Nong-O Gaiyanghadao has looked unstoppable during his reign as the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion, but he expects a fierce challenge for the gold in his next outing.
Although a date hasn’t been announced, the combat sports world is already salivating over the Thai kingpin’s upcoming defense against English hard-hitter Liam “Hitman” Harrison.
That World Title matchup was confirmed after Harrison defeated Muangthai PK.Saenchai with an epic comeback in April, and it will feature a pair of heavy hitters who never back down.
Both men are legends in the Muay Thai world, and they hold each other in the highest regard.
In fact, Harrison recently stated that he is inspired by Nong-O, and the reigning titleholder has now revealed that he’s a massive fan of “Hitman.”
The Evolve MMA representative said:
“It might seem ridiculous to say that my favorite Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer is Liam Harrison, my next challenger. I’ve been following him for quite a long time. I love his style. His fights are always exciting and fun to watch. Also, he is a good guy in the Circle. He doesn’t take advantage of his opponents.
“I first met him at the [ONE Elite Retreat] in Phuket. He walked up to greet me. At that time, I still didn’t know him, so I introduced myself. I said, ‘My name is Nong-O.’ And he said, ‘Oh, I know you well!’ I was quite surprised that he recognized me. Since then, we have started to talk whenever we meet at ONE [events]. I respect him so much.”
Nong-O doesn’t just think Harrison is the most entertaining striker in ONE Super Series. He also believes the Bad Company man will pose a unique threat on fight night.
With 116 bouts to his credit, “Hitman” has a vast amount of experience for a non-Thai athlete in “the art of eight limbs,” and that certainly shone through against Muangthai.
After being knocked down twice in the first round, the Englishman showcased his savvy and heart to score three knockdowns of his own and earn the remarkable TKO victory – a feat that was not lost on Nong-O.
The Thai told ONE Championship:
“If counting only foreign opponents, I would say yes, [Harrison] is the most dangerous opponent I’ve ever faced. He fought many famous Muay Thai fighters, including the Thai legend Saenchai.
“Liam could come back [after being knocked down twice by Muangthai] because he has more experience. He could read the game better than Muangthai. He knew that Muangthai had two knockdowns already, and he would rush to seal the deal. But Liam is a veteran. When he was [being] counted, he would not rush to get up. He waited to recover and get back up strong.” (ONEFC)
(Photo credits to: One Championship)