How family and friends led ONE Championship’s Nong-O Gaiyanghadao to Muay Thai.
Considered as one of Muay Thai’s living legends, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao will try to further cement his legacy on 6 September at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH against Brice “The Truck” Delval.
Nong-O, who will defend his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title for a second time at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, recalled how his journey in the “Art of Eight Limbs” began.
“My path started off from a very small boxing gym next door [to my home]. There was one punching bag, one pair of punch mitts, and some boxing gloves,” Nong-O said. “It was a small gym with a few people – only two or three. When I was young, I walked past, and there was my uncle, he was training. One day, he just asked me to try kicking the punching bag to see if I’d like it. I didn’t like it at first, so I told him I had a stomach ache.”
He initially thought Muay Thai wasn’t for him, but with the persistence of his uncle and friends, he decided to give it another go and, at the same time, spend time with them.
“After days of [my uncle] asking, I just tried. There was also a friend of mine who was training there, so he also asked me to join. That was the beginning,” Nong-O said. “I wanted to try. It was like a kid’s curiosity. I saw my friends doing it, so I wanted to do the same and play with them because when they competed, they had a chance to travel to another province. I never traveled to another province back then. I only traveled from home to school.”
After numerous matches and multiple accolades in various prestigious tournaments, Nong-O has made Muay Thai a part of his life.
“I was 10 years old. I thought it was hard because I had no idea about Muay Thai at all, but I really got the spirit,” Nong-O concluded. “Even when I got hurt, I didn’t give up. I got hurt, but I didn’t cry. I wanted to do it, so I focused.”
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