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Wiratchai trains in Phuket for Singapore MMA fight

Wiratchai trains in Phuket for Singapore MMA fight

MARTIAL ARTS: Thai mixed martial artist Shannon Wiratchai is back in Phuket to train at Tiger Muay Thai for the biggest fight of his life next month.


By James Goyder

Thursday 14 March 2013, 11:57AM


Thai MMA fighter Shannon Wiratchai is training in Phuket for the biggest fight of his career so far. <i>Photo: James Goyder</i>

Thai MMA fighter Shannon Wiratchai is training in Phuket for the biggest fight of his career so far. Photo: James Goyder

The 24 year old is competing on April 5 at ONE Fighting Championship: ‘Kings & Champions’ at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

His fight with Pakistan’s Bashir Ahmad will be broadcast live to 28 Asian countries, including Thailand, by Star Sports.

On his last outing Wiratchai thought he had beaten Mitch Chilson after stopping the American fighter in the second round at ONE FC: ‘Pride of a Nation’ in Manila, but the fight result was retrospectively changed to a no contest.

The Thai fighter was penalised for using an illegal soccer kick, but the decision was so controversial it caused ONE FC to change its ruleset to ensure that this particular technique would be completely legal in future.

The decision to change the result cost Wiratchai a win which would have improved his record to 3-0, and he is determined to make amends when he takes on Ahmad in Singapore.

“It was disappointing but I am a fighter and I must respect the rules and respect the decision of ONE FC. Getting to fight in front of 16,500 fans in Manila was a very good experience for me and I am looking forward to my second ONE FC fight, hopefully this time there will be no doubt about the result when I win,” he said.

As a result of the no contest, Wiratchai’s record stands at 2-0-0-1, meaning he remains unbeaten in his MMA career. His opponent, Ahmad, is at 1-0 – but only one man will be able to leave the Singapore Indoor Stadium with their undefeated record intact.

Wiratchai prepared for his last ONE FC fight at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA in Chalong and will be spending almost a month there ahead of his bout in Singapore.

While leaving his friends and family in Bangkok behind is tough, he believes the hard work will pay off.

JW Marriott Phuket

“At Tiger Muay Thai they train me very hard, it is not easy but I am lucky to work with someone like Roger Huerta who always pushes me.

“As a fighter the training is the worst bit because I am tired all the time and can’t eat too much food, but it is all worth it because I get to fight for the biggest MMA show in Asia at the end,” he said.

This will be the first ONE FC show to be broadcast live on Star Sports, meaning that everyone in Thailand will be able to watch it live.

For Wiratchai this brings a little bit of extra pressure and motivation.

“I think all my friends will be watching and maybe my parents as well.

Even [though] they don’t like me to fight, they always support me in whatever I do. I know I will be representing Thailand and I hope to win and make everyone here proud of me,” he said.

A university graduate who speaks three different languages, Wiratchai is far from your typical fighter.

He competes in MMA not because he needs the money but for the thrill of competition, and will be looking to secure an adrenaline pumping first win under the ONE FC banner when he takes on Ahmad.

For more information about watching ONE FC: ‘Kings & Champions’ visit onefc.com

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