Sagetdao Petpayathai: From Muay Thai superstar to ONE contender

Sagetdao Petpayathai: From Muay Thai superstar to ONE contender
PHOTO: Sagetdao Petpayathai: From Muay Thai superstar to ONE contender

With a career spanning 162 Muay Thai victories, Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai goes into the ONE Championship cage holding a resume bursting with credibility.

The Thai superstar has competed just twice under the ONE Championship banner, but the 30-year-old knows all about the rigors of competition.

Petpayathai returns to action against Filipino Jimmy “The Silencer” Yabo at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in Bangkok, Thailand, and it is almost certain sure he’ll be cheered to the rafters by local fans, who have witnessed Petpayathai’s greatness in the Muay Thai ring.

A four-time winner of the prestigious Lumpinee World Championship, Petpayathai is undergoing a career transition as he looks to translate his successes in Muay Thai to the cage, where a multitude of other martial arts techniques come into play.

His two outings in ONE Championship amount to a grand total of just about four minutes of cage time, as the striking legend showcased his skills in a pair of back-to-back first-round TKO finishes. 

His debut saw him finish Malaysia’s Kelvin Ong in 2:20, and his second appearance produced an even faster finish, as he stopped Egyptian Mahmoud Mohamed in Shanghai.

Petpayathai admits his transition to the cage remains a work in progress, and he pays tribute to his team at Singapore’s Evolve MMA for his successful start to life in the cage.

“The transition has been good,” he said. “I have a lot to learn, but I have had a lot of help from the many world champions here at Evolve MMA. Everyone helps each other out, and teaches each other a lot.

“It is is very different from Muay Thai, with different aspects including the ground game, but I feel comfortable in there (the cage).”

Stepping into the cage as a multiple-time Muay Thai world champion, much is expected of Petpayathai. And returning to action on home soil brings even more expectation and pressure.

If there’s one thing “Deadly Star” is comfortable with, it’s pressure. And a lifetime spent training for competition has equipped the Thai star with the perfect foundations on which to build a successful career in the ONE featherweight division.

“I am comfortable in my abilities, and I know when I get into the cage, I will give my all,” he said.

“I am looking forward to the match and excited for the challenge.”