of fighters who reached their peak in their early 20s, having some struggles early in their career doesn’t mean they can’t improve enough to challenge for championships later.

Young Stars Look to Stand Out

Kaotaem Fairtex and Wanpadej Looksuan are 40 years old combined. When the two men meet in the ring, both fighters will be able to display maturity beyond their years. Kaotaem, 19, had a harsh result during his first fight in the promotion against Aslamjon Ortikov. Kaotaem lost by decision.

Wanpadej made a significantly more impactful first impression. He beat the clock narrowly, putting his opponent out cold with one second remaining in the fight. Everyone needs to be on notice for both of these men. With a strong performance in this fight, both fighters will have an opportunity to improve their prospects for future success.

Rambong Looks to Ratchet Up the Pressure

Rambong Sor Therapat has figured out the right mixture for success. During Rambong’s past four fights, he has figured out a way to get his hand raised in victory. During the first two fights on his current streak, Rambong leaned on his power to win by knockout.

When Rambong ran into opponents with better chins, he had enough left in the tank to earn decisions. Rambong won his last fight in April by a narrow split decision. Now, Rambong is set to make a quick turnaround against Muanglao Kiattongyot.

Muanglao’s record indicates that he lost his last fight in early April. He will need to ensure that his striking is sharp if he wants to keep up with Rambong, who is in excellent form.

You Again?

Yod-IQ Or Pimolsri and Mavlud Tifiyev feel they have unfinished business against each other. When the pair met at ONE Friday Night Fights 20, Yod-IQ picked up a decision victory. Life hasn’t been perfect for Yod-IQ since he picked up that victory.

Yod-IQ dropped his next fight by decision to Alexey Balyko. He followed that up with a split-decision win over Ilyas Musaev and a unanimous decision victory over Rafi Bohic. While Yod-IQ is on a two-fight winning streak, he needs a more emphatic victory to help improve his status in the sport.

Tifiyev followed the loss by winning two of his next three fights. Tifiyev took a loss to Ferrari Fairtex in March after being out of the ring for five months. Both fighters could use a strong performance.

Masuda Ready to Jump Into the Deep End of the Pool

Hiroto Masuda will be excited to make his ONE debut in a strawweight MMA battle with Torephci Dongak. What makes Masuda’s situation unique is his total lack of experience. His fight with Dongak won’t just be his ONE debut, but it will be his professional MMA debut.

Dongak doesn’t have a lot going on himself. He is 1-1 as a MMA fighter. During his ONE debut, Dongak earned a rare type of victory for MMA. Dongak picked up a stoppage win over Ivan Orekhov when Orekhov’s corner threw in the towel to stop the fight.

However, Dongak’s strong first outing didn’t appear in the second fight. Rabindra Dhant stopped him in a third-round knockout. Dongak will be happy to take on a fighter like Masuda.

Leaping from amateur to professional fighter is a major leap. Many amateur fighters are good athletes but don’t put in the time and dedication to training like professionals. With professional fighters looking to earn bigger paychecks, they present amateurs climbing the rankings with a difficult new challenge. Masuda will have a lot to prove according to MMA news sites.

Antonov Hopes to Keep Building Momentum

The MMA latest updates indicate that Russian fighter Evgenii Antonov has shown his grappling bona fides so far. Antonov picked up a pair of submission victories on the regional scene before signing up to compete for ONE.

He will face a bigger test when he takes on Austrian Islam Kukaev in a 161-pound catchweight fight. Kukaev still needs to make his debut in ONE. He will have a look to continue his impressive streak of finishing fights.

Kukaev has won two of his fights by knockout and the other two by submission. While he has been knocked out once himself, Kukaev has shown strong potential.

Here’s a look at the rest of the fights not mentioned above:

  • Muay Thai (flyweight), Seksan Fairtex vs. Amil Shahmarzade
  • Muay Thai (121-pound catchweight), Attachai Kelasport vs. Poye Adsanpatong
  • Muay Thai (113-pound catchweight), Sitrak Por Paidang vs. Rolex Wor Panyawai
  • Muay Thai (157-pound catchweight), Khunsuek Superbon Training Camp vs. Thway Thit Win Hlaing
  • Muay Thai (bantamweight), Miao Aoqi vs. Shingo Shibata
  • Kickboxing (132-pound catchweight), Asadula Imangazaliev vs. Seiki Ueyama

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By Dean McHugh.