ONE Championship and Kun Khmer star Chan Rothana is in the forefront of Cambodian mixed martial arts, but he owes a lot of his success to his family that keeps him grounded.
In early December, Rothana made a stellar return to ONE’s global stage as he took on Indonesia’s Abro Fernandes in an anticipated flyweight clash at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in Kuala Lumpur.
Winning in devastating fashion, Rothana is now looking at a massive 2019 where he could re-ignite his career and lead Cambodia into a new golden era of combat sports.
Behind him stands not only a devoted team of martial arts devotés like Burmese star Phoe Thaw but also Rothana’s wife Cindy Coupon and their two daughters.
“My first kid’s name is Liza, and she’s 11 years old. The younger one is named Melody, and she’s almost seven years old,” says Rothana.
A professional Kun Khmer competitor since his teenage years, Rothana’s girls have been in the world of combat sport since they were born.
“Since my children have grown up around martial arts, it’s in their blood,” Rothana explains.
“Even though they are not training properly, they still have a talent for it. So in the future, it’s gonna be easier for them to pick up the sport.”
“Right now, the older one likes to train martial arts more than the younger one.”
“Melody only trains when she feels like it. She normally wants to both train and play with me, but sometimes I am too exhausted and can’t do it. She never gets tired!”
Throughout his career, Rothana has been involved in many hard-fought Kun Khmer and mixed martial arts bouts but has managed to avoid being knocked out.
Even when things get rough, and he pushes himself to the very limit, his family is always by his side.
“I think they worry about me when I compete, but it’s alright,” Rothana states.
“My wife told me that when the girls see me fight and I bleed, they get terrified and scream: ‘Papa, go get him! Go go go!’”
“But now they’ve seen me compete so many times already; I don’t think they get scared anymore.”
“Their father is an athlete, so they will have to get used to it anyway.”
Born in a refugee camp in Thailand during the civil war, Rothana managed to change his life through his martial arts skills but acknowledges that his daughters will have many more options than he did.
“I see their talent, and just like I mentioned before, their father is a fighter, so of course, they have fighter blood,” he states.
“However, whatever they want to do with their future is up to them. I’m not gonna ask them to follow my path.”
“If I had a son, I might be tempted to persuade him a little bit more,” he continues.
“But honestly, the same applies to my daughters, if they tell me they want to fight, I will support them 100%.”