Promotional newcomer Tial “The Dragon Leg” Thang will make his mixed martial arts and ONE Championship debut against Cambodia’s Ren Saroth on Friday, 8 March in Yangon, Myanmar.
The 68-kilogram catchweight bout will take place at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR and ahead of their clash, 25-year-old Thang is brimming with confidence and believes he will get an early finish against the Cambodian Top Team talent.
“I think this fight is going to end quickly,” Thang says.
“No disrespect to Saroth, but I am a better fighter, and I have the capability of finishing this fight in the early rounds.”
Thang is the protégé of two-division ONE World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang and believes his experiences as an amateur competitor and training with high-level teammates have prepared him to defeat Saroth.
“He is good at everything, but his grappling is his biggest weakness,” Thang stated.
“He has a strong right hand, but other than that, I’m not worried about anything.”
Saroth is currently in Bangkok, Thailand preparing for the action-packed Yangon card that will see the Swedish ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian Kadestam defend his title against submission specialist Georgiy Kichigin.
Together with Yorky Mixed Martial Arts leader Nicholas “JJ” Lee, Saroth aims to showcase a new set of weapons and start 2019 with another victory for Cambodia.
Lee assures that they don’t take Thang for granted and that they are working hard to be prepared for the tough challenge ahead.
“People talk about [Thang] as a top-level athlete, and they are not wrong,” Lee explains.
“The level in Southeast Asia, in terms of MMA, is constantly growing and we’re not as developed as America or Europe.”
“But I have confidence in Saroth because he has a very high fight-IQ and he understands what he needs to do.”
With only days left, Lee and Saroth are putting the finishing touches on what they believe will be one of the Cambodian’s most impressive victories to date.
“I believe we will get it done, even though Tial Thang is the bigger guy and the favorite.”