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MMA duo set for Malaysia bouts

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Chan Rothana sports a 4-3 professional MMA record. Courtesy ONE Championship

A pair of Cambodian mixed martial artists are set to test their skills in Malaysia next month as ONE Championship – Asia’s largest promotion – takes its MMA juggernaut to Kuala Lumpur for ONE: Destiny of Champions.

Fans of Chan Rothana, the kingdom’s standout mixed martial artist were disappointed to see the Selapak fighter miss out on a long-awaited return to the cage at ONE Championship’s Heart of the Lion showpiece on November 9.

Rothana, 32, is expected to face an as yet unannounced opponent at ONE: Destiny of Champions in Kuala Lumpur on December 7th.

After an extended absence from ONE, Rothana was set to return to action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium against Indonesia’s Abro Fernandes. However, an injury to Fernandes resulted in the cancellation of the bout.

“I was not happy when I was told that my fight was cancelled,” said Rothana. “But a silver lining is that I will have more time to train for the next fight.”

Rothana, a Khun Khmer practitioner who transitioned to MMA in 2014, sports a 4-3 professional MMA record which includes one submission victory and three wins by knockout. A former ONE Cambodia Featherweight GP finalist, he is known as a devastating and relentless striker and a fan favourite.

His last outing on a ONE card was in April 2017 in which he suffered a disappointing loss to China’s Xie Bin in a three-round bantamweight contest at ONE: Kings of Destiny in the Philippines.

His last victory in the MMA cage came at ONE: Kingdom of Khmer in December2015, where he exacted his revenge on rival Sam Ang Dung in a first round knockout that drove the crowd at wild Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh.

The kingdom will also be represented by Cambodian-American debutant Savannah Nahry Em of Long Beach, California, an up-and-coming professional mixed martial artist.

Introduced to martial arts in 2012, the 26-year old initially trained in boxing and jiu-jitsu. Since then she has increased her wide array of skills to include wrestling, judo and Pradal Serey – an ancient martial art from the kingdom of Khmer. She is set to make her ONE debut against Ukrainian Iryna Kyselova.

The evening’s ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest, features Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex who will face off against Australian Luis Regis.

Yodsanklai is one of the most popular and accomplished strikers in the world. Born in Northeast Thailand, he won close to 200 professional bouts against many fellow Muay Thai legends. In the process, he captured several prestigious titles, including three Lumpinee Stadium World Championships, two Lion Fight World Championships, two WMC World Championships, and a WBC World Title.

The lure of testing his skills amongst the world’s best strikers in ONE Super Series has drawn him to ONE Championship, and he now finds himself competing on the toughest proving ground of martial arts competition. The legendary warrior looks to continue his dominance in the ONE arena.

Regis is a prolific Muay Thai athlete from Australia. Over the course of his professional career, Regis has captured multiple Muay Thai titles including the IKBF Commonwealth Championship, Australian Championship, IKBF East Coast Championship, and the NSW Championship, among others.

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