Sam-A Gaiyanghadao will get another shot at ONE Championship gold on 6 December when he faces “Golden Boy” Wang Junguang for the inaugural ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS in Kuala Lumpur.
The former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion failed to defend his title against Jonathan Haggerty in May. Fans have long regarded Sam-A as a legend in the sport of Muay Thai after he had garnered multiple accolades throughout his glorious career.
But Sam-A believes he’s only a good as his last fight.
“I never expected to become a legend,” Sam-A said.
“I just did my best in every fight. My career in Muay Thai is not entirely successful. It is true that I am a World Champion and everybody knows me, but I do not really consider it a success.
“To be completely successful, you have to maintain that standard. It is not about becoming a World Champion, and then the next fight you do not perform as well as the last time.”
Sam-A started his martial arts journey at the age of nine, drawing inspiration from his uncle and the athletes he saw on television. Without any form of formal training, he competed almost every week in various stages, racking up hundreds of matches on his record. It was not until he moved to Bangkok and trained under the famed Petchyindee Academy that he was able to showcase his skills at the famed Rajadamnern and Lumpinee stadiums.
Sam-A is still proud of being the first ONE Muay Thai Flyweight World Champion, and he attributes his success to the people who groomed him.
“Before I had a World Title, I tried so many times to win one,” Sam-A said.
“I wondered if I would ever have a chance to win a World Title from Lumpinee Stadium in my life. I always doubted myself until one day, I did it. I won the Lumpinee Stadium World Title and I was so proud.
“It made me more responsible at that age. I was more focused. It kept me motivated. (Winning the ONE Muay Thai Flyweight World Title) is my greatest achievement. It took a lot of factors for me to get there. It was because of my team who helped me with my training.”
Sam-A is proud of his accomplishments but is far from satisfied. He believes that he can still do better and reach for greater things, so he continuously trains to develop his skills and hopefully add another world title on his resume.
“I am happy, but I still need to improve,” Sam-A concluded.
“If you stop, people will overtake you.”