At only 21 years of age, Sok “Kaka” Thy (221-36-12 in Kun Khmer) has amassed more experience than most professional competitors will ever get close to obtaining.
Being regarded as the future of ONE Championship all-striking league, the young Cambodian has fought twice against multi-time Muay Thai world champion Lerdsila Phuket Top Team.
Before he makes his long-awaited return to the cage, here are three things you might not know about Sok Thy.
#1 Sok Thy Was Bullied As A Kid
When Thy was young, he was bullied by the other kids in his neighborhood and, as a result, he felt very uncomfortable with himself.
“I was always smaller than the other kids,” he revealed. “They made fun of my head being bigger than my body. I would cry all the time, and go and hide in the farmland.”
Thy’s father was an avid Kun Khmer enthusiast, and introduced both him and his brother to the sport. That would put the young Cambodian on a path towards gaining strength, acquiring self-confidence, and achieving immense success.
“I had to overcome bigger and stronger kids picking on me because I was always scared, but martial arts helped me build confidence,” he added.
#2 He Competes To Give His Family A Better Life
Thy comes from a family of farmers in a small village in Banteay Meanchey.
When he was growing up, his father and mother did whatever they could to provide for Thy and his older brother.
“My family were normal farmers at first, but then they turned to hard manual labor at construction sites around Cambodia and Thailand,” he said. “I helped my parents when they needed.”
Now that he has turned his martial art skills into a career, Thy looks to help his family in any way possible.
“My motivation was, and still is, to give my family a better life,” he explained. “It is my duty as a son.”
#3 He Is a Young Pioneer
Not only is Thy a national Kun Khmer champion, but he is also a world-class athlete.
He proved that when he became the first Cambodian ever to challenge for a Muay Thai championship at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Thy has also competed at Channel 7 Boxing Stadium and has captured Bayon Stadium and PNN Stadium championships in Cambodia.
Taking on a veteran like Lerdsila in ONE Super Series is another testament to his high-level striking and talent.
Many believe Thy will be the first Cambodian World Champion, as long as he continues to progress as a martial artist.
“We are so happy that ONE is having striking-only bouts,” he said. “We said this is our time to show what we [Cambodians] can really do now.”