Kingdom Fight Gym (KFG) representative Kong Sambo finally has a set date for his ONE Championship debut.
The talented Kun Khmer competitor will take on China’s Zhang Chenglong in a ONE Super Series kickboxing bout at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS in Singapore on Friday, 22 February.
Along with mixed martial arts flyweight Khon Sichan, Cambodia will once again be represented on the global stage of martial arts.
Although Sambo knows he has a tough test ahead, he will do everything he can to leave the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a victory for his country.
“This is one of the most important bouts in my life,” he explains.
“I have to train properly and fight at my best because now I will be representing Cambodia abroad. Even if it is a loss or win, I will be very proud because I know I’m going to do my absolute best.”
Based in Siem Reap, the 24-year-old is deep in training camp for his first bout in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Together with his trainers at KFG, Sambo is putting together a game plan that he hopes will delight the Singaporean crowd and his Khmer supporters.
Sacrificing Christmas and New Year’s Eve to be adequately prepared for his debut in ONE’s all-striking league was an easy decision for the young Cambodian.
“I have trained very hard for this bout, and I didn’t go anywhere during this celebration,” he says.
To keep his mind and body fresh, he likes to mix things up and blow out some steam with his friends.
“After training at the gym, I play football,” he says. “Playing football helps my movement and flexibility.”
Sambo’s opponent, Zhang, is an accomplished competitor who has over 50 professional victories in well-renowned organizations like Glory.
The KFG striker believes that facing a skillful adversary like Zhang will bring out the best in him, and he is looking forward to showcasing his own abilities.
“[Zhang] is very strong, but it’s good for me to face powerful opponents. It makes me better,” the Cambodian states.
“I don’t like facing a weaker opponent. There is no pride in that.
“I know Zhang has good hands, but I don’t think his leg kicks are that great. So for now, I’m primarily focusing on defending myself against his striking.”
Sambo draws a lot of motivation from his Khmer roots, and he believes The Home Of Martial Arts is a perfect place to show that the local athletes in his native country are flourishing more than ever.
“I am very proud that I am able to showcase my talent in ONE Championship, and prove that Cambodian martial arts remain great – it does not weaken,” he states.
“I would like to tell the Khmer people who look forward to seeing my fight in ONE that I will do my best. I won’t disappoint you!”