Bangkok’s Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai (8-2, 1 NC) has become both a fan favorite and an inspiration to up-and-coming martial artists in Thailand.
The 29-year-old lightweight is one of the first Thai athletes to have made an impact on the global stage in ONE Championship. Not only is he a talented competitor, but he is also a born entertainer, an intelligent thinker, and most notably, a hard worker.
Since his promotional debut back in 2012, his skill set has continued to evolve, and he has created a plethora of highlight reel moments, which have captivated fans all across the world. Here are just four of his finest moments.
Making An Impact In Thailand
In May 2016, the promotion staged its inaugural Thailand show, ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, and Wiratchai was eager to impress the local crowd. The hometown hero squared off against a dangerous rival in Myanmar’s Kyal Linn Aung, and displayed both his striking and submission prowess.
Kyal Linn Aung, an aggressive striker who is a Gold Belt Champion in lethwei, was kept at bay with a solid jab and lead hook. The frustrated Myanmar athlete leapt in to try and land his shots, but Wiratchai ducked under and took him down in an instant.
On the ground, “OneShin” showed terrific guard passing, ground and pound, and submission skills. He worked his way onto Kyal Linn Aung’s back and tapped him out at the 2:17 mark of round one. Needless to say, the jubilant Bangkok crowd loved their hero’s compelling performance. After all, it was game planning at its finest.
The Thriller Against Peter Davis
At this point, Davis already had seven victories under the ONE banner, all by way of finish, so this was a real test for “OneShin.”
In a bout with enough drama to fill a whole card, Wiratchai dominated Davis with precise striking, and thought he had sealed the deal at the end of the first round. However, despite being crumpled in a heap against the cage, the Malaysian sensation was saved by the bell, and entered the second frame with a new fire.
Over-confidence led to the Thai being hit by a spinning backfist and dropping to the mat in what would have been the turnaround of the century. But Wiratchai showed his resilience, dusted himself off, and came back even stronger. It turned into a back-and-forth affair, but he finished Davis with hard punches at the 3:32 mark of round number two.
Stopping Richard Corminal
The Thai lightweight returned to the Impact Arena for the organization’s second Bangkok show, ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, in March 2017, where he was to welcome Malaysian-based Filipino striker Richard “Notorious” Corminal to the ONE cage. As usual, there were fireworks.
Clearly, it would not be a traditional Wiratchai match without some drama inside the cage. Within the first minute of their bout, a relaxed, confident “OneShin” walked into a well-timed right hand from Corminal, and was sent to the mat. It seemed only to serve as a catalyst for the Bangkok native, who shook it off, bit down on his mouthguard, and resumed his forward pressure.
Wiratchai used his experience to cut off the cage and walk his opponent down, chipping away with hard punches and kicks when the opportunity presented itself. As Corminal lunged in, “OneShin” timed a left hook to perfection. He visibly staggered “Notorious,” and then pounced on him with punches and a jumping knee. The ref waved off the bout at 3:37 of the first round.
His 29-Second Knockout Of Rajinder Singh Meena
Adaptability is a key element in any successful martial artist’s repertoire. Just days out from a scheduled bout with tough Australian slugger Rob Lisita, an injury forced a change in opponent. India’s Rajinder “Knockout” Singh Meena stepped up to the plate at ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in Macao this past August.
New opponent or not, Wiratchai was motivated to dispatch him in record time and make a statement to the lightweight division. Evidently, he made that statement loud and clear.
Meena looked for a takedown off a good right hand counter to Wiratchai’s low kick, but he simply could not get the control he wanted on “OneShin.” The Thai evaded the shot, and countered with a hard left knee to the head, which immediately dropped the Indian. The referee stopped the bout instantly.
With the knockout, Wiratchai captured his sixth consecutive win, and at 29 seconds also recorded the fastest victory of his career.
Bangkok | 24 March | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onewill18