On Saturday, 16 February, ONE Championship will return to the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand and bring some of the world’s best martial artists to compete at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS.
Even though the action-packed card will take place in “The Land Of Smiles,” ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS will feature two very exciting bouts for Cambodia.
Cambodian Top Team (CTT) representatives and Kun Khmer experts Nou Srey Pov and Lao Chetra will both make their highly anticipated promotional debuts in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Srey Pov, a 24-year-old Kun Khmer World Champion, will face Thai superstar Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige in a mixed martial arts atomweight bout that could put the Phnom Penh resident on the fast lane to the very top of the division.
Building on tremendous momentum, which saw her crowned World Lethwei Championship’s “Female Fighter Of The Year,” Srey Pov has been training diligently ahead of her professional debut with some of the country’s most accomplished competitors.
Longtime friend and fellow ONE athlete Vy “Pretty Punch” Srey Khouch has joined Srey Pov in her preparation at the Phnom Penh-based CTT and has been amazed by what she has seen so far.
“I’m very impressed with Srey Pov because she is learning so fast, and she has the right mentality,” she says.
“Compared to me, she is way quicker. I want to say it’s because she is smaller, but actually, she’s just very fast!”
Their relationship started with a mutual devotion to martial arts, but soon, it grew to a more profound friendship where the two now feel like siblings.
“Besides training, we love to go out, have fun, and tease each other. But actually, Srey Pov and I are pretty different,” Srey Khouch shares with a laugh.
“She motivates me more than the other way around.
“From the depth of my heart, I have to say that I am very thankful for her. She is always there for me when I need her. Sometimes one of us might lack money, but we always share, help, and do our best to empower each other. We want each other to be successful.”
Vy Srey Khouch tells Srey Pov not to worry too much
A little over three years ago, “Pretty Punch” won her mixed martial arts debut at ONE: KINGDOM OF WONDER in Phnom Penh.
Since then, Vy Srey Khouch’s mixed martial arts bouts have been few and far between, but she keeps training and competing actively in Kun Khmer and boxing.
Joining CTT ahead of Srey Pov’s ONE debut, Vy Srey Khouch feels she has invaluable experiences that she can share with her friend.
“I have told her not to worry too much,” says Srey Khouch.
“I have fought [for ONE] three times, so I know how it feels to be in the cage. When I did it, I was so worried about my opponent’s takedowns that I didn’t fight well.”
Besides the mental aspect of the game, “Pretty Punch” has been involved in the strategic planning for her bout with Ishige and sees a lot of advantages ahead of the Bangkok showdown.
“We have watched footage of Srey Pov’s opponent and know that she’s really good at grappling,” Srey Khouch states.
“So I told Srey Pov to use her biggest advantage — her boxing — to defeat Rika. We have to make sure Rika won’t get ahold of Srey Pov.”
If Srey Pov manages to defend her opponent’s takedowns, Vy Srey Khouch is confident her friend will take home a massive win for Cambodia.
“Regarding punching, leg kicks or even boxing in general, I believe Rika cannot be compared to Srey Pov.”