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Rising star Rothana out to reign as ONE returns to the Kingdom

Chan Rothana aims a kick at Sam Ang Dun in their previous bout at Rise of the Kingdom in Phnom Penh last year.
Chan Rothana aims a kick at Sam Ang Dun in their previous bout at Rise of the Kingdom in Phnom Penh last year. ONE

Rising star Rothana out to reign as ONE returns to the Kingdom

Rising Cambodian mixed marial arts star Chan Rothana will be looking to firmly consign the controversy of last year’s bout with Sam Ang Dun at ONE: Rise of the Kingdom to the past when the two face off again tomorrow night as ONE Championship returns to Phnom Penh.

ONE: Kingdom of Khmer is set to electrify the crowd with an evening of world-class mixed martial arts action at the Koh Pich Theater.

Rothana and compatriot Sam Ang Dun clash in a rematch of their bout last year that ended in controversy when Rothana was disqualified for what was deemed an illegal stomp.

“I am very motivated to show that I am the best, and I am confident I will win,” Rothana says of the rematch with Sam Ang Dun.

“I am happy with the fight ONE proposed because I was so frustrated after the red card last year. I am not out for revenge, I just want to make it clear that I deserved the victory. I have no problems with Sam Ang Dun,” Rothana said.

“Compared to last year, I am more experienced and prepared. I know Sam Ang Dun better so I am more confident. I want to win for my family, my friends, the Selapak community and my country, and to continue the journey until I reach the top.”

Household name

Rothana, a father of two, credits his family as his life support and his motivation to continue fighting.

“My family are central in my life and they have supported me in different ways. My father is a Grand Master of yutakun khom, the ancient Angkorian martial art, and he was the one who taught me how to fight. His advice has helped me approach fights physically as well as spiritually,” Rothana explained.

The name Chan Rothana needs no introduction in Cambodia, as the kun Khmer star has made himself a household name in the local martial arts scene. The fast-rising Cambodian MMA athlete is now looking to make a name for himself on the international MMA scene.

Since joining ONE Championship, Rothana (3-1) has had two victories inside the ONE cage and was victorious in his last outing against Ramon Gonzales at Age of Champions in Malaysia in March, becoming the first Cambodian to win overseas.

“Opponents believe that they can beat me on the ground because kun Khmer uses standup fighting,” Rothana says, “but in yutakun khom we fully use ground techniques and I am very comfortable with them. But I really would love to have a full-on striking fight.”

Sam Ang Dun said: “I feel very happy that I have chance to showcase my abilities and skills again in a big event like ONE Championship. I have trained very hard and I am ready for the fight. I respect my opponent because he is very strong but I still hope I can win. I think I can beat him with my punching power.”

Since suffering two setbacks early on in his career, Prey Veng’s Sam Ang Dun has emerged as a solid featherweight with a 5-2 record, and was the winner of the featherweight tournament at Rise of the Kingdom. Sam Ang Dun is a well-rounded fighter in a rich featherweight division.

However, Rothana is confident of having his arm raised at the end of the headlining local bout.

“I am well prepared after training very hard and I felt deep regret when I lost to him last year. Now I hope I can salvage what I lost, and I have my tactics to hold off my opponent’s strength. I know he is strong at punching but I have my own skills to counteract that,” he said.

In the main event, an epic lightweight battle between Hawaiian mixed martial artist Lowen Tynanes (7-0) and Russian fighter Rasul Yakhyaev (9-2) will take place along with other exciting bouts.

“ONE Championship’s return to the Kingdom with the support of our partners will be absolutely incredible and we are excited to once again ignite the Koh Pich Theatre with live world-class MMA action,” said ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui.

“Our last event in Phnom Penh was a huge success, and it was truly an honour to see the crowd cheering for our ONE Championship superstars.

Also featured on the card is top Malaysian flyweight prospect, Gianni Subba. Subba (6-1) will be looking to showcase his improved ground techniques, wrestling ability and striking skills to overcome Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad (5-1) to bring him one step closer to a shot at the ONE Flyweight Championship.

Local Cambodian fighters will perform in front of their home crowd in the fights that promise to draw the loudest cheers. MMA fans can once again expect another amazing show on Koh Pich and will not want to miss the action.

Tickets are available at NagaWorld, and the fight will be shown live on CTN.

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