Nou Srey Pov has officially become the next Cambodian to join the world’s largest martial arts organization, ONE Championship, and she already has her debut set.
She will make her first promotional appearance at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS, which emanates from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 16 February.
The 22-year-old Cambodian Top Team (CTT) representative is scheduled to face Thai star Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige.
Srey Pov got everyone’s attention in 2018 as she was awarded Lethwei World Championship’s “Female Fighter Of The Year” and became the Kun Khmer World Champion with an impressive performance in front of her local Phnom Penh crowd.
Now, she looks to conquer the sports of mixed martial arts, and her first test comes against one of Thailand’s most famous female competitors in an exciting atomweight bout.
Her opponent, Ishige, is a true superstar in “The Land Of Smiles.” She has been competing in ONE Championship since early 2017, having amassed a professional record of 4-2 with all of her victories coming via stoppage.
The 29-year-old Thai will be a tough test for Srey Pov, who looks to compete in mixed martial arts for the first time in her life.
“I am very happy and excited, but also nervous at the same time,” the Cambodian explains.
“I have never fought in MMA before, but I have told myself to train really hard and be as prepared as I can be.
“Most people tell me that I won’t be able to make it. But I am used that, and I constantly remind myself that I can achieve whatever I set my mind on.”
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"I told myself not to stop halfway. I will do whatever it takes to be well-known and honored." 👑 . @cambodiantopteam athlete Nou Srey Pov is a superstar in the making as she aims for @onechampionship and gold at Southeast Asian Games 2019. . Check out our interview on KhmerKomlang.com 🇰🇭🔥 . . #PhnomPenh #Asia #SoutheastAsia #Khmer #KhmerPride #KhmerLife #KhmerKomlang #TeamKeo #KunKhmer #MartialArt #MartialArts #Fighting #Fighter #Fighters #KO #Knockout #FightLife #MMA #MartialArtist #ONEChampionship #KhmerMMA #Fight #Winner #Champion #CambodianTopTeam #KhmerFighter
Nou Srepov is praised for her development
The news about Srey Pov’s debut is already all over the Cambodian news, but she found out herself by CTT leader Hun Chan Reach in a somewhat different way.
“My trainer [Chan Reach] called me and told me there was something that we needed to talk about,” she recalls.
“When I arrived at Cambodian Top Team, they surprised me with a really intensive and crazy training session. I was not prepared to be training that hard and, oh my God, it was very intense!
“After the training, my trainer [former ONE Championship athlete Nicholas “JJ” Lee] asked if I was fighting for money or honor. I replied, ‘I’m fighting for honor, and not for money at the moment.’”
Srey Pov was then told ONE Championship had been in contact with them, and she was presented with two bout offers — one at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS in Bangkok and one at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in Yangon.
“I agreed to the fight in Thailand,” she admits. “But was warned that Ishige is a very powerful opponent.”
The Cambodian is now in full preparation ahead of her Bangkok clash with “Tiny Doll.”
What the Kun Khmer World Champion lacks in experience, however, she makes up for in talent.
“My coach [Lee] praised me and told me that I learn very fast,” Srey Pov shares.
“I know my striking is good already. However, I still have a lot to learn in grappling, especially since my opponent’s ground game is really good.”
Already making leaps in progress, the CTT product is determined to be adequately prepared when she makes her debut in The Home of Martial Arts next month.
“Because I have better boxing, I will make sure I hit her before she has a chance to grab me,” she explains.
“All in all, I will train hard until I’m confident enough to take her on. That’s all I’m thinking about right now.”