A Chat With Dejdamnrong Before His Return Back To The Cage on March 11
Dejdamrong has been unleashing his potential since he was 9 years old. He is now 37 years of age (turning 38 on the 7th of November), and his career both in Muay Thai and MMA is an absolute inspiration.
It has been a year since Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke stepped into the cage. Finally, on March 11, he is one step closer to getting his ONE Strawweight World Champion title back. What better way to do it than with the support of his countrymen at the Impact Arena in Bangkok?
I had the chance to ask the former Lumpinee champ about his career and transition to MMA:
1) What interested you about MMA that made you want to compete in it?
It was only when I came to Evolve MMA in July 2013. At first, I didn’t think about trying MMA, but after seeing the other World Champions here and learning about the other martial arts, like BJJ, the interest grew and I wanted to take up that challenge.
2) What did you have to change about your fighting style when transitioning from Muay Thai to MMA?
The main difference is the footwork. In Muay Thai, you stand more stationary, moving your feet less. In MMA, due to the takedown element, your feet are more active (moving around). I feel that was the main change.
3) What are some of the most notable differences between fighting MMA and fighting Muay Thai?
The ground game is an additional factor I now have to manage. It adds another dimension to the fight. Muay Thai is more of fighting on the feet. It’s a different way of looking at things.
4) Is your game plan for most MMA fights to utilize your striking? Or are you comfortable enough with his grappling to try to wrestle and submit your opponents?
With my Muay Thai background, I’m always looking to showcase my nation’s martial art in the cage. However, if the fight goes to the ground, I am comfortable and confident in my abilities to submit my opponents, as I have done in the past.
5) How did it feel losing your championship belt? And how have you been able to overcome it?
I was disappointed to lose the belt, and even more so in front of my home crowd. I felt that I had let down my Evolve team and my supporters. However, it made me all the more determined to train harder and improve, as well as to return and win back the belt.
6) Who has been your toughest MMA opponent? Toughest Muay Thai opponent?
In MMA, it’s Naito. He’s strong on the ground. My toughest Muay Thai opponent would be Yodsanklai. We fought each other twice. I won the first fight, but it was still the toughest fight I had in my Muay Thai career. Although I won, I had 31 stitches!
7) What style of fighter do you like fighting the most? The least?
I don’t have a preference. I’m willing to fight all styles. I always prepare and train to the best of my ability, so I can be confident in fighting anyone.
8) How did your training regimen change when you starting competing in Muay Thai? How much of your training is focused on striking vs. grappling?
There are so many aspects to MMA, that I had to schedule time to train in all those aspects throughout the week – striking, grappling, wrestling, and many more. My training focus is split among the different MMA disciplines, because they’re all important and any can be used in a fight.
9) What would your number one tip be for Muay Thai fighters looking to transition to MMA?
Come with an open mind. The other aspects of MMA, such as grappling, are very interesting and there are tons to pick up. As long as someone is willing to learn and work hard at their craft, they can have success in MMA.
Make sure to watch Dejdamrong on March 11th when he will be fighting Joshua Pacio, a Wushu and Muay Thai specialist training under the renowned Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay. Pacio is also 16 years younger than Sor Amnuaysirichoke, which may help nullify the multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion’s deadly striking skills. This is definitely a bout you wouldn’t want to miss!
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.