All throughout his life, it would seem as if the odds were always against Muay Thai World Champion Orono Wor Petchpun. Deemed “too skinny” and “too old to start Muay Thai” by the owner of his gym, Orono followed his heart and found himself in the ring one month later, fighting his first Muay Thai bout.
Determined to prove to himself and to others that he was worthy enough to be there, he knew that he had to put up a good fight. “I wasn’t scared,” revealed Orono. “I had to win, I had to make money. I had to help my parents.” Much to everyone’s surprise, he knocked out his opponent in the third round. For the next 10 years, Orono would accumulate enough wins to become one of the best Muay Thai fighters in history.
Orono attributes most of his success to his determination stemming from a poverty-filled childhood. One of 10 children, Orono could barely afford an education and resorted to becoming a fisherman at the age of 10 to help his parents make ends meet. Orono knew this wasn’t enough and dreamt of a way out.
A Bright Future
When he was 15, a friend from school suggested that Orono try Muay Thai to make some money. Intrigued, Orono visited the local gym and decided to sign up. He knew that he had to find another way to support his parents. The minute he saw the Muay Thai fighters training at the gym, he knew it was what he wanted to do. It would be the key to his family’s salvation and his own.
As a Muay Thai fighter, Orono went on to have quite the storied career. He has fought and won against the biggest legends in Muay Thai such as Buakaw Por Pramuk, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Saenchai Sor Kingstar. He would also travel across the world to fight, to countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and even Sweden.
Sharing His Knowledge
For someone who has dedicated his entire life to Muay Thai, Orono considers himself blessed to be able to give back to the art that he loves so much. Today, Orono is one of Evolve MMA’s most dedicated Muay Thai instructors.
I’m happy to work at Evolve because I can pass on all my Muay Thai knowledge to my students,” explained Orono. “I can do what I love and give a good life to my family in Thailand.”
There’s no doubt that his students feel the same way. When there’s clapping or laughter heard in the gym, it’s usually because Orono is teaching. His positive attitude and sense of humor definitely make Muay Thai classes enjoyable for his students.
Orono’s iron will and determination show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. His unbreakable spirit is an example for us all, reminding us that perseverance is the key to beating the odds. There’s no doubt Orono agrees:
In life, many people tell you: you cannot do this, you cannot do that. They will tell you negative things, pull you down. You must prove them wrong and focus on your dreams and goals in life.”