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Kingdom’s Martial Artists tackle Macau

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Rin Saroth (left) and Sok Thy will be hunting victory in Macau. Courtesy Cambodian Top Team

A pair of Cambodian Mixed Martial Artists will attempt to do the kingdom proud when they take to the cage in tomorrow’s MMA showpiece in Macau.

Rin Saroth is a is a KWC 3 Featherweight Tournament Finalist with a Kun Khmer record of 110-22. Saroth makes his return against Mario Satya Wirawan in Macau at ONE Championship: Pinnacle of Power.

In his last ONE outing in March, the Cambodian Top Team talent was unable to get past Malaysia’s own“Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman at ONE: Visions of Victory.

Aiman, who trains out of Bali MMA, has been working hard on improving his wrestling andoverall ground repertoire. While he is always happy to stand and trade with an opponent,his vast improvements showed, and that led to a unanimous decision victory.

The hometown hero was fast and explosive from the start, as he brought Saroth to the matseveral times over the course of the contest. He even closed out the second round with agigantic slam.

“Jungle Cat” remained in control for the majority of the bout by using his superior grappling, and he nearly earned a finish in the final stanza when he put the Cambodian down and fished for a rear-naked choke submission. Saroth survived, but that is all he did, as the unanimous decision went to Aiman.

Saroth will seek to bounce back tomorrow against Wirawan of Bogor, Indonesia. Wirawan is a former high school football player turned martial artist. He made his ONE Championship debut in September 2015 against compatriot Sunoto. In December of the same year, Wirawan recorded the fastest knockout in ONE history by stopping Cambodia’s Chan Heng in six seconds with a punch.

Also in action for Cambodia is Sok Thy – a 20-year-old striker from Banteay Meanchey. He is a highly-skilled Kun Khmer practitioner, and former Bayon and PNN Stadium Flyweight Champion. With a Kun Khmer record of 221-36-12, Thy is one of the most accomplished martial arts talents from Cambodia. He takes on the legendary Lerdsila Phuket Top Team in his ONE Super Series debut.

“Lerdsila is a legend in the sport. He is a great fighter and a great showman,” Sok Thy says.

“My opponent is a very experienced and tricky fighter, so I have to be careful. But also, I need to earn his respect. I am a lot younger, so I think I I have a slight advantage there, and I am more active in my fighting career.”

In Lerdsila, he faces an highly-respected veteran who has competed in the ring for three decades.

The 37-year-old Thai has amassed an incredible professional record of 186-31-5, and has claimed several World Titles. This includes Lion Fight, WMC, and WLF Lightweight Muay Thai World Championships, as well as the Rajadamnern World Championship in three divisions.

Although Sok Thy does not boast the same number of accolades, he is remarkably experienced for such a young age.

The Cambodian is a Bayon and PNN Stadium Flyweight Champion, and the 2018 National Kun Khmer Champion.

He was the first Cambodian to challenge for Muay Thai World Titles at the Lumpinee and Channel 7 Stadiums in Thailand.

Despite his vast competition experience, Sok Thy knows Lerdsila is his toughest opponent yet and is preparing for his bout with Cambodian Top Team.

Coached by Chan Reach, and working alongside his older brother, as well as legendary Khmer athlete San Saoyan.

“Our training starts at 5am,” he explained.

“We run 20 kilometers total in the morning, and then at around 7am, we do our normal training – bag work, pad work, clinching, sparring, and conditioning.

“Then we eat, sleep, and wake up at 3pm to repeat it.”

Sok Thy believes his intense training regimen will prepare him for what could potentially be his breakout moment.

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