2019 might be a breakthrough year for Cambodian Top Team athlete Nou Srey Pov as she aims for gold at the Southeast Asian Games and an opportunity to join the world’s largest martial arts organization, ONE Championship.
The 22-year-old will continue building on a stellar 2018, which saw her becoming the Champion of World Kun Khmer International Federation (WKKIF).
Also, she was awarded “Female Fighter Of The Year” by the World Lethwei Championship (WLC), which was a pleasant surprise.
“When I saw the news, I was so happy! It is unbelievable,” Srey Pov says.
“I didn’t expect WLC would honor me because, in Cambodia, women do not get admired in this way.”
The Phnom Penh native dropped out of school nearly six years ago to pursue a career as a professional martial artist, and she has since competed in nearly 40 Kun Khmer and lethwei bouts.
She started her campaign with six straight wins, but the path to becoming a top-level competitor was not apparent for Srey Pov.
Her journey began when she was 16 years old. She witnessed a match that would ultimately change her life.
“My brother, Nou Sitha, was a boxer, and I watched him lose one of his fights,” she recalls. “I was so angry and told myself, ‘I’m going to start training and I am not going to lose!’”
Srey Pov is now becoming a respected and feared competitor.
If she continues to build on her momentum, she could be looking at a gold medal for Cambodia at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“I’m preparing to join the SEA Games competition in March in the Philippines, and I want to get the medal,” she shares.
Nou Srey Pov wants to join ONE Championship
The sky is the limit for the 22-year-old, who predicts this year will be filled with even more success.
As a matter of fact, she is already eyeing international organizations like ONE Championship, where she would take on world-class martial artists.
It is the hunger for bigger challenges that propels Srey Pov forward, and together, with her raw power and stern mentality, there is no telling how far she will go.
“I think 2019 will be an even greater year for me than 2018,” she continues.
“My mind is committed to the sport, and I will compete at any time and whenever I have the chance.
“I told myself not to stop halfway. I will do whatever it takes to be well-known and honored.”
Being part of the new wave of Khmer female warriors, Srey Pov finds herself in a unique position where she enters the new year with both remarkable achievements and brimming confidence.
Not only does she have the chance to change her life for the better, but she also aims to inspire a whole nation of Khmer women to embrace their strength and follow their dreams.
“What I have achieved so far is not enough,” she states.
“I want to show that Cambodian women are strong, and tell all women that they can also reach their goals. They don’t have to be shy.”