ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang is not the only athlete who is popularizing martial arts in Myanmar.
His fellow countryman Phoe “Bushido” Thaw has also been lighting up the scene, and has become one of the country’s fastest rising superstars.
Currently the owner of sparkling 5-0 professional record, Phoe Thaw will look to ascend even higher up the featherweight ranks on Friday, February 23. The lethwei specialist will clash with Cambodia’s Sor Sey at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, which broadcasts from the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon.
In advance of Phoe Thaw’s return to the ONE cage, let’s take a look back at three of his finest career moments.
Setting A Featherweight Record Against Kat Pali
The 33-year-old Myanmar combatant surged forward from the opening bell, quickly rattling his opponent with a beautiful jab-cross-body kick combination before following up with a flying knee. He then completed a takedown straight into full mount.
There would be no escape for Kat Pali. “Bushido” unleashed a meteor shower of ground and pound, and referee Yuji Shimada had no choice but to stop the contest.
Phoe Thaw advanced to the tournament finals, all while securing the fastest knockout and finish in featherweight history at 22 seconds. He held the honor up until last week, when Edward Kelly broke it by one second.
Capturing The Tournament Championship
Later in the same night, Phoe Thaw met Saw Yan Paing in the tournament final. While both competitors are experienced lethwei specialists, this battle was mostly contested on the canvas.
It was almost déjà vu for “Bushido,” who immediately secured a takedown and landed in full mount. Phoe Thaw rained down punches and elbows, but his high mount backfired, as it allowed Saw Yan Paing to reverse the position completely.
The powerful Saw Yan Paing tried to inflict damage, but could not do much. He was always tied up in his rival’s web. “Bushido” cleverly swept him midway through the stanza, and then regained full mount. From there, the rising star repeatedly stung his foe with punches and elbows until the referee waved off the bout at the 3:23 mark of round one.
Just like that, Phoe Thaw was the ONE Myanmar Featherweight Tournament 2016 Champion, one of the crowning achievements in his exciting martial arts career thus far.
Edging Out Saw Ba Oo in Yangon Thriller
Phoe Thaw could not have been more impressive in his first four bouts, winning them all by stoppage in the first round. But in November 2017, at ONE: HERO’S DREAM, he showed he had cardio and durability as well.
In fact, his gritty scrap with Saw Ba Oo may have stole the show. “Bushido” went for the takedown in the first round, but his opponent reversed it, and proved to be quite dangerous from the top position. The second frame told a different story, however, as the two Myanmar warriors engaged in a stand-up war.
Phoe Thaw eventually brought Saw Ba Oo to the mat, and soon unleashed his trademark ground attack and even applied a deep guillotine, but was unable to get the tap.
In the third and final round, it was all about the stand-up game. Saw Ba Oo tried to apply the pressure, but Phoe Thaw masterfully used his brilliant counter striking to maintain his unblemished record and win the the contest via split decision.