Sam-A Gaiyanghadao lived up to his billing as one of the greatest Muay Thai competitors in the history of the sport with his performance on Friday, 26 January.
For the first time ever, a Muay Thai bout took place in the ONE Championship cage, with Gaiyanghadao putting on a masterclass to finish Italy’s Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri in the second round at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, which broadcasted live from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
The special attraction lured Gaiyanghadao to ONE for the very first time, and the crowd was firmly on his side from the moment he trotted out to the cage.
Lasiri was not going to go away without a battle, however, as he came out very aggressively while trying to find his way inside Gaiyanghadao’s defense. He paid for that game plan soon enough, courtesy of several hard counter shots from the multi-time Lumpinee World Champion.
The Singapore-based Thai was able to evade almost every one of Lasiri’s strikes before coming back with a series of blistering leg kicks that crackled throughout the Mall Of Asia Arena. Gaiyanghadao continued to punish the Italian’s body and legs with his devastating kicking game, before capping off the first round with a stiff right hand that knocked his opponent to the mat.
That final combination only made the confidence swell inside Gaiyanghadao, as the second round got underway. It was clear from the start he had no intentions of allowing Lasiri, a WBC Muay Thai Super Bantamweight World Champion, to see the third round.
While he is best known as a counter striker, the Thai was on the attack. He fired off head kick after head kick, and while he was not getting through the Italian’s defense, he was absolutely battering his opponent’s forearms and shoulders.
Finally, as the damage mounted, the Italian was knocked off his feet from a kick that rattled his entire upper body. Knowing that “The Hurricane” was stunned, Gaiyanghadao could smell the finish coming as he launched a pair of left hands that put Lasiri down on the canvas on two consecutive occasions.
The third knockdown of the round signified the end of the match, as the three-knockdown rule gave Gaiyanghadao the win at 2:30 of the second frame.