Burmese hero Phoe “Bushido” Thaw is one of ONE Championship’s fastest rising stars and on Friday, 8 March he took another step towards stardom.
Competing in front of his home crowd in Yangon, Myanmar, 34-year-old Phoe Thaw took home his seventh mixed martial arts victory when he finished Indonesia’s Yohan “The Ice Man” Mulia Legowo in the first round at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR.
Looking to relax and unwind after a grueling bout preparation at Tiger Muay Thai in southern Thailand, Phoe Thaw has chosen to return to Cambodia to catch up with his long-time friend and training partner Chan Rothana.
It’s Phoe Thaw’s fourth time visiting “The Kingdom of Wonder,” but it will be the first time he will not be in full training camp, something that will allow “Bushido” to explore and enjoy everything that Phnom Penh has to offer.
“Cambodia is very similar to Myanmar,” Phoe Thaw explains.
“The food is not that different from my hometown, as well as the culture and the people. They show a lot of love!”
“When I was at the Russian Market, I felt it was exactly like [a market] in Yangon.”
Together with his long-time manager Joe Conway, Phoe Thaw aims to further deepen his relationship with Cambodia, a place that he calls “his second home.”
But even though Phoe Thaw is in vacation mode, it does not mean that he shies away from working out.
These last couple of days, visitors at Rothana’s gym Selapak has gotten the opportunity to train with not one, but two ONE Championship stars, as both Rothana and Phoe Thaw have been holding pads and helping their student to sharpen their martial arts skills.
Aspiring Kun Khmer competitor Kamila Simkova had the opportunity to train with the Burmese hero.
“It’s great to have very experienced trainers, who are also fighters, to hold pads,” she states.
“Having another trainer is very challenging because of different styles and techniques, but Phoe Thaw showed me some new innovative moves that I will definitely give a try and practice more.”
Mixing business with pleasure, Phoe Thaw and Conway plan to stay until Monday and spend as much time as possible with Rothana, his family and other people they have gotten to know during their travels to Cambodia.
“Nobody succeeds by themselves,” says Phoe Thaw.
“Even if it’s just me inside of the cage, I still need my team. Without the team, we cannot succeed.”
Fresh from his first bout and victory in 2019, Phoe Thaw looks both forward to another stellar year in the world largest martial arts organization, but constantly remind himself of the struggles.
“Two-three years ago, he was training under a bridge, and now he’s at Tiger Muay Thai in the pro class, with some of the best people from around the world,” Conway states.
“It’s well-deserved because he’s doing it for the right reasons.”
“[As an athlete,] you should have the right team and the right kind of people. You have to be able to connect with the heart; that’s more important,” Phoe Thaw adds.
Being able to connect with Cambodia with all his heart, it’s certainly not the last time the Burmese star will make his way to “The Kingdom of Wonder,”
“This time, I don’t have to train and can enjoy myself,” Phoe Thaw states.
“I love it here, so much!”