ONE Championship: Sinsamut Klinmee first fighter to join openweight Muay Thai grand prix
- ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced plans for a 16-man tournament with a US$1 million prize for the winner
- Thailand’s Sinsamut, a former lightweight kickboxing title challenger, joins the bracket with first round set for March
Sinsamut Klinmee is the first official entrant into ONE Championship’s anticipated openweight Muay Thai grand prix.
That changed at the post-fight press conference for ONE’s Friday debut in the famed Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, when the ONE boss tabbed Sinsamut as the first official grand prix competitor.
“The first person in the 16-man grand prix [is] Sinsamut,” he said.
Sinsamut, 27, was last in action in October, when he lost a split decision to Dutchman Regian Eersel in a failed bid to claim the ONE lightweight kickboxing belt.
Before that, he posted a pair of stunning second-round knockout wins over Nieky Holzken and Liam Nolan, both of which were contested at lightweight under Muay Thai rules.
He is understandably excited about the tournament ahead, which features a US$1 million prize for the winner.
“Thank you Chatri for knowing that I fight with my heart and I was born to fight,” he wrote in an Instagram post over the weekend. “No matter if I meet someone who is bigger or smaller, I will fight to the fullest because I am a fighter.”
While Sinsamut is the only fighter to be added to the grand prix so far, Chatri initially named flyweight Muay Thai champ Rodtang Jitmuangnon, former featherweight kickboxing champion Superbon Singha Mawynn, and bantamweight Muay Thai contender Jonathan Haggerty as possible competitors.
Beyond those names, the only clue he gave was that the tournament will feature “16 of the world’s best”.
It remains to be seen if the tournament will include heavier fighters, like those in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. But as a lightweight, which sits right in the middle of ONE’s nine men’s divisions, Sinsamut could fairly be matched up with lighter or heavier competitors.
ONE’s openweight Muay Thai grand prix is expected to commence at ONE Fight Night 8 in March, though the schedule is not yet set in stone.