Saemapetch Fairtex knows he’s taking a big risk by facing the highly-touted Rittewada Petcyhindee Academy at the previously recorded ONE: NEXTGEN II, which airs this Friday, November 12.
The 27-year-old puts his spot as the top-ranked bantamweight in Muay Thai on the line against the very dangerous Rittewada, who will be making his ONE Super Series debut.
Saemapetch understands the risks of facing a fighter of Rittewada’s caliber, but he also knows he has to hurdle the newcomer if he wants to keep his spot as the division’s top contender.
“This is a risky fight because Rittewada has just entered [ONE Super Series], and I am ranked number one. If I lose in this match, I’d lose my ranked position,” Saemapetch told ONEFC.com.
“Am I nervous? I am. If I lose, I won’t be able to get a rematch with Nong-O. I’ll need to climb up the rankings again. This match is very important. I need to win.”
His goal is to set up another clash with longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, the man who stopped Saemapetch via fourth-round knockout in 2019.
Since then, Saemapetch has racked up big wins in the division, scoring a majority decision victory over Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in 2020 and knocking out Kulabdam “Left Metorite” Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai in the first round of their clash earlier this year.
“In my last match against Kulabdam, you could see how I had improved in terms of speed and power. I was able to knock him out,” Saemapetch said.
“In this upcoming fight, I’ll try my best to do that again. Because if I win, I will be able to have a rematch with Nong-O. I want to have the chance to win the World Championship again.”
That’s why he’ll be doing everything in his power to make sure he keeps his position, so he can strengthen his case for another shot at Nong-O.
“I don’t want anyone to snatch [my ranking] away from me. I’ll try my best to keep it,” he said.
“Rittewada, you want my ranking, don’t you? You want to be number one? I won’t let you have it. There is no way I will let go of it.”
Catch all the ONE Championship action at ONE: NEXTGEN II this Friday, November 12, by downloading the ONE Super App.