The 24-year-old went toe-to-toe with local Thai heroine Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige in her mixed martial arts debut and was awarded the victory by unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds where she decidedly dominated the atomweight bout.
Even though it was Nou Srey Pov’s first appearance in the world’s largest martial arts organization, the Cambodian debutant looked calm and collected as she made her way to the ring.
“In my mind, I was very excited, and I thought to myself: ‘I will show everything that I have learned during this preparation and I will put on a great show,” Srey Pov explained.
While Srey Pov waited in the ring with Cambodian Top Team leader Hun Chan Reach and teammate Vy Srey Khouch, Rika danced her way down through the roaring crowd dressed as the lead character from “Finding Nemo.”
Srey Pov remained collected, and as soon as the starting bell rung she showed why she is one of the most feared strikers in ONE Championship, quickly landing several hard strikes on “Tiny Doll” and sending her to the mat.
“I knew already in the first round that I had the upper hand,” Nou Srey Pov stated.
“I was able to land powerful attacks, but I was still very cautious!”
Nou Srey Pov executed a perfect gameplan
The Kun Khmer World Champion used her superior striking to stop Rika’s takedown attempts, and Srey Pov punished the hometown favorite every time she would get close.
It was a near-perfect execution of a gameplan that the young Cambodian credits her coaches, CTT leader Chan Reach and former ONE Championship athlete Nicholas “JJ” Lee.
“My coaches told me the way I had to fight to win,” said Srey Pov.
“[Between rounds] they told me to keep up with my striking and continue with the low kicks to avoid Rika’s takedowns.”
As the bout progressed, Srey Pov’s confidence grew, and she even took the time in the middle of the atomweight clash to rally the crowd with some showmanship.
After three rounds of domination, Srey Pov was awarded the victory via unanimous decision and earned a massive win for Cambodia in her mixed martial arts debut.
“As soon as the bell rang, my heart was pounding with excitement,” Nou Srey Pov said.
Afterward, she took the time to thank her loyal fan base that has been cheering and supporting her during her preparation.
“I am very thankful for all the support I have received from Cambodia,” Srey Pov concluded.