Lethwei have been gaining traction in recent years thanks to the emergence of World Lethwei Championship. The promotion held its tenth event last Friday and it turned out to be an incredibly exciting night of world-class action. Here are the three biggest winners from the night of action.
The Uzbek fighter has been on the cusp of major glory in recent years, and finally achieved that by becoming the first man to defeat former Middleweight World Lethwei Champion Too Too. Too Too entered this match having gone 53 matches in lethwei undefeated, so to be able to be the first to defeat the lethwei legend in his own sport will be a major coup for the Tuhtaboyev, who have expressed interest in defending the title against the best the rest of the world has to offer.
Tuhtaboyev embraced the match up with Too Too, and got off to a hot start by performing an incredible suplex in the first round. He then went back-and-forth with the incumbent champion, going headbutt for headbutt and being more precise in his punches to notch the split decision victory and etch his name in the history books.
So Mi Ong Luktupfah
Fans were treated to a superlative display by the diminutive dynamo, who whizzed around the ring with lighting quick strikes against his Cambodian opponent Sok Rith. It was a feel-good story for So Mi Ong, whose parents were Burmese but spent most of his life in Thailand, to return to his home country and notch a victory in his first lethwei fight.
In the first round, he received a mean teep kick to his face courtesy of his opponent, but was completely unfazed. He started working on the abdomen area of his opponent, and quickly dropped Sok Rith for the first time. The Cambodian would try to continue but So Mi Ong was relentless, going back to the stomach area with a kick that felled his opponent for good. Fans were then treated to a display of spectacular backflips from the jubilant victor.
Manfredi is quickly becoming the face of female lethwei, and became the first female knockout in World Lethwei Championship history by finishing Vietnam’s Tran Thi Lua. The French martial artist have developed a reputation for being ruthless, and her fight style is perfect for the more relaxed rules of lethwei. In the second round of this fight, she launched a perfect cross right down the pipe, dropping her opponent who was unable to recover. After two wins in a row in lethwei, it might be time for Manfredi to get a shot at the prestigious World Lethwei Championship strap.
Bonus: The Fans
For fans of lethwei, this event was a treat. It featured everything from impressive debuts, outstanding action, amazing production and some of the world’s best combat sports action and served as a prime example of the world-class content that World Lethwei Championship produces.