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Rithy eyes second win in Manila fight night

Cambodian fighter Thai Rithy aims a punch at Jerome S Paye during their bout in Jakarta on September 16.
Cambodian fighter Thai Rithy aims a punch at Jerome S Paye during their bout in Jakarta on September 16. ONE

Rithy eyes second win in Manila fight night

Cambodian mixed martial artist Thai Rithy will seek a second win from two fights in Asian MMA promotion ONE Championship, while countryman Phat Soda hopes to salvage pride when they step into the cage at ONE: Legends of the World on Friday night.

Rising Cambodian star Rithy, 22, will fight experienced Chinese fighter Zhao Zhi Kang in a featherweight bout at Manila’s Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines.

After recording an exciting win in his first appearance in a ONE event by knocking out Jerome S Paye of Liberia in the second round at ONE: Total Victory in Indonesia on September 16, Rithy is expecting another tough fight but hopes to claim a second win in front of a big crowd in Manila.

The Cambodia Top Team fighter flew to the Philippines on Monday after spending three weeks training at the Phnom Penh gym, and he said he is ready for Friday’s fight.

He told The Post via Facebook yesterday: “I am ready for this fight but I respect my opponent because he is a good fighter from China. I will try my best to get a victory.”

Asked whether he could record his second win in a row from his second fight in ONE, Rithy replied: “I cannot predict the outcome of the fight because he is also strong, but I will try to seize on any chances he gives me in the first round before focusing on attacking him from the second.”

Although this is just his second appearance in a ONE Championship event, Rithy has already gained much experience in MMA and holds a record of six victory and one defeat.

However, his opponent Zhao is also an experienced MMA fighter with a nine win and one loss record, but this will be his first professional fight in ONE Championship.

Rithy’s fellow Cambodian warrior Soda will look to avenge his loss in Jakarta in September when he meets another Chinese fighter, Peng Xue Wen, in a strawweight bout.

This is the second fight in ONE for Soda after he lost to Indonesia’s Adrian Matheis by submission at the first round in Total Victory.

Soda said of Friday’s fight: “I hope I can do better than before and regain momentum after my disappointing loss [in Jakarta].

“I believe in myself and that I can do better after training for three weeks on many techniques.”

China’s Peng will also be a newcomer to ONE when he makes his debut in Legends of the World on Friday.

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