Teenage Sensation Smilla Sundell Hopes to Defend ONE Strawweight Muay Thai Title against Natalya Dachokova

April 30, 2024
4 weeks

Smilla Sundell isn’t a woman intimidated by being in an unfamiliar environment. Sundell moved from her native Sweden to Pattaya, Thailand, to join the famed Fairtex gym. Sundell initially moved because her parents’ careers took them to Thailand.

But when Sundell’s parents went home, she stayed behind at age 15 to work on her Muay Thai. Sundell made the leap because she admired current ONE atomweight champion Stamp Fairtex. By 2022, Sundell was stealing headlines for becoming the inaugural ONE women’s strawweight champion at age 17.

Sundell may face her toughest challenge yet at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium this weekend. Natalya Dyachkova, 29, has knocked out three of her previous four opponents. Online boxing news shows that Dyachkova has won four straight fights in ONE Championship. Dyachkova is a Russian fighter who has held Muay Thai championships for three different organizing bodies.

Dyachkova has also moved away from her native country and resettled in Thailand to get some of the best training in the world. She has won five straight fights dating back to her last loss in January 2016.

Expanding that winning streak by taking down the 19-year-old prodigy should provide fireworks at the top of the card. Sundell has defended her championship twice successfully. But Dyachkova seems like a dangerous challenger to Sundell.

Amir is Ready for the Big Stage

Halil Amir 1

Halil Amir is one of the best kinds of MMA prospects. When Amir went from the regional scene to fight in ONE Championship, his power never left him. What that has allowed Amir to do is continue producing exciting fights. During Amir’s run in ONE, he has collected three victories, including two by knockout.

Amir will now have the opportunity to prove his stardom in a featherweight bout with Akbar Abdullaev. Abdullaev is also undefeated and doesn’t like to see fights go to the scorecards. During Abdullaev’s first two fights in the cage in ONE, fans hardly had a chance to be introduced to him. MMAfighting latest news shows that Abdullaev won each bout by knockout in 44 and 41 seconds, respectively.

This fight has the potential to be a show stealer with the ability each man has to finish the fight. Don’t blink for this one.

Menshikov Continues Building Momentum

Dmitry Menshikov Mouhcine Chafi ONE Fight Night 17 37 scaled 2

Dmitry Menshikov came onto ONE’s roster sporting high expectations. When ONE brought Menshikov into the fold, it immediately placed him in a fight with Regian Eersel for the lightweight Muay Thai championship. Things didn’t go quite how Menshikov would have dreamed.

Menshikov only lasted 46 seconds before being knocked out by Eersel. However, Menshikov has rebounded with consecutive knockout wins. The latest trending boxing news shows that Menshikov’s opponent this weekend, Sinsamut Klinmee, knows the disappointment of failing in a high-pressure spot.

Sinsamut has lost to Eersel twice. The first loss was a split decision, but the second go-round saw Eersel score a fourth-round knockout to finish Sinsamut. Sinsamut, like Menshikov, has run off consecutive wins since those losses.

Lipeng Looks to Get Win Streak Going Again

Zhang Lipeng is a proven combat sports veteran. However, this weekend, Lipeng’s lightweight opponent, Maurice Abevi, will want to use Lipeng as a springboard to bigger things. Abevi is only 1-1 during his time in ONE Championship and will need to start collecting big wins to collect momentum.

Lipeng had a brief cup of coffee in the UFC earlier in his career. He won a contract through The Ultimate Fighter: China. While Lipeng was only 1-2 in the UFC before being cut, he has been able to catch on with various MMA promotions worldwide.

Lipeng has 34 professional victories. Abevi, who only has eight professional fights under his belt, will have his hands full trying to win this fight.

Akimoto Ready for a Return

Boxing updates tonight show that Hiroki Akimoto has needed some time away from the cage. What ONE Championship fans hope to see is that the time off served Akimoto, the former bantamweight kickboxing champion, will be back to full form. Akimoto was off for 17 months.

Chinese fighter Wei Rui will welcome Akimoto back to the organization. Rui has never fought in ONE before but has plenty of combat sports experience worldwide. Rui is a former K-1 lightweight champion.

Reece McLaren Needed a Chance to Bounce Back

Reece McLaren has settled into flyweight. He has been in the top five of the rankings and hopes to fight for a championship someday. But to do that, McLaren will need to win fights. 

During two of his previous three fights, McLaren has won by finish. McLaren’s last fight was a decision loss to Kairat Akhmetov. This weekend, McLaren will have to take on Hu Yong.

Yong is in the middle of one of the best runs of his career. He has picked up three straight wins in ONE Championship. Two of those previous three wins have come by knockout.

Rungrawee Has a Lot to Prove

Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong needs to start building his career back up following a loss to Menshikov back in September 2023. Rungrawee saw his 11-fight winning streak come to a crashing end against Menshikov.

While Rungrawee bounced back with a TKO win over Shakir Al-Tekreeti, he had another tough challenge ahead of him against Bogdan Shumarov. Shumarov has won seven consecutive wins. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2019.

Shumarov’s last two wins have come by KO. There is plenty of action left on this card involving several fight disciplines. Here’s a look at some other fights that are happening that aren’t listed above:

  • Women’s Atomweight, Chihiro Sawada vs Noelle Grandjean
  • Strawweight Muay Thai, Thongpoon P.K. Saenchai vs Zakaria El Jamari
  • Catchweight (132 pounds) submission grappling, Bianca Basilio vs Nanami Ichikawa
  • Flyweight Muay Thai, Sean Climaco vs Josue Cruz

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By Dean McHugh.

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