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Cambodian trio ready for victory in Jakarta bouts

Cambodian MMA fighters Phat Soda (second left), Sim Bunsrun (centre), and Thai Rithy pose with their trainer Hun Chanreach (far left) at the Cambodia Top Team gym in Phnom Penh ahead of ONE Total Victory in Jakarta on Saturday.
Cambodian MMA fighters Phat Soda (second left), Sim Bunsrun (centre), and Thai Rithy pose with their trainer Hun Chanreach (far left) at the Cambodia Top Team gym in Phnom Penh ahead of ONE Total Victory in Jakarta on Saturday. Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodian trio ready for victory in Jakarta bouts

Prepared and confident after intensive training at a Phnom Penh MMA gym, three Cambodian kun Khmer warriors have vowed to impress when they enter the cage to meet local heroes at ONE: Total Victory on Saturday at Jakarta Convention Center.

Cambodian mixed martial artist Sim Bunsrun will bring both his kun Khmer kickboxing skills and MMA experience to show fight fans in the Indonesian capital when he meets tough home fighter Stefer Rahardian, who has a record of five wins without loss.

Top Indonesian prospect Rahardian impressed in his ONE Championship debut by winning the ONE: Titles and Titans flyweight tournament in August 2016. However, Bunsrun is himself a Khmer Warrior Championship 3 flyweight tournament champion and he came through his first two assignments in the Asian MMA organisation with flying colours, submitting compatriot Kun Sichan in ONE: Kingdom of Khmer in December 2015 before unanimously outpointing China’s Liu Peng Shuai a year later in Manila.

Ahead of his fight, Bunsrun, 24, who has been training with Cambodia Top Team for the past month told The Post: “I am ready and I will try my best for this fight. I won’t say whether I will win or not, but I will aim use my game plan effectively. I will try to use my elbows to control my opponent.”

The other Cambodian fighters will be making their debuts in ONE Championship when they step into the cage to meet other home fighters. Thai Rithy will clash with Sunoto “The Terminator” Peringkat, while Phat Soda will be looking to emulate his khun Khmer success in ONE Championship as he steps in the cage with the 24-year-old Adrian Matheis, who has a two win and three loss record.

Indonesian martial artist Sunoto is a WKF Indonesia champion with a 6-3 professional record, and in his last bout he scored a first-round TKO victory over Cambodia’s Chan Heng in their featherweight bout at ONE: Quest for Power in Jakarta in January.

Although this is his first fight in ONE, Rithy has gained much experience in MMA with five wins and two losses in Thailand’s Full Metal Dojo series. Rithy, 22, who has spent only one week at the Cambodia Top Team training camp after getting a late call-up, said: “I cannot be overly confident in this fight because my opponent is very strong. But I can say I will try my best and use all my qualities.”

Like Rithy, Soda is making his ONE bow, but he is a three-time national kun Khmer champion and will be looking to beat Matheis with his standup prowess in their strawweight clash. The 27-year-old told The Post: “I will try to use a standing fight to beat my opponent because he should be strong on groundwork. Whatever the outcome, I will do my best in this fight.”

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