After a dominant debut earlier this year, teen phenom Smilla Sundell returns to the ONE Circle this Friday, 22 April. The Swedish star is set to face Jackie Buntan for the inaugural ONE Women's Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship in the co-main event of ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic.
At 17 years old, Sundell already has a wealth of experience behind her, having started fighting at 12. Moreover, if “The Hurricane” secures a win on Friday, she’ll become one of the youngest World Champions in the organization’s history.
Despite the significant pressure, Sundell is enthusiastic about what lies ahead of her.
“It will feel very good if I win. I'll be very, very happy, and cry even. It's definitely my most important fight. I feel like I'm ready. I've had the experience. And I think I will do good,” she said.
The Fairtex representative demonstrated her talents in February this year at ONE: FULL CIRCLE, when she secured a TKO victory against Australia’s Diandra Martin. That bout was less than two months ago, but Sundell has put it out of her head in preparation for her World Title tussle with Buntan.
“I actually forgot about [my last fight]. But yeah, afterward, I remembered it again. And I think it was okay. I definitely had all the people watching in my mind, but I try to shut it out because then I get too nervous,” she said.
The young star is right to put all her effort into her upcoming bout. She will face a seasoned competitor in Buntan, who currently holds a 3-0 record on the global stage and has previously represented the United States in international tournaments.
That said, Sundell feels that they are on the same level.
“I do have a lot of experience here in Thailand and fought the best here. So, I think I do deserve it. I think me and Jackie are on equal terms. She’s going to be surprised with my style,” she said.
Watch ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic live on Disney+ Hotstar, beginning with the lead card at 2:30 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) this Friday, 22 April. The main card broadcasts live on Disney+ Hotstar at 6 p.m. IST.