Selapak leader Chan Rotha is a pioneer in Cambodian mixed martial arts, and most recently, he returned to ONE Championship competition in impressive fashion when he finished previously undefeated Indonesian Abro Fernandes in early December.
Now, the Phnom Penh based 33-year-old is officially joining the international sport’s team Fight For Good (FFG), together with Burmese superstar Phoe Thaw, recently signed Lethwei top-contender Soe Lin Oo, and former UFC competitor Shunichi Shimizu.
“Even though we’ve been working with Rothana informally for a while, as a coach and as a part of our team, he has now officially decided to join [Fight For Good] as an athlete,” FFG’s managing director Joe Conway states.
FFG started as a charity after Conway had an inspiring visit to Cambodia in 2015.
The foundation quickly expanded and is now focusing on the management side of martial arts, helping both present and future stars of the sport to reach new heights.
“What the guys need is professional management,” Conway explains.
“You can’t be successful in ONE Championship, or [World Lethwei Championship], or any of the major organizations without a team behind you.”
Conway and his business partner, Cambodian-American Sophanarith “Soap” Am, are now working hard to make sure that they can provide professional competitors like Rothana the help they need.
“The first part of the team is professionally dealing with the organizations,” Conway states.
“So, that’s what we’re aiming for, dealing with sponsors, the lawyers, the documentation.”
The move could become a crucial step for the talented Cambodian.
He made huge waves with his last performance in Kuala Lumpur and is widely regarded as one of Cambodia’s most prominent mixed martial artists.
With ONE Championship gaining enormous momentum and signing a large number of superstars like former world champions Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson, the landscape is quickly changing for the Asian based organization.
Without the proper support, Conway worries that countries like Myanmar and Cambodia could be left behind, not because of lack of talent, but as a result of inadequate management.
“The competition is a lot more challenging with ONE Championship now,” Conway explains.
“We’ll be helping him, but Rothana will still have his core of [Vivaddhana Khaou] from H/Art Academy, Lorenzo [Lanzafame], and his training partners.”
Expanding rapidly, FFS hopes to be able to lay a foundation for future growth in Cambodian martial arts by joining forces with key players in the talent-brimming country.
“We will do whatever we can to help out,” Conway states.