On October 27th, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, an emblem of combat sports history, once again came alive. This time, it was courtesy of ONE Friday Fights 38, presented by the world’s premier martial arts organization, ONE Championship. This much-anticipated event showcased a curated line-up of 11 exhilarating MMA and Muay Thai matches, each promising its own set of drama, action, and unmatched skill.
For the fighters, this wasn’t merely an event; it was a golden opportunity. With both seasoned professionals and emerging talents competing, the coveted reward—a six-figure contract with ONE Championship—seemed within grasp for many, yet remained elusive, reserved for only the most exceptional.
When giants of the Muay Thai universe—Team Mehdi Zatout and Sor Sommai—send forth their best representatives, expectations are set incredibly high. The evening’s main event, which saw Ilyas Musaev of Team Mehdi Zatout pitted against Sor Sommai’s rising star, Otop Or Kwanmuang, did not disappoint in meeting and exceeding these anticipations.
The strategies employed by both contenders were evident from the initial moments. Otop, possessing a noticeable reach advantage, seemed keen on leveraging this to maintain the fight at a distance. However, Musaev, although not as towering, showcased a combination of determination and strategic acumen. His intent was clear: to neutralize and counter Otop’s every move.
Musaev executed a sharp spinning elbow, cutting through Otop’s defenses, resulting in visible injury and earning Otop an eight-count. The sheer tenacity displayed by the Thai fighter was commendable, as he responded to the count, undeterred.
Yet, as the minutes ticked away, Musaev, in a showcase of impeccable skill, connected with a forceful overhand right. The impact was such that Otop was propelled into the ring’s corner post, prompting an intervention from the referee, who deemed it necessary to halt the bout at 2:59 of the very first round.
A significant aspect of this duel was the age and experience dynamic. Musaev, at just 21, registered this as only the tenth victory in his professional journey, hinting at the long, promising pathway unfolding before him in ONE Championship. Otop, despite the outcome, displayed characteristics of a promising fighter, with a repertoire of leg kicks and body shots in the initial phase of the match.
Musaev, reflecting on his victory and future prospects within the ONE Championship ecosystem, shared his thoughts during the post-fight interview. Through a translator, he expressed, “I always fight the best opponents because ONE Championship has always one. I’m always ready, just call me. We found a new game plan for a new opponent, for now, I think we did a hundred percent.”
The evening also witnessed Chorfah Tor Sangtiennoi clashing with Pompet PK Saenchai in a gripping 132-pound catchweight Muay Thai battle. An intense three rounds saw both fighters displaying top-tier skills and resilience. Despite Pompet’s valiant efforts, it was Chorfah’s strategic prowess that earned him a unanimous victory, taking his impressive career tally to 103-45.
Stephen Irvine and Singdomthong Nokjeanladkrabang put on a striking masterclass in their 127-pound catchweight Muay Thai bout. Despite Irvine’s relentless attacks, it was Singdomthong’s early double knockdown that tilted the scales in his favor, with the judges awarding him a majority decision win.
Another nail-biting duel was between Puengluang Baanramba and Sonrak Fairtex, which ended dramatically in just 16 seconds into the second round, thanks to a thunderous right from Puengluang.
One of the evening’s unforgettable fights was between Petgarfield Jitmuangnon and Numpangna Eaglemuaythai. With both fighters refusing to back down, they provided a spectacle for the ages at the renowned Lumpinee Stadium. Eventually, it was Petgarfield’s relentless aggression that earned him a unanimous nod from the judges.
Yodsingdam Keatkhamtorn, the 16-year-old prodigy, made an indelible mark in his promotional debut. His exceptional boxing skills, highlighted by a succession of powerful right-hand punches, ensured a triumphant start to his ONE strawweight Muay Thai journey with a first-round KO.
The stage was also set for another teen sensation, Lenny Blasi, who faced local hero Nonthakit Tor Morsri. Despite initial setbacks, Blasi showcased his incredible resilience and skill, achieving a magnificent victory to bolster his career record.
Mark “Tyson” Abelardo’s bout was a roller-coaster of emotions and raw skill. The Kiwi-Filipino veteran faced severe early challenges against Georgy “Tiger” Shahruramazanov but, in a dazzling comeback, Abelardo sealed the deal with a perfectly timed left hook.
The evening commenced with Fritz Biagtan’s awe-inspiring display against Deepak Bhardwaj. Biagtan’s precise strikes, combined with a masterful defense against a takedown, paved the way for a stellar left-hand knockout, marking his second consecutive win in ONE.