ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao from the Evolve Fight Team is one of the most revered and talented Muay Thai professionals we’ve ever seen.
After stepping away from professional competition for three years, Nong-O returned with a vengeance. He signed with ONE Championship and resumed his career adding another prestigious world title to his long list of accomplishments. This time, it came on the global stage of martial arts competition as part of the highly-acclaimed ONE Super Series.
On 6 September at ONE: Immortal Triumph in Ho Chi Minh City, Nong-O will defend his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title against French-Algerian fighter Brice Delval. It will be the second defense of his world title after a tremendous performance against Hiroaki Suzuki in his last bout.
With every outing, Nong-O continues to inspire. He continues to turn in extraordinary effort and proves each time out that he is truly one of the greatest.
The Thai legend is looking to put on another meaningful performance. As we move closer to that matchup against Delval, we take a quick glance over some of Nong-O’s most epic performances, and some of the accolades he has collected over the years.
Today, Evolve Daily shares the five most significant bouts of Nong-O Gaiyanghadao’s legendary career.
1) Songkom Chor Sangprapai
The iconic Lumpinee Stadium is an arena of champions. No venue is more synonymous with Muay Thai excellence.
Nong-O has had his share of fantastic moments in the Bangkok treasure. Perhaps his first colossal moment took place in November 2005. Nong-O captured his first major title when he defeated Songkom Chor Sangprapai via unanimous decision to win the 118-pound Thailand National Championship.
Nong-O has always had devastating kicks and excellent timing. Even at this early stage of his career, he demonstrated those skills. This victory was most significant because it set the stage for more big nights at Lumpinee Stadium. It also was the first of many championship wins in Nong-O’s career.
Although one of his earliest victories, Nong-O’s triumph over Songkom set the stage for his rise as a Muay Thai legend.
2) Petchboonchu FA Group
There are rivalries, and there are epic series of battles. The latter is a better description of what Nong-O and Petchboonchu FA Group have shared.
The two men have clashed a recorded eight times with Nong-O holding the advantage in the series 6-2. The most definitive and most rewarding win Nong-O has earned in his battles with Petchboonchu came at the Lumpinee Birthday Show in December 2009.
Behind a vicious kicking and punching attack, Nong-O was able to dispatch his long-time foe in under a round. The victory was just Nong-O’s second by first-round technical knockout, and it also landed him the 130-pound Lumpinee World Championship. His title accumulation was hitting high gear, and everyone throughout the Muay Thai world was aware of Nong-O’s name and his fierce striking ability.
Petchboonchu is a respected and accomplished Muay Thai practitioner in his own right. For Nong-O to hold an advantage over him throughout his career tells you something about the former’s skill level and longevity.
3) Kiatpetch Suanaharnpikmai
If you ever need to see just how powerful of a striker Nong-O is, you should watch his match against Kiatpetch Suanaharnpikmai from 2014. It took place at Lumpinee Stadium in a raucous atmosphere, and Nong-O didn’t send the fans home without providing some excitement.
After punishing his opponent with kicks, elbows, and punches, he lured him into a trap in the third round. Nong-O was able to engage in a clinch where he fired a short left elbow to the side of Kiatpetch’s head.
Before his opponent could react to the shot, Nong-O took a step backward and launched a hellacious right uppercut that landed flush on Kiatpetch’s chin. He crumpled to the canvas upon impact, and Nong-O rushed over to a neutral corner.
The referee deemed Kiatpetch unable to continue and Nong-O was declared the winner, winning the 135-pound Thailand National Championship.
This victory is important for a few reasons. First, it is one of Nong-O’s most exciting knockout wins. Second, it is the last victory he enjoyed at Lumpinee Stadium.
Nong-O has earned the right to be considered an all-time great at Lumpinee having competed there more than 70 times in his career. If that is his last bout in the hallowed arena, Nong-O left in style.
4) Fabio Pinca
From April 2015 to April 2018, Nong-O was inactive professionally. He moved to Singapore to join Evolve MMA, and guide the next generation of young martial artists as an instructor. But when ONE Super Series was announced in early 2018, Nong-O’s itch for professional competition resurfaced, and he instantly found himself back in the mix.
This time, he competed outside of Thailand, amongst the world’s best strikers.
The formation and rise of ONE Super Series, particularly in Muay Thai, helped to lure the legend back into the sport. He signed with ONE in 2018 and made his debut with the promotion at ONE: Heroes Of Honor. There Nong-O took on Fabio Pinca.
Having not competed in three years, you would expect to see some ring rust from the Thai legend perhaps. However, he looked as sharp as ever in winning a unanimous-decision over Pinca.
With the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship picture rounding into form, it was clear Nong-O had arrived with the promotion. He hadn’t come out of inactivity to simply compete, he was there to one day claim the title.
5) Han Zi Hao
In February 2019, Nong-O finally got his opportunity to win the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title he had set out to claim. He would run his record with ONE Super Series to 2-0 with a couple of decisive unanimous-decision wins.
At ONE: Clash Of Legends, Nong-O would face China’s Han Zi Hao for the inaugural bantamweight crown, and Nong-O’s power and persistence once again ruled the day.
Just as he had done so many times in the past, Nong-O was as dominant as ever and overwhelmed Han Zi Hao. In the end, all three judges scored the match in Nong-O’s favor to crown him the first-ever ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion.
The win not only gave Nong-O the title that he coveted, it also introduced Nong-O to a worldwide audience of millions across the globe.
He has already successfully defended the title once. On Friday, Nong-O will look to make it two consecutive successful title defenses against Delval.