Like the rest of the combat sports world, Prajanchai PK.Saenchai is excited about the ONE flyweight muay Thai world grand prix.
The ONE strawweight muay Thai world champion will defend his belt against Joseph Lasiri at "ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot" on Friday, May 20, but first, he'll watch all four of the tournament's quarterfinal bouts that will happen earlier in the night.
With the likes of ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, No. 1-ranked contender Jonathan Haggerty, and No. 2-ranked Superlek Kiatmoo9 competing in the quarterfinals, Prajanchai knows it will prime the fans perfectly for his world title co-main event showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"I'm glad to be competing on the same card as those elite muay Thai fighters," he said. "It's a very big tournament. I wish there will be a grand prix in my division in the future, too, so that I will have more opponents to fight."
Given that he is the reigning ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion, Rodtang is considered by many to be the front-runner in the Grand Prix. Prajanchai agrees with that sentiment, too.
However, he's not automatically backing his Thai compatriots. In fact, he believes Superlek may have a harder time in the bracket.
"I am 80 to 90 percent sure that Rodtang will win this tournament because he has fought almost all of the elite fighters in this division," Prajanchai said. "I'm more worried about Superlek because, even though he is a hard hitter, he is quite slow and still lacks experience in ONE."
Danial Williams, not Rodtang, could be up ahead for Prajanchai
Prajanchai isn't overlooking his own task at ONE 157, but he has already thought about his next potential battles on the global stage.
Though he's coming off back-to-back wins in MMA, Danial Williams has said he'd love to challenge the PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative for the gold. Prajanchai heard about that, and he is willing to meet the No. 5-ranked strawweight muay Thai contender.
"I saw Williams fight with Rodtang and Dejdamrong (Sor Amnuaysirichoke). I don't think he would be a threat to me. He has just punches. When I reach this point, I fear no one," he said. "No matter where you come from, no matter how good you are, I'm always ready to defend my belt from you.
"I really want to test myself with foreigners as well. But my style is not like Rodtang. I know how to dodge. I know how to back down. Danial will have a difficult time with me, for sure. I am looking forward to fighting with him. So, we'll see what he's got."
With Rodtang being the hot topic at the moment, Prajanchai also considered a bout with his countryman. However, it seems like that's not on his immediate agenda.
The strawweight king wants to continue to dominate in his division, where he feels more well suited to the weight class.
"I want to (move up and challenge for the world title at flyweight), but I'm a very small fighter," Prajanchai said. "I'm not heavy. I think I'm too small for that weight class. So, I'm satisfied to stay here in my current division."
This story first published at ONEFC.com.