Petchmorakot Petchyindee already owns the ONE featherweight muay Thai world title, but his ambition doesn't stop there.
The 28-year-old Thai wants to solidify his status as one of the biggest names in the sport, and he can reach an even higher level of superstardom with a victory over Jimmy Vienot in the main event of ONE 157 on Friday, May 20.
With two world title defenses to his credit already, Petchmorakot has established his dominance over the division, but he's eager to keep building his legacy on the biggest stage of all.
"I feel very excited to be back to try to defend my world championship, so that everyone can see that I am still the champion, and I can show my muay Thai to everyone," he said. "I want to make myself known as much as Nong-O (Gaiyanghadao) and Rodtang (Jitmuangnon). I want to make myself accepted, and I will do that in this fight. I'll show the world how good I am so that they can accept me.”
Fellow ONE world champions Rodtang and Nong-O are the only men with more wins than Petchmorakot in the organization's all-striking league, but the featherweight muay Thai king can pull even by earning his eighth promotional victory over Vienot.
With that goal in mind, the Petchyindee man has continued adding more tools to his arsenal, even competing in the professional boxing ranks over the past two years.
Always evolving, he wants to keep strengthening his skill set, entertain fans with his diverse offense, and rule the weight class for many years to come.
"I just wanted to change my fighting style by having some punches and elbow strikes added in so that I can be more recognized by the world when I have more weapons," he explained. "In each fight of mine, everyone will see my new weapons. No one will be able to beat me. I’ll remain No. 1 like this for a long time. My dream is to hold on to my world championship for as long as possible."
Petchmorakot has blueprint to beat Vienot
Petchmorakot knows it won’t be easy to overcome the challenge from Vienot – a five-time muay Thai world champion in his own right – but he's prepared to deal with the dangerous Frenchman.
And although he's shorter than his opponent in a rare type of matchup, the ONE featherweight muay Thai world champion is confident that his gameplan will lead to success.
"He is a tall fighter with all kinds of weapons from punches, kicks, elbows, everything," Petchmorakot said. "He's considered one of the scary opponents. His outstanding weapons would be his knees and his kicks, and his tall build. Those are obstacles.
"My solution will be striking as much as I can, with extra punches to add strength and power, switching with some elbows and also close-range knees.
"I think I can hurt him. The only satisfying ending would be a knockout."
Adding to that confidence is another element within Petchmorakot's training camp.
His teammate and fellow ONE athlete Sorgraw Petchyindee handed Vienot his last loss back in 2019, so the leading Bangkok gym already has a blueprint to overcome the challenger.
The reigning king will have to do the work himself when he enters the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 20, but it certainly helps to have some insider knowledge.
“Sorgraw once beat Jimmy," Petchmorakot added. "As a camp mate of Sorgraw, I think I can beat Jimmy, too. Petchyindee has prepared some weapons to deal with him. (My coaches) say I have to do knee strikes, switched with elbow strikes, and additional punches. This way, I'll be able to win, I'm certain."
This story first published at ONEFC.com.