English poet William Henley once said, “I am the master of my fate. The captain of my soul,” If you agree with this, then you probably believe that your destiny is in your own hands; from the choices you make in life, to the way you live. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke chose his destiny. He chose a life of fighting not just to give his family a better life, but because it is what he loves.
Ever since entering into the realm of Muay Thai at a young age, Dejdamrong has never extinguished his passion for fighting. His incredible accomplishments today have showed the world that he was indeed destined for greatness. But his journey is proof that greatness in life is not so easily attained.
An Early Start
Dejdamrong’s interest in Muay Thai started when his father introduced him to the art when he was no more than eight-years old. He fell in love with the beautiful art and Muay Thai became a frequent father-son affair. “My father and I were avid fans of Muay Thai,” said Dejdamrong. “We would sit in front of the TV together all the time to watch fights and have discussions about Muay Thai and our favorite fighters.”
However, while their relationship was closely knit, Dejdamrong was never able to enjoy a large portion of time with his Father. Living the majority of his childhood in poverty, Dejdamrong had to watch his parents leave, sometimes for prolonged periods of time to other parts of Thailand to work in order to provide for the family. “We were very poor,” recalled Dejdamrong. “My parents would go away for work, sometimes a week, other times a month, before coming back home.”
At the age of nine, Dejdamrong decided to take up Muay Thai because of his interest in the art and his desire to help bring in some money for the family. However, the support he received from his parents was split right down the middle. “My father was more than happy with my plan to start training and fighting Muay Thai,” he said. “But my mother never liked the idea of it because she was afraid I would get hurt badly.”
School of Hard Knocks
After much debate, Dejdamrong finally started training Muay Thai at a small gym located a couple of miles away from his hometown in Trang, Thailand. And with him everyday was the unconditional love and support of his father. “My father would take me to the Muay Thai gym every time he could and watch me train. After awhile, he even bought a motorcycle so that he could take me there faster,” Dejdamrong said laughingly.
However, some of his most memorable moments during his early days in Muay Thai were also some of his toughest. Dejdamrong remembers the many times he cried and felt broken in training. “The trainer would get all the bigger guys to spar and clinch with me and beat me up, ” he recalled. “I remember the training was so tough and grueling that I would break down in tears.”
But Dejdamrong’s father provided all the wisdom and tough love he needed, teaching him invaluable life lessons on how to face hardships. To this day, these lessons have stayed with him. “Whenever I cried or wanted to quit in training, my father would scold me and tell me to fight through it,” Dejdamrong explained. “He would tell me that if I gave up at that moment, then I would not be able to face the hardships in the ring and in life.”
Birth of a Legend
Dejdamrong decided to wipe away his tears and fight against the feeling of defeat. He trained harder each passing day and went on to win his first professional Muay Thai fight at the age of 10, earning 70 baht for his family. From there, things only got better for the young and promising Dejdamrong. In over 300 career fights all by the age of 30, he has fought and defeated the likes of now Muay Thai legends such as Yodsanklai Fairtex, Singdam Kiatmuu9, Chatchainoi Sitbenjama and is also a three-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion.
And while most fighters would have retired, Dejdamrong continued to pursue his passion for Muay Thai and fighting. His passion would take him to Japan to be a trainer for young aspiring fighters there, but he never stopped fighting either. In the five years he spent in Japan, Dejdamrong fought a total of nine times, winning all his fights convincingly.
In 2013, Dejdamrong received an invitation to join Asia’s most decorated instructor team at Evolve MMA. Watching his fellow teammates from the Evolve Fight Team train and fight all around the world, Dejdamrong he decided to continue his passion for fighting, but this time, it would be in the MMA cage. His goal however, was much deeper: to be the first Mixed Martial Arts World Champion from Thailand. “I wanted to win a title ever since I started MMA,” said Dejdamrong. “I told myself from the very beginning that I would achieve this.”
And with the help of the World Champions and legendary Instructors in Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and more at Evolve MMA, Dejdamrong evolved into a complete MMA fighter. He tore through the competition as a flyweight in ONE Championship, finishing all four of his opponents in his debut year in 2014.
His dominance and talent in the sport was hard to ignore and soon, Dejdamrong found himself earning a shot at the inaugural ONE Championship Strawweight World title in May of 2015 against top Filipino strawweight prospect and former pro boxer Roy Doliguez. The fight was an intense, grueling contest between the two fighters. However, Dejdamrong’s pressure and deadly precision proved too much even for a fighter like Doliguez, who was not able to continue at the midway point of the fourth round.
“A fine line separates a Fighter from a Warrior. One is motivated by reason, the other, by purpose. One fights to live, while the other lives to fight.”
Now, as the ONE Championship Strawweight World Champion, Dejdamrong is providing a better life for his family and has achieved the goal he set for himself less than 2 years ago. “I wouldn’t have been able to do all this without the help and support of the Evolve Family; from my teammates to the students, everyone played a part.”
But Dejdamrong is certain that his journey as a warrior will not end here. “I will continue fighting to represent Thailand and the beautiful art of Muay Thai on the world stage,” he added. “I also want to continue imparting my knowledge of Muay Thai to the students at Evolve MMA.”
A true warrior never stops pursuing greatness. Dejdamrong’s journey to his now legendary status is a true testament to his warrior spirit. His perseverance through hardship and desire to never stop learning is truly an inspiration to us all.