Sovannahry Em is excited to represent Cambodia in her ONE Championship debut on Friday, 7 December.
She is scheduled to meet Ukraine’s Iryna “Delsa” Kyselova in a flyweight mixed martial arts bout at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, which emanates from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 26-year-old Cambodian-American is finishing up her training camp, and she plans to put on a show for the fans.
“I feel so ready,” she says. “I can’t wait to get out there.”
Together with her trainers, Em has worked on a strategy that aims to see her maintain her undefeated record. She currently holds two victories — the first being an 18-second knockout, and the second being a 79-second TKO.
A lot of her confidence comes from training with her head coach Justin Hamilton, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt at Fight Science MMA in Los Angeles, California, USA.
“We connect very well, and the good thing about him is that he doesn’t have another female fighter, so he’s able to focus on me and my skills,” she shares.
“I’ve grown so much in just this past month or two. This [bout] is a big opportunity — not for just me, but also for him. We’re both super excited.”
Em believes her most significant advantage will be in the striking department, but she has been training hard to challenge her Ukrainian adversary both on the feet and on the mat.
Although she would love another quick finish, the Cambodian-American knows Kyselova — a Europe West Fight Champion — is a well-rounded competitor with submission victories as well as knockout finishes.
If she needs to, Em is ready to go all three rounds.
“My coaches are so good at studying [Kyselova’s] videos, and seeing her habits and what she likes to do,” she explains.
“When we get together on the weekends, that’s what we are focusing on — working on a strategy to go against Iryna.”
Em is taking a huge step in her mixed martial arts career, and this weekend, the journey to Kuala Lumpur begins.
On Saturday, she flies to the Malaysian capital, and will spend the following couple of days doing some light training to shake off the jet lag and relax before the thrilling 13-bout card.
Then finally, on 7 December, she will officially write a new chapter in her martial arts story when she enters the cage as a member of the ONE roster.
For Em, martial arts is more than stepping into the cage and competing; it is a lifestyle that touches on both philosophy and deep-rooted values.
“That’s what appealed to me about ONE — the focusing on how [athletes] are good people, how we can help others, and becoming the best version of ourselves,” she says.
The Cambodian-American martial artist plans to showcase the best version of herself at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS and remain unbeaten.