ONE Championship veteran and top Thai mixed martial arts talent Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai is looking to get his career back on track while searching for a much-needed victory. The 31-year-old Circle veteran is feeling reenergized and refreshed after spending an extended period in lockdown, sharpening his skills.
“OneShin” is scheduled to return to action against France’s Fabio Pinca in a three-round mixed martial arts contest at ONE: NO SURRENDER III, a closed-door, audience free event set for broadcast on 21 August in Bangkok, Thailand.
For Wiratchai, facing Pinca in the ONE Championship ring is an honor, and an opportunity to face one of the Muay Thai fighters he has followed since he began training in the sport nearly a decade ago.
“It’s always great to get back in the ring to compete. I’ve been training and staying ready for five months now, and I’m so happy I can get back to doing this again,” said Wiratchai.
“I started Muay Thai about 10 years ago, and Fabio Pinca was a foreign Nak Muay coming out of nowhere, becoming champion in his first Thai fight. I don’t know about anyone else, but Fabio Pinca is one of my all-time favorite Muay Thai athletes.”
The 32-year-old Pinca is a multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion and one of the most decorated Frenchmen to ever step into the ring. He has competed all across the globe, going from Europe to the United States, China, Japan, and even Thailand.
Among Pinca’s list of accolades include a European Kickboxing Championship, two-division WBC Muay Thai World Championships, and even a Rajadamnern Stadium World Championship. Against Wiratchai, however, Pinca is in uncharted territory, making the transition to mixed martial arts for the very first time.
But while Wiratchai knows his opponent is a tremendous striker, he also believes Pinca has worked extensively on his ground game enough to be a threat from all angles.
“For sure, his striking will definitely be on point. Although he has proven to have great kicks in Muay Thai, he also has bombs in his hands. I need to be careful that I don’t get hit by them,” said Wiratchai.
“I’ve heard his grappling is also very good, so I think I may have to catch him on the transition. This is MMA, and anything can happen.”
ONE: NO SURRENDER III is the third iteration of the high-profile event series in Bangkok. The headline bout features a ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament Semifinal showdown between Muay Thai athletes Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort and Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.
The event is scheduled for global broadcast to over 150 countries, and Wiratchai wants to put on a show, not just to claim a victory which he badly needs, but also to inspire the world with his performance.
“Hopefully, I can knock him out somehow. But I will be doing my best to mix up my game, and looking for any opportunities to take advantage of,” said Wiratchai.
“This event isn’t just important for Thai people, but also the whole world. It will show everyone just how strong humans can be during these hard times, and how we can overcome this pandemic together.”
Catch ONE: NO SURRENDER III on meWATCH, the ONE Championship YouTube channel, or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Also, Channel 5 will broadcast the event on a next-day delay at 1 a.m. SGT on Saturday, 22 August.
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