The man who dethroned “Chocolatito” will now be headlining in his home country under the ONE Championship banner.
ONE Championship’s return to Thailand is going to be headlined not by an MMA fight, but a world championship boxing match.
In a press conference on Monday, the Asian MMA promotion announced ONE: Kingdom of Heroes will take place on October 6th in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The main event will be a WBC super-flyweight (115 lbs) title defense by Thailand’s own Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs), against an opponent to be determined.
“I am happy and honored to take part in this historical ONE Championship’s event,” Sor Rungvisai said. “I was at ONE Championship’s event in Bangkok earlier this year, and it blew my mind with its world class production, entertainment, and fights. I would also like to thank everyone who made this possible. With ONE Championship opening its doors for athletes like me to showcase our talent on the global stage, it means a lot. This is a new challenge, and I love challenges. I am looking forward to defend my WBC World title belt in ONE Championship.”
Sor Rungvisai is scheduled to fight Young Gil Bae (28-6-2, 22 KOs) in a 10-round tune-up fight on July 21st before defending his title later this fall. He’s coming off a thrilling decision win over Juan Francisco Estrada in the main event of SuperFly 2, a series created by Gennady Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler, who sought to shine the spotlight on boxing’s smaller weight classes with themed events. There was talk of a rematch between Sor Rungvisai and Estrada for SuperFly 3 in September, but he was ruled out after being “in mentally bad shape” following the collapse of his longtime relationship with his girlfriend.
The 31-year-old rose to prominence with his controversial upset win over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in March 2017. An immediate rematch was booked as the inaugural SuperFly main event, and he flattened Gonzalez with a spectacular third-round KO.
Local MMA and Muay Thai fighters such as Rika Ishige, Shannon Wiratcha, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, and Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai are all slated to appear on this event. ONE already promotes kickboxing matches, but this will be the first time they’ve ventured into boxing, and they have an elite talent as the headlining act.