Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao from the Evolve Fight Team is one of the most highly-decorated Muay Thai practitioners in the history of the sport. He is practically a living legend and followed by many, idolized by a nation who draw hope, strength, and inspiration from his performances.
When he steps into the ONE Championship ring this Saturday night at home in Bangkok, Thailand, Nong-O will have a chance to add perhaps the most prestigious award ever to his trophy mantle — the ONE World Title.
“I feel the ONE World Title is the biggest global titles in all of martial arts,” said Nong-O. “It would be an honor to win the title for my fans and for my country. I’m very focused on winning my next fight and taking the belt. I’m well-prepared to do whatever it takes to win.”
Nong-O is scheduled to face Chinese kickboxing sensation Han Zi Hao in the main event of ONE: Clash of Legends, which is set for the Impact Arena on 16 February. The five-round encounter is for the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship.
Despite having garnered a multitude of Muay Thai world titles in his career performing in Thailand’s biggest stadiums, Nong-O says the ONE World Title is one that he strongly covets because of the prestige of the elite all-striking league.
ONE Super Series, which brings together the best talent in striking martial arts from all over the world, was established by ONE Championship in early 2018.
Among some of the biggest names to join are the likes of Nong-O, as well as Evolve Fight Team stablemate Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, Italian kickboxing superstar Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, the legendary Yodsanklai Fairtex, and even WBC Boxing World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, among others.
Nong-O feels extremely proud to be part of such an elite group.
“ONE Super Series has the best strikers from all over the world from different styles like kickboxing, Muay Thai, and boxing. It is an honor to be counted among so many great talents, but at the same time, I know the competition is at a very high level,” said Nong-O.
“I love the challenge. I just want to fight the best and prove that Muay Thai is the best martial art. I’m heading into this next fight in the best shape of my life and I want to be able to showcase my skills and experience.”
Nong-O’s opponent, Han Zi Hao, is a former Top King Muay Thai World Champion. The Chinese prodigy moved miles away from his home country when he was 14 years old to live and train in Thailand so that he could pursue a professional career in Muay Thai.
Although he may not be as prolific has his Thai counterparts, Han has a huge following back in China and is extremely well-known and popular.
Regardless of Han’s record or stature, Nong-O knows not to underestimate any opponent.
“This is fighting, anything can happen. You can’t take any opponent lightly because we are at the elite level. That being said, I’m confident I’m better than him in all areas,” said Nong-O.
“Han is very fast and aggressive. He has good power behind his punches. But I don’t think he is more powerful than me. I also have experience on my side having faced some of the biggest names in Muay Thai.”
Nong-O is a Rajadamnern Muay Thai World Champion and a multiple-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion across different weight classes. He has competed against fellow legends such as Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym, Singdam Kiatmookao, Petchboonchu F.A.Group, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, and Sagetdao Petpayathai.
A victory for Nong-O could immortalize his status as one of the absolute best fighters in the history of martial arts. He is already a legend as it is, but winning the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title would take his legacy to the next level.
“I’m coming for the belt. This is like a new start to my career. I feel strong and fresh,” Nong-O concluded.
“I will bring my best into the ring. I can’t predict how the fight will go, but I’m going for the finish. I want to put on a show for the fans at home in Bangkok.”