Cambodian fighter Chan Rathana will get his first chance to showcase his talents on foreign soil when he steps into the cage in the upcoming mixed martial arts event in Kuala Lumpur after ONE Fighting Championship, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organisation, announced six fights to be added to the Malaysia event.
Chan Rathana, 29, will make his second appearances in ONE FC event but the first on foreign soil when he faces debutant Ramon Gonzalez of the Phillipines at bantamweight in ONE FC: Age of Champions, which is to be held on March 13 at Stadium Putra in the Malaysian capital.
The fighter from Silpak Club (right, fighting Prak Chansin at ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom on September 12 in a photo taken by Sreng Meng Srun) is currently training alongside compatriot Sam Ang Dun at the famous Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Training Camp in Phuket, Thailand, after both the fighters received sponsorship from NagaWorld.
Explaining the opportunity to show off his talent for the first time on foreign soil, Rathana said: “I was so excited when I heard the news about this invitation, and it encourages me to make more effort in training here. I hope I can give Cambodia a win in order to make the world know about our martial arts.”
Rathana, impressed by the modern training facilities and experienced coaches at the Tiger Muay Thai club, added: “Because I am already adept at boxing, my training here is focusing on Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which are the special tactics in MMA, and I train two sessions a day: two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.
With much experience gained from the Khmer boxing ring, the Cambodian fighter holds a record in MMA of two wins and one loss, the only loss coming in controversial fashion when he fought Sam Ang Dun in the final of Cambodian Featherweight Grand Prix at ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom on September 12 at Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh.
Chan Rathana was dominating the bout until he was disqualified after he appeared to stamp on Dun’s face, which is illegal in ONE FC.
Dun and Rathana got the chance to train in Thailand after NagaWorld sponsored the fighters for a month.
Meanwhile, Rathana’s opponent, Gonzalez of the Philippines, made his first appearance in MMA at a URCC event at his home ground in 2009 and won that fight by knockdown.
While Rathana will make his second appearance, Gonzalez has vast experience in the Filipino martial art of yaw yan and has recently got into mixed martial arts. He will get a chance to showcase his talents on a global stage when he makes his promotional debut at ONE FC: Age of Champions.
Elsewhere, after ONE FC underlined the ONE FC flyweight world title between Brazilian Adriano Moraes (12-1) and Suka “Riku Shibuya” Mikami (11-2-1) as the main event, the organisation has added six additional bouts (including the Rathana and Gonzalez fight) to the ONE FC: Age of Champions card.
The Malaysian Warrior Superfights will feature Malaysian lightweight Peter Davis (9-3)as he takes on Indian MMA veteran Rajinder Singh Meena (8-10), and Malaysian fan favourite Ann Osman as she takes on teen sensation Angela Lee.
Two flyweight bouts will also be on the card. After three bouts as a bantamweight in ONE FC, Australian fighter Thanh Vu (4-3) will move down to flyweight to take on Malaysia’s Gianni Subba (4-1), while Saiful Merican (3-2) of Malaysia will also return to action to fight Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad (4-1).
Meanwhile, another Malaysian hope, Ev Ting (8-2), will also return to take on Cary Bullos of the Philippines (7-2).