On Saturday, 16 February, Kun Khmer World Champion Nou Srey Pov will make her highly-anticipated ONE Championship debut as she is set to take on Thai heroine Rika ‘Tiny Doll’ Ishige at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS.
Ahead of Srey Pov’s pivotal mixed martial arts première in Bangkok, the 24-year-old World Lethwei Championship “Female Fighter of the Year” has been training with some of Cambodia’s most notable combatants.
Fellow ONE Championship athlete and friend Srey “Pretty Punch” Khouch has been by Srey Pov’s side since the beginning, but she has also been training with former ONE Star and actress Sam “Little Frog” Tharoth.
Recently back from an international tour promoting her latest movie Surviving Bokator, Tharoth has taken the opportunity to train with Srey Pov, and she is very impressed by her compatriot.
“Srey Pov is working very hard, really damn hard,” says Sam Tharoth.
“Mixed martial arts is quite new to her, but she is trying hard to learn grappling, takedowns, and chokes.”
“During training, she’s is very focused and is really putting her mind into it.”
Sam Tharoth – A young pioneer in Khmer martial arts
“Little Frog” Tharoth made her first ONE Championship appearance at ONE: RISE OF THE KINGDOM in September 2014 when she submitted Vy Srey Chai in the first round.
She has since traveled abroad to represent Cambodia and is currently riding a two-bout win-streak, both submission-finish victories.
The combatant-turned-actress knows how it is to have the whole world watching, but believes Nou Srey Pov has the mental game to thrive in the bright lights of ONE Championship.
“This sport is not easy, and a lot depends on the practitioner’s talent and her commitment,” Tharoth explains.
“If she’s healthy, she should try to train every day, so her power and MMA techniques can continue to be improved.”
“[Nou Srey Pov] already has good discipline and a really strong mind.”
Despite her young age, Sam Tharoth is a true Cambodian pioneer in martial arts and has gained valuable experience that few can match, something she wishes to share with the new wave of Khmer talent.
“Our Cambodian females athletes are still very shy, but I have been training [martial arts] for a long time, so I don’t even think about it anymore,” says Tharoth.
“All you should do is to focus and have a clear vision of your career, as well as pay attention to your coach’s instructions.”
Nou Srey Pov is very experienced despite her age
Tharoth knows that Srey Pov is far from a novice with an extraordinary 91-8-2 record in Cambodian Kun Khmer and Burmese lethwei.
“I don’t have any advice for her. I know her stand-up fighting is very good already, and she has heavy hands and is super fast,” says Tharoth.
Come Friday, 16 February, “Little Frog” thinks Srey Pov will shock the Thai audience and will keep building on her career from there.
“All in all, I think Sreypov is doing great. All she needs to do is training more and more,” Tharoth states.
“As long as she does her best, she will succeed!”