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Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Talks First ONE World Title Defense, Return To Lumpinee

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon10 February 2023

At only 23-years-old, Tawanchai PK.Saenchai has risen through ONE Championship’s ranks and now, only five promotional bouts deep, he finds himself perched on the featherweight Muay Thai throne.

On Saturday, 25 February, the stoic striker will make the first defence of his crown against Turkish-Russian dynamo Jamal Yusupov in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II in what is anticipated to be a firefight.

Tawanchai realized his dream last September when he came up against then-ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee in the main event of ONE 161, outlasting his more established adversary over the course of five rounds.

The return to Bangkok, Thailand – more specifically, Lumpinee Stadium – marks a poetic moment in Tawanchai’s career.

The iconic arena witnessed the phenom’s rise through the regional ranks, all the way to becoming 2018’s Lumpinee Stadium Fighter of the Year. The venue that once saw him emerge as a prospect will now see a much more prominent martial artist, one with a Muay Thai World Title draped over his shoulder.

For Tawanchai, the return to Lumpinee reminds him of how far he has come.

“It’s a nostalgic feeling. Lumpinee is the most respected stadium, which has accommodated the best Muay Thai fighters. There are so many fighters that became well-known after fighting in this stadium,” he said.

The featherweight king’s outings under the ONE banner have offered performances that have seen the Bangkok native go from strength to strength.

In his defense against Yusupov, though, expect the Turkish tussler to show little respect for Tawanchai’s attacks as he looks to spoil the champ’s homecoming.

Relaxed as ever, Tawanchai remains well aware of the threat awaiting him later this month, and he has no plans on underestimating “Yeniceri.”

“Yusupov has heavy, strong punches. He hardly has any weaknesses. He’s one of the strongest fighters. You can’t underestimate him in any way. He has extensive fighting experiences, but they’re not superior to mine,” the 161-fight veteran said.

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“The key in this fight is my inner fire. I’m hungry for victory, and I’ll never give up on anything easily.”


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