Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke is ready to face Muhammad “The Spider” Imran on 22 November at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. But before he climbs into the ONE Circle, Dejdamrong looks back at his past and recounts what motivated him to pursue a professional career in Muay Thai.
Growing up, the 41-year-old Thai wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with his family as his parents had to work far from home to provide for their needs.
“I started training Muay Thai when I was nine years old,” Dejdamrong said.
“I saw Muay Thai on television and I wanted to compete. My childhood was difficult. I stayed with my grandmother while my siblings and parents had to work in another province four-to-five months at a time.
“They would stay home for two weeks before returning to work again.”
During those two weeks, he and his father would bond over Muay Thai. Dejdamrong’s mother, however, did not share the same enthusiasm.
“My father and I liked Muay Thai, but my mother did not,” Dejdamrong said. “She had no idea I was competing. I would sneak away from her to train. It was not until she saw me in the ring that she found out I was competing and training.”
Dejdamrong continued to pursue his passion for Muay Thai for over 20 years, earning multiple world titles in the process.
“I won my first fight and I received 70 Baht (the equivalent to USD $2),” Dejdamrong said.
“I never stopped. When I was 17 years old, I moved to the Lookbanyai camp in Bangkok. As a Muay Thai fighter, I have own three World Championship titles at Lumpinee, twice at 105 pounds and once at 108 pounds.”
Remembering how poverty kept him apart from his family, Dejdamrong continued to train harder and joined multiple competitions to earn enough to give his family a home of their own.
“My life as a child was difficult,” Dejdamrong said. “We never owned our own home. I wanted to build a house for my parents and my family so they could have an easier life. This drove me to keep on competing.”
Dejdamrong’s hard work continued to pay off when he was asked to join the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore, which eventually led to him joining ONE Championship. He continues to chase his dreams on the international stage as he rose through the strawweight roster and eventually became a world champion.
“When I joined Evolve MMA as a Muay Thai instructor, I saw my Brazilian friends competing in MMA for ONE Championship,” Dejdamrong said. “Evolve helped me get the opportunity to compete for the ONE Championship World Title in 2015 and I became the first Thai national to become a champion for ONE Championship.”
“I am very happy that I was able to become the first Thai champion of ONE Championship. I am proud to be an inspiration for many Thai kids to begin training for personal development, self-defense, and competition,” he added.
Dejdamrong will be joined by fellow EVOLVE MMA Fight Team member Nong-O Gaiyanghadao who defends his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship against MTGP Welterweight World Champion Saemapetch Fairtex in the main event.