Cambodian-American Sovannahry “Sweet Savage” Em made an unforgettable impression on the 7 December last year when she secured her first ONE Championship victory by stopping Iryna “Delsa” Kyselova at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in Kuala Lumpur.
But besides being an undefeated rising star, Em is also a mixed martial artist full of surprises! Here are four things that you might not know about “Sweet Savage.”
#1. She is a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings
At the end of January, Em published her first children’s book The Talent Quest which she had provided illustrations for.
Not very surprising, the 26-year-old talent is an avid reader, and her best picks are the epic fantasy novels written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien.
“My all-time favorite is the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits Series,” she explains.
“[What I love about them] is the combination of free adventure, the traveling through open land, and the magical aspect to it.”
“There’s a lot of camaraderie between the characters [and] the hobbits live the simple lifestyle; it feels very peaceful.”
#2. She admires Mike Tyson’s relentless style
With three astonishing first-round victories, it makes sense that “Sweet Savage” appreciates competitors that have a similar style to herself.
Em is undefeated, and she plans to keep up her winning ways by drawing inspiration from one of heaviest hitters in combat sports.
“Fighting is a big thing in my life at the moment, so I look up to various fighters,” Em states.
“My main one would be Mike Tyson. I really like his very aggressive, powerful style. I would like to copy that.”
When it comes to Cambodia, Em has a hard time picking one and instead says she’s excited for the plethora of up-and-coming competitors from “The Kingdom of Wonder.”
“I am getting to know everyone right now, like the people from Cambodian Top Team,” she states.
“I’ve recently talked a little bit with Sam Tharoth, and I’ve got to meet Chan Rothana, who is very nice.”
“And I saw Nou Srey Pov’s recent fight, she’s amazing. I’m finding more fighters to follow that come from Cambodia.”
#3. She used to play in a metal band
As if being a published illustrator and successful mixed martial artist was not enough, Em also enjoys playing the guitar.
“I haven’t done it as much these days, but I was pretty good at it in high school,” she says.
“I used to play in a band for a little bit [and] I was really into it at the time.”
“Classical [music] was my favorite, but [later] I was in a metal band with my boyfriend at the time.”
#4. Her proudest moment was with ONE Championship
The California based talent is looking at a huge 2019 where she could take the lead in the new wave of Cambodian martial arts competitor making their way to the very top of ONE Championship.
It all started on the 7 December when she made her debut at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, an accomplishment she also holds as her proudest moment to date.
“Right now, life is good, and everything is coming together, especially with ONE Championship.
“My proudest moment was making my debut with ONE Championship, and the reason I’m so excited to be working with ONE is that there is an opportunity I’ve never had before.”
“I’m reconnecting with my Khmer root [and] with more Cambodian fans, I’m sure there will be an opportunity to visit Cambodia, which is something I could never have imagined would be possible, but I do now.”