Having battled his way to decision victories over Cambodian combatants in his last two mixed martial arts bouts for ONE Fighting Championship, Malaysian Muay Thai master Saiful Merican now faces a daunting task in taking on Thai kickboxing star Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE FC: Roar of Tigers in Kuala Lumpur this Friday.
Merican (3-1), who edged Khim “Black Dragon” Dima by split decision in KL on March 14 following his unanimous decision win over Tok Sophon in Singapore the previous November, now finds himself back in front of his home crowd at the Stadium Putra. The 25-year-old will be one of half a dozen Malaysian MMA fighters set for engrossing international match ups on Friday’s card.
“The cheers and chants of the home crowd make me more motivated and want to succeed. I hope to deliver a good performance and make them proud,” Merican told the Post.
The Malaysian will certainly not have it all his own way with Dejdamrong, ten years his senior, having also won both of his previous two ONE FC fights since entering the MMA cage for the first time just four months ago.
The Thai flyweight is a three-time Lumpinee champion with an impressive 282-65 Muay Thai record, currently training and instructing at the renowned Evolve MMA gym in Singapore.
“I am honoured to be fighting a champion,” said Merican, who is nicknamed “The Vampire” due to his ability to draw blood from opponents.
“Yes, Dejdamrong has more fights in Muay Thai, but it’s a totally different ball game when it comes to MMA.
“My strengths going into this fight would be having more experience training as an all-round fighter – stand up and on the ground.
“Training MMA and fighting in ONE FC has made me a better fighter by making me understand the different aspects and many techniques you can use in the ring or cage,” he added.
“It is a great opportunity I have now with ONE FC to fight with all the international MMA fighters to continue to better my fighting skills.”