19-year-old Kun Khmer star Lao Chetra finally made his ONE Championship debut as he locked horns with one of the world’s absolute best Muay Thai practitioners at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS on Saturday, 16 February.
Despite walking into his opponent Superlek Kiatmoo9’s hometown in Bangkok, Thailand, Chetra remained calm in his first ONE Super Series Muay Thai appearance.
When the starting-bell rung, Superlek quickly established a furious pace, showcasing a wide variety of attacks that have made him a two-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion.
The Thai kept attacking Chetra with powerful roundhouse kicks and stiff punches, but the Cambodian managed to find brief moments where he could counter and try to turn the tide.
The young Cambodian admitted afterward to feeling overwhelmed by Superlek’s aggression, but he was still content being able to go three rounds against a world-class competitor.
“Before the fight started, I knew was going to perform well because I felt strong and like I had a lot of power,” Chetra explained.
“However, during the fight, I could not keep up with his techniques. He was very fast!”
Going into the third round, it was undeniable that Chetra needed to finish Superlek to bring home a second victory for Cambodia, but the high pace and aggressiveness of the bout had taken too much of a toll on his body.
“My arms were hurting a lot,” Chetra revealed.
“I managed to endure the pain and wanted to knock him out, but I couldn’t.”
Chetra was in high spirit after his ONE Championship Super Series debut and got praised for his ability to withstand all of Superlek’s attacks.
The Cambodian Top Team representative also honored Superlek after the Thai was awarded the victory via unanimous decision.
Chetra says he is now looking forward to spending time with his family before returning to ONE Championship competition for redemption.
“This is my first time competing against someone that good,” Chetra concluded and thanked his Cambodian fans for all the love and support he has received concerning his debut in the world’s largest martial arts organization.