Two unknown Myanmar mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters won their debut bouts against the Thais at the Full Metal Dojo 16: Big Trouble In Little Bangkok (FMD16) MMA event held at the Insanity Nightclub in Bangkok on November 3.
O Kay Gyi, 23, won his first Bantamweight pro debut fight against Thailand’s Visarut Numnoi, who was also fighting for the first time, by way of technical knockout in round 1, which lasted 2:59 minutes.
While Numnoi delivered several strikes at the beginning of their fight, O Kay Gyi managed to mount and punch out the Thai just before the first 3-minute round ended.
“It’s a really good feeling to be able to punch like that,” O Kay Gyi said, referring to the series of blows he delivered to his floored opponent during the match.
In a separate Bantamweight pro debut fight, 21-year-old Aung Kyaw Kyaw beat 36-year-old Jaktan Tangjan, who called it quits after two grueling rounds of grappling.
The visibly exhausted Thai surrendered to his younger opponent despite having five previous fights, two of which he won, to his name.
Prior to the fight, both O Kay Gyi and Aung Kyaw Kyaw received just a month of training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the martial art which focuses on grappling and ground fighting, said Jason Maung, owner of MMA gym Yangon Fight Club, where the pair trains.
The two matches were part of the inaugural Asean-based Kumite 3000 series, a nation versus nation tournament hosted by FMD16 and backed by Fox Sports Asia.
The third bout in the series saw Cambodia’s Long La knock out Thailand’s Chinnakit Manolai in just 22 seconds.
Myanmar’s wins at FMD16 come at a time when MMA is rising in popularity in the country, thanks to MMA champion Aung La N Sang, nicknamed Burmese Python, and rising star Phoe “Bushido” Thaw.
Myanmar’s traditional martial arts sport is known as lethwei, which is a full contact, bareknuckle boxing sport using stand-up striking and other clinching techniques.