In a surprising turn of events, Brazil-born Kun Khmer fighter Thiago Teixeira, known to fans as Sen Chanrithy Kun following obtaining Khmer citizenship, finds himself in search of a new cooperative partner for his career in Cambodia.
This development comes after his decision to part ways with the Kun Khmer International Fighters (KKIF), a move that has caused quite the stir in the fighting community.
Teixeira's departure has left Srey Chanthorn, a central figure in the fighter's decision to join the Kun Khmer, somewhat taken aback.
It was Chanthorn who ignited Thiago's passion for Kun Khmer and drew him and his wife away from a club in Thailand to fight on behalf of KKIF.
On April 1, Teixeira triumphed in the Apex Fight Series in Germany, securing the World Muaythai Organisation (WMO) belt. However, this achievement was met with controversy. The International Federation of Muaythai Associations stripped him of the belt, accusing him of representing Kun Khmer, not the association, a blow that left Teixeira deeply disillusioned.
Driven by this disappointment, Thiago decided to break free from the association he had been a part of since the tender age of 16. He dedicated himself to promoting Kun Khmer martial art instead.
This shift coincided with Teixeira and his wife gaining Cambodian citizenship on April 11, facilitated by his sponsor and contract holder, Chanthorn.
Despite this commitment to elevate Kun Khmer on the international stage, Teixeira's departure from the KKIF came sooner than expected.
On July 26, he took to social media to announce: "I would like to inform everyone that I have made the decision to leave Kun Khmer International Fighters. I actually left more than a month ago. I believe it's time to explore new opportunities and seek fresh challenges elsewhere".
In the same announcement, he expressed his openness to forming new partnerships, eagerly anticipating future collaborations to foster the growth of martial arts.
"Let's make our martial art grow! I sincerely wish you all ongoing success and great satisfaction in your endeavours," he posted.
The KKIF has been relatively quiet on the matter, yet they have recently admitted a new Cambodian boxer, Sok Thy, from Thailand.
This has done nothing to quell the sympathy Cambodian boxing fans feel for Thiago, who abandoned his club in Thailand to further his career in Cambodia.
Among his supporters is Sorn Elit, founder of Kun Khmer All Stars. After introducing the sport to France, Elit empathetically expressed his sentiments on social media: “I personally didn’t want to speak very much, just feeling very pitiful on Thiago and hopefully he would be able to find a new place for himself".
Coach Sen Bunthen had a heartfelt message for Teixeira. In a post that warmed hearts, he reminded Thiago: “Rithy Kun, you must remember since you have decided to live on Cambodia soil, I haven’t treated you as a friend of mine, but as my family member…don’t think too much! Let’s hold our hands to continue our journey".